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Wired has published a stunning longform expose on what it has been like to work for Tesla over the last few years. The piece dives into life at the company's Nevada Gigafactory and the seemingly abusive management style of CEO Elon Musk.
The piece opens with a story about an engineer at the company's Nevada plant who "had been living out of a suitcase, putting in 13-hour days, seven days a week," and who one day was excited to hear that Elon Musk himself needed his help on the production line. When the engineer was asked about one of the mechanized modules on the company‘s production line, instead of Elon seeking his assistance, he was berated and fired within a minute.
Hey - Buddy - Musk - Engineer - Someone
“Hey, buddy, this doesn’t work!” Musk shouted at the engineer, according to someone who heard the conversation. “Did you do this?”
“You mean, program the robot?” the engineer said. “Or design that tool?”
Did - Musk
“Did you **** do this?” Musk asked him.
“I’m not sure what you’re referring to?” the engineer replied apologetically.
Idiot - Musk - ****
“You’re a **** idiot!” Musk shouted back. “Get the **** out and don’t come back!”
Instead of his performance review, which the engineer was expecting in the next week, he wound up signing separation papers. This type of volatility and abuse from Musk was rampant throughout the article.
Article - Story - Musk - Weeks - Factory
The article also tells the story about Musk flying in several weeks later, marching through the factory and telling employees that “Tesla excellence wasn’t a passing grade, and that they were failing". Musk also reportedly told people "they weren’t smart enough to be working on these problems".
This feeling of superiority seemed to be a constant. One senior executive told Wired: “We called it ‘the idiot bit’. If you said something wrong or made one mistake or rubbed him the wrong way, he would decide you’re an idiot...
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