I’m a part-time Amazon delivery driver in Michigan. We have to cheat to get around the strict rules and constant monitoring.

Parcels are stored in a truck in a logistics centre of the mail order company Amazon.

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Jay (not his real name) has worked as a part-time driver delivering packages for Amazon in rural Michigan since 2019. He spoke anonymously out of concern for losing his position. His identity has been verified by Insider.

I started working part time as a driver for Amazon in 2019 after seeing an online classified ad. I enjoy travel and figured I could use a few extra bucks, so I applied. 

My starting pay was $16 an hour. For my one-year anniversary, I got an increase of $0.25 an hour. Recently, drivers received a COVID-19 bonus — part-timers like me received $150.

It’s no secret that Amazon contracts the bulk of their deliveries through third-party delivery service providers (DSPs), so while I exclusively deliver Amazon packages and wear branded clothing with their logo on it, I don’t actually work for Amazon. 

I like the DSP I work for and I’m thankful for the job, but Amazon’s constant need to implement new rules is frustrating and has resulted in a lot of turnover at my workplace.

There are around 25 to 30 full-time drivers, and usually the same number of weekend drivers floating around. This is partly due to the higher turnover of part-timers. My best estimate is there are 30 to 40 new drivers since last year.

It’s like a never-ending revolving door where every time I come in, there’s a new face.

Amazon preaches safety, safety, safety, and while that’s a great narrative for the media, behind the scenes it’s another story. 

There’s a lot of pressure on the DSPs to perform well otherwise they risk getting their contract pulled, and this pressure winds up trickling down to us drivers. 

In the name of safety, Amazon keeps tabs on us by tracking everything, but what it really does is create more pressure. 

They monitor everything — from whether we’re wearing our seat belts to acceleration, braking, cornering, reversing, and even things like touching our screens while in motion through an app called Mentor. 

The app can either be downloaded on our mobile phones or a phone provided by our DSP, which is what I opted for because I don’t like the idea of having a tracker on my personal phone. 

At the end of each shift, which is typically between nine and 11 hours long, the app generates a score based on how well we drove. The highest score is 850.

When I started nearly two years ago, if you got a 550 you were fine, but not anymore. Now they want you to be in the high 700’s.

I used to have a 550, but now I’m more like a 750, which is basically the lowest score Amazon will allow without the DSP getting into trouble.

The problem is your score can take a hit for things completely out of your control. 

For instance, if a kid runs into the street chasing their soccer ball and you’re forced to hit the brakes unexpectedly, that goes against your score. If a deer darts out in front of your van and you swerve to …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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