Amazon's signature sales event has ended for customers, but Amazon drivers around the world are still working extended hours on routes with hundreds of stops to get those Amazon Prime Day packages delivered.
In the United Kingdom, Amazon distributed a set of five tips to its drivers for "keep[ing] in top shape" during Amazon Prime Day: eat breakfast, drink water, take breaks, stay positive, and stop for lunch.
But following these tips is impossible for many Amazon drivers who aren't even employed by the company. Amazon delivery drivers face extreme pressure from their contractors, known as Amazon Delivery Partners, who are in turn paid and evaluated by Amazon. In other words, they have to finish their routes as quickly as possible, often under pressure to circumvent safety rules, traffic laws, and skip legally mandated breaks in order to hit delivery targets.
"Keep it positive: Endorphins are your friend!" one of the tips on the flyer distributed to Amazon drivers reads. "Keep them flowing by staying on the move, and striking up a conversation."
On Facebook forums, where surviving the Amazon sales event has been a frequent topic of conversation among drivers in recent days, drivers joked about Amazon's tips.
"Take your lunch and breaks. Sure, if you want [your dispatcher] on your ass saying you're 20 or so stops behind," an Amazon delivery driver in Los Angeles wrote.
"I don’t take a break. I eat and drink as I go, as I like to get back to see my kids before they go to bed," an Amazon delivery driver in a suburb of London who received the flyer, told Motherboard.
"As for striking up conversations, sometimes customers wanna chat, but we always kinda respond like, 'Haha that's great—anyway we gotta go,'" an Amazon delivery driver in Virginia told Motherboard.
While Amazon does supply its drivers with plenty of water, hydrating regularly leads to other problems. Amazon delivery drivers frequently don't have time to find bathrooms and have described peeing in bottles, bags, “she-wees,” or fasting during their routes to avoid using the bathroom.
"I got a lot of routes in the mountains, so I opened a black trash bag in the back of the van and peed over that," an Amazon delivery driver in North Carolina who quit earlier this year told Motherboard. "I'm dehydrated and exhausted, and that's led to my resignation. People are killing their bodies to keep up with the demand, and it has to stop."
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.