Two months later, laid-off Twitter staffers haven't received promised severance pay

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: I Have No Mouth(-Eyes) and I Must Meme

Again, like with the failure to pay rent, I don’t think this is deliberate - it’s just a sign that the company let go so many vital employees, they’re unable to fulfill their basic obligations and make basic payments. They’re also in such chaos that even when they realize this, they can’t remedy the situation.

Certainly Twitter doesn’t have the dedicated staff that his other companies do, whose job it is to stop him from doing dumb shit and repair his fuck-ups. Likely Elno doesn’t care about the situation, either - he’s used to having other people clean up his messes, so he’s not doing anything himself to fix the situation, but there’s also no one to clean up this particular mess.

All of which suggests Twitter doesn’t have long to live.

I think it is. There was talk at Twitter before he took over about unionizing, but it didn’t seem very serious. Now all those people are getting a first-hand demonstration of why they should have unionized. The game industry rejected unionization for the longest time, and just some public discussion of conditions has now changed the tide and unions are starting to pop up.


Almost any failure on the part of twitter can be at least partly blamed on the lack of staff to handle what was one routine.

But there is certainly a prioritization going on, in that the remaining people are being directed what to put effort into, and that is mostly prioritizing massaging Musk’s ego and finding more costs to cut, and not on paying bills or adhering to their legal obligations.


It’s like watching a magnesium fire burn in a big warehouse. You can see the bad things happening and predict when certain parts will collapse, but there’s nothing to be done to stop it.


Hah! I’m going to photoshop mouths onto the eyes of your avatar right now.

(But yeah. While I too am already tired of AI art, I’m also happy to see things other than mouth-eyes.)


Yeah, ultimately this is due to Musk fundamentally not giving a shit that things are falling apart. But I think there are two dynamics at play. One being that Musk just sees Twitter as a tech platform, which it really, really isn’t. He thought, “All I need is some programmers,” and as a result, everyone non-tech related got fired (or quit, because they could), and there’s this yawning chasm in the org chart where all the people who would deal with these issues are simply gone and Musk doesn’t see it as a priority, nor know how to fix it, either. There’s not anyone left to direct to put their effort into fixing this, because it’s not even the domain of the few people still there.

Which goes back to the other issue, which is that Elno is used to having someone do this stuff for him, fix his egregious fuck-ups, and there’s no one remotely like that at Twitter. (His management of Twitter reaffirms my belief that he doesn’t meaningfully “run” any of his other companies, which function despite him, not because of him.) Elno brought a bunch of engineers over with him to give him advice on Twitter, so he’s getting bad feedback where he’s even getting any. He doesn’t know what vital employees are missing from Twitter, nor is anyone telling him (because they don’t know either).


It annoys me that there’s a decent chance these workers will never get paid, that Twitter the company will get the fines, and Musk will walk away laughing that he never had to pay for anything.


He’s not getting his part of the $44B back, unless this was a heist for the user data.




And this surprises anyone at all? Anyone? It’s a sh!tshow in the f!ck factory.
I’m all out of fucks to give about the poor poor billionaire class.

‘people are saying’ he bought twitter to pump and dump his stonks. More like dump n dump.

I wonder if he’s been staying at Peter T’s crypt, errr I mean mansion! and getting a few too many blood bag ‘youth factor’ blood transfusions? Need to check that for meth etc lads…


Musk’s wealth makes him near-immune to fines. Yes it can be a crapton of money, and I’ll even guess it means something to him, but that something is abstract and doesn’t have a real impact to his life. Make fines a percentage of his wealth instead of a flat amount (probably capped!) and see how fast his behavior changes.


IANAL but went through something like this with a friend, in California. I am not sure about severance specifically, but I believe failing to pay anything to do with salary when it is normally due can lead to treble damages - this is not a fine. It’s owed to the employee.


Musk: “Oh noes, the poors have not been paid? So sue me. I can drag this out and then declare bankruptcy and you still get nothing. You broke the rules. You drank Fizzy Lifting drink. YOU GET NOTHING!”

That’s how speeding fines work in places like Sweden. If the driver has more money, they pay a larger fine.

But how can anything really affect a multi-billionaire? If you’ve got $200B and you’re fined $199B, you’ve still got more money than you’ll ever need to live a life of luxury forever.


Sorta. Musk never had a bank balance of $200B. He had a net worth of that. If he had to pay a fine that was a significant percentage of his net worth, he would have to do things like liquidate stock, which would badly devalue much of his stock before it could completely sell; and then it would become income. He would owe taxes on it, and fines are not valid business deductions or personal deductions, so he could end up owing more tax on that income than his remaining net worth.


I commented about this the last time this tweet was posted, but I’ll summarize briefly once more.

While technically true, the reality of losing your job on an H1B is much less dire. I’ve had it happen to me twice. ICE does not kick your door in and deport you. You’re now overstaying a visa, but nobody really cares for H1Bs. You find another job, then they transfer your old visa if there’s time, or they get a new one if not. In the worst case that happened to me, this took 6 months end to end. No one from the government ever said a single word to me about it.

Once you have the new visa, you have to do an official re-retry which involves flying out of the country (most people choose Vancouver because it’s a quick flight), walking through the airport, and getting back on a flight home to your new job.

None of this excuses Twitter abusing their staff of course, and I sure as hell am not defending Musk, nor overlooking the privilege of H1B holders over other types of migrant workers for whom ICE does kick your door in. Just wanted to clarify the reality of being an H1B worker.


I friend of mine worked for a company that had “paycheck races” near the end. When paychecks were given out (late) the place would empty out because everybody would try to get to the bank before the account that they were drawn on was empty.


They don’t care about white H1Bs who speak something close to unaccented American standard English. In the wrong state, though, there’s a higher chance that LEOs will hassle someone who doesn’t present like that, with a potentially bad outcome if their visa status is lapsed.

That’s easy enough for a Canadian citizen. H1Bs from other countries – especially non-EU ones – face the prospect of having to fly all the way back to their own countries (Canadian border guards aren’t as bad as ICE, but they can still give people in unusual situations like this a hard time). In some cases I know of, the NoCal techies with the lapsed H1B opted for Mexico instead specifically because that country’s border guards ask fewer questions.


Yes, I agree that anything he is likely to face won’t directly impact his personal wealth in any meaningful way. I was thinking more from the business side that fines and legal bills will drive twitter further into the red and further away from his goal of making it profitable. The self inflicted bad press and loss of money will hopefully make it harder for him to get people interested in working for/with him and the general public less inclined to buy products linked to him.

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One trick (in Canada) is to take the cheque to the bank it’s drawn on, and ask to have it certified. If the money is in the account, that locks the money to the cheque, you pay a service charge, and it’s safe to deposit. If not, they give it back to you, and you can try again when there’s a chance of money in the account, like the morning of the next pay day.