Under Amazon ownership, Whole Foods new inventory regime is making workers cry

jeff bezos
From Daily Mail: Whole Foods has implemented a strict new inventory management system that includes bi-weekly walk-throughs and random quizzing of employees, and has left many workers feeling stressed out and punished.
The new system is called order-to-shelf (OTS) and has a strict set of procedures for purchasing, displaying and storing products on store shelves and in back rooms that is supposed to make stores more efficient and cut down on waste.
And to make sure stores are following the new procedures – stores are required to use ‘scorecards’ to evaluate each employees performance, according to Business Insider.
Though the system is meant to improve efficiency and stream-line storage, employees described it as onerous, stress inducing and punitive.  ‘The stress has created such a tense working environment’ a supervisor in a West Coast store explained.  ‘Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal.’   
Business Insider spoke with 27 current and former employees – some of whom had been with the company for up to 20 years.
Many workers are worried the new system will cause them to lose their jobs, and said they spend more time doing OTS-related paperwork than helping customers navigate the stores. 
Executives think the new system cuts cost across stores, reduce employee theft, clears out storage and gives workers more time to engage with customers. And the employees who spoke to Business Insiderwill agree that the former system was ineffective and needed to change – but say the company’s ‘fix’ went too far.
‘The OTS program is leaving to sackings up and down the chain in our region,’ an employee in Georgia said. ‘We’ve lost team leaders, store team leaders, executive coordinators and even a regional vice president. Many of them have left because they consider OTS to be absurd. As an example, store team leaders are required to complete a 108-point checklist for OTS.’
The new system requires managers to walk through store aisles and storage rooms with checklists, or scorecards, to make sure everything is where it belongs.  And if anything is in the wrong place, missing, or there is excess stock in storage, departments will lose points. One employee said that if an item is ‘even an inch outside of its designated spot,’ points will be deducted.
These walks, which happen frequently throughout the day, also include quizzes. Employees will be asked to recite things such as sales goals, top-selling items and last week’s sales on the spot. A failing score is anything below 89.9 percent, and if an employee fails they can be fired on the spot.
Company documents reviewed by Business Insider show that these quizzes, or ‘walks,’ happen twice a week. Corporate employees also visit the branches and conduct the tests monthly.
The walks have left employees stressed and fearful. ‘The fear of chastisement, punishment and retribution is very real and pervasive,’ a worker said. Another worker said the walks have caused them to have work-related nightmares.  
Workers across the country think the new OTS system is failing, and many departed employees have said they think that is because of a lack of training. ‘The problem lies in the lack of training, and the fact that every single member of management from store level to corporate is over tasked and overburdened,’ a former employee said.
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MyBrainHurts
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MyBrainHurts

Barnes and Noble has used this same system for years. I know. I worked there for 20 years. In some stores it worked just fine. In others, not so much. All retail is stressful.

Disgusted
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Disgusted

All micromanagement is stressful. But yes, adding customers, especially modern customers would be a nightmare. Years ago, retail was actually enjoyable. With every merger, it got worse.

daveyone1
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chemtrailssuck
Guest

What a way to run a business, or more like run FROM a business. If they can’t keep regular employees or even managers the whole store will go to crap shortly. Maybe that is Amazon’s ploy. Retail bites to work for, worst jobs I’ve ever had were in retail. Only time I didn’t mind so much was when I was stocking shelves, then you could hide from customer a lot easier.
Is this the new ‘socialist’ way of running a company? 😛 You betcha!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Yep, like “flat” organizations (centralized) run by a “process” (follow instructions, whether they’re effective or not)… but don’t forget to say how “democratic” and collaborative it all is (that’s the most important part).

Jurist
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Jurist

“team leaders are required to complete a 108-point checklist for OTS”
I wonder if it’s coincidence that they use an ancient occultic number of points….

palcau ioan
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palcau ioan

interesting stuff,ss for the employees,my advise? find a new job,i bet theres better jobs in America…amazon? never heard of

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

Well now . . . that picture of Jeff Bezos really takes the cake. He looks much like the smiling tyrant from North Korea. I wonder what will happen when employees start initiating “on the job injury due to stress related illnesses.” This is not the first article that portrays Bezos as a tyrant to his employees . . . but then that’s exactly how he is in first place as a billionaire. I am very conflicted within myself, I love the convenience of ordering online, getting the stuff two days later . . . but I am abhorrent that… Read more »

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

I guess I wasn’t done ranting yet . . . . I have only been in a Whole Foods store one time, and I rather doubt that I will ever again darken their door. When we know that a store just isn’t treating their employees right, it is our duty to avoid adding to their bottom line.
I guess I am going to have to think long and hard about my romance with “Amazon.” Perhaps, although it is very hand, I should just unplug myself from them also.

chemtrailssuck
Guest

Hi Auntie L!
There are also alternatives (still), goodreads.com for reading reviews, barnes and noble and halfprice books and other book stores to buy books from. One of my family always used to give me an amazon card for my birthday and Christmas, but then I asked them to get me one for half price books instead of amazon. People have to boycott them and whore foods! I also won’t go near them.

Disgusted
Guest
Disgusted

https://used.addall.com/Used/ searches al independent bookstores
Bypasses Amazon’s used book “service”

chemtrailssuck
Guest

Thank you for the info, I will try that! 🙂

Lana
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Lana

Actually Auntie I think he looks a bit more like this guy.comment image
Bezos- here is a liberal A hole who promotes the political culture of snowflakes, and then expects said snowflakes to perform like type A automatons. How compassionately and typically liberal- typically tyrannical that is.

chemtrailssuck
Guest

Did you ever read the fiction book “The Circle”? I borrowed it from someone and read it, it was OK (more like a modern quasi tech rip off of 1984), but they were definitely talking about these types of people in the novel.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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Lophatt
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Lophatt

Precisely. He wants to be “worshipped” for being an asshat. Complete egomaniac. It’s like a robber who’s so “good” at it that he comes to believe that people should appreciate his work.

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

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Dan
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Dan

That’s about it, where the packages are more important than the people, who’re run around vast warehouses like machines by an algorithm in that hand-held device, checking their moves for the slightest inefficiencies, triggering ghoulish mid-management bullying to work faster or get out. An FT article summarizes some of this Bezos-grade financialization of humanity, where the new boss is old-style Taylorism on a chip. Meet your new boss—it’s an algorithm. You can bet all those black-glass camera globes everywhere on the ceilings of box stores and other big retailers are there as much to spy on workers as spot shoftlifters.… Read more »

Disgusted
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Disgusted

Surveillance cameras are also used to track consumer behavior. Where foot traffic goes, what displays attract people.
I had to visit a Best Buy recently (ick) and their floor layout made no sense and was incred8bly inconvenient to navigate. Likely some “experts” designed it to maximize time spent in store. There’s a reason grocery stores always put milk furthest from the door. No quick in and out shopping.

Glenn47
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Glenn47

I know I will catch it here, but oh well. I was an avid Amazon Prime user, then I realized what Bezos was doing. He is trying to take over the country. In my own way, I am having a one man protest as I see businesses closing because of Amazon making it so easy to shop. Sounds weird, I know, but I have compassion for those closing their doors and people losing their jobs. It’s like when Walmart moved into many areas and built almost on top of KMart forcing many closings. I saw this happen is several areas.… Read more »

chemtrailssuck
Guest

When wallyworld moved into town, it was less than a year where THREE of the four supermarkets closed. They of course replaced 2 of them with drug stores.

Disgusted
Guest
Disgusted

Big chains suck. A Speedway set up next to a local gas station. For months Speedway was super cheap. Drove the old station out of business. As soon as the old station closed, Speedway jacked their prices way way up.

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

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Steven Broiles
Member

I will be blunt. Do you want to know where Bezos got this system? (Not the system itself, but the impetus for the system?) I will tell you where he got it from: He got this idea, or the impetus for it, from the old-fashioned nuns in the old-fashioned Catholic schools. I went to Catholic school from 1962 to 1970. Yes, I received an education superior in quality and content to the public system, but I am telling everyone plainly and simply that EVERYTHING about us was open to inspection, critique and criticism. EVERYTHING we did was subject to micromanagement.… Read more »

Disgusted
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Disgusted

Oh this well preceded the 60’s. Taylor reduced work from craftsmanship to humans being mindless robots in the early 20th century: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Winslow_Taylor As his principles took time to be adopted throughout all companies, there remained excellence in product until probably the 60’s to 70’s, by which time Taylors “students” from business schools worked their “magic” throughout America. The 70’s to 80″s were arguably a quality nadir, as anyone who owned a car from that era can attest. Japanese and especially Germans had high quality, and American companies were forced to respond. Pre-automation, this was costly, as management was all about… Read more »

Lana
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Lana

Good post Steven. You are right about the spiritual sickness in the church. Top down structures of control are built for abuse. A very close one to me was a victim of abuse by the Church, and I could tell you an ear full of the cover ups even by those at the lower levels such as nuns, and even lawyers. Though I was a sincere convert at one time, I have left the Church too. I have no judgement of people who still attend, but I personally cannot stomach the rife evil that emanates from the structure itself. I… Read more »

Steven Broiles
Member

Let me be clear: I was not sexually abused by anyone at the school I attended. I was really ignited by this Bezos post, and, looking back on it, I should have tempered myself. But my main point still stands: Tyranny is a spiritual disease, and what I meant to say was that I’ve noticed, at least since Michael R. Bloomberg became Mayor of NYC, is that these leftists will pull the same tyranny, the same control freak insanity, and that they’re even worse than the teachers I had in grade school. So it comes in all stripes, all flavors.… Read more »

Lana
Guest
Lana

No need to explain Steven. I clearly got your intention first time around. Perhaps I wandered too far with the subject. Anyway the point you made about spiritual sickness is true, and authoritarian power structures tend to lend themselves to every type of abuse imaginable on the part of those who run them. Not saying you didn’t perhaps get a good education, but at what cost too. Could a good education be gotten without the prison like atmosphere?

amaimbourg
Guest
amaimbourg

He pays a poverty wage to his employees, as well! He is an evil, leftist liberal commie who does want to control everything! I don’t know what ever happened to “no monopolies” in our country, but, Amazon is certainly one of them! I would just as soon pay a bit more and support local businesses and independents! Here’s an article about his employees being on food stamps! https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2018/02/04/10-of-amazon-workers-in-ohio-are-on-food-stamps/

phoenix
Guest

“Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.” ― Will Durant
And they call Trump a Hitler????

Gary Jones
Guest
Gary Jones

Does the behavior of Bezos remind you of anything? the Cultural Marxist commies who have taken over politics and virtually every other sector of our society. Notice how the Washington Post is the most ardent commie propaganda organ of major newspapers in America. Why? Bezos owns it. I taught AP physics, AP chemistry, etc. at an inner-city high school for decades. Suddenly the 5,000-student high school was transformed into 12 small learning communities (aka mini-schools) all headed by a neophyte Millennial. The school was destroyed in short order. Students were allowed to be late to class with impunity, fail every… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Progressives:comment image

MomOfIV
Guest
MomOfIV

I really appreciate health food stores..I pray what happened at (un)whole foods isn’t the beginning of corporations buying up health food chains and turning them into for-profit communist puppet models that people no longer desire to patronize.

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

It is sinful for employers to take advantage of their employees. This creep could personally give a major bonus to all his employees without disturbing anything in his lifestyle. Instead, he seeks to oppress them.
This contributes to a cycle of poor performance and bad attitudes. There should be no respect for people like this.

Dave
Editor
Dave

The economy is coming back in a big way, so these folks finding employment elsewhere is probably going to get easier – even if it requires retraining. AI is what it is, but they can’t replace everybody with robots.
As for Bezos, I get he is scum of the Earth (and full disclosure here, I buy stuff from Amazon frequently, especially my diabetes testing supplies), but what I would love to see is a conservative operation rise up and compete head-to-head with the goober.
It can be done – even if it is hard.