Common Problems, Uncommon Solutions

With so many Caribbean businesses facing so many different challenges, I figured this would be a fitting story on how Jeff Bezos approached what could be considered a common problem, with a not-so-common solution. Here goes;

It was so hot in Allentown, Pa., in May 2011 that some workers at the Amazon warehouse there collapsed. Another company with different attitudes might have installed air-conditioning, or simply sent workers home during heat spells. If Amazon did that, however, East Coast customers might not get their Jay-Z CDs or diapers or jars of heather honey as quickly as they expected.

So the company chose a different solution. It arranged to station ambulances and paramedics out front during five days of excessive heat, according to The Morning Call, the Pennsylvania newspaper that broke the story. Fifteen workers were taken to area hospitals after they fell, and as many as 30 more were treated by paramedics at the warehouse. Workers quoted by the paper said the heat index in the facility, a measure that includes humidity, was as high as 114 degrees. Amazon had little to say to the newspaper, even when it later installed air-conditioning.

This is an extract of a longer piece from the NY Times on Expecting the Unexpected From Jeff Bezos –

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