Internet giant Amazon is steadily expanding its footprint of warehouse and distribution centers across the Triangle and North Carolina. But what’s it like to work for the ecommerce giant? The New York Times offers a revealing look in a new series.

“In contrast to its precise, sophisticated processing of packages, Amazon’s model for managing people — heavily reliant on metrics, apps and chatbots — was uneven and strained even before the coronavirus arrived, with employees often having to act as their own caseworkers, interviews and records show,” the Times reports today. “Amid the pandemic, Amazon’s system burned through workers, resulted in inadvertent firings and stalled benefits, and impeded communication, casting a shadow over a business success story for the ages.”

The work is demanding and employees are closely monitored during the pandemic, The Times reports:

“Amazon continued to track every minute of most warehouse workers’ shifts, from how fast they packed merchandise to how long they paused — the kind of monitoring that spurred a failed unionization drive led by frustrated Black employees at an Alabama warehouse this spring. If productivity flagged, Amazon’s computers assumed the worker was to blame. Early in the pandemic, the online retailer paused its firing of employees for low output, but that change was not announced clearly at JFK8, so some workers still feared that moving too slowly would cost them their livelihoods.”

Read the full report at this site (registration required)