« Driving Employee Engagement Requires Baseline of Competitive, Fair Pay | Main | Cafe Classic - It's Only a Title, Right? »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thanks, Margaret, for sharing that scary NYT "hubbub" article about how Amazon builds its financial success on the husks of its workers. Every HR professional should read it for insight about an extreme employee relations approach. Your recommendations seem much better.

Working for a company like Amazon though makes you almost dread taking vacation, no matter how well earned, because you're thinking about all the work that will pile up while you're gone. And some companies even expect you to be available on vacation to answers emails. No rest for the weary.

Rule #1: No vacation goes unpunished.

This has been true everywhere I've ever worked in my Compensation career. To be fair, I've often been single-threaded.

A current Amazon employee wrote a lengthy rebuttal to the NYT piece, and it is posted here:


I saw some comedian tweet that the Amazon HR Department was working 100 hours a week to fix their problems!

Dave, sounded familiar, eh?

Just a reminder to all. It's Friday. You've got eight more hours before you turn it all off -- except Netflix, of course!

The Amazon piece was interesting. There have always been companies and industries where the right amount of work was the maximum amount of work possible. I worked at places like that 20 years ago. I have spoke to people who worked at places like that 50 years ago.

One way to look at it is when you leave a job like that it is like walking away from a natural disaster. After you catch your breath you realize how insane it all was and how lucky you were to get away in one piece. But, while it was happening you are concerned with self-preservation and the small details that impacted mainly you.

Another way to look at it is that the job is like a really challenging roller coaster. While your are riding your are both terrified and exhilarated. You may laugh and scream within seconds of each other. You may question why you voluntarily got on such a dumb ride. But, when you get off you will either be one of the people who immediately gets back in line or one of the people who swears never to do something that stupid ever again.

Amazon seems pretty honest and upfront about the fact that you are not going to be riding a carrousel, but more likely a roller coaster on top of a skyscraper with limited seat belts. Some will find that type of job incredibly exciting. Others will find it to be ridiculous. Both are valid and neither is a problem.

All of that being said.... Vacation and time to chill is a good thing. HR and compensation people cannot truly expect to promote these things and understand their value if they don't personally experience them. Margaret is right. Get out and experience some of the "life" side of work/life balance.

OK, Dan, looks like you could write for HBR. Take a look at today's post from HBR.com and wait for the punchline:


The comments to this entry are closed.