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Amazon vs the New York Times: Who is right?

The battle of the blogs, Amazon vs the Times is being played out here on Medium. First, let me say that I am an Amazon Prime member and have been for many years and have been following the story about working at Amazon for some time.

In any company, in any job, it’s not hard to find disgruntled employees. The Times obviously found current/former employees who had a real bad experience while working at Amazon. What they probably should have done is find others who actually like working at the online retailer. Still, the Times article paints a picture of a CEO out of touch with the rank and file and an environment where customers are king and employees are there but to serve them.

I believe in challenging people in meetings, but there is a right way to do it, with respect and courtesy, and a wrong way to do it. Let me also be up front and say that I believe that employees should be treated better than your best customers. The average tenure at Amazon is three years and I think that says a lot about the churn and burn culture. All of the people that I did work for at Amazon are long gone, including a VP who said the experience was “a living nightmare”.

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Amazon is trying to be all things to every customer and I believe that’s going to lead to more and more competitors exploiting this weakness. Regardless of the balance of the Times reporting the stories from former employees is troubling. Rather than point fingers Amazon would have been better served trying to focus on improving their culture rather than getting into a mud fight.

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