Working at Amazon is Hell. So What?

The New York Times just published an exposé of how difficult life is at Amazon. I suppose their goal was to make us feel bad for their poor employees. Now, to be clear, I’m happy to criticize Amazon when they deserve to be criticized–I completely disagree with their decision to not pay their employees during security checks–even though the Supreme Court agreed with them. I just don’t have a problem with a company that demands a lot from their employees.

Amazon corporate employees work long hours, don’t get fancy benefits and free lunches, and are expected to dedicate their souls to the company. It’s so awful that Amazon kidnaps people off the street and forces them to work for them. I mean, why haven’t police or the FBI broken down Amazon’s doors and freed these poor people?

Oh, I get it, because these people work there voluntarily. They work there because the paychecks they receive are worth the time and effort they have to put into the job. If it wasn’t worth it to them, they would put in their two week’s notice and quit. They would go get different jobs. If enough people left, Amazon would either change their culture or go broke. Neither appears to be happening.

In fact, some people seem to thrive on it. The New York Times states:

At its best, some employees said, Amazon can feel like the Bezos vision come to life, a place willing to embrace risk and strengthen ideas by stress test. Employees often say their co-workers are the sharpest, most committed colleagues they have ever met, taking to heart instructions in the leadership principles like “never settle” and “no task is beneath them.”

So many people would love to work in a place where everyone is on top of their game and dedicated to working hard. So many of our workplace struggles come from incompetent or uncaring co-workers. It would be a dream to have great departments.

But, surely, not everyone feels that way. Hence, the article. Dedicated and constant work can cause problems. An unnamed executive eventually developed an ulcer after constant work, including spending most of her vacation working.

Any company that could drive you to such extremes must be awful–except that she could have left at any time. It’s doubtful that there are no other companies out there that wouldn’t jump at the chance to snap up such a dedicated employee.

In fact, there are many other companies that demand and receive dedicated employees. The pay is usually good, and the experiences valuable. I once worked for a company that would receive 1,000 résumés a week when we were expanding. This was also a place where all the good parking spots were taken by 7:00 a.m. People worked long and hard. But the pay was great. The people were great. And people wanted to work there.

People want to work for Amazon as well. It’s not a surprise that they do. It’s a prestigious company with good pay and good people. If it’s hard to work there, it’s hard to work there. Plenty of people reading this article have worked or do work for companies that demand long hours and vacations filled with phone calls and emails. If it’s worth it to you, work there. If it’s not, find something else. It’s your choice.

 

 

Melbourne Leaders Eye All Aboard Florida Station Sites

PenneyVanderbilt

Melbourne’s proposed train station locations:

• Between Fee and Seminole avenues, three blocks north of City Hall. Florida Power & Light owns this 3.4-acre downtown parcel.

• Along Main Street, north of University Boulevard and south of Church Street. This narrow 3.2-acre strip property in South Melbourne includes Carol Williams Glanton Park, and the land is owned by the city and Florida East Coast Railway.

• Along Apollo Boulevard, near Baer Air. The city and Orlando Melbourne International Airport own this 4.3-acre strip.

“I think it’s excellent when we provide anybody making selections more than one possibility. So having three alternatives is much better. I appreciate that,” Councilwoman Molly Tasker said.

Potential Brevard station locations must be located on the west side of the railroad tracks. Other TPO criteria include potential ridership, nearby utilities, potential to add buildings taller than three stories next to the train station, and minimum size of 3 acres.

Cocoa and Rockledge officials teamed up to propose a train station location off…

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Wake Up, South Carolina!

By Spike Lee

Waaaaake up! Wake up, South Carolina! This is your dude, Spike Lee. And I know that you know the system is rigged! For too long we’ve given our votes to corporate puppets. Sold the okie doke. Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt by the Great Recession of 2008, and many are still recovering.

And that’s why I’m officially endorsing my brother, Bernie Sanders. Bernie takes no money from corporations. Nada. Which means he’s not on the take, and when Bernie gets in the White House, he will do the right thing!

How can we be sure? Bernie was at the March on Washington with Dr. King. He was arrested in Chicago for protesting segregation in public schools. He fought for wealth and education equality throughout his whole career.

No flipping, no flopping. Enough talk. Time for action.

Melbourne Leaders Eye All Aboard Florida Station Sites

Melbourne’s proposed train station locations:

• Between Fee and Seminole avenues, three blocks north of City Hall. Florida Power & Light owns this 3.4-acre downtown parcel.

• Along Main Street, north of University Boulevard and south of Church Street. This narrow 3.2-acre strip property in South Melbourne includes Carol Williams Glanton Park, and the land is owned by the city and Florida East Coast Railway.

• Along Apollo Boulevard, near Baer Air. The city and Orlando Melbourne International Airport own this 4.3-acre strip.

“I think it’s excellent when we provide anybody making selections more than one possibility. So having three alternatives is much better. I appreciate that,” Councilwoman Molly Tasker said.

Potential Brevard station locations must be located on the west side of the railroad tracks. Other TPO criteria include potential ridership, nearby utilities, potential to add buildings taller than three stories next to the train station, and minimum size of 3 acres.

Cocoa and Rockledge officials teamed up to propose a train station location off of Rosa L. Jones Drive, near Cocoa Village. Cocoa planners also submitted sites near Byrd Plaza, Clearlake Road, State Road 528 and Michigan Avenue.

Palm Bay’s proposed train station site is immediately south of Robert J. Conlan Boulevard.

TPO staffers recommend Cocoa’s Clearlake Road proposal as the top-ranked site, but internal review remains ongoing, Executive Director Bob Kamm said.

Vice Mayor Dan Porsi noted that the Main Street site is near Melbourne’s original train station location.

FEC Railway Introduces EZ Buy Tool

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) is proud to announce the upcoming launch of EZ Buy, a new online price quote and booking system for customers to ‘buy’ door-to-door intermodal transactional freight connecting the Southeast U.S. markets to the South Florida markets. Users receive access to dynamic price quotes, while having the ability to book an order in one quick easy transaction. The EZ Buy tool will be officially released March 1, 2016.

Purchasing freight via EZ Buy is offered between the Southeast U.S. markets of Atlanta, Charlotte and Jacksonville, and the South Florida markets of Fort Pierce, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, by simply entering a pick-up and delivery zip code or city within these serviceable areas.

All freight purchases made through EZ Buy will move reliably and efficiently across FECR’s premier door-to-door intermodal network utilizing FEC Highway Services (FECHS), the drayage and trucking arm of FECR.  Seamless overnight service is provided between North and South Florida, and two-day service connects South Florida markets and the Southeast U.S. markets of Atlanta and Charlotte.

“We are consistently developing technologies to enhance our customers’ experience and the services we provide. The EZ Buy tool will deliver fast access for intermodal customers to ‘buy’ transactional freight connecting the Southeast U.S. markets and the South Florida markets via an easy to use web portal,” said Jim Hertwig, FECR President & CEO.

For more information or to start using EZ Buy visit our website here. To receive demonstrations of the online tool contact the FECR at 1.800.342.1131.

About Florida East Coast Railway
The Florida East Coast Railway (“FECR”) is a 351-mile freight rail system located along the east coast of Florida. It is the exclusive rail provider for PortMiami, Port Everglades, and Port of Palm Beach. FECR connects to the national railway system in Jacksonville, Florida, to move cargo originating or terminating there.  Based in Jacksonville, Florida, FECR provides end-to-end intermodal and carload solutions to customers who demand cost-effective and premium quality.  For more information, visit www.fecrwy.com.

Crossing The Northway (by Train!)

The branch line of the New York Central Railroad (referred to as the Troy & Schenectady) did something almost unheard of. It crossed an Interstate Highway at grade!

Now, the full facts on this highly  unusual event can be found from Gino DiCarlo.

The former Troy & Schenectady line was still operating when the Northway (I-87) was built (1960’s) and there still was a grade crossing on the Northway a short distance south of the “Twin Bridges” over the Mohawk River (this was probably one of only a very few grade crossings on an Interstate Highway in the United States). It wasn’t there long, as the line was cut back within a couple of years to an industrial site just east of Route 9. You can still see where the line passed under Route 9 perhaps a mile north of Boght Corners.

During the period that the line crossed Interstate 87 (ETT has a typo “89”) at Dunsbach Ferry, the following instruction appeared in the Employee Time Table under “special instruction 103 public crossings at grade: Manually controlled traffic signals:” “Trains or engine must stop in rear of stop sign and a member of crew must operate pushbuttons in manual control box. After traffic signals have been operating for at least twenty seconds train or engine may proceed over crossing, signals must be restored to normal position after movement over highway has been completed.”

See some photos from Google Earth of the crossing location.

The only interlocking on the T&S was NYCRR Signal Station 8 at Schenectady, which governed the junction of the T&S and the Mohawk Division Main Line, and the T&S crossing of the Delaware and Hudson. At Green Island, a signal governing movements on the switch that joined the T&S with the D&H Green Island Branch was controlled by Troy Union Railroad Tower 3 on River Street in Troy.
From Gordon Davids

Once we “designed” a fantasy model railroad. The highway crossing remained. we can only cross Interstate 87, the Northway, between the hours of 2 am to 5 am.

The Next Revolution Is In Supply Chain Management

I’ve been researching and writing about supply chain management for 20 years. I’ve seen a goodly number of “revolutions” in SCM.

In the first revolution, the concept of supply chain, as opposed to logistics, was put forth. Constraint based optimization tools for the extended supply chain were developed to support the new philosophy. As this was going on, Lean and Six Sigma approaches to improving capabilities, not just at the factory level, but in other internal departments, as well as across the supplier and 3PL base, were gaining in strength.

It took a while, but it was recognized technology was not enough. The key process in SCM is the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process that balances supply with demand intelligently. S&OP itself is going through a second rev and we now talk about integrated business planning (IBP), a form of S&OP that is more closely aligned with finance. A related “revolution” that improves the demand half of S&OP is based on the concept of demand driven supply chains; this is the idea that it is important to not just create a forecast based on historical shipments, but having real visibility to demand at the point of sale to improve demand management.

In recent years, the topic of supply chain risk management has emerged and new processes and ideas have begun to be codified and turned into a distinct discipline. An emerging topic is supply chain sustainability; and indeed in many corporate social responsibility reports the topics of both supply chain risk management and sustainability are addressed.

Even as work remains to be done in the previous revolutions, I think I’m beginning to see the emergence of a new revolution based on a new generation of supply chain control towers. Here is what I think will be included in this new approach.

  1. Enhanced risk management capabilities in the control tower. Minutes after a major catastrophe or impactful but less severe event occurs, a company should be able to draw a perimeter around an event epicenter and answer the following questions: What suppliers are included inside the perimeter? What components do I source from them? What products do they go in? Which customers will be impacted? What is my revenue at risk?
  2. Quick corrective actions designed to rebalance supply and demand as profitably and quickly as is possible. These corrective actions will be based on prebuilt playbooks, supply and demand simulation, and the use of social network collaboration.

BRIAN BLADE & THE FELLOWSHIP BAND: Farewell Bluebird

Jazz You Too

I just close my eyes and listen: my memory keeps sending me the moments I won’t forget as long as I live – that’s right, seeing these guys is unforgettable, on this track Marvin Sewell gives a hand on the electric guitar!

Personnel: Brian Blade: drums; Melvin Butler: soprano and tenor saxophones; Jon Cowherd: piano, mellotron, pump organ; Chris Thomas: bass; Myron Walden: alto saxophone; bass clarinet; Marvin Sewell: guitar

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The New Haven RR’s 1947 IBM Car Processing And Forwarding System

The Arts Mechanical

In 1947 the New Haven RR installed a mechanized IBM car forwarding and processing system that used teletype technology.  The railroad was apparently very proud of their new system and published a small booklet about it.  I found a copy and scanned because it’s an interesting look of how technologies changed business operations and the evolution toward data processing and technologies.  It’s also a good look at how the railroads conducted their business in the transition era.  It seems that the motive power transition was not the only one happening on the rails, just one of the most visible.

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I’ve included the booklet in it’s entirety to show both how the system operated both before and after the new system was installed. Here’s a link to more about the system from IBM.

https://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV4003.html

From the sounds of it, not very many other railroads installed this system in the late 1940’s. …

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The Complete History of Monsanto, “The World’s Most Evil Corporation”

TheBreakAway

secret-history-monsantoHanzai E, Lost in the Bamboo Forest

Of all the mega-corps running amok, Monsanto has consistently outperformed its rivals, earning the crown as “most evil corporation on Earth!” Not content to simply rest upon its throne of destruction, it remains focused on newer, more scientifically innovative ways to harm the planet and its people.

As true champions of evil, they won’t stop until…well, until they’re stopped! But what is Monsanto and how did they get to be so obscenely evil in the first place? I think that’s the best place to start this journey, so grab a few non-GMO snacks or beverages and let’s go for a ride into the deep, murky sewers of their dark past.

1901: The company is founded by John Francis Queeny, a member of the Knights of Malta, a thirty year pharmaceutical veteran married to Olga Mendez Monsanto, for which Monsanto Chemical Works…

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