'Amazon down': Warehouse staff dance, play baseball in viral TikTok videos amid outage
Work at Amazon's warehouses was suspended on Tuesday, December 6 due to a cloud computing system failure, leaving staffers with little to do but pass the time. Other tech giants that use Amazon's service, such as Netflix, Coinbase, and Slack, were also affected by the outage. TikTok videos have gone viral that show the employees seen hanging about, browsing their phones and munching snacks as Roddy Ricch's 'The Box' plays over the speakers. In one video, the caption says, "they actually had [us] have a meeting to play us this music."
Hundreds of TikTok videos with the hashtag #Amazondown show workers passing the time by dancing, singing karaoke and playing baseball. One user said, "Once in a lifetime thing at Amazon. I'm fashooooo taking advantage." In another TikTok, an employee relaxes on boxes while watching coworkers play a makeshift baseball game with bins. The outage, according to one Reddit member on an Amazon employees forum, was a 'humanizing' experience.
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"For the first time since I started 8 months ago, I spoke with and learned the names of several people I've been working with," they stated. However, not all employees were able to take a break during the downtime. Staffers were not permitted to use their phones or even sit down, according to one employee who posted on the subreddit. "What are you expecting us to do, twiddle our thumbs?" they penned. Workers wiping labels off of tables were shown in a TikTok video.
In numerous areas, warehouse dance parties erupted. One TikTok user remarked, "What we were doing today when Amazon servers were down for 6 hours.. plenty of dancing and singing." Employees at a facility played a game using Amazon's yellow storage boxes. Many Amazon employees appreciated the occasional break from work.
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Some warehouses allowed staffers to go home on unpaid leave while others compelled them to stay. The interruption comes a week after the National Labor Relations Board ordered a re-vote at an Amazon facility in Alabama, where a union campaign earlier this year failed. The board requested a re-vote after Amazon's opposition to the attempt. According to the Amazon Service Health Dashboard, the AWS outage was repaired at about 7.30 pm EST on December 6.