Perhaps no Seattle neighborhood has undergone as radical a transformation in such as short period as South Lake Union.  And that transformation is largely being driven by the arrival of Amazon.com, which moved its headquarters from the lonely streets of Beacon Hill to the middle of the city last year.

But — as can be imagined — not everyone likes the arrival of some of the techies at Amazon.com. King 5 reports that yellow flyers began appearing on light poles, pointing out the annoying behavior of some workers at the tech giant. On the flyers, individuals are asked to take the “Am-hole Quiz,” a six-question quiz with questions like:

5. Do you not realize that you are working for an updated version of Sears and Roebuck so you should check yourself?

6.  Do you believe for a second that you are not an expandable cog in the corporate Amazon machine?

The flyer goes on to say: “Answer yes to any of the above? Boom! You are an Am-hole!”

Amazon.com has about two million square feet of space in the neighborhood, and has been growing like a weed as it takes over buildings in nearby areas. The company recently topped 50,000 employees, adding a whopping 8,000 alone during the third quarter.  Amazon.com does not disclose the size of its workforce in Seattle.

Here’s the report from King 5, which notes that the blue collar neighborhood has been overrun by geeks with “blue badges.”


Previously on GeekWire: Job growth exceeds estimates in Seattle’s booming South Lake Union neighborhood

[Editor’s Note: GeekWire and King 5 are media partners]

Comments

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Am-Hole on a successful viral marketing campaign! I hope they can build on this buzz with a follow-up effort.

  • guest

    if you don’t think this is a competitor trying to create a bad name for Amazon for those leaving in droves from their company (Microsoft comes to mind) you are kidding yourself.  yes I work for Amazon and can honestly say the people there are very humble – especially when you get a look at their impressive resumes – and nice people. Seems like a surprising story for King 5 to give more attention to.

  • 2pp
    • johnhcook

      Link above works for me. What problems do you see on it?

      • Guest

        Under the video there’s a caption, “The thousands of people who work at Amazon are sometimes called
        Amazoids or Amazonians, but now there’s a new name spreading, helped by
        some yellow flyers posted on light poles. view full article”

        The “view full article” link goes to this Geekwire story, not to the KING5 story.

        • johnhcook

          I see what you mean. Very strange. Not sure why that is happening, but we will look into it. Thanks for letting us know. 

  • Guest

    Wow… give a small crappy town jobs and people complain

  • Anonymous

    Slow news day at KING5.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/merydith Will Merydith

    File this one under passive aggressive.  I have lived in Seattle for 25 years of my life and love what Vulcan and Amazon have done for SLU.  I moved there 4 months ago and I find it a great place to work and live.  I eat out nearly every night and have never seen anyone “snap their fingers”.  Someone has a big chip on their shoulder.  Amazon is full of great, friendly people.  You cannot say this about most large companies in town.

  • toddy

    Maybe everyone would be happier if the neighborhood reverted back to Crack heads, passed out drunks, and the lingering odor of urine. What is the take from the surrounding businesses that will see an increase in business and create jobs because of the Am-hole community?

    • NeverBiteTheHandThatFeedsYou

      No doubt.  I had many clients in SLU back when it was depressed and I am grateful for Amazon and Vulcan choosing this area to revitalize with jobs, income, taxes and a vibrant community.  Sounds to me like a disgruntled employee.  This is the downside of social media and how such fallacies get traction.  It would seem that Geekwire would not want to bite the hand that feeds them and give attention to such a negative thing.

  • Judgejennipher

    Complaining about bodies, jobs, real estate actually selling?? really. Geekwire, in my mind this was a very poor choice of an article, 1. it isn’t informative in any way that is constructive, 2. it doesn’t “teach anything”, it is just negative …

    • johnhcook

      The transformation of the South Lake Union neighborhood is one of the biggest stories in Seattle right now, and it is very much a technology story given Amazon.com’s expansion in that neighborhood. 

      You may disagree, but I think is worthwhile to share information about how Amazon.com and other tech companies are being perceived by some in the community. There’s often a gulf between tech workers in Seattle and the larger community as a whole, and as such I think it is worth exploring those issues. 

      I thought the King 5 piece was interesting and balanced, so I decided to inform our readers with it here. Look for more coverage on GeekWire of these issues, not less. In terms of our coverage of the transformation of SLU and Amazon.com’s job growth in the area, follow any of the links in the piece above to our past coverage. We’ve covered that in great detail. Thanks for tuning in. 

      • http://www.linkedin.com/in/merydith Will Merydith

        John you are trolling and you know it.

  • http://picture-of-the-day.com Dave

    …expandable.  (snicker)

  • guest

    I saw these flyers in SLU before they were taken down. Leave it to King 5 to put a negative spin on it. They were actually very specific to a type of person, not all of Amazon, and even said so on the poster. I guess that doesn’t stir the poop like blanket reporting.

  • Anonymous

    I love it when the sensitive hippie posers get their hemp underwear in a bunch. I’ve lived here my whole life and remember when all SLU was a handful of car dealerships, warehouses and a smattering of small businesses that shut down after 5pm. The Quizmaster has obviously had his shadow stepped on and needs a hug and a scratch-n-sniff sticker that says “You’re Grape!”

  • Iceangel_1403

    I’m honestly very disappointed to hear that someone is making an issue out of someone else’s success. It always seems to be that way. My girlfriend works at amazon and I can honestly say that not only her, but everyone else that she has introduced me to from amazon is a wonderful, humble person. Calling them stuck up or caddy is almost just as absurd as calling the sky green and the grass blue. Come on people, get over it! Havent you ever heard the phrase “if you dont have anything nice to say, then just keep your damn mouth shut”!  Amazon with continue to grow and the streets down there will only get busier, and whoever has an issue will wallow in their own pity. Life just isnt fair :)

  • Roadking1995a

    John, the flyer satsuma expendable cog, not expandable cog ! There’s a difference!

  • Anonymous

    And why do companies want to relocate to Seattle or even startup there given this type of reaction? 

  • unjealouslyamused

    I was an Amazon employee for several years and can say that most employees there are nice, hard-working people and they treat it as a job that happens to be at Amazon.  Many move on to other companies if they get a better offer.  There is, however, a segment of the employee base who are extremely arrogant and truly believe that Amazon is some rarified gathering of the best and brightest.  These people typically strive to become”bar raisers” and you’ll hear “what would Jeff think about this” come out of their mouths several times per day no matter how far down the food chain they are.  I believe these may be the type of people who are being complained about. 

    Believe it or not, people dislike other people for reasons other than jealousy, and some like their neighborhoods without tens of thousands of tech workers – even if that means car dealerships, crackheads and a noticeable absence of Tom Douglas restaurants.

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