I’ll give you $10,000 and 3 months of pay if you quit today and do something else.
Who’s interested? Everyone!
If the whole “we’ll pay you to quit” sounds familiar, it was the rarified air of the HR culture darling, Zappos.com. We loved Zappos back in the day for a variety of things, including their offer to pay new hires to quit early in their tenure. Here’s how the thinking went – if you’re not sure this is for you, we’ll pay you to eliminate the cultural misfit and just go.
The Zappos offer to pay you to quit was child’s play. Amazon saw that offer and said, “Hold my beer.”
In case you missed it, Amazon was in the news again late last week with a Godfather offer (you can’t refuse) to employees designed to create momentum to build the delivery capability needed to meet its future needs. The offer was this - 10K and 3 month’s pay for any employee who will quit and start a franchised delivery business under the Amazon partnership umbrella. Here’s the details of the announcement:
The company announced they will pay two to three months salary and $10,000 in startup costs if an employee will quit their post and start a package delivery service. The company wants to make good on its promise to Prime members to cut delivery time in half from two days to one.
The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders. The employee still has to be accepted into this program, and the company did not share how many people they think will apply and be accepted.
Newly anointed entrepreneurs can lease blue vans with the Amazon smile logo on it. The company estimates someone who owns 20 to 40 delivery vans can potentially earn $300,000 a year.
You have to admit, that’s kind of cool. But it’s a trap for many of the Amazon employees who hear the offer and think being their own boss is a path that’s for them.
That’s because the business those employees would be entering under the Amazon partnership umbrella isn’t a delivery business, it’s actually a people management business. CBS news did the math last year and reported that to make low six figure as an owner of this business, you’d need to employ at least 20 full-time equivalents per year.
Danger!! (Siren sound in the background)
Not sure whether the offer is for you, Amazon employees? Fear not, because I’m here with an uber-simple 5-item questionnaire designed to help you understand whether you should quit your Amazon job and start a delivery business once you’ve been accepted into the Amazon “lease some vans and start a business” incubator.
Answer the following questions “yes” or “no”:
- Have you ever thought your manager was a complete dipshit related to business savvy?
- Do you actively avoid dealing with some people at work?
- Have you ever been asked to be part of an interview process for open positions and thought, “I’m too busy” or “that’s not my job”?
- Do you ever vent to your spouse for long periods of time about co-workers?
- Have you ever had a co-worker vent to you and refused to get involved in whatever issue they had, either directly (telling them you didn’t want to get involved) or indirectly (waiting for them to finish their rant and excusing yourself as softly as you could)?
Score your answers in the following way:
--0-1“yes” answers: This Amazon offer might be for you.
--2-3 “yes” answers: You shouldn’t quit your day job. You’ll likely start well in your Amazon delivery franchise, only to grow disenchanted, look back and see year one was by far the best year of your delivery business.
--4-5 “yes” answers: Run away. You’re going to burn the f###ing trucks by month six, end up in jail for arson, insurance fraud and divorced.
The Amazon deliver business is a “people” business. Don’t be fooled by the vans, the cool scanners and the Amazon tech stack. If you don’t enjoy (or can’t tolerate) the people side of business, you have NO SHOT at employing/retaining 20-40 full-time drivers in 2019, with America at peak economic cycle, hourly employees employed at their next job 3-7 days after quitting on you, and the 200 ways people will disappoint you in a given day and force you to engage them directly.
I hope Amazon will evaluate you for inclusion into the program with this in mind.
But you might just have decent credit and be able to float a note for 20 leased vans.
Unless you passed my 5-question quiz with flying colors, stay on the Amazon payroll. As hard as life is there, it’s safer for you.