What It’s Like to Work at Troutdale’s Notoriously Dangerous Amazon Warehouse





Tis the season of the year for Amazon bashing by thinly disguised union organizers.


Office workers at a desk for 40 years, staring at a computer screen for most of that, eyes get bad. Carpal tunnel syndrome. A fat ass. Laborers in the field get injured and can't work anymore, lose modest home since no income. Mechanics get injured. Builders get injured. Hate to break it to the warehouse drones: ALL workers are disposable. That's life. Don't like it, get an education and do something less strenuous. Good luck with that. Welcome to adulting.


I'd wager if you check the spending habits of The Stranger staff you'd see quite the perpetuation of these shitty businesses practices.


Guess they shouldn't have spent all their time in school smoking weed behind the gym.

When I was a boy growing up in early-60s Atlanta, my Mom would point out the folks on the Chain Gangs and say, 'that's where you're going to be if you don't do well in school and mind me!'.

These days, I show articles like this to my nieces and nephews and tell them 'that's where you're gonna wind up if you don't do well in school!'.

If you can't be a good example, at least you can be a warning to others, I guess.


Why does Amazon get billions of dollars in tax breaks everywhere it goes? It's worth one TRILLION dollars. Jeff Bezos is the second wealthiest human being ON EARTH. WHY THE FUCK DOES ANYONE, ANYWHERE, GIVE AMAZON TAX BREAKS? Amazon should be being taxed into OBLIVION.


Lot of Internet Tough Guys For Apathy around here, huh.


@7, Go to South Lake Union at lunchtime and tell all those taxpayer's Amazon shouldn't exist.


@7, P.S. Amazon is working very hard to replace these overworked workers with robots and once that's done you'll never read another article like this again. Give them a minute.


Come down to the Fullfillment Center and get Hurt. An interesting business model -- treat people as if they're machines and when they break (because they aren't), throw them away. Not YOUR Problem, Bezos, that's fur sure! Not to worry -- let US figure it out -- you're BUSY, making your many many many many MANY Billions. Let we, the people help out with your vastly Overburdensome Labor costs.

If one profiteers enormously, sociopathically,
breaking Citizens' / Human Beings' bodies down
we're doing Business WAAAAAY the Fuck Wrong.

A 'business model' for the Past.


When it comes to jobs, we're in a 'dumbell' economy: lots of low-paying jobs at one end, lots of great-paying jobs at the other (IF you have the right degree and skills).

Not much in the middle anymore. Manufacturing has gone overseas and very little will come back. Automation is going to make mid-skill workers like truck drivers, admin assistants, and clerks of all stripes obsolete.

If you don't have a skill that is difficult or impossible to automate, you're going to be toast. Better tell your kiddoes to either get into the Trades or knuckle down and learn how to study as hard as Asian kids.

The truth is that American workers have had it too easy for too long. Thanks to Globalization, the world is our competitor now more than ever, and pretty much everyone out there is leaner, hungrier, and faster than we are. Anywhere you look around the world, people hustle a lot more than the average American (because they have to; check out Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown: Lagos" episode and be glad those Nigerians can't come here; they'd eat your lunch!).

Jeff Bezos doesn't owe you squat. You're not entitled to anything. You can have what you can get and hold on to. If you ain't at the table, you're on the menu. Just sayin'...


Another hypothesis to consider is that most Americans just can't handle rigorous work anymore, whether physical or intellectual.

Consider the former: In Eastern Washington, growers rely on labor from Mexico and Central America. There are plenty of anecdotal stories about non-Latinx Americans who don't last more than a couple of days because they can't handle the work, and yet year in and out, the South-of-the-Border crowd not only does the work, but they're able to get by on what they make and send money home!

I'll bet you pretty much anything that those folks we're keeping in cages at the border could work in the Fulfillment Centers for a whole career, and be happy to do so. What's the difference? I'd start with a lack of that Sense of Entitlement that too many Americans have.

Now let's go to the colleges: who's taking the tough STEM majors? Asians (South and Far Eastern). The white, black and latinx kids are flocking to the degrees that largely call for an ability to bullshit people (see: Business, Marketing, 'Hospitality Management', etc.), or Law, Government, or non-profits.

Bottom line: most Americans are, quite frankly, soft. They don't want to get their hands dirty nor think too hard. Too many of our kids think they can be a 'Creative', eating their avocado toast in a rent-controlled apartment on Cap Hill, writing a blog that no one reads. These days, too many of our 'best and brightest' are coming from elsewhere, and Trump wants to turn off that pipeline!

How long before we become like Russia; a top-tier military with a second-rate economy? If history is any teacher, when you stop becoming the 'Workshop of the World', your status as a world power is soon to fall as well. So it was with Britain, next America?


What's that saying again? Oh yes! Unions are like condoms. If somebody is arguing strenuously that you don't need one, it's a pretty good indicator that you really, really do.


Throwing your body away so Jeff Bezos can be the Richest Man on the Planet is an Excellent Business Plan -- just not for YOU. Nor, for those tasked with taking care of you. Hint: it ain't gonna be Bezos, making sure you'll be OK.

America LOVES her Billionaires.


"We have met the enemy, and it is us." This is the New American Experiment, ushered in by citizen abdication to the monster of gotcha capitalism.