Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Fast Company's Max Chafkin writes that, "All new hires are issued a copy of Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums (a nod to the fact that Warby Parker’s name is an amalgam of two early Kerouac characters)...and a neatly bound 'Style Guide' that includes suggestions about usage and grammar but also encourages everyone, when they communicate with customers, to 'write like Warby Parker is the person you’d want to be next to you at a dinner party.'"
Besides pouring over beat novels and the Warby Parker style guide, employees also need to file a report every single week on their professional goals. "Every week, every Warby Parker employee must complete a '15Five' report explaining what they accomplished in the past week and what they plan to achieve in the following one. They must also rate their happiness and proffer an 'innovation idea,' no matter how small," Chafkin writes.
Chafkin visits the Warby Parker call center, which he judges to be the one of the world's most expensive call centers given its Manhattan views and Ivy League staff. He writes, "The same day, I meet Olivia Tresham, another young world-beater. She’s Princeton ’13, Andover ’09, a stylish 23-year-old who’d flirted with the idea of going to work for a private equity firm, but chose instead to answer phones for Warby Parker. 'Everyone pays their dues in some way,' says Tresham, when I ask if she feels overqualified. 'I could be an analyst but I’d just be doing spreadsheets all day.' (She too was promoted out of the call center three months later.)"