Society

Amazon Worker Jumps Off Company Building, 12 Stories

| by Michael Allen

An unidentified Amazon employee jumped from company headquarters in Seattle on Nov. 28, but survived his 12-story fall.

An Amazon source told Bloomberg Technology that the employee sent a company-wide email to hundreds of co-workers and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos before the apparent suicide attempt.

The man was taken to a local hospital.

Amazon said in a statement: "Our thoughts are with our colleague as he continues to recover. He’s receiving some of the best care possible and we will be there to support him throughout the recovery process."

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Bloomberg Technology's Amazon source said the man wanted to be transferred to a different part of the company, but instead was moved onto an employee improvement plan, which can result in being fired if there is no improvement.

In 2014, several purported Amazon employees emailed Gawker with their horror stories about Amazon's "performance improvement plan," also known as PIP.

One former Amazon employee, who said she went through PIP, told Gawker:

I would not want such a thing to happen even to my enemy. Does Jeff Bezos have the guts to sign a PIP document himself? If so many employees are put into PIP for non performance, is that not an indication that the organization is also non performing? In that case, the CEO should also take up the PIP challenge...

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I can tell you in detail about the PIP program. In Amazon, PIP is being used as a tool to fire employees. That is, once you are into a PIP you can be sure that you would be made to quit within a maximum of 3 months...

Now for the details of PIP. Let us assume that an employee works for Amazon for the past 5 years. In those 5 years, the employee would have at least made one mistake in his or her work. Once Amazon decides to fire that employee they would dig out that mistake and project that the employee had created a huge loss to the company because of that mistake.

Then the employee would be put into what is called a "Coaching Plan" for 2 months (The duration might differ depending on the manager) before starting PIP. While the employee is in "Coaching Plan" he or she is not supposed to make even a single small mistake in his or her work.

But the point to be noted here is, there will not be any coaching or training to the employee during this period. They will have to work just normally like others but each and every movement of them would be monitored...

I will share with you a few clauses from PIP agreement. It will be rude and threatening to read through those clauses.

1) 'This is a final performance improvement plan for substandard performance'

2) 'You have been [counseled] and warned about your performance issues previously'

3) 'This is a final warning that your job is in jeopardy'

4) 'You continued employment is subject to you meeting the following goals and objectives'

(There will a new set of goals assigned during the PIP period, which would be much more difficult to achieve than the regular goals)

5) 'The responsibility for bringing your performance to an acceptable level rests with you'

6) 'A copy of this document will be placed in your personnel file'

7) 'If you fail to meet the above stated expectations, your employment may be terminated'

After the PIP starts, they will catch hold of any one mistake of the employee within those 3 months period and ask them to put down their papers. They will not be terminated but asked to resign.

Gawker did not mention a response from Amazon regarding the article.

Sources: Bloomberg Technology, Gawker / Photo credit: SounderBruce/Flickr

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