Gen-Zpocalypse: Elon Musk Cancels Free Grub at Twitter HQ

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Every once in a while, I get a prediction right. Such was the case a few weeks ago when I forecasted that the precious angels who work at Twitter would be aghast, agape, and agog when Elon Musk announced the end of at least one amenity, implying that employees might be required to actually work for their paychecks. Prior to the commencement of the Musk Era, Twidiots enjoyed free chow, coffee drinks, foosball, meditation rooms, cornhole, and even red wine on tap. Helluva a way to run a railroad.

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But, not only did Musk make a round of layoffs, he demanded a return to the office and axed the free lunches. That last move was in light of the fact that very few people actually came to the office and the company was putting $13 million per year into a figurative InSinkErator®. So free food is now a thing of the past.

Tracy Hawkins, who used to be the vice president of work transformation (whatever that is) for Twitter, tweeted:

“This is a lie. I ran this program up until a week ago when I resigned because I didn’t want to work for @elonmusk. For breakfast & lunch we spent $20-$25 a day per person. This enabled employees to work thru lunchtime & mtgs. Attendance was anything from 20-50% in the offices.”

But Musk kept the receipts and, according to the New York Post, fired back with:

“There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast,” Musk said. “They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building.”

False. Twitter spends $13M/year on food service for SF HQ. Badge in records show peak occupancy was 25%, average occupancy below 10%.

There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast.

They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building.”

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But will he keep the free vino? And if so, @elonmusk, how do I get in on that?

Musk was accused by some of “starving” his employees. But by definition, an employee makes a salary. Believe me, I have been on the low end of the pay scale, so low that I used to have to save 25 cents every week for a big treat, which was a can of Pepsi out of the local grocery store vending machine. But Twitter employees make enough bank to swing by a grocery/deli/bodega and buy sandwich stuff. I have never, ever, and I mean ever worked in a place where three squares a day was part of the compensation program. Sure, there were days when the employer in question might buy lunch for the company, but not every day. Your food is on you. When I was a firefighter, we kept MREs on the engine, but those were only there to be eaten as a last resort. It was my job to buy groceries for myself and my assistant on my nickel. Which was okay. On a side note, I can tell you from firsthand experience that Chef Boyardee ravioli tastes just as good for breakfast on a foggy mountain morning as it does for dinner. Ravioli — it isn’t just for supper anymore!

Musk broke one of the major commandments of the 21st century: Thou shalt not ask adults to act like adults. Why should he pay somebody to cut the crusts off a couple of hundred PB and J sandwiches and put out carrot sticks, dried cereal, juice boxes, and a fun word search game or a prize for people who make no bones about hating his guts? And judging by the video, these people were not chowing on sandwiches. They were enjoying some Class-A grub by the looks of it. Musk understands that no one ever achieved anything worthwhile by expecting favors, grub, or perks just for showing up and fogging a mirror. But these people are not interested in achieving anything worthwhile. In their minds, having a heartbeat and a set of pronouns is all the achievement they need.

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