In case you haven’t poked your head around the internet, billionaire Jeff Bezos recently (sourly) followed in Richard Branson’s footsteps and took a quick trip to the stars on Tuesday this week. The 57-year-old founder of Amazon (and a few lucky civilians) road a Blue Origin rocket 65 miles (105 kilometres) into the air, enjoying a few minutes of suborbital anti-gravity before making their successful descent again.
In a press conference following the flight, Bezos thanked his numerous employees for making the trip possible.
Bezos’ brazen boasting
“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all of this. Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there, and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated,” he said.
Many workers weren’t pleased with the comment, with several telling Business Insider exactly how they felt. Some were indifferent to the event as a whole.
“I guess it was just a big deal for Jeff. We didn’t get anything out of it,” an Indiana Amazon warehouse employee said. “Twenty-minute flight to space on us basically since we do the work.”
Some were downright critical of Bezos and his comment.
A Staten Island Amazon employee told Business Insider, “I feel like he just said that because he had a guilty conscience, he knows he’s wrong for making money off treating workers like slaves.”
It’s reasonable criticism to throw Bezos’ way. There are plenty of horror stories out there concerning the gruelling conditions and cold indifferences Amazon shows towards its employees. Vickie Shannon Allen, an ex-employee, shared a take common amongst many of Bezos’ (and other billionaires’) critics.
“I think it’s selfish of him to be so self-consumed to send himself into space when there are so many homeless and hungry people in the world. He could end homelessness and hunger for everybody in the world and he chooses not to because he’s selfish.”