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Seasonal Associate

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  15 reviews
How the brutalities of working life are transformed into exhaustion, shame, and self-doubt: a writer's account of her experience working in an Amazon fulfillment center.

No longer able to live on the proceeds of her freelance writing and translating income, German novelist Heike Geissler takes a seasonal job at Amazon Order Fulfillment in Leipzig. But the job, intended as a
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 24th 2018 by Semiotext(e) (first published January 1st 2014)
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  15 reviews


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Lillian
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I find it super interesting that as of this date (3/10/2019) there are only two reviews listed for this book on Amazon and both are negative. Maybe it's not surprising as this memoir makes working at an Amazon fulfillment center feel like being in a dystopian nightmare. A place where everyone would rather be somewhere else and all the little human interactions that lend grace and make life bearable are stamped out in the demand to ship more things, more quickly, to more people.

Heike Geissler is
...more
Abby
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a nonfiction account of Geissler's time as a seasonal associate at an Amazon warehouse in Germany for extra money during a lull in her work as a writer/translator. I thought the holiday season would be the perfect time to read it and I really enjoyed the stylistic approach. Written in both the first and second person, it feels as though Geissler is having a conversation with the reader in their (my/your) first days as a seasonal associate, giving them tips from 'behind the scenes.' The n ...more
Miranda
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"You'll try over and over to view it differently, but even from the start, the experience forces you to your knees and down a social stratum, and that's the way it will stay. Yes, you'll start to see strata in society. If you don't already. You'll see the strata before your eyes as clearly as geologists see the structure of the ground where they've dug a deep pit."

Heike Geissler's translated novel/essay/treatise on her experience working on short-term contact at a German Amazon fulfillment cente
...more
Anton Relin
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I highly recommend reading this book, I found myself having difficulty finishing it. Perhaps it is because Geissler really does make you feel like you are working away at Amazon. The point of view and voice are unique and refreshing, a good read
Electric
Formal interessantes Spiel mit der erzählerischen Perspektive (Du und Ich im Wechsel), ein sehr genauer Blick auf die Zustände bei Amazon (und an vielen, vielen anderen Orten), auf die innere Dynamik des Arbeit gebens und -nehmens und immer wieder passende essayistische Einschübe. Sehr eindringliche literarische Darstellung moderner Arbeitsverhältnisse. Von der "erfüllenden" Scheinselbstständigkeit zur Prekarisierung und zurück. Außerdem toll gestaltet. Otabind ist einfach perfekt für Softcover, ...more
Kendall
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book and read it quickly. I found a few typos and missing punctuation marks which always drives me batty.
Judy G
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I read about this book I wanted to read it about and by a young woman in Leipzig Germany who is broke and in 2010 december she seeks and is hired by Amazon GmbH. She is working there I think for a month as "seasonal associate". this book was published in Germany and only recently translated for us and available from MIT Press. She covers everything and she is a writer. Its a dark disturbing book and she and the translator really succeeding in conveying the people and the situations for othe ...more
Mark Plakias
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was presented as a non-fictional narrative, but its dream-like quality, and its use of a second-person narrative perspective made it read like fiction for me. Likewise, while there is a fair amount of physical description, the real heart of the book is the focus on aggressive interpersonal dysfunction and collective despair that emerges at the heart of the Amazonian machinery -- there is nothing disruptive or innovative about the processes involving cardboard boxes and pallets. This book's ...more
Jenni Link
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Made more dreamlike by being written mostly in the second person, this is the story of an (over?)educated writer and translator -- someone who is used to being among people who 'are what they do' -- who is forced by financial need to take a seasonal job at an Amazon warehouse. There, the work is completely alienating and depersonalized, and workers' behavior and productivity are managed according to an infantilizing and punitive regime that will be familiar to anyone who's worked an hourly job f ...more
Taylor Napolsky
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A depressing and stifling account of a woman who ends up working in one of the dreaded Amazon warehouses. It’s quite readable but experimental in form, the perfect blend for me. Read it for a very intellectual—and triggering even—take on consumerism, capitalism, exploitation, dehumanization... Hey I said it was depressing.


Kelsey
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A difficult but important book. Gets into the true experience of work in the modern world and questions human nature in relation to "work". Do not be put off by the first and second person voice. Geissler seamlessly writes you into the narrative and places you at amazon.
Evan
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: translation
i know the feeling
Kat
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
read this book
Hannah Holden
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Seasonal Associate, German translator and writer Heike Geissler transfigures her own experience as a temporary contractor at an Amazon warehouse into a metafictional meditation on labor, money and humiliation. “You” step into the shoes of the author, experiencing the psychological effects of poorly compensated, backbreaking labor and downward mobility. The author, post-Amazon, is also a character in the book. She interjects from time to time to make you actualize the stick-it-to-the-man actio ...more
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Mar 08, 2019
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Heike Geißler studied American culture, Geography and Politics in Dresden, Germany from 1996-1998.

From 1998-2001 she studied German, Literature and Hispanic languages in Halle, Germany.

From 2003-2007 she studied German literature and Philosophy.
“Und nun: Dinge, ach ja, Dinge. Wegen all der Dinge, die es gibt, und die irgendwer kaufen möchte oder kaufen soll, sind Sie ja hier. Seltsame Waren in Ihren Händen, zum Beispiel dieses Basecap, das bereits dermaßen abgenutzt daherkommt, dass es kaum noch zusätzlich abgenutzt werden kann. Mode im Used- oder Destroyed-Look, Sie verstehen schon, aber dieses Cap ist nur noch ein zerfleddertes Ding, eher etwas für die Anhänger einer radikalisierten Beschleunigung des Warenkreislaufs, die also nur kaufen, was weggeworfen werden muss, weil es als benutzbares Produkt versagt, allein zur Geld- und Materialbewegung taugt.” 0 likes
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