Posts tagged with: perks

A mandatory insurance benefits meeting. Not looking forward to this

Everyone at the publishing company at which I works is required to attend a mandatory insurance benefits meeting today. I’m a pessimist, I suppose. Maybe that’s why I have the unsettling feeling that we workers are going to be paying more for our insurance.

I can already hear the pitch: Times are tough. We’re all cutting back. We need everyone to pitch in. We all still have jobs, for that we can be thankful.

It’s all bull, of course. These days, workers are constantly being asked to do more while giving up more. It’s not a workable situation.

I understand that the economy is making life difficult for corporations and small business owners. I do. But I’m getting tired of bearing the brunt of this suffering. I’m sure other workers are, too.

Here’s what I’m dreaming of: the day the economy recovers and companies start hiring again. Then we’ll all get to see companies madly try to keep their employees or attract new ones. It’ll be time for the workers to get a bit of revenge in the form of higher salaries, better benefits and more perks.

The only problem is surviving until we get to that magical time.

60 cents for a pop? One more reason working stinks

One of the perks at the publishing company where I work is the pop machine on the first floor that sells Diet Coke for 40 cents. I drink a lot of pop, and that machine might be the best soda value in the city.

Rather, it used to be.

Yes, the terrible happened earlier this month. My employer boosted the pop price from 40 cents a can to 60 cents. I know that’s still a reasonable price in the days when vending machines will charge $1 for a single can. But still, I’ll miss that extra 20 cents jingling around in my pocket.

Am I complaining about something that really doesn’t matter? You bet. But these are the kind of things that annoy workers. It’s like when companies discontinue offering free coffee to their workers. It makes everyone a bit gloomy.

These are tough times for workers. We never know when we’re going to get fired. We don’t even expect pay raises these days. For some of us, that 40-cent can of pop was one of the last perks we had left.

A personal tale of giving up the perks

Last week, I wrote about all the perks office workers are willing to give up to hold onto their jobs. You can read the post here.

In the post, I worried that workers are giving up to much. I also worried that once the recession is over, employers — having grown used to not having to dole out raises or compensate their workers for extra jobs — will not pass those perks back out.

Well, turns out I have a confession to make. I’ve willingly given up a few perks, too.

Last year, I wrote all the stories for a newsletter that my publishing company was contracted to write for a large trade association. The work was tedious, and time-consuming, but my bosses did reward me by paying me a nice bonus to do the work.

Earlier this year, my bosses had to let about half of our department go. Everyone who survived, including myself, has been plenty spooked since. No one wants to lose a job in this dismal economy.

It recently came time to put the newsletter together again. Once again, I wrote stories, edited copy and dug up art. This time, though, there was no bonus. There just wasn’t room in the budget, my bosses explained.

Did I fight this? Did I argue? Did I tell them to find someone else to do the work? No way.

I gave up the perk. Not necessarily willingly, but because I know having a job is better than getting that bonus check.

Sure, I resent my bosses for giving me extra work without pay. And, yes, when the economy does turn around, maybe I will be motivated to look for a new employer.

But for now? I’m simply waving goodbye to that perk. It was nice while it lasted.