– (man screams) – (laughs) That’s almost
happened to me. – Did they have someone
inside the building? Because it looks
exactly like that. ♪ (industrial intro) ♪ – (FBE) So, are you familiar
with the company Amazon? – Yes. I work for Amazon
as a warehouse associate. – I’ve worked there for two
and a half years now. – Back in 2014,
I worked in their warehouse as an associate.
All you’re doing is just scanning
and punching in numbers. And you do that
for approximately 10 hours. – I actually worked for Amazon
back in Illinois for a little bit. I did a lot of boxes stacking
and putting things on pallets in a warehouse.
Fun. (laughs) – (FBE) Well, today’s
a special episode, because we’ve brought in
past and present Amazon employees to react to a specific episode
of the show South Park. – Oh, really?
– (FBE) So, we’ll be showing you clips of the season 22,
two-part finale, where an Amazon warehouse
opens in the town of South Park… – Oh!
– (FBE) …but after an accident in the facility, the employees
decide to go on strike. – Nice. Love it.
– There is plenty of material there. Some of it is funny.
Some of it is horrific. It’ll be interesting to see
how they take that and display it. – (Stephen) Goodbye, Linda.
– (Linda) Don’t let that place work you to death.
– It will. (chuckles) – You give your life away.
– Car pooling? Of course! (laughs) – ♪ …out of muscle and blood ♪
– Yup, everyone arriving to work at the exact same time.
– I work at a smaller warehouse. I don’t have to go through
all that security. – ♪ …and a back that’s strong ♪
♪ You load 16 tons ♪ – That’s exactly
how it looks. (chuckles) – That’s exactly what it is.
You walk in, you punch your clock, and you go to your position,
and that’s it. – ♪ St. Peter, don’t you call me,
’cause I can’t go ♪ – Did they have someone
inside the building? Because it looks exactly like that. – That brings back memories.
– And the silent carpool back home. – (Stephen) Everything’s automated
and timed to precision to get people’s orders out to them
as soon as possible. – It’s making me nauseous
to be thinking about going back to that whole world again.
– (Stephen) These warehouses, there are over one million items,
from toothpaste to go-karts. And it’s the work
of both humans and machines that make the work possible.
– (man screams) – Wow… (chuckles)
– (laughs) That’s almost happened to me! (alarm ringing)
♪ (ominous music) ♪ – (worker) We’ve got another one!
– (Stephen) Josh! – See? They even have my name.
– (Josh screaming) – (giggles)
– Oh my god. – (Stephen) Hang on, Josh!
– Everybody’s looking after everybody else,
so I never saw anybody get hurt at all.
– I was a person that drove one of those things.
So, one side of the warehouse would be drivers and the other side
would be actual people walking around, but if you had to pass
through there, you had to be very careful. And it’s times
that I almost hit someone. – (worker) What the [bleep]
are we doing anyway? Breaking our backs,
loading up forklifts, getting paper cuts from boxes!
– Paper cuts from boxes for sure. – (worker) And for what?!
A measly paycheck that just barely covers our online purchases.
– It’s true. You do.
You work like a slave there. – (Stuart) Everyone!
Everyone, listen! Amazon just posted a statement
about Josh’s accident. They’re calling it human error.
– They love to put an emphasis on safety, and then when it happens,
they’re like, “Well, you shouldn’t have been doing this,”
but it’s a warehouse. [Bleep] is gonna happen.
– Blaming the workers is definitely exaggerated.
But anybody who works in any kind of warehouse, anybody who works
for a giant corporation can relate to this.
– (Stuart) We are the backbone that makes the fulfillment
center work! Maybe they should see what it would
be like if we didn’t show up to work! – Yup, yup. That’s exactly it.
We make this work. – (reporter) The Amazon
fulfillment center has been shut down as hundreds of employees
refuse to work. Customers all over the state
are wondering… – Amazon needs people.
They need people, so they don’t want that at all.
That would be bad. (laughs) – Our Amazon fulfillment center
did go on strike. What ended up happening was nothing.
They had all these lines of people ready to work there
that just were ready to go in that they just hired
and had on the floor in a day. – (reporter) Joining me now
is the victim of the accident, Josh Carter. And Josh, how does it feel
to have your accident spark so much upheaval? – (Josh) You know, Tom,
I think something like… – I didn’t expect
the box to talk. (chuckles) – (Josh) …at the top who control
the means of production, and then there’s the working class
that enables those means by selling their labor power for wages.
When there’s conflict, the ruling class tries
to blame the working class. – Absolutely. They’re kind of
just stuck in these positions, you know, that they
just can’t get out of. – This is an issue
for all corporations as soon as you get to a certain size,
and you’re just looking to mass produce and not actually
look to take care of the people who work for you.
– (Mayor) Ship to address. Order now.
Usually, ships in… four to six weeks?!
I can make my own towels in four to six weeks!
– (laughs) You gotta get Amazon Prime, man.
– (Janson) Right on through here, Mr. Bezos.
– Is this the owner of Amazon? So that means like–
– He is an alien. I’m pretty sure that
that’s a known fact by now. – (Bezos, telepathically) Please,
ma’am, have a seat. – (mayor) Oh, thank you.
– They definitely made him look like a villain. (laughs)
– (Bezos, telepathically) Would you like to know why Amazon
is so successful? Because the customer
is all that matters. – Aside from safety,
that was the other one thing that Amazon was really strict about:
the customer. – (Bezos, telepathically) Now orders
are going unfulfilled all over the state of Colorado.
That makes us look very bad. It makes you look very bad.
Perhaps you should no longer be a Prime member.
– He’s like the man behind the curtain that you never see
in “The Wizard of Oz.” – ♪ Unfulfilled ♪
– (laughs) – ♪ And now tomorrow’s
nothing but another day ♪ – It’s a hard thing to stop it,
because you want things on Amazon. – ♪ Somebody came and took
my hopes and dreams away ♪ – I think that if this were to happen
in real life, this is exactly how tons of people would feel.
– We depend on all this. I just bought some shoes, too.
– That looks like a pretty solid representation of everybody
I know looking at their little thing, like, “It says it’s almost here.” – (reporter) It’s day five of the
Amazon fulfillment center strike. Nothing has been resolved,
and there is ever-mounting tension between the striking Amazon workers
and the people who want their stuff. – (chuckles) People are
way too dependent on Amazon and even just any shipping company.
– (reporter) Meanwhile, Amazon says it’s training new workers
to replace the strikers. – Of course they would.
– There’s always someone who’s willing to take your job
for half the money. – However, because the workers
previously worked in a mall, they’ve had no human contact
for quite some time. – They’ll literally hire anyone,
like anyone. – (Bezos, telepathically) And
you are Josh, former Amazon employee. – I feel like he’s coming
for me right now, saying my name and looking me
right in the face. – (Josh) What are you gonna do?
– (Bezos, telepathically) I’m not gonna do anything to you.
Alexa, go ahead. Send them in.
– Alexa. (laughs) – (Bezos, telepathically) Hello,
children. Uncle Jeff has a surprise for you.
Who wants a special… – (chuckles)
– (kids) Me, me, me, me! – (Josh) Oh my god!
– (Bezos, telepathically) Whoever opens the box
gets what’s inside. – (Josh) No! No!
– Oh my gosh. No. – (Josh screams)
– (chuckles) Oh my gosh. That is terrible. ♪ (ominous music) ♪ – (Bezos, telepathically) Don’t you
see I’m trying to help? Before, there was war between classes,
customers and workers at odds. All I’ve done is create
the new class: the consumer worker. The future.
– It’s crazy. I work for Amazon, and every time
someone mentions Amazon, I’m just like, “Ugh. Gross.”
But then I go and buy stuff on Amazon, and I have
a Prime membership, and I’m literally just giving
my money back to them, and it’s just a cycle.
A really [bleep] cycle. (chuckles) – (people yelling) Bezos!
– (laughs) I like the back of his head. It’s like a butt.
– (Randy) See, there’s one thing you didn’t count on,
and that’s Tegridy! – Mm-hmm.
– (Randy) We aren’t just different classes of people anymore.
We are a town. – Awww. Needs to be some change,
some kind of change. And I’m happy to watch that.
I need to tell more people about this episode.
Sometimes, I was going in there, telling myself, like, “It’s okay.
It’s not that bad.” And by the end of the day,
after 10 hours, I’m like, “Oh.” (laughs)
“I’m tired!” – I liked it.
I worked there, so I know– I could see the process.
I know what’s happened. I was like, “Oh, wow.”
Somebody’s got to speak up and say, “This is being done to us.”
And it has to stop. – It’s obviously satire.
You’re gonna take everything 10 steps further.
But for many needs, a place like Amazon
does give a lot of jobs. – (FBE) Putting the episode
aside for a moment, what is it like to work for Amazon?
– It was okay. I didn’t have any
bad experiences there. Like I said, I worked
60-hour weeks, though. So, it was tough.
It was really tough. But I was happy
to have that opportunity, especially coming from Delaware,
where $16 an hour is a lot of money. – I enjoy working at Amazon.
I’ve made really good friends. And I get to work out at work,
which is what I really wanted to do. – Growing up in Kentucky,
being there, it was like, “Oh, it’s Amazon.
Oh, I bet I get really good benefits and really good perks.”
You do not. – The hours are crazy, ’cause you can
work from 10 to 12 hours. People are a little bit more careful,
’cause you don’t wanna hurt yourself. But there’s that possibility
of hurting yourself. And then I love the way
they twisted it, where they made it like
it’s your fault. They don’t wanna take any
responsibility in anything that happens.
– When I first started working, I didn’t know what I was
getting myself into. Hours after hours,
you had to work overtime. They knock you for any wrong thing that you do. I think someone that used
to work at Amazon fulfillment center helped create that episode.
– (FBE) So, watching this and having firsthand experience
with working at of fulfillment center, did you, as an Amazon employee,
feel similar to how the workers on the show felt?
– Yeah. I think it’s definitely the hours.
I work nights. I’m literally gonna go work tonight
for 11 hours after this. – No. It does look–
for somebody, it looks bad, boring. – You literally work a job
where you’re told every single time that you’re not doing well enough,
because they make the goals impossible to try to make people overachieve.
So, you’re literally working a job, where you can’t be successful.
– You’re just doing the same thing over and over. You’re just scanning
and putting in numbers, scanning and putting in numbers.
And then, carrying stuff that’s heavy. I did feel like a worker, like an ant.
– I will say that I have seen situations like that,
where people are mistreated or overlooked, but I
personally have never felt that. – (FBE) It seems like the townspeople
cared more about their packages not being delivered
versus being worried about a person’s livelihood
or an employee’s working conditions. As a former employee of Amazon,
do you feel like this is a fair criticism
of Amazon’s culture? – Well, Amazon’s culture
always says safety above everything. That’s the culture.
But then they’re like, “Oh, well, where’s our numbers?”
It’s hard to make numbers when you’re worried
about being safe. So, I feel like they
accurately described it. – It’s a little bit, I guess,
you could say fluffed up for extra laughs.
You know, they they have to get their ratings, too.
– That is a pretty accurate depiction. The culture at Amazon
within a warehouse can be very supportive.
But I think the company as a whole is still gonna see us as numbers.
People are going to the website, so they can avoid people.
They don’t want to go talk to somebody at the store. For whatever reason,
that’s become exhausting to them. – The entire episode put a light
on a lot of things, and it helped in my perspective
due to the fact that, yes, there are people being mistreated
and being underpaid and overworked, but there are also all of us
who are supporting this. If you tell me that
I have two-day shipping, and it comes in three,
I’m furious. Not that I needed it a day earlier.
– (FBE) As someone who’s experienced it,
do you feel there’s any potential=negative impact
this episode could have if people take
the show at face value versus researching
what it’s like or no? – I think people need
to do their research. There’s definitely truth
to what’s being said. There’s a lot more to the story.
This is a part of a story, and it’s shedding light on the story,
but there’s more. – Well, everyone should always
make up their own mind. The topics that are discussed
in this episode have merit. And there are facts attached to these.
But is it the whole story? No. – Some people are gonna
believe that episode, because they don’t like Jeff Bezos.
So, they’re gonna be like, “Yeah, he did that.” (laughs)
They’re gonna believe everything in the video,
and they know nothing about the fulfillment center.
– There’s no way that an episode or two episodes as this is
or an article could possibly cover the whole story.
So, it is up to an individual to see something and say,
“Hey, maybe that bothers me,” or “I don’t know
if that’s everything” and continue to do
the research from there. If you care about something,
then you need more than one point of view to make
an informed decision. – (FBE) So finally, what would you
want people to know, whether they watch this episode
of South Park or not, about those employees like yourself
or working in these fulfillment centers?
– That these are people supporting their families
and that it’s tough work and that if you ever have
an opportunity to rate somebody five stars or leave a nice comment,
that could really help somebody’s family.
– There are a lot of people working to get your package
to you on your doorstep. It’s not just click and get
the package next day and stuff. No, there’s a long process
of people to make that work. – Say, you don’t get like exactly
what you ordered, please don’t be mad. I’m putting barcodes on a lot
of different things, and then sometimes
the computer’s wrong. It’s not all our fault.
– This is not magic. You are not living in the
Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Every time you do something
or interact with something on Amazon, it is a person doing that for you.
I think that’s the most important thing
for people to realize. – Thank you for watching this
episode of Amazon Employees React. – Make sure to subscribe
and hit the bell, so you don’t miss an episode.
– Thanks for watching. Bye! – Hi, guys. JC here,
producer at FBE. This episode was
a little bit different, but we hope you enjoyed it
as much as we did. What other ideas like this
do you have for future episodes? We’d love to hear your thoughts
down in the comments. We’ll see you there.