It’s estimated that Amazon delivers a whopping 1.6 million packages a day on average, which amounts to processing some 66,000 orders per hour and 18.5 per second. That’s a staggering number, however, the key word here is that this is an “average,” meaning that these order amounts aren’t exactly consistent.
There are different times of the year where deliveries experience a massive uptick, meaning that warehouses are going to need all hands, and even extra ones, on deck to ensure that folks’ orders get to where they’re going in a timely fashion. But during “lighter” days where there isn’t as much to process, the company wants to make sure that they aren’t over-staffing warehouses and not maximizing the time of everyone on deck, which is where Voluntary Time Off, or VTO, comes in. “[VTO] is an optional choice for employees to end their shifts early without getting paid,” the Daily Dot previously reported.
Amazon’s VTO policy has come under fire in the past, but a TikToker recently went viral stating that one of the best feelings an employee at the warehouse can get is when a manager approaches them and asks if they’d like to take some VTO.
One TikToker and Twitch streamer (@lenadominicana) writes in the caption of his viral clip: “New game comes out and they ask if you want voluntary time off it’s like the stars align.”
In the video, an Amazon worker puts together packages of customers’ orders with a text overlay reading: “The best feeling in the world When you work at AMAZON.”
A woman wearing a vest then approaches the TikToker and the text overlay lays out the dialogue:
Her: “DO YOU WANT VTO?”
“Me: Cant hear u”
“Her: U want VTO?”
“Me: F****K YEAHHH GOTHAM KNIGHTS JUST CAME OUT.”
@lenadominicana New game comes out and they ask if you want voluntary time off it’s like the stars align 😂 #amazon #work #gaming #gothamknights #fyp #viral #vto ♬ Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like) [feat. Tobymac] – Grits
Gotham Knights is a new video game published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment which is an open-world RPG set in the fictional world of Gotham City.
TikTokers who viewed the creator’s clip and claimed to also have worked at Amazon stated that they’re familiar with the feeling as well. While some agreed with the TikToker’s assessment of VTO, others expressed that they’re conflicted when they’re asked if they want the time off, as it means they aren’t getting paid for their time.
“I used to say yes to vto but when I see my money on payday, I get hurt,” one top comment read.
“till the paycheck hits,” another user echoed.
“I work at Amazon now loved when they asked me the first time saw my paycheck never will do it again,” a third user stated.
For others, VTO was too tempting when they wanted to clock out early.
“VTO hit different when I’m tired,” a user wrote.
“The only thing I miss from that job,” another commented.
Other TikTokers were just shocked that the creator was able to record TikToks while he was at work, but he said that the management at his facility are “chill” about folks recording while on the job.
Employee treatment at Amazon warehouses has become a huge topic of conversation, presumably because the company as a whole staffs over 1.1 million workers. A Forbes article published in October of 2021 also indicates that the company has been “systematically short changing workers on their paychecks.”
Some argue that asking workers if they want VTO is yet another way for the company to not hold fiscal responsibility for onboarding workers and just giving it a more “official” name, but there does seem to be a number of folks who are given the option if they want to take a shift, or portion of a shift off, from time to time.
In the TikToker’s instance, because he appears to be an avid gamer with a Twitch channel, he could’ve just been excited to have some time off to play a new title without putting in a for a day off through management.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Amazon and the TikToker via email for further comment.
Update 7:33am CT, Oct. 23, 2022: In an email to the Daily Dot, the creator explained that the VTO is optional and employees are not forced to take them.
“I have never felt pressured to take VTO, they make it very clear that it is on a voluntary basis,” he said. “I was really excited to get home and stream so I took it in this instance. My experience at Amazon so far has been 100% positive and that’s why I am excited to be in this company for a long time!”