Ex-Amazon staffers say ‘frugal’ company made them split bagels at meetings


Ex-Amazon employees are commiserating about their experiences at the “frugal” tech giant — with one describing how workers were forced to split bagels at office gatherings due to budget limitations.

On an internal email thread among more than two dozen former Amazon employees who have since left to work at Google, titled “worked_at_amazon,” one posted screenshots obtained by Insider that described an incident in which two Amazon employees were told to split a bagel at a staff meeting. The workers were purportedly told managers didn’t have the budget to order enough bagels for everyone.

Bagels weren’t the only breakfast item in short supply at Amazon, whose founder, Jeff Bezos, is currently the world’s fourth-richest person, with a net worth of $146 billion, according to Forbes. Two other workers grumbled in the thread that boxes of cereal were removed from Amazon’s office kitchens because they “didn’t represent a frugal mindset,” according to Insider’s report.

“Eventually, we got told, ‘Spending a couple hundred bucks on cereal isn’t frugal. You are free to solicit donations to try and keep it running,’” one ex-Amazon staffer wrote in the thread, according to Insider.

Amazon offices
The former Amazon workers described limited supplies and snacks.
Jeff Bezos
Billionaire Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.

The complaints about office snacks were reportedly part of a broader discussion about “frupidity” at Amazon — a combination of “frugality” and “stupidity.” The workers allege that Amazon’s emphasis on frugality in day-to-day operations is overdone.

Ex-Amazon staffers also described difficulty obtaining tech gear and office supplies — with one worker complaining that product managers would have to push back in order to receive an Apple MacBook instead of the Windows laptops provided by default.

Bagels were allegedly in short supply at Amazon’s offices.
Getty Images/Mint Images RF

“I found it ridiculous because there’s no joy in Windows laptops and when there’s no joy, no creativity happens and when there’s no creativity, what’s a PM’s worth?” the staffer wrote.

Others said they were unable to secure more than a single computer monitor or laptop charger without resorting to creative means of acquiring them, such as befriending employees responsible for office supplies.

The Post has reached out to Amazon and Google for comment on the email thread.

Google office kitchen
Ex-Amazon workers who have since joined Google shared their frustrating experiences at the e-commerce giant.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Insider said the email thread is followed by nearly 2,400 people at Google.

Amazon, Google and other tech giants are in constant competition for top talent, though hiring in the sector has slowed in recent months due to the ongoing economic slump.

As The Post reported, Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently hinted layoffs were possible while stating he wanted the company’s workers to be more productive.

Amazon generated $469.8 billion in revenue during fiscal 2021, according to company filings. The company’s current market cap is $1.25 trillion.