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Fired by bot at Amazon: 'It's you against the machine'


Courtney Pedroza, Bloomberg

"I'm an old-school kind of guy, and I give every job 110%," says Stephen Normandin, who delivered packages in Phoenix, Arliz., until he was fired via automated email. "This really upset me because we're talking about my reputation."

Stephen Normandin spent almost four years racing around Phoenix delivering packages as a contract driver for Inc. Then one day, he received an automated e-mail. The algorithms tracking him had decided he wasn't doing his job properly.

The 63-year-old Army veteran was stunned. He'd been fired by a machine.

Normandin says Amazon punished him for things beyond his control that prevented him from completing his deliveries, such as locked apartment complexes. He said he took the termination hard and, priding himself on a strong work ethic, recalled that during his military career he helped cook for 250,000 Vietnamese refugees at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas.


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