In a new initiative, Amazon is inviting employees to calm their minds while their bodies are worked to the bone. The company, widely criticized for its grueling working conditions, has installed meditation kiosks in its warehouses where employees can watch videos of guided meditations and other “easy-to-follow well-being activities,” a press release said. If you think that sounds dystopian, you’re not alone. While some employees said the “AmaZen” stations, or ZenBooths, were helpful, critics largely panned the kiosks as “tiny capitalism panic rooms” and “despair closets,” as one Gizmodo writer put it. Others, like Jacobin staff writer Alex Press, said that a Porta Potty would be more useful, referring to claims that workers don’t have time to take bathroom breaks. Following the resounding backlash, Amazon took down a video about the booth from its online press release.
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