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Amazon drone engineer says a manager told him to nap in the evening then go back to work to ‘get more hours out of the day’

An Amazon drone flies in front of the company logo.

Peter Endig/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • Patrick McGah worked as a drone engineer for Amazon from late 2019 to April 2021.
  • In an op-ed for Insider, McGah said he was told he was a low performer at work.
  • McGah says a manager told him to “get more hours out of the day,” suggesting napping in the evening then resuming work.

A former Amazon engineer said that when he told a manager he was experiencing burnout due to balancing work and parenting responsibilities, the manager told him to work more.

Patrick McGah worked on Amazon’s drone program from late 2019 to April 2021. He said that, in February 2021, his manager told him he had been ranked as a low performer by the company’s employee evaluation system.

McGah said he was later put on Amazon’s “Pivot” program, which required he either agree to a plan to improve his performance or leave his job.

In an op-ed for Insider, McGah said he discussed with a manager how he could improve his performance.

“He told me I should try to ‘get more hours out of the day’,” McGah wrote.

“He suggested I work a normal day and take a break in the evening. Then I could power nap and continue working into the night as late as 1 or 2 a.m.,” McGah wrote. 

In a separate interview with Insider, McGah said he had told the manager he was struggling with balancing parenting two young children with his workload.

McGah said the manager suggested napping from 9 p.m until 10 p.m. He said the manager, who also had children, said he followed this system himself.

McGah handed in his resignation a few days later, he wrote in his op-ed. 

Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for further comment on McGah’s account of the conversation with his manager.

McGah is currently working with lawmakers in Washington State trying to pass legislation that would force employers to disclose information about worker performance reviews in personnel files — which can be requested by employees. 

In his op-ed and his interview with Insider, McGah said he requested his personnel file from Amazon but the company did not include any documents about why he had been ranked as a low performer.

In an email published in McGah’s op-ed, an Amazon HR representative said Amazon doesn’t consider performance scores to be part of employee personnel files. 

Amazon did not immediately respond when asked by Insider why it doesn’t include performance scores in personnel files.

In a statement to Insider for McGah’s op-ed, Amazon said it supplied McGah with personnel files along with other documents as required by applicable law.

Do you work for Amazon? Got a tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected] or [email protected]. Always use a non-work email account.

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