Some of us have been skeptical about the development of corporate mindfulness, suspecting that, just maybe, the corporations care more about keeping their workers productive than their genuine well-being.
Safe to say, the latest and greatest attempt by Amazon to support their workers’ “mindfulness” practice does not assuage such concerns. Meet the “ZenBooth”.
It’s basically a porta-potty with a couple of plants and a computer with some resources on mindfulness and wellness.
Here’s the promotional video, which Amazon removed from their twitter account after complaints. It’ll probably get pulled from YouTube too, so watch it while you can!
The whole thing is weirdly tone-deaf and dystopian, but the detail that struck me was actual text of the promo, delivered by a woman sitting, notably, not in the booth but outdoors.
The ZenBooth is an interactive kiosk where you can navigate through a library of mental health and mindful practices to recharge the internal battery.
It’s not about actually doing meditation or anything, but just browsing stuff. So weird, as if looking at wellness content is actually the point? Worse, it’s about “recharging the internal battery”: even here, they can’t stop referring to their employees as machines.
Amazon has a history going back many years of exploitation and oppression of workers, with dozens of workers and ex-workers testifying as to the cruel and harmful workplace practices, the “relentless misery of working at Amazon”.
Imagine we lived in a world—a completely fantasy world in an alternate reality—where the people were able to elect officials in order to enact any law they wanted. And they enacted a law to take away 99% of all wealth above ten million dollars. That seems like a lot! And imagine that the rich actually paid it. After paying 99% of his wealth in tax, Bezos would still have enough money to buy that yacht. Heck, he could buy it, and then just buy another one for fun. And even after that, he’d still be a billionaire!
Here’s an astonishing visualization of the scale of his wealth.
We really have to stop acting as if these people are going to save us.
Meanwhile, don’t buy stuff, any stuff, unless you really need it. Avoid Amazon wherever possible. You don’t need them: they need you. If you personally have a lot of money, give it away or better yet, just burn it before it consumes your soul.