Do you remember some years back when the University of Utah introduced the cringe-worthy concept of a “crying closet”? A small, dark room filled with stuffed animals where students were afforded the luxury of bawling like a toddler at their very expensive daycare? Wasn’t that funny?
Well, déjà vu. Amazon’s got something new.
Amazon has become something of a meme in recent years as for its peculiar practices toward employees: From their past strictness of bathroom policies to the aptly named “wage cage” Amazon just can’t seem to help to look like they have a few missing packages upstairs in terms of their public relations. The “Zen Booth” appears to be the next stage in the shipping monolith’s bizarre, tone-deaf evolution.
Also known as “Mindful Practice Rooms”, the Zen-Sheds are the prime component of Amazon’s “WorkingWell Program” which is, according to a press release, “physical and mental activities, wellness exercises, and healthy eating support” to help get their warehouse workers through the day. And while this all might sound well and good at a glance, it does pose the question – what could Amazon workers be dealing with to prompt an executive decision to go forward with such things? The original tweet announcing the Zen Booth has since been removed after being panned site-wide.
While there is certainly something to managing one’s mental health and stress levels on the job and in day-to-day life in general, such practices are best left to the individual to discover for themselves. Wellness of mind and body does not have a one-size-fits-all approach, just like dietary or medical needs. It goes without saying then that indulging in the mass-produced, hyper condensed, over-simplified peace-of-mind offered by a multi-billion dollar corporate entity – on that would have no issue replacing a drained employee – may not be as sufficient or ideal as a presser would have you believe.
Breathe in, breathe out.