Facebook employees reveal 22 awful things about working at Facebook

Mark zuckerberg sadWin McNamee / Getty StaffFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Newseum Sept. 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Facebook has often been regarded as one of the best places to work in the tech industry.

After all, the company’s interns make $US25,000 more than the average citizen. And famously, employees on Glassdoor have voted Facebook the No. 1 company to work for overall.

Not bad, right?

Wrong, according to some past and present Facebook employees, in a number of open threads on Quora.

Engineers, software developers, and anonymous sources who have spent time at Facebook discuss what they liked least about their experiences at the company.

To be clear, we’re not saying these complaints represent the average experience. These are just the opinions of a small number of people. Every large company has its detractors, including Facebook.

'The wall does not exist at Facebook.'

'At most companies, you put up a wall between a work personality and a personal one, which ends up with a professional workspace,' says a Facebook engineer who chose to remain anonymous on Quora. Because the culture of Facebook implicitly encourages employees to 'be themselves,' the company lacks the 'professionalism' found at other firms, the engineer says.

'There is not a truly functional infrastructure.'

Employees say that trying to figure out how to do cool things with a team of 4,000 people is much harder than doing them with a team of 500.

'We're growing so fast and have never emphasised organisation, polish, or stability.'

'Knowing that you're part of a large company trying to act like a young one.'

One ex-employee says that even though Facebook is a huge tech company, it still tries to act like a young startup. 'This is kind of like an Adam Sandler movie where he's old but wants to act like a teenager. Awkward,' the former employee says.

'I was asked to complete really inappropriate tasks.'

One anonymous former employee of Facebook confesses, 'The team treated me like garbage and I was asked to (do) really inappropriate tasks (i.e., separating the director's laundry complete with his wife's dirty undies still attached).'

'Zuck and Sheryl imposing a 'holier than thou' attitude.'

Referring to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, a Facebook employee complains the two spend way too much time on 'extracurricular activities' (hint: 'Lean In') and copying off the competition (i.e., Poke, which bears a resemblance to Snapchat).

'Knowing that you are part of an overhyped public company.'

Facebook, which was 'supposed to be valued at over $US200 billion by now, had a dismal public offering that left many employees feeling totally helpless as they saw the value of their stock collapse,' an anonymous source writes on Quora.

'Forget the free food and drinks -- the workplace is awful.'

'When you have huge rooms filled with rows and rows of picnic style tables with people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with six inches of separation and zero privacy, I am sorry ... That's how you keep cattle in the pen, not high quality talent earning low to mid six figures.'

'The drama.'

Of course, Su admits the politics are ultimately what creates the dynamism and drama that make work worthwhile in any company; Facebook not excluded.

'Without these, it's just code, code, code. Ship, ship, ship. I get tired just thinking about it.'

'Realising that the company doesn't really have a future on the mobile screen.'

'Something's not right when you get daily complaints from users telling you how much the experience sucks on mobile,' an anonymous former employee says on Quora. Facebook's mobile app has been called 'clunky' and is known to drain smartphone batteries. '(Facebook) will eventually lose all its users to more streamlined mobile services.'

Working for Facebook sometimes means wasting a lot of time browsing Facebook.

'The fact that testing your code means, most of the time, browsing Facebook, which can lead to distraction,' says a
Felipe Oliveira Carvalho, a former Facebook intern.

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