Today I ran across a tweet asking for the community to reach out to the talented people affected. By what? That wasn’t clear. After reading the responses I learned that Uber has apparently laid off 435 people worldwide in order to re-organise their organisation to fit their vision.
The tweet was an open call for people in the tech industry to reach out to the folks affected so they could soon find a new job. They even made a google doc with all the peoples’ info for easier hiring. Which.. is nice? I suppose? For some reason though this rubs me the wrong way. Yes, it sucks to get fired. Yes, it sucks trying to find a new job. But I can’t help but feel that these aren’t the most ‘down on their luck’ people. Uber is a highly profitable company and their employees make good money. Their drivers? Not so much. Knowing how Uber manipulates & profits off of their #1 resource makes me feel a lot less sympathy for the people working there, even if they did lose their jobs for no reason. Their drivers are manipulated to work themselves to exhaustion, manipulated to make less money, manipulated to take no breaks, not even to pee. Manipulated so much that it’s caused serious, serious problems. (Uber accidents are a Thing here in Amsterdam for sure) Their ‘disruption’ of the taxi market has made it much more affordable to grab a cab, this is true. And it makes it much easier to become a taxi driver as well. But as most of the people who have done this work for decades can tell you, it’s wrecked their livelihood.
None of this is the fault of any of these people who were fired individually of course. These were choices made by people much higher up on the chain. But for some reason the ‘please help these poor folks!’ annoys me. Why not ‘please help these poor drivers who we’re manipulating into not being able to feed their family anymore?’.
I know these two things can exist side-by-side and one does not take away from the other. Yet I feel annoyed that people who probably have a damn good income, who will probably have no trouble finding a new job with Uber on their resume, that they get the added benefit of this kind of support and others are expected to ‘hustle’ their own career.
I guess I have no point to this post other than venting or trying to unpack why this tweet annoyed me so even though it does nothing but try to help some people who lost their jobs.
The tweet in question: Tweet