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Amazon Implementing Massive Layoffs Because It Would Rather Know When You’re Ovulating Than Pay Employees

A worker moves down an aisle inside an Amazon fullfillment center.

Amazon is a terrible company. You can take your pick as to what’s your reason for thinking so, but at this point, we all know they’re bad so let’s not belabor the point by listing out every reason. They’re also everywhere and really convenient to use, so you know, if you can break up with them, great! (Here’s a guide to doing so, if you missed it.) If you know they’re awful but still use them, you know what? Me too. I have student loans and life is expensive! No judgment here.

I do have my own limitations with Amazon, though. They may know the shocking amount of times I stream Con Air (at least once a month, best movie of all time) but they are also now going all in on healthcare and I’m sorry, the company that I buy my 24 packs of Diet Coke from does not need to know when I have a sore throat or worse.

With that in mind, yesterday, Amazon Retail CEO Doug Herrington sent out a companywide email announcing imminent layoffs via email (WTF Doug?! That is so rude! Can’t even have someone call or Zoom?) and of course, because those at the top have the self-awareness of a vampire putting on makeup in a mirror, he told everyone the new direction that Amazon the parent company was headed in. As if people who are freaking out whether they’re about to get a “you’re laid off ? ? ?” email care about where the money that is freed up by losing their salary will go to. Good grief.

Here’s the part that matters if you don’t want to read all that (and I don’t blame you):

And by improving our cost structure, we are also able to continue investing meaningfully in big growth areas such as grocery, Amazon Business, Buy with Prime, and healthcare.

Amazon has been trying to get into the healthcare game for a long time, and launched AmazonCare in 2019, but shut it down at the end of 2022. Per The Verge:

The abrupt shutdown doesn’t mean Amazon is getting out of healthcare — it might just mean a reframing. It recently bought the subscription-based primary care company One Medical, which offers similar services to Amazon Care. Reports indicate Amazon is also interested in at-home healthcare technology company Signify Health. Amazon still wants to take on healthcare, but it’s clarifying its approach: instead of building from scratch, it’s taking over things that already work.  

So now there is Amazon Clinic, which offers “care for common conditions” including birth control and STI treatment. Do you really want Amazon to know when you’re ovulating? That seems like a bridge too far!

Look, if you don’t care about Amazon knowing absolutely everything about you, more power to you. Personally, I’m OK with them knowing how often I engage with the explosive combination of action and star power via the 1997 classic Con Air (starring John Cusack and Nic Cage) but I’m not OK with them knowing about intimate aspects of my health. It’s not that I think hospitals and health insurance companies are more altruistic, it’s just that they, to my knowledge, also don’t try to sell me lightbulbs, and somehow, I can’t help but think that the health data won’t be used to optimize the lightbulb buying experience.

(featured image: Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images)

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