CARTERET, NJ—Saying the longtime warehouse associate blatantly disregarded company protocol regarding permitted inhalation, Amazon spokespeople confirmed the firing of one Thomas Gilman for taking an unauthorized breath during an overnight shift Friday. “We run a tight ship at this [Amazon] fulfillment center, and we expect a certain level of discipline and decorum from our employees,” said warehouse manager John Sabourne, who encourages his staff to report their fellow coworkers for exceeding their allotted 300 breaths per hour while on-shift. “You can’t just take a breath whenever you want to—we pay to condition the air here, for one thing, and if a worker actually stops to catch their breath? There go our profit margins. This guy was a known deep-breather, so my hands were tied. I had no choice but to let him go.” Amazon management responded to requests for additional information by announcing an expansion of company policy to crack down on warehouse worker blinking.
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