My fifteen seconds of fame (clicking off

My cameo in the New York Times.

(cross-posted at Blog of the Century)

The below glamorous picture appeared in the New York Times the other day, in its story “Online shoppers are rooting for the little guy.” Although I hate to be exploited as eye candy. it’s been fun. I’ve been getting calls and emails from old high school and college friends, and many other.

Photo by Peter Wynn Thompson

The Times noted my decision to go cold turkey on Until September, I had been spending more than $1,000 annually at Amazon. After September, I have spent $0 there.  One might think, reading that story, that I was a random person who abandoned Amazon out of my desire to support small businesses. In fact, the Times found me because I wrote this web column for the Nation on cyber Monday, which explained the main reason for my decision: Amazon’s shabby treatment of its workers.

I hope that you read this terrific story by Spencer Soper describing shabby labor practices at Amazon’s Lehigh Valley warehouse, where books, CDs and other products are packed and shipped. We all have a responsibility to spend our consumer dollars to promote and reward responsible corporate behavior. In my view, Amazon’s behavior falls short of this standard.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

5 thoughts on “My fifteen seconds of fame (clicking off”

  1. Congratulations Harold!

    p.s. This photo is way better than the shirtless version they were considering.

  2. Not to mention their opposition to paying their fair share of state sales tax. But as a service, it’s hard to beat. I’ve written them to voice my concerns, but as of yet haven’t brought myself to a boycott.

  3. You are Harry Potter and I claim my 5 pounds.

    (Seriously, you’re a lot younger than I thought. Maybe the name “Harold”, like “Mary”, just reads as older.)

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