Today is Memorial Day here in the States, a day where we remember our fallen heroes. I have one to add to the list – Quartz. My once all time favorite, “digitally native news outlet for business people in the new global economy”, pulled a Dud Caddell. I invited them into my home away from home, The Smith Center, for the quarterly Zappos All Hands, and this is how they repay me:
On Tuesday, May 19, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh stood nervously before his employees at the company’s Q2 All-Hands meeting at the Smith Center in downtown Las Vegas. It was just days after 14% of his company accepted a voluntary buyout offer if they weren’t fully committed to the company’s shift toward self-organization. That percentage could still rise depending upon how many employees take him up on a second, more lucrative offer.
It gets worse, they led with this image of me looking like I’m starring in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode.
This article has since led to another round of media mix-ups. Everyone wants to know what this second offer is all about. It also doesn’t help that, “Another Zappos executive told Quartz that 17 of the 132 employees extended this option decided to take the initial offer.” Let’s see here. Who could this “Zappos executive” be? Possibly someone who would love for Quartz to reference him as a “Zappos executive”? Possibly someone who remains fixated on titles while I attempt to demolish them? Forget those dreams about me in Wizard of Oz, I feel like Whitey Bulger. There are rats in my midst.
The second offer is for those working on Super Cloud, which is the most amazing paradigm shift since we went from riding around in horse drawn carriages to racing around in motor vehicles. Think of “the Cloud” and multiply that by 1,000 unicorns and then by 1,000 rainbows. Once you’ve done that, then multiply by 1,000 llamas and you’re getting close to what Super Cloud is all about. I was advised that if I didn’t provide a different offer for those working on Super Cloud, I’d have all those anti-tealites working on this most amazing paradigm shift leave before the job was done. The rat said we could hire an army of contractors. He caveated that by saying he wasn’t sure what Super Cloud really was, and if everyone working on it left, he might have a hard time explaining things to Jeffrey and company. I decided to play the odds – provide another “offer” and hire contractors. This other offer includes the original offer terms plus all you can eat cereal from the Zappos kitchens and ten zollars for every additional month worked on Super Cloud through the end of the year. I can’t believe I had to bend over like this for so many known anti-tealites. Will many of them leave at the end of the year? Yes, and good riddance. January 1, 2016 can’t come soon enough.
Aside from the Super Cloud offer, there was this little blurb highlighted by one of the Tin “men”:
The company has yet to announce exactly how it will compensate employees in coming months, but it will be tied to “badging,” where employees earn badges based on their skill sets instead of being compensated for holding a single title. At the meeting Hollie Delaney, who leads the People Ops/HR circle, shared that everyone will retain their current salaries as long as they continue to hold their same roles (thus earning an initial Grandfather Badge).
Go ahead, be jealous that your company doesn’t have a “Grandfather badge”. Still jealous? I’d tell you to apply to join the Zappos family, but even I’m not sure how one does that these days. It’s ambiguous. Don’t like that? You can leave…wait, you’re not here, that doesn’t work. Don’t like ambiguity? Don’t even think about joining the Zappos family.
There is maybe one person who earned the “Best Zapponian Ever” badge during All Hands, it is the gentleman mentioned at the very end of the awful Quartz article.
A young man wearing a bright neon shirt jogged up and took the microphone to give a shout-out to his CEO: “I wanted to thank Tony. People are calling for his resignation but I didn’t even think of taking the offer,” he said to applause and catcalls from the audience. “I’m in it to win it.”
Back to the original point – Quartz, we’re over. Consider this the great Quartz divorce. I will have to find a new favorite media source to bare my soul to who I can trust to take the truth and
spin reprint it word-for-word. Jeffrey said Business Insider or The Washington Post are two sources with the utmost journalistic integrity. I’m starting to think he may be on to something. Do you hear that Quartz? You’ve caused me to seriously taking Jeffrey’s advice. Jeffrey, of all people!