The ugly side of working at Amazon

Glassdoor socialgood
Feb 8 69 Comments

1. Only 6 public holidays per year.
2. Only 2 sick days.
3. Parking is subsidized ($160 per month), but not free, in a crowded downtown Seattle.
4. Zero paternity leave.
5. Sometimes you have to pay for your own food in team gatherings (feels silly when the business is making millions of dollars, and you wonder whether you have anything to do with it).
6. Promotion is soft-skill based, not engineering-based (actually most companies are the same way).
7. Zero cash bonus, only stock bonus which you receive zero after the first year of joining.
8. Benefits not comparable to top-tier companies (but still better than small companies).
9. Nature of work is largely operations-based with some new development.
10. Performance and long hours (and political skills) are strongly correlated.
11. Tight deadlines and stressful work environment (depends on team).
12. Mediocre computer hardware (maybe average, but at least usable).
13. Every service you deploy will contain a lot (hundreds to over a thousand) of rubbish packages.
14. Slow builds.
15. Painful deployment processes.
16. Grim long-term job prospects (maybe not specific to Amazon, but hard to move past the mid level).
17. I think they treat anyone as being replaceable, just a tool that comes and goes (depends on your manager).
18. Crowded offices (seems like most companies are the same now).
19. Crowded elevators.
20. You have to debate almost everything all the time (the American way).
21. Unsubsidized cafeterias (what the ???).
22. Crowded cafeterias (not all are crowded).
23. Poor support for IDEs (both eclipse and intellij).
24. Poor dev environment (redhat on virtualbox on ubuntu on your desktop, get it?).
25. Security hell (maybe overly-emphasized).
26. Almost zero room for creativity (you are a robot, remember?).
27. Did you think we get an employee discount shopping on Amazon? Think again. The 10% employee discount code could not be applied to virtually anything I buy on amazon.com.
28. Did you think that Amazon employees automatically get free Amazon Prime membership??

Source:https://www.quora.com/Why-isnt-working-at-Amazon-considered-to-be-as-prestigious-as-working-in-Facebook-Google-Apple
TC:240K

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TOP 69 Comments
  • Microsoft *cW2x91p
    29. Dick pics.
    Feb 80
  • Amazon Tough life
    Everything is quite correct here except I am pretty sure that there is paternity leave now.
    Feb 83
    • Microsoft newtoblind
      That's true though I heard that if you take it then ready to make up for it by long hours later or don't look for review period.
      Feb 9
    • Amazon Tough life
      Well that’s the case anyways hence the remaining 27 points are valid 👍
      Feb 9
    • Amazon Melgizecci
      not in the first year though
      Feb 9
  • Microsoft
    🐙M🐙

    Microsoft

    BIO
    🐙
    🐙M🐙more
    1. Wtf
    2. Wtf
    3. Normal
    4. Wtf
    Feb 87
    • Apple cho Chang
      #3 is not normal. Google has free parking in Seattle.
      Feb 8
    • Facebook
      alt_qq

      Facebook

      PRE
      Microsoft
      alt_qqmore
      FB doesn't have free parking in Seattle
      Feb 9
    • Apple CRNY
      Don’t even know Google has office in Seattle, I thought they were still under construction?
      Feb 9
    • Apple CRNY
      Don’t think Fremont and Kirkland counts as Seattle when people in Seattle refers Seattle lol
      Feb 9
    • Amazon / Eng
      eisenhwr

      AmazonEng

      PRE
      Google
      eisenhwrmore
      Fremont is Seattle. Parking in Fremont is less scarce than downtown / SLU.
      Feb 9
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      About half of these are true and the other half are bullshit, lies or only true on the worst teams.
      Feb 9
    • Google / OpsHuhf13
      Google doesn't have free parking everywhere
      Feb 9
  • Amazon JSnowflake
    Dangerous mix of truth and falsehood to craft a false narrative. 1,2,3 not in Bay Area. 4 outright false. 5 have never seen this. 6 half-truth. 7 true, other than signing bonus. 8 meh. 9 only the worst teams.10 this is a statement about life, not Amazon. 11 some teams. 12 don't see this. 13 ok but how is this Amazon specific? 14 this sounds related to your problem in 13. 15 not really. 16 if you mean L6+ promos are very hard, then true. 17 true unless you are a high performer. 18 like you said not just Amazon. 19 same. 20 true. 21 false. 22. false. 23. don't see this. 24. sounds a bit specific to you. 25. false. 26. false. maybe on your team but not on good teams. 27. true. 28. true.
    Feb 91
  • Amazon / Engkwq7812
    A lot of this stuff is dated (like the computer hardware--once true, but they started issuing high end laptops and monitors three years ago) or inaccurate/exaggerated, but that doesn't matter because the worst things about working at Amazon (in corporate, at least) aren't even mentioned: namely, the clandestine compensation and performance review models. Simply put: you are paid based on a compensation "target" you won't be told, which is set according to a performance review score/rank that you also won't be told. There are various ways to try to deduce your rating/score/target (including getting your manager to tell you...if they will, and you trust or believe them), but the bottom line is that you won't (or technically shouldn't, according to policy) be fully aware of where you actually stand...and that's by design. This company motivates employees primarily through uncertainty and fear; the system is intended to make you feel uncomfortable even when you're doing well.

    You should also pretty much ignore anybody who uses the "good teams aren't like this" bullshit to counter, because they almost certainly haven't been around long enough to see how quickly and easily that will disappear (just one re-org can do it--and there are 1-2 chances per year for that to happen).
    Feb 92
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      Comp model is definitely the worst thing about Amazon by a significant margin. And HRs obsession with secrecy over transparency is very problematic too as it goes entirely against our own Leadership Principles. But this dude's rant about parking in downtown Seattle, hard promos, crowded elevators and bad laptops is immature and whiny and riddled with falsehoods.
      Feb 9
    • Amazon / Engy6aaw3
      I know my TCT and rating because I ask my manager. They are not forbidden from sharing. The system is broken though as it is overly complex, most people cannot understand it managers included so it favors people who can gamify it. Promos are even worse. I witnessed firsthand people who would easily pass L6 or L7 hire bar, struggling to get promoted because of the amount of red tape required to formalize a document. Also launching a new unmaintainable service is still a better way for recognition than deprecation of legacy, no matter how many policy emails HR sends about it.
      Feb 10
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Amazon Tough life
      Scratch 4, plenty on guys going on paternity leave . Although my kids are in teens now so I don’t need anymore but yes this article seems old when not any companies gave out paternity leave.
      Feb 8
    • Microsoft / EngDeep mind
      It's just 4 weeks and you don't get it unless your child is born after working a year at Amazon. This is pathetic especially considering the average tenure at Amazon is 1.5 years.
      Feb 8
    • Microsoft / EngDeep mind
      No it doesn't. By your own account, Amazon is over 15 years behind the industry here.
      Feb 9
    • Amazon / Eng
      eisenhwr

      AmazonEng

      PRE
      Google
      eisenhwrmore
      6 weeks of paternity leave, 2 of them fully paid, the remaining 4 weeks just base (no bonus)
      Feb 9
  • MathWorks £€€¥
    Wait what? 2 sick days? So what happens when you are sick for longer? Unpaid sick days I guess?
    Feb 94
    • Microsoft / EngWwjjwjsh
      PIPed then fired
      Feb 9
    • Amazon Kw6H2f
      We get 3 sick days per year, 6 personal days, and two weeks vacation for first year, three weeks vacation after first year. Personal days can be used as sick days or vacations days. If I just have a cold or something I WFH.
      Feb 9
    • MathWorks £€€¥
      Are most teams/managers okay with WFH at Amazon?
      Feb 9
    • Amazon / Engrurikar
      From my experience and the people I’ve interacted with, yes.
      Feb 9
  • Vertivco / Eng
    FastPapuan

    VertivcoEng

    PRE
    Youtube, American Bureau of Shipping, Facebook
    FastPapuanmore
    Do not worck for this horrible company.
    Feb 91
    • Amazon / EngDynamoDB
      Yeah go 'worck' at Vertico instead.
      Feb 9
  • Sweatshop wow! I know amazon is bad but this is real bad.
    Feb 90
  • Amazon Jakarta
    I think #9 is a most dangerous yet often overlooked career killer.
    Feb 92
    • Oracle TtDv62
      Is it true across the company or only for few roles like sde, ops etc??
      Feb 9
    • Amazon Jakarta
      It’s the DNA of the company. Amazons main strategy is to commoditize every industry they get into. This means more people are doing repetitive rather than creative work at the company.
      Feb 9
  • Zillow Group Sr. Troll
    Feb 90
  • Amazon / OpsPuffalope
    That quora response is almost 3 years old. A LOT has changed since then. I’ve been with the company since before 2016 and I don’t recall this “2 sick days” policy in my time.

    Obviously we (now) have paternity leave.

    RE Amazon discounts, while it would be awesome to have a discount on everything on the website, that would mean the company covers the difference for literally thousands of third party sellers who make up so much of the products on the site or those sellers volunteer to give special treatment to Amazon employees. Doesn’t sound like a sustainable thing to me given the size of the company and the problems with implementing such a thing for hundreds of thousands of workers.

    Some of the other stuff I’m not gonna argue with because YMMV. This is a huge company, even within orgs or departments there are discrepancies. You have to find your “place” here.
    Feb 90
  • Microsoft BarFoo
    “Be frugal”
    Feb 80
  • Amazon Floi
    Bit exaggerated, Amazon can't be so successful if these points are true, which would take away the passion, to work for Amazon, from most people.
    Feb 90
  • Google hlp2
    Too many half-truths to argue individually. I'll just say I miss the personal days I had at Amazon and which I don't have at G.
    Feb 93
    • Intel DrmCmTrue
      Personal days is same as vacation? Why do you miss at G?
      Feb 9
    • Facebook woamadjej
      Yea but google’s PTO is worse than Facebook, 15 versus 21. Holiday differential between goog and FB is 1 day, 12 for goog and 11 for fb
      Feb 9
    • Facebook woamadjej
      3 years is a lifetime lol..:)
      Feb 9
  • Amazon / Engtrailin
    This looks terribly outdated
    Feb 90
  • LinkedIn m00’
    ... would totally prefer Microsoft if I lived in Seattle.
    Feb 90
  • Oracle getafixa
    From what we have seen, Are there gonna be alimony loans or divorce legal help benefits?
    Feb 80
  • Amazon heyyeh
    Most of the OP is outright false and a bunch of it is highly misleading.
    Feb 112
    • LinkedIn KeFear
      Can you counter with specifics?
      Feb 13
    • Amazon heyyeh
      Eg, we have paternity leave and lots of people take it, more sick days, bunch of personal days, I did have cash signing bonus,

      Most of the list of just wrong and it seems tiresome to argue with that much wrong information

      Some you could say are subjective but I don't really agree and OP seems to be angry and lying.
      Feb 13
  • Amazon Tough life
    What about once a month paycheck? That’s definitely a deviation from the norm in the US.
    Feb 112
    • Amazon JSnowflake
      I think that is Seattle specific. California gets regular biweekly paychecks.
      Feb 11
    • Amazon Tough life
      Ok seems like Cali has many thing different from Seattle.
      Feb 11
  • New / Engleet4job
    If an Amz claims that Amz is a "security hell". Why would any companies still trust AWS cloud services?
    Feb 91
    • LinkedIn m00’
      He meant over emphasis on following security procedures, likely to the point where changes/progress require red tape for security sign off.
      Feb 9
  • Amazon gemalto
    Lol, I can confirm most of this is BS. I'm not drinking Kool aid, just stating facts.
    Feb 110
  • Adobe Hayden1
    Your point being?
    Feb 80
  • Amazon / Mgmt
    DEPk35

    AmazonMgmt

    PRE
    Capital One
    DEPk35more
    There is paternity leave as of 2016/2017 I believe.

    Doesn’t mean it can’t be better though. SurveyMonkey has something like 3M leave for new parents.
    Feb 84
    • Bose has 3months paternity leave as well
      Feb 9
    • Uber lasdd
      Uber 18 wks
      Feb 9
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      MicrosoftProduct

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      Microsoft 3 months too
      Feb 9
    • LinkedIn Amazonia
      Facebook has 4 months
      Feb 9
  • Tesla HQkV78
    Telsa is almost everything mentioned, but now we are in lay-off and cost cutting mode. Oh and shittier pay. 🙃
    Feb 122
    • New wkllklh
      But you believe in the "mission". The "mission" is worth getting "shittier" pay.
      Feb 13
    • Tesla HQkV78
      Lol, fuck the mission, working conditions are bar none worst yet
      Feb 13
  • Amazon / Eng
    eisenhwr

    AmazonEng

    PRE
    Google
    eisenhwrmore
    There are worse things that he doesn't mention. Most of them, however, are wrong, true only in certain places, outdated, or exaggerations.

    The thing is that at Amazon, except for range of pay, all workers, from warehouse (if blue badge) to director or even VP level have the same perks.

    The kind of perks other tech giants give to their white collar employees would be very expensive for Amazon to give to everyone, blue and white collar alike.

    And if you think Amazon builds are slow, you never worked at Google...

    Just the most grievous: 6 is false. Sometimes I even think some L4s are promoted to L5 just because of code, which I think is not what's expected. 7 there is cash bonus on your first two years only, but you receive stock refreshers every time your current salary + vests are below your TC target.
    Feb 91
    • Amazon / Eng
      eisenhwr

      AmazonEng

      PRE
      Google
      eisenhwrmore
      I used to call blaze build and go smoke outside. Then I'd pick up some snack or coffee, go back to my desk, and eat / drink while the build was finishing
      Feb 9
  • Intel / Eng
    korii

    IntelEng

    PRE
    Google, Amazon
    BIO
    Hardware quality and reliability professional
    koriimore
    🍌
    Feb 100
  • Microsoft nodaddy
    2 sick days? Even a cold lasts longer than that
    Feb 90
  • PayPal Dan..
    Free bananas....
    Feb 90
  • Oracle TtDv62
    Do you get to file exception and get paternal leave if your baby is born within one year of joining? You know stuff happens!
    Feb 90
  • Amazon / EngxgIO00
    Go work at McDonald's
    Feb 90

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