That would explain... a lot.
A lot of big tech workers are admitting they basically had to do nothing at their jobs — though not necessarily as a shameless brag, but to spotlight their employers' sloppy business practices.
Take 33-year-old Madelyn Machado, who says she worked as a recruiter for Facebook-turned-Meta starting in the fall of 2021. The verb "worked" is doing a lot of heavy lifting, though, to hear Machado tell it.
In a viral TikTok video, Machado claims she got paid $190,000 a year to, yes, "do nothing."
In a follow up video, she recalls how when she talked to some of the other recruiters at Meta, they told her they'd been there for two years without hiring a single employee. Machado was dumbstruck. "So you just hired more recruiters… to not hire anybody?"
"The writing was on the wall so I got out of there," she added.
Industry experts aren't exactly shocked.
"They were hiring ahead of demand," Vijay Govindarajan, a professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, told The Wall Street Journal.
Like dragons slumbering on a hoard of gold, big tech firms that feared hiring difficulties during the pandemic wanted to snatch up all the talent they could, just so their competitors couldn't — even if it meant paying money out the ass for fake jobs.
That impression wasn't lost on some new hirees.
"It kinda seemed that Meta was hiring people so that other companies couldn't have us," said Britney Levy, a former Meta employee hired last year, in another TikTok. "They were just kind of like hoarding us like Pokémon cards."
In the roughly eight months she worked there, she "had to fight to find work," and only received a single assignment. So what did she and other newbies end up doing all day? The general consensus is meetings, meetings, thumb-twiddling, sitting around, and more meetings.
"I mean we were just like sitting there," Levy added.
The Bigger They Are...
Now, tech monoliths and their handsomely compensated workers are paying the price for handing out Silicon Sinecures like candy. For all the overhiring they did, they're now culling their workforces by the thousands.
Sleazy a practice as it is, when you're sitting on billions of dollars, it makes cynical sense to hire people you don't need now just in case you need them in the future (or if a competitor needs them, in which case: too bad for them, good for you).
"They hire everybody, whether they need it or not, just to have a reserve of talent," Val Katayev, a tech entrepreneur, told WSJ. "They can afford it."
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