Amazon Driver Fired for Posting Photo of Customer’s Dildo to Reddit

“Didn't take em long to terminate the OP. Certainly not as long as that dildo.”
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Reddit user Herrtod

An Amazon delivery driver was fired for posting a photo of a customer’s dildo to Reddit in a subreddit for Amazon drivers. The user, going by the username Herrtod, posted a picture of himself holding a 10-inch “Doc Johnson Signature Cock” modeled after the pornstar Isiah Maxwell. In the photo, the shipping label is shown pasted straight onto the original dildo packaging, and the driver’s thumb covers where the customer’s name and address is. The caption of the post is: “Amazon did this person real dirty.” 

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The top comment on the post is prophetic: A user says “I’d delete the posts or completely cover the TBA [a tracking code] and QR code. There’s snitches/Amazon personnel that lurk in this sub looking for stuff like this. All they need is the QR code or TBA if not the address. Idk about you but I like my Reddit privacy and last thing I need is to get fired just because I wanted a laugh with the boys.” 

Nine days later Herrtod posted a photo update in the subreddit with the caption “My birthday present from my DSP,” showing that he did end up getting fired because of the post. The photo is a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between him and presumably his boss. His boss sent him a texting saying, “hey ryan u r terminated from gologistics” and attached a photo of an email from someone at GO Logistics, an Amazon Delivery Service Partner partner, that read “driver that he has been terminated effective immediately due sharing a picture of a product on a social media platform- reddit which included client and amazon.” 

Amazon has policies for its drivers surrounding both social media and customer data. Amazon employees are prohibited from sharing customer information online and according to Business Insider, “Drivers are also required to avoid posting anything on social media that Amazon would deem ‘obscene.’”

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“Mr. Gentry’s employer, GO Logistics, discovered the social media post and had concerns about the information shared. As a result, GO Logistics decided to terminate Mr. Gentry,” an Amazon spokesperson told Motherboard. GO Logistics did not respond to a request for comment.

When Motherboard initially reached out to Amazon for comment, we did not yet know know Herrtod’s real name, which is Ryan Gentry. “Amazon gave you my full name?” Gentry said when we reached him for comment. “I don’t mind it being attached to the article but it’s a bit ironic they fired me for breach of privacy then give out my full name.”

It's sensible that Amazon wouldn't want its employees to post content that violates the privacy of its customers. But the incident is a specific instance of Amazon and its delivery service partners monitoring social media, a phenomenon that Motherboard reported in 2020. It shows that Amazon not only has the ability to not find posts, but to track who handled an individual package. There is nothing in the image, besides the package itself, that would give away any information about the driver.

“I am an absurdist,” Gentry told Motherboard. “I thought it was pretty funny that amazon would send out an item like that knowing full well it will most likely be left on someone's doorstep and i wanted to share that with my fellow drivers. I also imagine some underpaid employee was way past the point of giving a shit and just slapped the label on it with out a second thought.”

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“I put my finger over the persons name and address to protect their privacy,” he added. “There are a few step you would have to go through to look up someone personal info with the qr/bar codes. I also imagine amazon keeps tabs on who looks up the info. So in my mind, I felt the post was pretty innocuous. After i posted it and people warned me that there are tattletales in that sub and to take it down because of the codes. I thought worst case scenario, I'll get a write up and be forced to take it down. There was also a side of me that wanted to be fired. I was very unhappy with the working conditions.”

Amazon is able to see who a delivery driver is based on the package’s QR code. Many of the workers on Reddit posted about how a sex toy should have been placed in another box, so it wasn't obvious what was being delivered. Every package that goes through Amazon goes through the SIOC test, which decides what packaging should be used for each shipment. This means that multiple employees before Gentry saw the dildo decided it was fine to be shipped that way. 

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“I mean people put there [sic] amazon boxes on the side of the road. I covered this persons name and address and only amazon employees can check the TBC,” Gentry said. “Amazon would have to to [check] my dsp , then my dsp would have to go to my staffing agency to have me fired. Seems like a lot of work for something so insignificant. On top of that, at no point was i ever told this. Hell i was barely trained lol.” 

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“Disgusting that Amazon legit trolls this sub for a random post with a TBA number and goes the extra step to fire a driver but does nothing about the multiple safety violations regarding drivers reported on here every day. Very clear who matters, and who doesn't,” another Redditor posted. 

In the subreddit, DSP drivers regularly post about the inhumane experiences they undergo on a daily basis. Posts include photos of the large number of packages that drivers are expected to haul and deliver in a short time period, physical injuries such as a broken ankle, and experiences with demanding customers. 

Earlier this year, DSP drivers were posting in the subreddit about how they would be fired if they peed in bottles in their vans. Though Amazon doesn’t directly employ its drivers, who are hired by Amazon delivery service partners such as GO Logistics, Amazon plays a direct role in determining driver routes, package quotas, and the terms of their employment. Amazon's metrics and quotas put pressure on workers who do not even have time to use the bathroom or take breaks. 

In 2020, Motherboard obtained internal documents, reports, and an online tool revealing how Amazon has had a secret program and team to spy on its workers in closed Facebook groups

According to our investigation, Amazon corporate employees would receive regular reports about the social media posts of its Flex drivers, which are drivers that work shorter, on-demand shifts as opposed to the DSPs, and use these reports to monitor if drivers are planning for any strike or protest against Amazon. The reports included the full names and posts of drivers who post anything noteworthy in the Facebook groups. 

One user posted: “Didn't take em long to term[inate] the OP. Certainly not as long as that dildo.”