Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Thank You Janet Yellen: Silicon Valley Employees That Are Paid 7 Figures to Stay Away From Work

By Julie Bort

On a sunny summer morning, a Facebook engineer woke up to go to work but felt ill. She ran to her bathroom and threw-up. "I thought I was getting sick," the engineer recalled.

It wasn't a virus or food poisoning. She was having a bad reaction to her job.

She was making $1 million a year, mostly in stock, and running a team of about three dozen people, she told Business Insider. And she had worked herself into a state of exhaustion in the three years since Facebook had acquired her previous company. The acquisition had been highly political, the integration wasn't going well and she had been killing herself to make it more successful and protect her people from losing their jobs over it.

As tired as she was, she couldn't just quit this job. She owed a big chunk of money in taxes thanks to that stock and needed her salary to pay those taxes.

But after getting violently ill at the thought of going to work, she decided not to go in. Not that day. Not ever again. And she knew she wouldn't get fired.

Because not going to work was actually her manager's idea.

The previous day she had told him she would be leaving the company at the end of the year, six months away. She wanted to spend the rest of the year wrapping up her projects but not taking on any more, collecting on the stock that would vest by year end and making the money she needed to pay her taxes.

"My manager and I had lots of conversations. I teetered on leaving so many times," she said. "But this time was for real. I was going to see these projects to a healthy state and then I needed to go. I felt good about it. The next thing, he told me not to come in."

She panicked thinking he was firing her but he explained she wasn't being terminated at all. "Just don’t come to work. You're burned out and need a break. Just don’t talk about it and everyone will assume you're on someone else’s team," her told her.

The manager's proposal didn't go over well. "I was livid and I never would have done it. I had every intention of joining another team. But then I woke up and started vomiting," she said.

And that's how this hard-working, conscientious engineer wound up joining the least-secret, secret club in the Valley, known as "rest and vest."

"Resting and vesting" is when an employee, typically an engineer, has an easy work load (if any job responsibilities at all) and hangs out on the company's payroll collecting full pay and stock. Stock is often the bigger chunk of total compensation for a senior engineer than salary.

Once she was in rest-and-vest mode, this engineer spent her time attending tech conferences, working on pet coding projects and networking with friends, and planning her next career move.

Read the rest here.


  1. Hmmm... high pay? Little or no work? Except for the stock options it sounds like a government job.

  2. This has to be for very politically special people. Because they are the only ones whom I ever saw get away with this. Also they weren't burned out geniuses, they were always worthless but because of attributes of birth they made the numbers better for the company. To make up for it the most productive engineers were worked harder. I just doubt Si Valley is really so different than other places.

    The only part I sort of believe is the professor part.

  3. I don't think anyone anywhere in the World is going to feel bad for an engineer with a 7 figure salary.