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Elon Musk called ‘worst boss of the year’ for ‘abuse’ of employees


Twitter CEO Elon Musk is "hands down" the "worst boss of the year," because he expects too much from his employees, a Washington Post columnist argued on Friday.

Personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary attacked Musk's tumultuous takeover of the social media platform in October, calling him the "grand marshal of maniacal management," for how he treated his staff.

Musk deserved the "Bad Boss of the Year" award for overworking them, in her view, "like robots."

She referred to an internal email the company head sent warning staff that they will be expected to "work long hours at high intensity" in order for the company to succeed.

The Washington Post reported "Musk’s ‘free speech’ agenda dismantles safety work at Twitter, insiders say" on November 22, 2022.

The Washington Post reported "Musk’s ‘free speech’ agenda dismantles safety work at Twitter, insiders say" on November 22, 2022. (Reuters/Photo Illustration)

"Hundreds chose unemployment, refusing to sign a pledge to perform at levels best reserved for robots," Singletary griped.

Her position was solidified when Musk converted some offices into bedrooms inside Twitter's headquarters this week, prompting an investigation by San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Musk defended the move as providing a place for tired employees to rest and blasted the mayor for having misplaced priorities. He pointed out the city has a problem with opiods, linking to a story of a baby who died by ingesting fentanyl at a city playground. 

However, Singletary claimed the mere presence of beds turned the company into a hostile workplace.

"Even if there is no code violation, the addition of beds is implicit pressure to overwork," she wrote. "Beds aren’t a comfy office perk. They’re contributing to a hostile work environment," she added.

TOPSHOT - This video grab taken from a video posted on the Twitter account of billionaire Tesla chief Elon Musk on October 26, 2022 shows himself carrying a sink as he enters the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. 

TOPSHOT - This video grab taken from a video posted on the Twitter account of billionaire Tesla chief Elon Musk on October 26, 2022 shows himself carrying a sink as he enters the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.  (Twitter account of Elon Musk/AFP via Getty Images)

Singletary argued workers needed work-life balance, pointing to the trend of "quiet quitting" where employees who feel overworked decide to perform the bare minimum instead of quitting their jobs.

But she argued there were hidden expectations behind Musk's gesture that were "abusive" and "toxic."

"Sure, employees may pull an occasional all-nighter to finish an important project. But bringing in beds because the expectation is that going home is a sign you don’t work hard enough is abuse. It creates a toxic environment," she argued.

The columnist also faulted the Twitter CEO for calling on staff to put in "exceptional" work. 

"What Musk is communicating is that a staffer can never be less than the GOAT (the greatest of all time). Except, no one can operate like that for long. People’s health and emotional well-being get damaged," she wrote.

Employees at tables inside Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 17, 2022. 

Employees at tables inside Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 17, 2022.  (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The columnist defended her nomination for worst boss of the year because of Musk's outspoken social media presence.

"I’m sure there are other equally worthy bad-boss nominees, but none so bold as to broadcast their outrageous treatment of workers on social media," she added.

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