Failing the Marshmallow Test

An interesting blog post about the use of the concepts behind the Stanford Marshmallow test by a large e-commerce company.

Notes from an Amazon Warehouse Slave

It’s a slow day at Amazon. At most jobs this would mean an easy day. At Amazon it means more stress. As an Amazon Sortation Associate, I’m expected to scan at least 180 boxes an hour. That’s difficult enough when the conveyor belts are overloaded with freight, but nearly impossible when everybody on the shift is competing for the same few packages.

It’s two hours into the shift and I’ve only done 200 items. Depending on the supervisor on duty, not meeting your “sort goal” can mean anything from absolutely nothing to a written warning and even termination, but whatever the management does, not meeting it also means going home with a sense of failure and anxiety. Will I get fired? Am I being lazy? Is there anything I could have done to have worked more efficiently? Will I make it tomorrow?

A middle aged man approaches me. I suppose…

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