If you have ever worked at a job that you absolutely hated, then you definitely had a few moments while at work where you said that Kylo Ren quote from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to yourself.
More often than not, you don’t have the strength to do what you know you need to do, but Derick Lancaster, 22, was really done with his job as an Amazon delivery driver. So much so that on Monday, he announced via Twitter that he decided to quit in the middle of his shift, and abandon his van filled with packages.
"I quit amazon fuck that driving shit i left the van on 12 mile and Southfield y’all can have that bitch and it’s full of gas wit the keys in the IGNITION," Lancaster wrote.
Lancester explained to Detroit ABC-affiliate WXYZ-TV that the combination of grueling hours, unreal expectations, and a meager hourly wage drove him to make the spur-of-the-moment decision. Lancester said that he typically delivers more than 100 packages in a near 12-hour shift for $15.50 per hour.
Lancester revealed that the number of packages he was expected to deliver continued to increase, saying, "It was days I had to deliver 158, 212, it just kept going up and up." His tipping point, however, didn't come until he missed his sister’s birthday party. "She was real upset with me," he confessed. "There is no set schedule."
"I'm not encouraging them to but if you fed up you fed up," Lancaster said. "It was immature and irresponsible on my end. At the same time enough is enough."
"This does not reflect the high standards we have for delivery partners," Amazon said in a statement. "We are taking this matter seriously, and have investigated the matter and are taking appropriate action."
The poor treatment of Amazon's warehouse workers has been well-documented. It's quite possible that Amazon's delivery drivers aren't treated any better.
Earlier this year, The Guardian spotlighted Rina Cummings, an Amazon warehouse worker in Staten Island, who said that in her 12-hour shift as a "sorter," she's expected to inspect and scan at least 1,800 packages every hour. That means Cummings would need get through 30 packages every minute just to stay on pace.
Cummings was among the 600 workers at the Staten Island warehouse that submitted a petition in November seeking simple, plausible changes to their work environment. The petition demanded that the workers' two 15-minute breaks get combined into a 30-minute one since it can take up to 15 minutes to walk to and from the warehouse break room, and a more reliable transportation schedule since the warehouse is in the middle of nowhere, among other requests.
In May, Amazon announced that they were cutting the $2 hourly hazard pay increase for warehouse workers who were still coming in during the coronavirus pandemic. That same month, it was reported that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was projected to become the world's first trillionaire by 2026.