Jävla skitsystem!

Hur en usel digital arbetsmiljö stressar oss på jobbet – och hur vi kan ta tillbaka kontrollen

Algoritmiska anställningar: Amazon flex

Publicerad 3 juli 2018 | Inga kommentarer ännu

Amazon engagerar nu privatpersoner som paketutkörare: tjänsten Amazon Flex har rullats ut i 50 städer i USA. Alana Semuels, reporter på The Atlantic, prövade att vara bilbud åt Amazon. Det var en ohälsosam, olönsam och obehaglig erfarenhet: I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare (25 juni 2018).

Amazon Flex-appen tilldelar dig ”blocks”, det vill säga en runda och en tid-slot på ett par timmar. Du kör din egen bil och ska dela ut paketen på den tid som Amazons algoritmer satt upp. Du betalar själv parkeringsavgifter och eventuella parkeringsböter, liksom förstås bensin och slitage på din egen bil. Du får inte betalt för tiden att köra till Amazons lager och hämta paketen.

Hon upplevde precis samma kontrollförlust och följande stress som de unga YouTube-stjärnorna: ingen kontroll, obegripliga regler, ingen ledning eller kollegor att fråga (Algoritmiska anställningar stressar med osäkerhet, 30 juni 2018).

”Because of the way Flex works, drivers rarely know when blocks of time will become available, and don’t know when they’ll be working or how much they’ll be making on any given day.

[Brown] sometimes wakes up at 3 a.m. and does what Flex workers call the ‘sip and tap’, sitting at home and drinking coffee while refreshing the app, hoping new blocks come up. He does not get paid for the hour he spends tapping. Twice in the last year, he’s been barred from seeing new blocks for seven days because Amazon accused him of using a bot to grab blocks. He says he just taps the app so frequently Amazon assumes he’s cheating. When he is barred from seeing blocks, he has no recourse but to repeatedly email Amazon, which has never led to his suspension being lifted. Amazon also does not break down how much he receives in tips and how much he receives in pay from the company—for all he knows, people are tipping him $20 and Amazon is paying him less than minimum wage. And he doesn’t have a boss he can ask what’s going on.”

Being an independent contractor meant that the job was lonely, with no colleagues to share stories with, and no boss to ask about the many confusing aspects of being a first-day driver. (Flex drivers complained to me that even when they do contact support with a complaint, they often receive back a form letter, making them feel like they are working for a robot rather than a company that employs actual humans.)

Amazon Flex artikel i The Atlantic
En tydlig aspekt för reportern var också ojämlikheten när hon levererade paketen:

Young workers milled around with laptops and lattes, talking about weekend plans. They were benefiting from the technology boom, sharing in the prosperity that comes with a company’s rapid growth.
Technology was making their jobs better — they worked in offices that provided free food and drinks, and they received good salaries, benefits, and stock options. They could click a button and use Amazon to get whatever they wanted delivered to their offices. I brought 16 packages for 13 people to one office; one was so light I was sure it was a pack of gum.

Slutligen frågan om själva appen:

And then there was the fact that the Flex technology itself was difficult to use. Flex workers are supposed to scan each package before they deliver it, but the app wouldn’t accept my scans. When I called support, unsure of what to do, I received a recorded messaging saying support was experiencing technical difficulties, but would be up again soon. Then I got a message on my phone telling me the current average wait time for support was ”less than 114,767 minutes”. (…)
When I tried to use the app to call the recipients, it directed me to the wrong phone numbers. (…)
My paycheck never came. Something had gone wrong with the way I entered my bank-account number into the app, and when I wrote to support to report this, I received a form letter back that said I was emailing Amazon from the wrong email address. I’m still corresponding with Amazon to figure out exactly how to get paid.

Semuels konstaterar att hon använt mer tid för att försöka få betalt, än hon faktiskt arbetat i sin algoritmiska anställning.

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    “Jävla skitsystem!” är den första boken på svenska – och så vitt känt i världen - som tar upp problemen med dåliga datasystem ur ett konsekvent arbetsmiljöperspektiv. Usla datasystem gör oss frusterade, arga, stressade på jobbet. Ändå är det vanligt att användarna tar på sig skulden - och inte ser att det egentligen är de usla systemen som behöver förändras. Den här boken hjälper dig att känna igen hur datasystemen stressar - och hur vi kan försöka börja ta tillbaka kontrollen.
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