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Former Amazon employee describes isolation from colleagues

Gabe Kaminsky, a college student and former Amazon employee, told Hill.TV that the company’s focus on efficiency created an isolating environment for workers while he was there.

In his role as an Amazon Prime shopper, Kaminsky said he experienced a lack of human interaction, starting with an orientation that took place through a smartphone rather than with a traditional supervisor.

“There was really no one to guide us through the experience, we sort of had to do it ourselves, we were kind of our own supervisors in a way,” said Kaminsky, who started working for Amazon during the pandemic.

From cameras that monitored social distancing, to automated Alexa voice calls that prompted workers to return from breaks, technology meant to promote efficiency often took the place of typical employee interactions, he said.

“The job was essentially entirely through a work phone with very limited human interaction, which I think is very representative of how big business and Amazon is sort of shifting right now.” Kaminsky said.

Kaminsky went on to say that while he did not dislike his time at Amazon, he would caution prospective employees who are looking to make fulfilling connections with colleagues.

“I didn’t have an awful experience. Amazon, they provide a $15 wage at the place that I was working. It was a good salary,” he said.

“What I will say, clearly there are these aspects that, if you're looking to build a long-term career, perhaps out of high school, maybe college, maybe after college, I think there are other manual labor or other positions where you're going to have more oversight and you're going to have more opportunities to build a career and build those skills with supervisors who can provide really solid recommendations.”