Today was going ok until my agency rep told me that far from escalating the issue to the HR agency who handles all the contractors at Amazon, she could not locate any information on them whatsoever – for internal eyes only. So I spent an hour on the wiki, looking for an office so I can escalate to HR (I have no discernible boss or manager or FTE who will respond to my attempted escalations), and I found nothing. A few doorways I didn’t have permissions into.
So basically, despite being subjected to shitty and dehumanizing working conditions for a tech job for an extremely rich company, I have no way to tell someone about it and try to get some better conditions. All part of the plan I’m sure. There’s a blank, grey impenetrable wall of nothingness, no footholds. It reminds me of the evil, scary, awful planet in “A Wrinkle in Time.” When I go to work there every day, I see huge crowds of similar-looking and similar-dressed people pushing and shoving to get inside. No one is smiling. No one wants to talk or make eye contact. Everyone is engrossed in their phone. People face away from each other in the elevator. In the giant lobby of my building we stand crushed together like it’s Pike Place Market, with dogs and umbrellas. I go into the crowded elevator people push and shove past me to get in and out of, then I walk to my desk in a tiny, windowless, brightly-fluorescently-lit room crammed to the gills with 15 temps. We have terrible ergonomics and no supplies. Some wait around for days, doing nothing, waiting for permissions. Sometimes we have fun and sometimes its a shouting contest. It’s hot and stuffy, there’s little airflow and oh by the way, there’s a nearly empty room right next door. No one knows why we can’t use that, everything is just the way it is, and no one on the floor I work on has power over anything. In the lunchroom I overhear conversations about buying things, kids, and sports.
As an anxious person who is afraid of crowds, afraid of dystopian corporate run futures, afraid of cookie cutter behavior, afraid of rich people, afraid of emotionless drones, afraid of suffocation and tight spaces and lots of other people at once, afraid of loud noised and whose deepest insecurities and needs are triggered by being disdainfully shut out of the flow of information and social interaction, it’s hell on earth. All day every day I sit in panic, knowing I can’t quit and still support myself. I look for other jobs but this economy is so shitty, I’ve lost hope I’ll ever find one. I worry that this is spreading – this is how it is. There are no more windows, there are no more HR departments, there are no more unions or workers rights. This is the future and I am in it. Corporations hold the purse strings and run the world. The landscape surrounding me is full of cardboard condos, construction, dirt, and exhaust. I can’t imagine an uglier place. At least a slum has the excuse of being POOR – there is SO MUCH MONEY being made here. Why is it so insanely over the top aesthetically and spiritually disgusting?
All I see is endless gray despair now, even when I’m at home. Even with a friend. There are no footholds. I used to be desperate for other options, but now I just want to go to sleep and stop feeling like the air around me is crushing me, for one second.