Tesla Employees Are Leaking Details About The Strict Rules Elon Musk Makes Them Follow
When it comes to tech tycoon Elon Musk, the world’s opinions are pretty divided. People either see him as a genius who will save the world from the effects of climate change, or they see him as an eccentric rich guy with a lot of wild opinions and outlandish dreams.
Few, however, are aware of his more…peculiar side, like how he runs his companies. Because his employees all sign confidentially agreements, little is known about what goes on behind the scenes. But now, thanks to a few whistleblowers, the alleged darker side of working for Musk has finally been revealed…
1. No slang allowed: It became very clear that Elon is not a fan of jargon when he sent out an email titled “Acronyms Seriously Suck.” In the memo, he stated acronyms contained unnecessary words and were often confusing and difficult to remember. The only ones allowed must be approved by him first.
2. No employee discounts: While most companies offer a discount to their employees, Elon Musk takes “corrective action” against anyone even offering a discount on Teslas, insisting on uniform prices all around.
3. Natural body odors only: Apparently, Elon has a very sensitive sense of smell, so he can’t stand the scent of perfume or cologne. People are advised never to wear any to work.
4. Safety markings are banned: While we’re on the list of things of which Elon is not a fan, let’s talk about proper safety markings; he doesn’t like the colors yellow or green, so most “safety markings” are in gray, the same color as every other part of the factory.
5. Safety hazards must be ignored: A former employee in the health and safety department told the media that when she warned the company about a potential explosion hazard, she was told it would not be followed up because fixing the problem would require halting the production line.
6. One-way conversations only: Elon only allows employees to speak with him if he thinks he can learn something from them. Once he has caught on, he either moves onto the next subject or shuts the conversation down.
7. Safety regulations take too much time: The factories are not nearly as safe as the cars themselves. No part of the production line is allowed to be shut down for any reason, so preventative maintenance schedules are often ignored.
8. The show must ALWAYS go on: Once, a sewage leak spilled all over the floor of the California Tesla factory. But because production must never be stopped, employees were forced to walk and work through the mess until the plumbing issue was resolved. Surely Elon and his sensitive nose weren’t there?
9. No weekends off: The self-proclaimed workaholic clocks up to 120 per week at Tesla and SpaceX, so why shouldn’t everyone else give up their entire lives for work? Mr. Musk once allegedly asked one of his managers, “why do the workers need to go home?”
10. No sick leave: In 2015, he came under fire for scolding a Tesla employee who missed a company meeting to attend the birth of his child; other employees who have been placed on medical leave following a work injury have been prevented from returning to work.
11. Quotas must be filled: In order to meet the difficult self-imposed production targets for the Tesla Model 3, factory workers were provided free Red Bull energy drinks to help them battle exhaustion.
12. No questions allowed: It’s no secret that Elon Musk is prone to bouts of rage, often culminating in firing whoever is around him at the time. As a result, managers have allegedly warned staff not to ask questions, or raise concerns or objections.
13. Large meetings are a no-go: Elon has stated that meetings are the enemy of creativity and almost always get worse over time, so anyone who isn’t actively contributing should walk right out or hang up the phone.
14. No unions: Even though Elon Musk has officially stated that his position is neutral, many employees have been fired for wanting to unionize. This means that no matter how bad the factory conditions are, the employees can’t do much about it.
15. Do not ask for a raise: It’s been widely reported that workers at the Fremont Tesla factory make far less than the typical U.S. automotive production worker, so they rely on overtime to survive. They’re allegedly fired on the spot if they dare ask for a raise.
16. Work injuries must be hidden: Because the injury rate at Tesla factories is already off the charts, the powers that be stopped recording most workplace injuries on legally mandated logs.
17. There can only be one train of thought: In a TED talk Elon gave in 2013, he described a thought-process where “things should be boiled down to the most fundamental truth, and then reasoned up from there.” All employees are required to think this way.
18. Play nice: While Elon is not always the gentlest soul in the workplace, he does expect others to be. Likability is key to him, so he will only hire people with a positive attitude and has fired people for being rude to any coworkers.
19. There is no chain of command: Elon tells workers not to follow bureaucracy if something needs to be set or done. Just talk to whoever you need to talk to and get done what needs to be done.
20. Rules are bogus: Elon claims employees should disregard company procedure and figure out how to proceed for themselves — unless the order comes from him of course.