A Malodorous Musk: Twitter employees beg for toilet paper and report a wafting stench on Slack as Elon Musk cuts back on office facilities staff
- Elon Musk has continually cut costs since taking over Twitter.
- The company's office in New York is without maintenance staff, leaving bathrooms uncleaned.
Elon Musk's drastic cost cutting at Twitter has some unexpected consequences for employees, including smelly bathrooms and no toilet paper.
Over the last three days, staff in Twitter's office in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City have been seeing the effects of the billionaire's decision to not renegotiate the contracts of facilities maintenance workers who handled in-office supplies and cleaning. Odors from uncleaned bathrooms and several clogged toilets are creeping into hallways and work spaces, according to two people familiar with the stinky situation and messages seen by Insider.
Toilet paper is nowhere to be found in the office, said these people, who asked not to be identified discussing noxious topics. Meanwhile, Musk still requires nearly everyone to work in the office five days a week.
There have been several requests on Slack and by email from employees for someone at the company to rectify the deteriorating bathroom situation, the people familiar said. As of Thursday afternoon, no one had received a response. A spokesperson for Twitter did not reply to a request for comment.
In recent weeks, Musk has been reducing Twitter expenses more than many remaining employees expected, purportedly in an effort to save the company. Several health and wellness benefits have been cut or taken away, free food and office snacks are limited, and office space in San Francisco continues to serve as sleeping quarters and shower space to cut down on hotel costs, while other offices are closed. Even one of Twitter's three main data servers in the US was abruptly shut down last week to save money, three people familiar with the move said.
One worker in the New York office said the lack of basic office necessities like toilet paper was "just bad" and further affecting already low morale at the company. Another employee admitted that if no toilet paper is provided by the company by Thursday, workers will likely be forced to bring their own rolls from home, as colleagues briefly had to do in Twitter's San Francisco headquarters, as noted in a recent New York Times report. A new facilities team was brought in to that office last month, two people familiar with the company said, something that has yet to be afforded to workers in New York.
Another issue that has cropped up due to Musk's cost cutting is the lack of an internal IT support team. Nearly all of the employees who would help colleagues on issues with work computers and software were either laid off, fired, or have resigned in Musk's two months of ownership. Remaining staff are left with little to no recourse for common issues ranging from broken computer chargers to accidentally being locked out of internal systems required to do their jobs, the two people familiar said.
It's frustrating for employees who run into issues, but also a source of anxiety as it can prevent people from working for periods of time. Performance reviews now occur "basically all the time," one employee said, and high productivity continues to be the main metric for good performance.
In order to resolve issues, the main course of action is Twitter employees asking for help on one of the few remaining public group channels on Slack, most of which have been shut down (including the channel previously used to discuss health and safety concerns on Twitter). Requests are simply going out in hope that someone in leadership will notice, one of the people said, considering employees do not know who they should be addressing any of their questions or needs to.
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