You might have been one of the many that ordered something on Amazon during the pandemic and suffered from ultra long delays in your package being delivered. You could have also been one of the many whose package was stolen or just simply never arrived. If you live in the Metro Detroit area and did not receive a package, we may have the answer as to why.
Amazon workers have for a long time complained about mistreatment and unfair practices while working for the company. Warehouse workers and drivers state that the amount of work does not add up to the age they are given, while the company brings in billions to trillions of dollars. Various strikes, walkouts, and employee quitting has been the result.
The same sentiment was felt by 22-year-old Derick Lancaster of Detroit, a now former employee/delivery driver of Amazon. Lancaster went viral after sending out a very colorful tweet expressing that he had reached his breaking point with the company. It was one thing to quit via social media, as surely many have, albeit unprofessional. It’s another thing, however, to abandon their property and pretty much alert the world that it was pretty much open season for the van and its contents.
“I quit amazon f**k that driving s**t,” Lancaster tweeted. “I left the van on 12 mile and Southfield y’all can have that b***h and it’s full of gas wit the keys in the IGNITION.” His message amassed tons of reactions from Twitter users, some agreeing with his choice and praising him for leaving, and others criticizing him for leaving packages subject to robbery.
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 .— Derick. (@_lilderick) June 29, 2020
“Amazon is the modern day plantation,” tweeted someone in response. “You only know if you worked there.” Another shared their experience working with the company. “The Amazon that I work at they dont even have a set schedule they just ask are u good for tomorrow and if u say no they get mad. Like u just asked me a question….” tweeted the user.
Another shared that they “honestly just stopped going lmaoo,” they wrote. “Everytime I got there I’d literally say to myself ‘one man really owns all of this’ I even walked out early cause I felt uncomfortable, felt like a damn robot the way everyone was moving.”
You forever will never work at Amazon again. You left Amazon property vulnerable. People’s items were in that van. If I was Amazon & Jeff Bezos, I would sue you for every dime that van was worth including merchandise plus transport charges.— LAURA FUNNER (@LauraFunner515) July 2, 2020
Meanwhile, others were not so supportive of the way he handled his exit from Amazon. “I smell automation around the corner and the days of people wishing they could get a job will increase,” replied a Twitter user to Lancaster. “Not the way to do things, you drive the van back to the facility and then you quit, this is just selfish in its self, your boss made you mad, don’t have others suffer for it.”
Another responds saying, “I can’t imagine how selfish someone has to be to abandon a van full of other people’s property with the keys in the ignition and broadcast where it is so people can steal said property and the van itself. Walking off the job is one thing. This? This is not okay.”
The virality of his post caused Lancaster to be sought after by the media to hear more of his story. He shared with WXYZ-TV that the long shift hours along with the number of packages he daily had to deliver, caused him to become fed up as it did not equate to a fair amount for his wages. “It was days I had to deliver 158, 212, and it just kept going up and up,” Lancaster shared. The unpredictable work schedule also caused him to miss his sister’s birthday party which upset her, he says.
A report from Detroit News shares that Lancaster left the truck and hopped into an Uber or Lyft to go home. As for the packages left in the van, he wasn’t too concerned as he states “They’re going to get them regardless.” He also explained about the trucks, “They have trackers on the trucks, so it’s not like someone could just take off with it.” Police from the county have not reported any missing Amazon trucks.
Lancaster did cool off enough to share with WXYZ that he regrets how he did it, but does not regret quitting. “I’m not encouraging them to but if you fed up you fed up,” the former Amazon employee said. “It was immature and irresponsible on my end. At the same time enough is enough.”
Amazon released a statement on the matter. “This does not reflect the high standards we have for delivery partners,” the statement read. “We are taking this matter seriously, and are taking appropriate action.” Lancaster reportedly eventually returned to the van’s location until Amazon officials came to retrieve the van.