Amazon Worker Shares ‘What It’s Like To Work At Amazon To Do Nothing,’ Sparking Debate



An Amazon worker went viral after showing what it’s like working in an Amazon warehouse on a slow day.

The video, posted by TikToker Lauren (@arlenari), shows workers lining the walls waiting to work. Many are standing, while some opted to sit on the floor, as there do not appear to be defined places to sit. Lauren stitched another video, in which that TikToker says, using the text-to-speech effect, “What it’s like to work at Amazon to do nothing.”

Lauren’s stitch set off a fierce debate, with some arguing that Lauren should be happy to not have to work, and others insisting that workers should not be forced to wait on their feet until their work is needed.


Lauren’s original video currently has over 2.7 million views and has inspired two follow-ups.


“There are no stations available,” Lauren wrote in the text overlaying her video. “They’ve been offering [voluntary time off] but no one is accepting except a small amount of people.”


On one side, TikTokers said Lauren should not be complaining about getting paid for not working.

“Wait a minute they pay you to do nothing?” one user asked.

“Getting paid to do nothing,” another added. “Oh the tragedy.”

On the other side, users were concerned that workers were not being given proper space to spend their time.

“This is why you need a union,” one user wrote. “Employees should be provided with basic amenities, at a minimum you should be able to wait in the break room.”

Additionally, some TikTokers were concerned by the prospect of “voluntary time off,” or VTO. They argued VTO places undue pressure on the worker to leave and not get paid. Additionally, if work picks up again, it can overburden the workers still on the job.

In the comments under Lauren’s video, some users also alleged that VTO is not always as voluntary as the name implies.

“The crazy part is they make you take VTO past three hours,” one user claimed. “Been there for four weeks and they look [for] ways to fire you.”

While this does not appear to be official Amazon policy, numerous stories populate Reddit alleging how workers were forced, or heavily pressured, to take VTO.

Unrelated to these points, some alleged Amazon workers were confused by Lauren’s ability to use her phone in the warehouse.

“They’re letting you have your phone in there now?” one commenter questioned. “I got in trouble and they searched my phone when I accidentally took it in once.”


Lauren responded to this comment, saying in a response that phones are allowed in her location in case of emergencies following COVID.


Lauren also responded to comments about VTO.


“It’s annoying to come into work and be offered volunteer time off not even an hour after clocking in. Which happened today. I just got here; I’m not going to go home,” she says. “I need the money. Find something else for me to do or train in.”






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