The Tantrum at Twitter Reveals How Privileged the Liberal Laptop Class Is
Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to have quit after their new boss, Elon Musk, sent out a memo demanding "long hours at high intensity" as a condition of their employment. Musk had already fired half of Twitter's employees, leaving only 3,000 or so when he then sent out a team email that gave Twitter workers a choice, to become "extremely hardcore" or leave. Many apparently chose to leave.
This drama follows weeks of it, including Twitter employees using the site to disparage their new boss, refute his claims, and excoriate him for "starving" them after he took away the $400 lunches that no one was showing up to eat.
The latest outrage came from a set of emails in which Musk said he would consider firing managers who allow employees to work remotely. "It is also expected that you have in-person meetings with your colleagues on a reasonable cadence, ideally weekly, but not less than once per month," wrote Musk.
Oh, the horror! You have to show up to work once a month to collect your paycheck!
Twitter's employees are getting a lot of love and sympathy on Twitter from the blue check brigade, who are appalled at the idea that you can get fired for humiliating your boss publicly or for refusing to, you know, show up at all.
But it's hard to explain to people in the laptop class just how bizarre this all sounds to blue collar workers. You're being asked to show up to work and you tell your boss no—and you're the victim here?
This just isn't stuff we could imagine getting away with. We have to get dressed and drive to work—and pay exorbitant gas prices to do so. We have to sit in traffic in the morning, or take crime-addled public transportation. We don't have the luxury of sitting at home in pajama bottoms.
All throughout the COVID response, we blue collar workers showed up to work, day in and day out. There was no "stay at home to save lives." We risked illness while these people got to work at home while watching TV in their PJs.
So it's hard for me to feel sympathy for them that this trend is coming to an end.
That's not to say I see Musk as some sort of free speech hero, or someone trying to save America. He is a man trying to run a business and turn a profit.
But for blue collar workers like me, seeing a company go up in flames over workers refusing to go back to work after the privilege of staying home for three years is mind-boggling.
We've paid for the work-from-home, work-from-anywhere trend in other ways, too. I live in Texas, which has had an influx of pajama class immigrants. They came and drove up the cost of housing, pricing out many city residents from housing in the city they love. And now many of these cities look totally different.
Craziest of all is if you spend any time on Twitter these days, it's clear that the Left is hoping Twitter fails under Musk. They opposed his takeover vigorously and now they seem to be willing the site to implode.
It's because they got used to Twitter being on their side politically. And under Musk, there's real competition of ideas again. Conservatives have been given a chance to speak again. It's almost like the liberal and Leftist elites feel that if they can't control Twitter, no one should have access to it.
On Thursday night, in light of the mass quitting, thousands of accounts started bidding each other goodbye in dramatic fashion, certain the site would disappear by morning. But it was wishful thinking, a chance to "stick it" to those who are or perceived to be on the other side, who finally got access to Twitter.
Some are even saying the quiet part out loud, begging the Democrats to "nationalize Twitter," like Hillary Clinton adviser Peter Dao, who floated the idea—you guessed it—on Twitter. They don't want a public square open to debate; they want a public square controlled by Democrats, which is what Twitter was until Musk took over.
People bemoaning the end of Twitter under Musk wanted him to fail. Twitter was a D.C. establishment propaganda arm and they want it back under their control. That's what this uproar has been about since Musk bought this company.
The drama around employees quitting for being asked to act like employees reveals not just the class divide separating the knowledge industry, tech, and other elite professions from us blue collar workers, but how deeply embedded Twitter had become in the Democratic machine, and how connected to those same knowledge industry elites.