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In probably the most Amazon tweet ever, the e-commerce giant tried to sell a delivery woman’s labor as a weight-loss activity.
The woman, Jackie Crow from Kansas City, Kansas, started at Amazon as a delivery driver after she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis three years ago, KHSB reported. She said Amazon was the “missing piece” she needed to “stay active.” She has lost 100 pounds in 18 months.
Even though her journey may have been positive, the internet did not agree with the message of masking labor for wellness by an organization known to treat its workers poorly.
So this is Amazon health care— Panic! At the Costco (@oscartaracena) December 3, 2018
this might be the most dystopian thing you've tweeted yet, faceless global megacorp— skeevy dankson (@_digitalself) December 3, 2018
“I JEFF BEZOZ MASTER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH PERMITED A LOWLY SERF TO LOSE WEIGHT AT WORK. BOW TO MEEEEE”— Ben Simpson (@simp_ben) December 3, 2018
Work really made her free!— No Gender November (@democracyexpert) December 3, 2018
Some were especially furious with the word choice of “allowed.”
ALLOWED???— Hunter Felt (@HunterFelt) December 3, 2018
Allowed? What kind of awful phrasing is that?— Dank Zombie Nickel (@Tavarin) December 3, 2018
very kind of you to 'allow' her guys— wheels (@wheelswordsmith) December 3, 2018
may i please be allowed to lose weight— Paypigs for Klobuchar2020 (@erasmusNYT) December 3, 2018
Labor hasn’t been the company’s biggest strength. Amazon is known widely for treating its workers poorly, from reports of employees peeing in bottles to avoid being disciplined, to leaked videos showing managers being asked to secretly monitor unionizing workers. More recently, its decision to have its second headquarters in New York and D.C. received backlash from New Yorkers who anticipate further transportation and housing problems.
The story tweeted out yesterday is reminiscent of a fake feel-good story created by comedian Nathan Fielder in 2015, wherein an episode of Nathan for You he “tricked” people into thinking they were getting a workout by moving stuff, while the moving company got free labor. According to Vox, the fake story became a hit in local morning news shows.
Yesterday, Fielder responded to Amazon’s story with the perfect jab.
You know the world is in a great place when our largest corporations are literally using the same strategies as Nathan for You https://t.co/NpxVTORPDh— nathan fielder (@nathanfielder) December 3, 2018
The media may have picked up Fielder’s fake story back in 2015, but the internet is doing what the internet does: going beyond that narrative and, in this case, calling out the e-commerce company for trying to mask labor as wellness.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque