By Mel Carriere
If Jeff Bezos had a not quite dead horse to beat like me, you bet he would flog that animal mercilessly for not making production quotas. He has already started to sneak his heavy handed, 19th century style management into the postal service, which became clear to me on Tuesday during a stand up talk that had me shaking my cranium like a cheap ballpark bobble head doll manufactured in some Vietnamese sweat shop. If you read my previous July 16th blog on the subject then you are aware I was already amazed by how all other classes of mail are subordinated to the Amazon shipment, but now I understand that the health and safety of Postal employees is also to be sacrificed so that Prime arrives on time.
To my great astonishment, after she finished berating us in aforementioned stand-up talk about our poor scanning performance, our station manager added, by way of afterthought, that Amazon expects its packages to be delivered at all costs. To quote the boss, Amazon doesn't care if the delivery point is blocked or is unsafe. By implication, she was saying that we as postal employees shouldn't let little nuisances like our own safety get in the way of somehow getting that box past ten snarling pit bulls, through an impassable mesh of sticky spider webs that haven't been cleared since the first Bush was president, over a pile of broken beer bottles and rusty car parts and onto the front porch. She didn't explain how we are supposed to handle the impossible logistics of this but shooed us back to work before anybody could ask any complicated questions. We have some old timers in our station that ask some really complicated, tiresome questions, and she knows this.
So now it seems our Postal managers are starting to ape Jeff Bezos' style, and from what I've read about Bezos this is a disturbing trend. An article on Salon.com entitled "Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon's sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers" tells you everything you need to know just from the name. According to this story by Simon Head, Amazon's work floor management principles are a 21st century relic of a 19th philosophy called Taylorism. The Taylorism mindset includes ruthlessly increasing employee productivity targets until they are almost impossible to meet - meaning older, slower workhorses like your dear blogger will be put out to pasture, oppressive employee monitoring via satellite navigation computers - signifying that if you don't get back from the potty in time you're in big trouble, clipboard carrying foremen like the all seeing eyes of Big Brother stationed everywhere in the warehouse to prevent "time theft," and a merciless production tempo that includes hustling across the production floor 13 to 15 miles a day at a pace that would snuff out your satchel swinging ass in no time at all. I'll post a link to this article and I think you should read it, because if you work for the Post Office it just may apply to you, I am sorry to say.
Secret inside sources for the Tsunami confirm my suspicion that Jeff Bezos really does have his meddling fingers deep in the Postal production gears, and even has a voice in our hiring practices. According to one Tsunami insider, in postal test sites for the Amazon Fresh grocery shipping program, offices are seriously exceeding the contract-mandated City Carrier Assistant (CCA) cap, and CCAs are being trained at the rate of 8 per day at one office in particular. This, apparently, at Bezos' behest that only CCAs deliver the Amazon Fresh packages.
So you see that this horse on my route up there, which I am relentlessly beating with this Prime parcel, is not quite dead yet. Therefore, I will continue to hammer on it until I see proof that Amazon is no longer running our postal operations, or until I am shipped off to the great Postal glue factory myself. If Bezos continues to get his way, that might not be as far off as we think. Older workers on his Amazon assembly line from hell routinely get put out to pasture, so don't think he's not thinking about replacing the tired old nag you are with some young stud CCA, if he can. And just in case you PETA people are freaking out about the perceived equine abuse here, no horses were actually injured during the production of this blog, or flogged with any Prime packages.
Read about Amazon's abusive workplace practices here
The Postal Tsunami gains its coastal destroying power with copious amounts of Starbuck's coffee, which is not cheap. Unless they completely annoy or offend you, please take a look at what my blog sponsors on this page have to say. I have removed Amazon.
Bezos image from: http://www.salon.com/2014/02/23/worse_than_wal_mart_amazons_sick_brutality_and_secret_history_of_ruthlessly_intimidating_workers/
Horse photo from me.