When plans for an Amazon headquarters in New York City are dashed, a man appeals to his friend, from a prematurely purchased condo.
Tell me about HQ2, Jeff. I tried to remember, I promise I did. But I want you to tell me.
We were gonna set up a humble little operation, weren’t we? We’d live off the fat of the $3 billion in tax subsidies, right here in Long Island City. Just you, me, and 25,000 additional employees — they’d get there quickly, within next decade. But when I saw the news that we would no longer build a second headquarters in Long Island City, I damn near shook the life out of the bodega man. But I didn’t, Jeff. Promise I didn’t. And the cat in there was dead when I found it. Honest!
It ain’t true, is it? We’re still gonna move to Queens. You promised. Guys like us — Amazon employees who bought property in Long Island City based on undisclosed knowledge that Amazon would build in the area, in order to profit off of skyrocketing rents caused by the move — are the loneliest guys in the world.
A company like ours never gets a fair shake, does it?
They yell at us for subjecting workers to conditions in which they urinate in bottles and frequently injure themselves. They say we provide too many free anecdotes for dystopian fiction authors. They make us raise the minimum wage, then get mad when we take away their bonuses to compensate. But we weren’t even gonna bring those guys to New York! We were gonna bring the good jobs!
But now that you say you’re not coming to LIC, they’re saying nasty things. They say you stepped out on your queen. But isn’t that what they wanted in the first place? And isn’t it “Queens”? It’s not right!
Tell me about the helipad, Jeff. People said it’s impossible to live in the Big Apple without commingling with the poor. But you told them, didn’t you? You were gonna put the helipad right next to our country’s largest public housing project. You’d fly right over ‘em.
We were gonna make our own little South Lake Union in Queens. Four million square feet of campus, for our honest work. You’d daydream about space tourism and the next media company you wanted to buy, while we’d improve our facial recognition software for the FBI. It would all be so simple.
Guys like us, we’ve got no family. That’s why I need the company to be here with me. When I am not surrounded by like-minded co-workers blindly working to execute your brilliant visions, I get doubts. I can’t do it here on my own. Am I supposed to individually chase people out of the neighborhood until you arrive? I can. Just tell me what to do.
I can be brave like you, Jeff. You even called your parents “Bezos Co-Founders,” because you want to get rid of every “Mom” and “Pop” on the planet. I think about that every day.
Just one more thing. Please, tell me about the rabbits, Jeff.
You said we’d have service rabbits on the new campus. They’d be therapy animals to treat employees burnt out by our grueling work pace, and also for those exhausted from the moral gymnastics required to remain employed here. I was gonna tend to ‘em. SVP of Rabbit Operations, you said. We’d automate the rabbits in five years, and then you’d take me on a work retreat somewhere upstate. We’d eventually have a “difficult conversation,” you told me. You never told me what that conversation would be about. But please, just come over. We can talk about it, and the new plans for a NYC headquarters, at my condo.
Please write back in two days or less,