Every day at Amazon, employees come together to deliver for our customers. Whether they pick, pack, stow, sort, ship, or deliver orders, each person plays a key role in bringing the holidays to life. Here are some of their stories.
“Going from the military to Amazon was a good fit for me.” – Brian M.
Brian works in the pack department making sure customer orders are packaged correctly before moving to the outbound docks on their journey to the customer. He also serves as a learning ambassador, helping to train new hires in the pack department. Before he began serving a key role in training and the delivery of products to Amazon customers, Brian served in a different way: through four years in the Marine Corps. During his time in the military, Brian experienced two combat deployments in Afghanistan and received a Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal. “Going from the military to Amazon was a good fit for me. In the military you’re relying on the person to your left and to your right, and transferring to Amazon I brought those same principles with me.”
It’s that reliance on co-workers that reinforces a strong sense of responsibility in Brian while doing his job, where he is often one of the last members of the Amazon team to see a package before it goes out of the facility and on to deliver that customer smile. “We’re the last line of defense, if you will. Packers receive the item before it goes to the docks on its way to the customer, so you’re always on alert looking for any discrepancies if needed. Not everyone understands the amount of effort and pride we put in to delivering each package to the customer.” Prior to joining Amazon Brian held other jobs where he didn’t find the same sense of connection and teamwork that he’d experienced in the military. Once joining Amazon however, he immediately felt at home. “The environment here is awesome. Everyone is super friendly and I immediately was welcomed here and made a member of the team. I couldn’t be happier about it.”
“Everybody is supportive here. It’s a community.” – Jeremy S.
Jeremy works on the receiving dock and is the first stop for items when they come into the building as new inventory. He’s been with Amazon three months and has embraced his new home. Prior to Amazon, Jeremy spent over six years in the military as a combat medic, splitting his time between field rotation duties and working in the hospital clinics on his bases. Following his service, he decided to pursue a career as a professional boxer, a longtime dream since he was a golden gloves champ in his youth. “I got out of the service and said ‘I only live once, let me give this a shot.’” After six months of training, he went on to spend the next four years competing as a professional, crossing paths with some of the biggest legends in the sport.
In 2002, a spinal cord injury changed his career path. “It redirected my thinking. I looked at what I had ahead of me, went into school, got my degree, and chose another career as an educator.” He was teaching part-time as an adjunct university professor when he found this full-time job opportunity with Amazon. Since starting his new role, he’s felt the supportive team environment and is inspired by his impact on customers. “My area manager Jesus is the man. He supports us in every way possible and he’s just a great guy. Everybody here that I work with from my co-workers to folks I really don’t work with but I see on an everyday basis, everybody is supportive here. It’s a community, it really is.” He added, “It’s inspiring to come in here every day because I know not only am I supporting myself, but I’m supporting millions of other people.”
The team that delivers
My favorite part of the job is the different personalities and backgrounds.” – Suchara D.
Suchara is on the receiving team where she scans incoming products into the system before they are placed in totes and "stowed," so they are ready for customers to purchase. She began her career at Amazon nearly five years ago, starting in New Jersey as a temporary worker and aspiring to move into a process management role.
The pandemic has directly affected Suchara, who has two family members recovering from COVID-19. As a result, safety is top of mind for her, and she is happy to see that Amazon prioritizes the safety of its people. “They supply a lot of hand sanitizer, remind us to keep a safe distance, give us masks in the morning, and provide an unlimited supply of gloves.”
Having recently relocated from New Jersey to North Carolina, Suchara is spending most her free time planning a wedding slated for May and trying to live and work by her personal motto, instilled in her by her mom: “Do everything wholeheartedly and do it the best the first time. You do not want to repeat the same step twice. So if I'm doing something, I always try to do it the best way I can.” That motto was one of many lessons Suchara received from her mother, who came to the U.S. from Haiti when she was 18. “I'm the only girl in my family. My mom taught me what she had to learn on her own, because she's a Haitian immigrant. As she learned, she taught me so I don't repeat her mistakes.”
Learning from and relying on each other is something that happens daily at Amazon, where Suchara notes the importance of teamwork to get the job done right, the first time. She also says she constantly thinks about the customers she’s delivering smiles to. “It's very important to work as a team, as a whole building, as one unit, because that item could be a lifeline the customer needs. It could save a pet or your grandmother or someone who cannot get out of bed, who needs their cold medicine. I too am an Amazon customer, so I would like to have the same quality in service that we provide to them.”
“The opportunities are endless at Amazon.” – De'Andrea R.
De'Andrea works as a delivery station sortation associate, where she helps make sure packages are sorted in the right way before they go to delivery drivers. Originally from North Carolina, she recently returned to her home state after living in Tennessee for the past several years. The pandemic was a factor in wanting to move closer to her mom. “It opened my eyes to realize I was too far away from home. Being in Tennessee, I was about seven-and-a-half hours away from my mom, and I lost my dad last year. So, that was a key turning point to get back closer to family.” De'Andrea, along with her nine-year-old daughter, her daughter’s father, and a dog named Nip, moved to North Carolina where she joined Amazon. “The opportunities are endless. My ultimate goal is to move into area manager and then operations. I’m very good at being hands-on and teaching people, so I may go the leadership route. I’m not sure yet, but the opportunities are endless with Amazon.”
In her time at Amazon, De'Andrea has brought her philosophy of kindness to work every day. “The main thing for me is that a little bit of kindness goes a long way. You don’t know what people are going through, or what it took for them to get out of bed that morning. If you’re kind and you spread that, it goes a long way.” She finds those acts of kindness are being returned through the new friendships she’s made and through experiencing a sense of belonging and support. “Work friends obviously turn into work family. I love that everybody is helpful here and wants to make sure you’re having a good time, a positive experience, you’re safe, and ultimately having fun.”
The family that delivers
“I’m thankful that I get to work with my daughter.” - Tia R.
Tia works as a stower, getting items from the receiving dock into inventory so they’re on the website for customers to order. She’s only been with Amazon a short time, but is making a lasting impact on her colleagues. She was a married mom with two kids when she came out as LGBTQ in her early 30’s. This led to a divorce, and Tia was even homeless for a time. “I had to live a double life before that. But if I had to do it all over again I would, because I have two wonderful kids because of it. Now I’m able to live my life freely and be happy and have that crazy weight off me. Everyone here has been amazingly accepting.”
Despite those difficult times, Tia got her life back on track, met her now fiancé Mary, and found a great place to work at Amazon, where she works alongside her daughter. “As I’ve gotten to know people, they’re surprised to learn my daughter is here too.” Her daughter, Alyssa, is paying her own way through college. When classes went online due to COVID-19, she decided to apply for a job in the same fulfillment center with her mom. Tia referred her for the role as she felt good about the safety measures taken in the building and knew the four-day work week would give Alyssa flexibility to make money while also focusing on school. Mother and daughter commute together to the fulfillment center. “It gives us that one-on-one time and I’m very thankful that Amazon allows us to have that.”
“My schedule works perfectly for my family.” - Maleny E.
Maleny works as a stower, meaning she receives product, scans it, and gets it ready so customers can order it from the website. Raised in El Paso, Texas, Maleny, her husband, and two children moved to North Carolina where she recently joined Amazon. The job of stowing product is key to Amazon being able to deliver for customers, but Maleny says she sees the importance of every person in the process. “I feel that the person before and after me matter because at the end of the day we're all a family in this company. We all, even if we don’t know each other, communicate through getting the product ready. There’s unity in all of us.”
The idea of family at Amazon is one that extends beyond Maleny’s co-workers, to include her actual family. Maleny’s husband also began working at Amazon after losing his previous job due to the pandemic. The couple had lost their apartment, and their children had to live with other family members while mom and dad got back on their feet. Maleny said, “Amazon came at a perfect time, when my husband and I were especially at our lowest—losing everything—and this actually helped us out, to bring our family closer together.” Being able to spend time with her family is something Maleny calls out as being especially important, and, in addition to the pay and benefits Amazon provides, the ability to flexibly schedule her work time makes a big difference. “The most important thing to me is my family, knowing that I can go home with them, and even on the days that I work I can actually spend time with them. My schedule works perfectly with my family.”
Throughout the holidays, we'll introduce you to more of our team that delivers.