Jeff Bezos Releases Best-selling Novel, “If You Give a Minimum Wage Worker Respect”


Written by: Farhad Taraporevala

Bezos is slated to release a sequel next year, titled If You Give Your Wife Respect.
Photo by James Woolley

Last Wednesday, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos published his best-selling book, If You Give a Minimum Wage Worker Respect, filled with advice for future CEOs. The book walks readers through Bezos’s journey, from starting Amazon to building it into the empire it is today to how he gets his head to look so shiny. 

The first and titular chapter of the book, entitled “If You Give a Minimum Wage Worker Respect,” focuses on keeping workers motivated. Bezos said, “I manipulated their desire to impress me by making my respect hard-won. So what if you worked 80 hours this week, if Greg worked 81 hours, he mattered and you did not. Thus, I ensure my employees would jump off of a warehouse roof for my praise.” 

The second chapter, “If You Give A Warehouse Employee a Bathroom Break,” showcases Amazon’s work ethic. “We don’t give employees adequate time to pee, which motivates them to rush through their tasks,” Bezos explained. “I came up with the idea when I was in line to buy a new Ferrari, but had to pee really bad. The car salesman managed to get me to overpay by $50,000. A paltry sum, but still impressive.” Bezos noted that the resulting “Pathetic Pottyless Peons Policy” had the added bonus of forcing employees to purchase more uniforms to replace the ones they had soiled. 

“If You Give a Delivery Driver a Day Off,” the third chapter, focuses on Amazon’s signature one-day delivery. The idea for the service arose after Bezos pulled his first all-nighter. “I was flying back from Malta, and my private jet hit some turbulence,” Bezos explained. “I couldn’t get any sleep, so I worked through the flight. That’s when I realized how much I could get done in one day and the value of working everyday, all day in a luxury vehicle. To the delivery drivers, their trucks must be the private jets that they never want to leave.” Bezos highlighted his commitment to user satisfaction as a leading reason for Amazon’s success. 

The final chapter, “If You Give a Union a Meeting,” talks about Bezos’ struggle dealing with the company after achieving success. Bezos also shared tips on how to prevent unionization from cutting into profits with items such as healthcare and maternity leave. “Honestly, if I gave birth, I’d be right back to work the next week,” said Bezos. “I don’t see why they just can’t give the baby to a nanny while they’re at work. Give the workers a taste of job creation for once.” 

Reviews for the book were overwhelmingly positive, and Bezos’s success has inspired other entrepreneurs to start writing their own stories. “I loved Jeff’s book, and hope he writes a sequel,” said business professor Isamar Ginsedge. “Bezos has always been one of my heroes. I would love to hear more about his space ventures, or his struggle to regain relevance after Musk became richer, or how long it takes him to cry himself to sleep because his wife divorced him and took his money.”

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