This afternoon, as I was leaving for yoga, I watched the AmazonFresh delivery truck come down my street to deliver my weekly groceries. As he pulled up to my house, I heard a crackle crackle crackle as he drove the backend of his truck into the backend of my car. He was trying to avoid another car that was in a big hurry coming towards him. What I didn’t know, is that this driver was about to be in worse shape than my car.
I immediately shouted some expletive at this guy from my porch (me, swear? never.) and went down to assess the damage. Sure enough, he mangled the backend of my car. I don’t want to post the photos until we work out the details with the insurance companies. You see my street is excessively narrow, so I don’t really fault the guy. As I approached the driver, I could see that he was visiblty shaken. He is about 23 or 24 years old and he was scared. His truck was still blocking the street but he couldn’t move it because he was literally shaking. That’s when I started to learn about Bryce.
Bryce lives in Snohomish, and commutes an hour a day to drive this truck. This is his second incident in his short month of work as a driver for Amazon – he had a run in with a fire truck a few weeks ago. I don’t really think he is cut out to be a truck driver. What I also learned from Bryce, was that he is now going to be unemployed. Yep, he is guaranteed to lose his job over this, as Amazon’s insurance won’t cover him anymore. I spoke some more to Bryce and found out that he is the father of 2 year old boy, and he drives this truck to support his wife (who is in school) and his kid. When I heard him tell me that, I felt an empty hole in my belly. A couple thousand dollars of damage to my car is really not that big of deal to me, when compared to what he now is going to go through with his family.
When I was 25, I inadvertently signed off on a CD image for the PC game I was managing at Microsoft. I say inadvertently, because as we discovered later, the image was defective and Microsoft shipped 25,000 coasters. Recalling and reburning the disks cost Microsoft $500,000. You know what happened to me? I got promoted. I figured out what happened with the image and found a solution to the problem, but it still didn’t cover up the fact that Microsoft lost half a million dollars due to my error. Ironic, right?
In the grand scheme of things, Bryce’s little accident is meaningless. To Bryce though, its everything. He is going to struggle to find a new job to support his family. He has to drive the rest of the shift tonight trying to figure out how he can explain this incident to his wife. I can imagine he will have a sleepless night trying to figure out how he is going to support his two year old son. If I could do this all over again, I would have stopped him from calling his manager. He needs this job more than I need a rear bumper.
Amazon, if you’re listening, give Bryce another chance. Find him a job in the warehouse loading trucks instead of driving them. His family is depending on it.
UPDATE: April 26th
Bryce’s manager called me this morning. Apparently Bryce will be meeting with a “Driver Review Board” to determine his fate. Not quite the Spanish Inquisition, but not a walk in the park either. The board has his manager, a rep from the insurance company and a few peers who will determine Amazon’s exposure by allowing him to drive. So, he’s not automatically fired which is good news. His manager was very nice and told me that they really like Bryce, but he did agree that a warehouse job is probably better suited to him. I should have more information about his eventuality in a few days.
I want to thank everyone who reached out to me, and especially those of you who work at Amazon and offered to contact his manager too.
UPDATE 2: April 26th
I got word that a friend of mine inside Amazon had contacted Bryce’s manager’s manager’s manager (or manager^3) directly. I kinda figured that was the case when I spoke to Bryce’s direct manager this morning. It seemed like he had read my post, just by the few things he said to me. This friend also mentioned that they sent email stating “it might be best for the company if we keep people on who are so customer-oriented that even the person that *got run into* is advocating keeping him.” Right on. My friends are rad.
Thank you. And I’m sure Bryce also thanks you.