The Amazon Diaries

The Relentless Misery of Working Inside an Amazon Warehouse

Life as a cog in Amazon’s retail machine

Cameron Brady-Turner
Published in
17 min readMar 11, 2019


Illustration: Glenn Harvey

Valued at nearly $1 trillion, Amazon is one of the most powerful companies in the world. The Seattle-based retail giant employs over 600,000 people and operates 100 sortation and fulfillment centers in North America, sometimes sending out as many as 1 million items per day to customers. But Amazon does more than just retail. Amazon publishes its own books and comics, finances TV shows and movies, operates a Texas wind farm, builds robots, streams music, delivers prescription medications, and operates web services for everyone from Medium to the CIA. And that’s not even counting its high-profile acquisitions, which include Twitch, IMDB, Zappos, and Whole Foods, among countless others.

Nearly all of us use Amazon, one way or another. But what is it like working inside the beast? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you stories from workers at every level of the Amazon empire to find out.

Welcome to The Amazon Diaries.

WWhen Jeff Bezos was brainstorming names for his new venture in 1994, Relentless was the banner that came closest to making the cut. Friends warned Bezos that it sounded sinister, and Amazon was ultimately chosen to become the…