Amazon’s employment division (Amazon.jobs) created a video in late 2013 called Amazon: Life in Seattle, intended to help future job applicants “learn a little bit about life in Seattle.” A perky cast of blemish-free late twenty-somethings chirp earnestly about the opportunities the city offers “to be outdoorsy”; about how “everyone does Crossfit”; about how there are not one, but two places to take “circus classes”; and that there are just, you know, “so many parts of Seattle.” These soft-serve samples of “life in Seattle” are so bland the video deserves to have an ice cream flavor named for it: Vanilla Bullshit.
As a topping, add the fact the people being interviewed aren’t even from here. What do these recent implants from Florida, New Jersey and Southern California really know about the city, except of course that, uh, “housing is affordable.” (Maybe for them.) Leave it to Amazon to let outsiders break it all down for us. This is one recruitment video practically demanding it’s own parody.
Well, now there is one.
Amazon: Real Life in Seattle, written and edited by Matt “Spek” Watson, is the exact same video, but with new voices dubbed over the talking heads in the original. Hmmm, let’s see which one is telling the real truth about Seattle (and Amazon).
“It’s amazing, no one in this place cares,” bleats one of the Amazon sheep. “They just gave us the keys and said ‘Build whatever you want’.”
Another nails the dirty little secret about creeping Amazonian sprawl: “I like the neighborhoods, how we’ve been able to keep poor people segregated from the rest of us.”
Yet another happily admits that Amazon is out to destroy Seattle through corporate corruption and poor urban planning: “There is quite a mix of people, but we’re hoping to price most of those people out in the next few months.” Of course, there are hardships as well, like the guy who says, bashfully, “I had to sell my kayak, but that was just so I could buy a nicer kayak.”
And then there is this zinger: “My favorite thing about Seattle is the proximity to Bellevue.”
What’s most amazing about the actual “Life in Seattle” video is that the parody doesn’t even have to work that hard to make fun of it, such is the low-hanging fruit of desirable incentives Amazon parades before their prospective employees: Crossfit! Circus classes! Climbing gyms!
I guess that makes perfect sense. If your dream is to work for a company whose only purpose on the planet is to make it easier to buy shit, you can easily be bought yourself.