Elon Musk gave assistant 2-week test when she asked for raise, and she failed


Don’t work harder, work cheaper? :smiley:


Another moral of the story: business talks a good game about loyalty, but employees would do well to remember it only goes one way. And not the way the employee wants.


Often, but not necessarily, true.


That word you keep saying… I do not think it means what you think it means. :wink:
If this behavior is “pretty good” something, then “business” is the opposite of society.


Sounds like Elon just needed an excuse to dump her…and she walked right into it.


Sounds like you weren’t the target-audience for that class.


I’ll stipulate that the real story is more complicated, because of course it is, but what Business Insider (and Musk) are hawking is a parable loosely based on that story. So what’s the moral they’re so excited to have us learn from this capsule version?

  • “I don’t need a gardener – I already have this beautiful garden!”
  • “I don’t need a firefighter – nothing’s on fire!”
  • “I don’t need a diplomat – I say what I like, and I assume everyone loves it!”
  • “I don’t need an extra worker – I already have 5 other people who aren’t dead from overwork yet!”
  • “If you want a raise, you need to hold a knife to your employer’s throat!”
  • “If interpersonal questions baffle you, use cripplingly flawed science experiments to get the answer!”

Again, the PA might have been an embezzling meth addict IRL, but the important thing is that boss-apologists like this version of the story, which is fucked, because there’s no way to read this version that doesn’t paint Musk as a prickish and incompetent manager.

Clearly, people who get off on the idea of Powerful Decisive Leadership have no interest in whether it’s Good or Smart leadership.


I feel like the Dude said it best: https://youtu.be/C6BYzLIqKB8


Yep, “Good business” can pretty much be read to mean “awful human.”



There are business schools and there are business schools. MBA is supposed to teach you…business administration. Business studies is supposed to teach you things like economics.
And I am sure you are right in this: that plenty of universities would happily run a course aimed at rich entitled sociopaths because they are more likely to want MBA after their names.
But “Get someone else to sweat the small stuff” must surely be Modus Operandi 1 on any business course, even if it doesn’t explicitly reference (and explain) Ricardo’s Law (the easiest to follow explanation of which I have seen written by P J O’Rourke, of all people.)


Well, no. But a) they didn’t know that and someone had to go, and b) it was my job.

Mostly I spent the class showing the elderly agent next to me how to use the mouse.


Fair. But I think it’s telling that when it’s not true, it often leads the news.



Your examples don’t really translate at all because it’s not an apples to apples analogy. It is not:

“I don’t need a gardener – I already have this beautiful garden!”

It is:

"“I don’t need a gardener – He took 2 weeks off and i tended to my garden myself and found that i can keep up with the work just fine by myself and thus feel that i’m not getting much value over what i’m paying them”

Not making excuses for Musk, i also think the way he went about it all to be a dickish thing to do. But if you’re going to attack his decision at least represent it correctly and then take him to task for it.


As others have pointed out, an executive with a good PA already has the next two weeks of their time mostly scheduled. The analogy to the garden is apt.


Quite possible, but Musk continues to function without a PA. If he decided he was wrong and hired someone new i would say the firing was needless and was likely a a cover or excuse for the firing. Or that he didn’t know what value the PA brought until it was too late. This hasn’t been the case.

Again i’m not defending his decisions. But he felt that he didn’t need one then that’s up to him, how he went about that is the real issue.


But refusing to give her executive-level pay for executive-level work was a smart business move that had noooothing to do with sexism.


I didn’t look like @bobtato was suggesting this wasn’t up to him, but rather pointing out that the 2 week test seemed like a very bad decision making tool, using analogies to other situations where you assume you don’t need a worker because they have been doing their work well. Does Musk even continue to function without an assistant? We know the story of the time he fired one of his assistants, we don’t know what has happened since.


The 2 week test in and of itself is not the problem. Deciding to let them go from their position is also not a problem, being the boss that’s his prerogative. The problem as i see it is how the firing was handled but also publicly making an example out of her is humiliating and dehumanizing.