Amazon Rejects Employees’ Anti-Return-to-Office Petition

It’s finally Friday, friend-o. I’m Diamond Naga Siu, and I’ve made it through another week of procrastination (AKA talking too much).

I spend a lot of my day thinking about writing. Then I talk for hours with colleagues about anything and everything. But once my stress hits a breaking point, I might finally hunker down with noise-canceling headphones to write.

Maybe I should shake things up by following software engineer Cameron Perrin’s lead. He struggled with procrastination so much that it even impacted his career goals. But Cameron discovered his procrastination panacea: “monk mode.”

The viral technique forces people to fully focus on one task for a set period of time. The hot lifehack has even been used by CEOs and entrepreneurs to skyrocket their productivity.

Before I go test out this technique, let’s dive into today’s tech.

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Amazon SVP of Human Resources Beth Galetti

Amazon SVP of Human Resources Beth Galetti


1. Amazon rejects an anti-return-to-office petition. Beth Galetti, the company’s HR head, formally responded to a letter that gathered ~30,000 employee signatures. She sent an email to the group that organized the anti-office advocacy. Insider obtained her full memo.

  • Galetti wrote in her email that Amazon’s guiding principle is to “make our customers’ lives better and easier every day.” She said the company is confident that office work will increase the company’s ability to deliver for customers.
  • Disappointed Amazon employees flooded an internal Slack channel called “remote advocacy” after her response. One person called the response disconnected. Another said they felt like a “total failure” after the unsuccessful appeal.
  • My colleague Eugene Kim obtained Galetti’s full email and walks us through how Amazon employees feel about the response.

Read the leaked, anti-remote work response here.

In other news:

a screenshot of MSCHF's Tax Heaven 3000 dating simulator with an anime waifu named Iris asking the player how they're filing their taxes

MSCHF’s Tax Heaven 3000 dating simulator is supposed to help you prepare your 2022 US federal tax return.


2. This free, dating simulator game will help you file your taxes. Iris, an anime character, walks people through their taxes in “Tax Heaven 3000.” The art collective MSCHF — of Lil Nas X “Satan Shoe” fame — created it. Ready Player One for all the details here.

3. Boom and bust: lessons we should learn from the pandemic explosion. Tech cycles have produced some major tech winners and losers. My teammate Asia Martin shares the lessons (like agility and durability) we should learn from these patterns. Check them all out here.

4. MacKenzie Scott is giving $1 million to 250 nonprofits. The infamous philanthropist — and Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife — is at it again. She’s currently on the search for “organizations making positive change in their communities.” Get all the donation details here.

5. TikTok’s ‘disaster’ day in DC. Congress grilled CEO Shou Zi Chew for hours about the app. And he likely didn’t calm any privacy fears. One politician even said his testimony raised more questions than answers. Grab your front-row seat to TikTok’s pretty rough day here.

6. Carta wooed public businesses. Now it’s kicking them off. Carta offers popular software to help employees manage their equity. It made a major push to gain the business of public companies. But after the long courtship, it’s kicking them off in June. More on the bait-and-ditch here.

7. A brief history of Elon Musk’s pets. A “nasty, brutish” Yorkshire Terrier named Hobbes. Floki, a Shina Ibu. Plus, a few more publicly-known pets. Get the full list here.

8. Electric vehicles with the longest battery life. Cadillac, Rivian, Tesla, and other major companies have models that top the list. They each have more than a 300-mile range. Get the full list of 17 vehicles here. Bonus: Check out Hyundai’s robot arm that’ll charge your EV for you.

Odds and ends:

A GIF of a city fading into darkness

iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider

9. Mass blackouts are becoming the norm. They used to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. But a potent combo of profit-obsession and climate change is making them way more common. Here’s why America’s energy system is woefully unprepared to handle our uncertain future.

10. Older US tanks > Russia’s Soviet-era armor. The US is sending its old tanks to help Ukraine. They’ll upgrade the country’s current forces, and have a history of defeating Russia’s tanks. See them in action here.

The latest people moves in tech:

Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in Los Angeles. (Feedback or tips? Email [email protected] or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.