SpaceX’s engineers are pursuing the high-flying goal of getting people to Mars, and by some accounts, the workload can lead to high levels of stress and even lawsuits. Today, the company’s vice president of human resources addressed the issue directly during an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit.
Brian Bjelde, who was trained as an aerospace engineer and is No. 14 on SpaceX’s employee list, also explained why the California-based company isn’t hiring astronauts right now. He shed light on the corporate culture that billionaire founder Elon Musk has created – and urged Redditors to apply for jobs, including positions available in Seattle.
The workload question was the one most likely to put Bjelde on guard: In his biography of Musk, Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Ashlee Vance refers to stressed-out employees at SpaceX and Tesla Motors – including a Tesla employee who supposedly received an angry email from Musk when he missed a company meeting to witness the birth of his child. (Musk said that claim was “total BS and hurtful … I would never do that.”)
On the flip side, Seattle-based PayScale reports that SpaceX employees see their jobs as extraordinarily meaningful (and yes, extraordinarily stressful). The company ranked No. 1 among 18 well-known tech companies in both those categories, with Tesla at No. 2.