Might depend on the work environment, but I’m inclined to sign it and continue working as normal. Either you’ll get the three months severance later when they let you go or I bet you’ll have the basis for a wrongful termination lawsuit (and perhaps others).
Obviously it depends on what I expect to get out of it.
My current “job” started as an extreme version where I was working 90+ hours a week for virtually nothing, but, once we had something built, the hours decreased and the compensation increased until I had a reasonable schedule and a comfortable income.
But, I would never do that with an established company. A startup, you can believe will stabilize and become a more conducive workplace. A company that’s been around for a while isn’t going to change or improve in the same way.
I could also see it if I had passion for the work that is offered. If I knew anything about rocket engineering, I’d consider work long hours for SpaceX for peanuts in order to see the fruits of my efforts go flying off into space, rather than have a “safer” job at Boeing where you may see a rocket fly every few years.
Goodness, no. I am a professor. The culturally acceptable way to get your employees to do a bunch of extra work in academia is to call them together for a lengthy PowerPoint presentation about how the institution is in a crisis that isn’t their fault but will require a bunch of extra uncompensated labor, lay on the guilt-tripping until you get enough volunteers, and perhaps throw in a plate of cookies from campus catering by way of apology. Asking people to sign a written pledge and offering them severance would seem extremely suss.
The poll says “If I worked for Twitter”, but the rest of the language around it says “at your current job”. Which question do you want an answer to?
I’m self-employed. I’m never exactly off work, but when I need to sit down, I sit down. When I need to feed the cats, or the dog, or me, I do that. (When I don’t need to post on the Dope, sometimes I do it anyway.)
If I worked for Twitter, I’d grab the faint hope of severance pay and get the hell out of there.
I was in this kind of situation once, but much better, and I took the package. Best thing I ever did. The downside of staying was that 1/3 to 1/2 of our entire center left at once (mostly voluntarily.) No one was going to be pushing us to work 16 hours, the management was sane, and my group had plenty of funding, but the chaos would have been too much for me. Twitter is 100 times worse.
31 out of 31 would leave after I voted. I’ve never seen such unanimity in a poll before.
The way I see it, there’s no way my employer would allow me to arbitrarily change my working situation, without their input and agreement. They certainly wouldn’t be okay with me saying, “Hey, I’m going to work half the time with half the effort, and whatever output that produces is what you get, and I’m going to get paid the same, no matter what.”
So why should I be okay with the boss doing the exact opposite? Twice as many hours, putting in twice as much effort, but I still only make the same money? No, screw that. I know in a lot of places in the US, the employer/employee dynamic has become so employer-centric that this might actually be legal, and some people might even think it’s acceptable, but it’s really not.
If I can walk away with a chunk of cash, I do it. If there’s no cash, I say yes, but I spend all my time looking for a new job, and not doing any of this. The abusive nature of this plan justifies lying to the scumbag about it.
I would lie to them and sign the pledge. I am in the US in an "at will’ employment state, meaning that I can be fired at any time for any reason, or no reason at all. Signing the pledge offers no protection from that, it isn’t a contract and probably isn’t legally binding in any way.
If you accept the severance you have voluntarily quit, and you have no legal standing to sue, you have given all that up. It is management by fear and I really doubt that Twitter has an agressive team of hard core manager who are going to be following up and calling you into the office because you only worked 45 hours last week. There just are not going to be people left to do that.
This is a completely voluntary move to see who will stay and who wants to leave. It gets rid of marginally committed emplyees without the HR hassels of acutally firing them. It is actually kind of beautiful in that way. That is it.
Lie to them, and leave or make plans on your own schedule. They deserve nothing else and sad to say, neither do you. Make the commitment and you could just as easily be gone anyway.
If the company is circling the drain you can either take severance now and look for another job, or wait in hopes of things turning around or getting severance later, but in general the first package offered is the most generous, and if you wait until the very end there may not be any money left to give out.
The biggest problem with that “pledge” is that it offers no upside to the employee. It basically says “commit to devoting your life to the company or get out”. And I suspect the reason it offers no upside is because there’s really none to offer.
I’ve had several jobs – one in particular when I was still pretty young that I still look back on fondly – where I worked absurdly long hours and rarely even took weekends off. I did NOT do it for money. I did NOT do it for recognition or advancement. I did it because I totally loved the work, and had the kind of independence and autonomy that gave me a strong sense of ownership of what I accomplished. The only “recognition” I cared about was being considered valuable enough to get the funding I needed for equipment, staff, and services.
Twitter under Musk seems the exact opposite of that – a place run by an autocratic crazy megalomaniac whose only apparent management tool is to threaten to fire people if they’re not willing to give up their personal lives and become dedicated slaves.
At my current job? I’d probably just wait it out and see. I work for a large city, and NOT working like Musk suggests is for good or ill, part of the unspoken deal when you go to work there.
At previous employers, I’d jump on that 3 month severance faster than you can blink. I’ve got a family and a wife, and no job is so important that I’d put up with that level of separation from them without a commensurate increase in pay, which Musk doesn’t seem to be offering. And even if there was, I suspect it would be one of those “as long as I can stand it” sort of deals where I’d try and bank up a cushion, then work at it less seriously until I had made enough money to financially help us in some way, and then either get fired or quit when I’d found another job.
But without the pay increase? Hell no. There’s nothing in it for me- even unemployment for a while is better than what Musk offers.
Is there anything about the pledge that’s legally binding or is it just a symbolic “bending the knee” to Elon?
I like my current job, but as I work for a management consultant firm, there is likelihood that I could actually land on a client where I have to work “hardcore” hours and/or travel 4-5 days a week. In fact, we are trending back towards “some time in the office” because a lot of our clients are forcing their people back into the office.
So for me, I’d probably do what I currently do. Politically maneuver so I don’t land on shitty clients that make me work “hardcore” or come to their office.
But with these tech firms, fuck it. IME they fire people at the drop of a hat. If I can make 3 months salary for doing nothing and look for another job instead of kill myself for 3 months and then loose my job because Elon Musk doesn’t like the way my pants whoosh when I walk? I’m taking the payout.