Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Not the water cooler

Everyone here at work is outraged. Why? Because as of January 1st, we lost our "drink subsidy" which was a benefit not very well defined but often used. I often don't write about work stuff, but I think it says something about the state of the economy. Allow me to expand...

In early December we all got a note saying that the drinks were costing the company too much and the drink subsidy would be going away. We had $.25 sodas, free cheap coffee, and water coolers. We have had these things since I have been here in RTP, so almost 7 years. As of Jan 1, the sodas went to $.75, coffee was pay per cup at $.50, and the water coolers disappeared.

The money is only the start of complaints. The water fountains which were not really used for the past 7+ years do not chill or filter the water, in fact the tap water in the kitchen tastes better. Sodas are < $.25 per can if bought in 12 packs at Target or Walmart on sale, so justifying that $.50 hike is hard to do while trying to claim they are just stopping the subsidy. So, many people seem up in arms.

My sensible side, Heather, says that in the grand scheme people are losing their jobs left and right and here we are complaining about the water cooler. I guess the more I think about this is it is our first loss of benefits. Some companies have lost their 401k match and others have even lost part of their salary. I guess this little benefit seems to hurt because it is something tangible daily...but if put in perspective, its not as bad as it could be... :-/

Thoughts anyone?

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