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Press Release

Contact:
Teresa S. Thomas
412-268-3580

For immediate release:
September 27, 2002

Writer, Off-Broadway Actor and Dot-com Survivor Shares Time @ Amazon.com

PITTSBURGH—After three years as a customer service representative at Amazon.com, Mike Daisey quit and wrote tales of the dot-com culture in his book, "21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com." As part of the Carnegie Mellon University Lecture Series, Daisey will speak about Amazon.com on November 11 at 4:30 p.m. in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center on the Carnegie Mellon University campus.

Unlike the oft-told boardroom stories of the dot-com period, Daisey's stories are from the low-paying customer service helpdesk. Daisey describes the office environment with entertaining detail, such as "the lightless cube farms" and a coworker who was "the cowboy of customer service, capable of verbally hog-tying even the most abusive customer." Daisey satirizes the religious-like dedication to the Amazon.com cause, and ruler, CEO Jeff Bezos. "He was a god, the still point around which the Amazonian world revolved. Religions had their popes and prophets, and we had Jeff."

The company encouraged "mandatory volunteer overtime," which meant that Daisey worked about 75 hours a week. Eventually, he perceived that each day felt like a week, and therefore his three years at Amazon.com were 21 dog years.

Daisey's book inspired a one-man show, also entitled "21 Dog Years," which he performs on an off-Broadway circuit.

All lectures are free and open to the public. Carnegie Mellon's Office of the Provost, Office of the Associate Provost, Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics, and Division of Student Affairs sponsor the University Lecture Series.

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