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Amazen ZenBooth Dispenses Serenity At Amazon

At an Amazon fulfillment center, employees who feel unfulfilled can make use of an Amazen ZenBooth to see serenity and mindfulness. In it, a computer waits for the employee to load up a guided meditation video.

“With AmaZen I wanted to create a space that’s quiet, that people could go and focus on their mental and emotional well-being,” Leila Brown, the Amazon employee who invented the booth said in the video. “The ZenBooth is an interactive kiosk where you can navigate through a library of mental health and mindful practices to recharge the internal battery.”

Brown is giving away the game by using the language of machines. A worker is not a robot with a battery that needs to be charged. A worker is a human who needs things Amazon simply does not provide its workers. Amazon drivers piss in bottles and shit in bags. Amazon drivers sued for being paid less than minimum wage and fought against an initiative to install surveillance cameras in their cars.

As in so many other things, science fiction marvel Phillip K. Dick has been there before us. In his 1969 novel Galactic Pot-Healer, he describes the Padre booth:

Getting to his feet he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth; inside he put a dime into the slot and dialed at random. The marker came to rest at Zen.

"Tell me your torments," the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion. And slowly; it spoke as if there were no rush, no pressures. All was timeless.

Joe said "I haven't worked for seven months and now I've got a job that takes me out of the Sol system entirely, and I'm afraid. What if I can't do it? What if I've lost my skill?

The Padre's weightless voice floated back reassuringly to him. "You have worked and not worked. Not working is the hardest work of all."

That's what I get for dialing zen, Joe said to himself.
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's Padre booth)

Via Vice.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/25/2021)

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