Paid to be a Quitter

800px-FEMA_-_37931_-_Meals_Ready_to_Eat_being_moved_by_fork_lift_in_a_Texas_warehouseCompanies that are looking to (wanting to) reduce their workforce (number of employees) will sometimes offer people who are close to retirement (age when people typically stop working, traditionally 65-years-old) something called a “golden parachute.” A “parachute” is something you wear on your back that opens when you jump out of an airplane to slow and soften your landing on the ground. In the old days, when people retired, they were given a gold watch.

A golden parachute, then, is a large payment with perhaps other compensation (something worth money given for work done) that is given as an incentive (enticement; something that makes you want to do something) to quit early. With that extra money, your transition (change from one situation to another) to retirement will be easier.

But how would you like to be paid to quit your job now, even if you’re not close to retirement age? That’s what is doing. It’s offering employees in their fulfillment warehouses (large storage places where orders are prepared for shipping) up to $5,000 to quit their jobs if they are not happy.

The program is called “Pay to Quit” and is offered once a year.  If you quit after the first year, you get $2,000 and that figure (number) increases by $1,000 each year until it tops out at (reaches the maximum or highest number) $5,000.

Why would Amazon pay people to quit? Amazon says that workers who are unhappy and dissatisfied with their jobs cost the company money. They have lower productivity (how much work is done in a given (specific) period of time) and they don’t help to create a good working environment.

Two other large companies have tried this same strategy (plan): Netflix, a large video company, and Zappos, a large online shoe company. All three companies made their decisions based on the data (information) available and have concluded (decided) that having a workforce (all workers for one business or organization) of people who want to be there and who are enthusiastic (happy and excited) to work for the company is worth the expense (money paid) of paying unhappy or disgruntled (unhappy and complaining) people to quit.

Are you in a job you don’t like? The top amount of $5,000 isn’t a lot, but it might help you make the transition to a new job. If you were offered this golden parachute now, would you take it?

– Lucy

Photo Credit: FEMA – 37931 from Wikipedia

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13 Responses to Paid to be a Quitter

  1. handsome guy says:

    Lucy mam plz make podcast using lots of conditional sentences so that i can listen it over nd over again to improve…..nd plz make podcast about fighting argument

  2. Hilario says:

    Lay Offs Hidden. – First of all, in these labor trouble times, I think we might focus at this issue by thinking of people being out of work even at that gold age in their labor life. Probably some of them would they even be willing to pay part of the incentive in a five years’ escalation discounting, and even improving previous performance and productivity, resulting in saving money in the end for the company Amazon. Secondly, the “occurrence” measure would look much fairer on the part of the management if the laid off worker could be offered with a new labor destination, same paid, based on his or her well-articulated cause of dissatisfaction and keeping the incentive as a compensation for discovering these “hole”, and last but not least, another “occurrence” labor measure could be discounting the amount of the whole sum of total compensation from the salaries of the entire human resources department. Imagination to power, mediocrity to plunge!

  3. haiwen says:

    I am from China.In our country, thousands people choice to work in the current area only because they want to earn the money for the daily spending of the living( the cost of apartment /month, child education ,eating , clothes and so on). Possibly they forgot what is their interests at all. I am a man, who sometimes want to try to do what I like. But in real world, I often face the difficulty, and also I can not deal with it. So I have to give up my original thought( I think it is my interest point). The following is two examples in my life. In recent month, I have been studying English. I always want to stay in a quiet place( only English with me). And I choice the time( 21::00~23:00) at night. Then I try to enjoy these time. But in fact it is a bit difficulty.Because my apartment is small. I do not find a place to stay alone. My wife sometimes make some things to distract my attention. Often I do much effect to create a bit interest, which possible is broken. Of course YOU think I am taking some excuse for myself.But I only want to say we possibly meet some barriers, which should not be in our road. These things are added bit by bit in front of us.Possibly we will lost our interest point. The second example is about my classmate story. He is from a poor family. In the school. we were in mechanical engineering. But he wanted to change his area( to be electronic)( In China, a particular exam, in which you can change your area after you graduate from your bachelor). But this two area is different, that means he should study many subjects related to electronic. Possible that is double mine.When I ask him the reason, he said that he was finding the area, where he can earn more money in future. Of course these only represent view of myself. Possibly in your world (Chinese ) it is completely different. Anyway I still think that the interest is very important to one person. Steve already tell all of these. STABLY,FOOLISH. Thanks Lucy Your Great Blog for English Leaner. This first time I write in your blog.Possibly there are many errors related to grammar and spelling. If so, I sorry about them.

  4. Tania says:

    Hi! Shocker!
    According to Wikipedia, Germany’s 7 – 1 win against Brazil marked the largest ever margin
    of victory in a FIFA World Cup semifinal.
    It is Brazil’s biggest margin of defeat ever.

    Dear our blog friend Aecio, I am really sorry. I know how much you wanted to win your country.

  5. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    I am sad. 7 to 1 is too much.

  6. Dan says:

    Hello everyone


    Well done, good job! keep writing. It is always a pleasure reading from different people all over the globe

    Thank you Lucy,

    I am always curious to know what are you guys going to pick for the blog

    I am not sure how to take this piece of news. I cannot decide if that practice is something positive or negative.

    I have decided to take it neutrally without judging. Let’s just say that it is one more option on the table.

    And if someone finds another place, beside that, he/she can demand the money, claiming that you are unhappy.

    As a job, my responsibility is tu run a huge piece of machinery for book printing. A printing press.

    I have to make the more copies with the less waste possible of paper during my shift.

    I cannot claim to be the happiest man on Earth doing that, but I am not going to complain.

    It is hard to be satisfied/happy. We never are, isn’t that right?

    Personally, I am happy when I am looking at an animal. It can be a pet, a spider, a bee you name it.

    They make me happy instantly. What about you guys?

    Thank you Lucy!

  7. emiliano says:

    Retired as I am now, what can I say about the subjet?

    What is true and I have been listening along years have been the complaining
    of people who were working beside me.
    Some of them were always disconform for nearly everything abount the Bank
    job, few money, too much work, a boring continuous work, and what is even
    worst speaking all the time against the Bank Company.

    When I listened to them I have always thought “What are doing these persons
    here?, if they complain so much all the time, why they go off from the office
    and look for another work.
    Of course usually these kind of persons use to be the worst working people
    inside the Bank.

    Having this in mind I can´t be in more agreement with Amazon, Netflix, or
    other companies.

    Isabel is daily coming home to work, to look after Cuca and me, she always
    seems to be happy doing that, with her salary and with us.
    If I could know this wasn´t real, I am sure it is, I may prefer that she leaves
    us, because I don´t want to have an unhappy person working close near to
    us, doing things without enthusiasm.

    Of course this is not the problem, we love Isabel, she loves Cuca, and I pay
    her a nice salary accordingly with her good work.

    My best dear Lucy, I read everything but some time I am just a little lazy
    to write or I don´t know what to say.

    WELCOME haiwen, we need new blood here in the blog with nice ideas like


  8. Fardowsa Dayib says:

    Currently, I am unemployed however, my previous job I didn’t like it because of the night shift I worked and the schedule was unfixed. I used to hate and waning every time I am heading to work. I wish our company had that golden parachute. No doubt, I would involuntarily take advantage of money instead of just quitting without benefits. The bad news is that not all companies’ does golden parachute option for their employees. My other former jobs except this one loved to death and I wont accept anything to trade my jobs as such money. Sometime people encounter an issue with the employee or coworker and if they have the choice of taking money and leave the job I think they would do it so easily. The golden parachute helps smooth people transition to their new life and find it with a new job.

  9. Parviz says:

    Hi everybody,
    I relate to those unhappy workers, since I worked for a company that required us to arrive at 7 am and leave no sooner than 10 pm.
    Those killing work hours were like a prison to me, not to mention the selfish boss shouting at us all the time.
    It wasn’t a happy workplace, for none of us. But the money was good. After all, wealth is the essence of man.
    I forced to quit after having to work there for only 6 months.
    I wish they had this “gold parachute” incentive, I would have taken it.
    Sadly, I resigned and never did they thank me for bearing all the pressure for some time.
    I had to give up a portion of my salary, when leaving.
    Thank you,

  10. Parviz says:

    Hi Dan,
    I was wondering, too, where Lucy go to find the topics and NEWS.
    If you are following our story you may know that Lucy and I were kind of a thing then.
    I still have a thing for her.
    Any way, I didn’t know until she discreetly told me about the magic bean.
    I am not sure how it works, but, She just reads a verse before going to bed to the box, and in the morning, the magic happens, the topic/s pop out of the box.
    Find the magic bean…..

  11. Parviz says:

    Hi Emiliano,
    Far it be from you to complain about writing.
    As far as energy consumption and lengthy posts go, you are the youngest of us.

    keep going man,
    We are with you,

  12. Parviz says:

    Hello sweet Tania,
    You still write off topic.
    Never mind, as long as your stories are interesting.
    It’s been like a century, since we said goodby. If you remember my poem about “The angel, Mom”.
    then you shall remember This:

    ……………….. “I will be sad because, I will never see you again”.
    “then it was time for the baby to leave”.
    “The baby asked Gad: before I leave can you tell me the name of angel”
    God answered; Her name is not important; But you can call it “Mom”.

    Best wishes,

  13. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    Tania, I must tell you that I don’t care about football even though Brazil has been a good competitor in all World Cup before. Naturally I was watching the match between Brazil and German, just because every Brazilian was. But this doesn’t mean I am fanatic. I like to spend my time with larger things, like education, healthy, good conditions of life, nature, family, good behavior, ethics and moral costumes, friendship, faith and love.
    I am still Brazilian and I am proud to belong to this beautiful country. Life goes on although Brazilian team didn’t win. We can find other details that we have to look after. We have other big problems that we have to solve, for example, the poor, the corruption, thefts, violence and so on.
    From Brazil for Tania.

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