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(Business Insider)   With job perks disappearing, what was/is the best perk you've had/have?   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, Employment, Termination of employment, Free lunch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tech workers, Elon Musk, Bernstein analyst Mark Shmulik, David Darnes  
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265 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 20 Dec 2022 at 8:20 AM (14 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

78 Comments     (+0 »)
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2022-12-20 8:21:33 AM  
We are finally allowed to leave our cubicles to use the bathroom.
But it counts as a sick day.
2022-12-20 8:22:19 AM  
Ha. I worked at RIM in the early 2000s. We had Aerosmith play at one of our company BBQs.

Things are calmer now but more sustainable.
2022-12-20 8:26:39 AM  
1. working from home. hands down. I was so much healthier, happier and just as productive.
2. Free pizza and salad at end of my shift delivering pizza. Helped out on the grocery bill in college a lot.
3. Free sex in the Champaign room when I was a bouncer at a strip club. Saw a lot of perks there.
2022-12-20 8:28:09 AM  
WFH is great. No commute & no talking to people just because you're away from your desk at the same time.
2022-12-20 8:30:08 AM  
I work at a car dealership and I allegedly get discounts on any vehicles I might buy, though knowing the people I work with, I assume they use the perceived position of trust to take advantage of employees, telling them they are getting a great deal when in fact they are getting reamed even harder than a shmoe off the street.

I do get free car washes though. And because I'm nice to the porters, they usually detail my car too. I bring them homemade cookies in return.
2022-12-20 8:32:33 AM  
Back in the 80s you could borrow the company truck for the weekend.  I used that perk to move.

Can't do that anymore due to lawyers.

/dirty deeds done at fairly competitive rates
2022-12-20 8:38:10 AM  
3. Free sex in the Champaign room when I was a bouncer at a strip club. Saw a lot of perks there.

I was a bartender and a DJ in strip clubs in the 80s and early 90s.
My god did those gals like to snort coke and fark.

/Good old days

/Ask me about my merkin collection
2022-12-20 8:41:12 AM  
Free parking across the street from Gencon.
2022-12-20 8:43:00 AM  
I have sexy times with my entire office staff, which sounds like a great time until the lawsuit happens. The reality is that it's just one lady. And we're married.

Still pretty great, though.
2022-12-20 8:43:49 AM  
Worked as a bicycle mechanic.  Lots of companies offer online training about their products, and if you maintain a high rate of completion on their training modules, you earn discounts on products.
One company offeres 60% off MSRP, which was essentially 10% below cost.
A certain bicycle manufacturer allows for cost minus 35% on bicycle purchases (up to 2 per year) with the caveat that you aren't allowed to sell the bike for a period of 1 year.
A major parts and bike supplier gives cost minus 20% for staying up to date on their brand training.

Nothing like getting a $600 frameset for under $300, or building up a $450 pair of wheels that would retail for $1000.
2022-12-20 8:48:31 AM  
I started working in the dotcom boom.  There was such a thing as a free lunch.
2022-12-20 8:49:04 AM  
I've spent 20+ years doing some pretty cool stuff with some pretty cool people in some pretty cool places. I've been to 46 states and 22 countries on the company dime. But the best perk is still meeting my wife.

/sorry, haven't had my coffee yet, so just ignore me
2022-12-20 8:50:34 AM  
Gym membership. Keeps that hope alive, and stops you from giving someone 600 dollars you will never use. I mean, nothing is free, but, yaknow...

5% off car parts at [chain car store].

Free clinic. They actually set it up, just for us. It's almost tenuous at the moment. They keep taking away the most odd things that you would think a clinic would be used for, and have to light a fire under our asses to use it. But then they have staffing issues and are closed for 2 weeks every other month.

Free shots is free shots *shrug*. Free doctor talk is free doctor talk. No copay just to ask questions and get a bar napkin diagnosis rolling. Not bad.
2022-12-20 8:50:39 AM  
Free pre-release movie showings at Dolby.
2022-12-20 8:54:39 AM  
The one start up I worked at used to have movie day once a month. The whole company (20) would go to the local theater to watch whatever was playing and then have a long lunch at one of the restaurants in the mall. We would also hit the bowling alley every couple of months for an afternoon. Lots of beer was consumed. Also if we worked past 6:00, we could order in from a collection of local spots.

Good times
2022-12-20 8:58:10 AM  
Oh, almost forgot, paid for continued education. I'm 3 years into it. Gonna ride that "free" ship until it sinks. Or my sanity breaks.
2022-12-20 9:13:28 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: Ha. I worked at RIM in the early 2000s. We had Aerosmith play at one of our company BBQs.

Things are calmer now but more sustainable.

criaturasmusicalesart.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
2022-12-20 9:14:08 AM  
The first marketing firm I worked for in the mid 90s allowed us to cash out up to two weeks of vacation a year. I had three, so I'd take one and cash the other two every year while it lasted.  Was a sweet end of the year bonus.
2022-12-20 9:16:44 AM  
WFH.  Started doing it one day per week when we still lived in Philly (plus things like school snow days, when someone had to stay home with my daughter), and exclusively since we moved to Virginia in the summer of 2014.  Don't think I could ever sit in an office all day anymore.
2022-12-20 9:17:50 AM  
16 sick days a year, which can carry over, Can take them whenever, no questions asked (even if I'm not sick) plus currently at 6 weeks vacation leave per year, which also can be carried over. Plus, I'm full time WFH. I can easily do my job with time to spare, so can go to gym or whatever, when I feel like it. Have the option to work compressed hours so can do 4  12 hour days and get three-day weekends. OT when I want it. 6 figure salary. I'm pretty happy with the arrangement.
2022-12-20 9:22:07 AM  
My first real job had a 100% match on the first 6% into 401k.  Plus a 15% discount on company stock, which would be up like 10X over the last 20 years if I was still holding it.
2022-12-20 9:25:30 AM  
Unlimited PTO, free sodas in the break room, free beer and cookies on fridays, 3 months 100% paid paternity leave.  No, not a silicon valley start up or dotcom boom, just a company that actually cared.

Sadly that company was acquired by a big firm and everything except unlimited PTO was cut.  I realize the paternity leave thing is exceedingly rare, even my wife didn't get that much leave and she did all the hard work.  I scheduled my leave to start when hers was winding down with a little overlap so i could take over 100%.  While I was on leave is when they sold the company so it was interesting to come back to all new stuff.
2022-12-20 9:27:36 AM  
I get a lot of great perks, but my favorite is the professional development budget. When I was just starting out, a $40 book was a significant investment that I'd really debate pulling the trigger on, and I was always very careful to declare it as an work expense on my taxes. Now if there's a book I want, I give the ISBN to our admin coordinator and she has it shipped to me at home. It's like Christmas year 'round.
2022-12-20 9:42:54 AM  
Weekly tastings of our beer, wine and liquor. It was actually job related, since we had to come up with possible pairings, but really, we got paid to drink in the middle of the day. Unlike getting paid to have a drink at the end of the night with shifties.

Come and see the alcoholism inherent in the system.
2022-12-20 10:17:32 AM  
First job out of high school was in a resort town at a 5-star hotel. We used to be able to stay at any hotel in the chain for $30/night and got 50% off food and beverage at all hotels in the chain. This resulted in numerous epic road trips.
2022-12-20 10:19:47 AM  
My current employer has a year end shut-down. Everyone in the country get off the week between Christmas and New Year, in addition to regular vacation.
2022-12-20 10:20:43 AM  
They used to pay for my yearly Daytimer organizer pages back in the 90s
2022-12-20 10:25:37 AM  
Banging the office manager, Rebecca, was nice, but not actually furnished by the company
2022-12-20 10:29:17 AM  
I work at Wayne State University in Detroit.  We get the week between Christmas and New Year's off with pay and it doesn't count as vacation time.  Currently we work two days from home.  Pay sucks, but you get great health/dental/vision insurance.  Also a certain amount of free tuition.
2022-12-20 10:31:57 AM  
I worked for a large restaurant franchisee back in the '90s.  I had "signing privileges".  I could go into any of our restaurants with as many guests as I wanted and order as much food and booze as we wanted and all I had to do was sign the receipt.  The only conditions were that I was supposed to leave a cash tip and I wasn't supposed to get too drunk.
2022-12-20 10:35:57 AM  
My supervisor is dumb enough that he can't tell when I'm actually working vs slacking off. I guess you could call that a perk
2022-12-20 10:43:56 AM  
I worked at a pretty fancy country club after college. Full time, rather than seasonal, employees had free dorm style housing above the club house and we also got unlimited OT.

In hindsight, I probably should've stayed in that field. It's not super unusual for head groundskeepers at nice country clubs to negotiate a free truck and housing stipend on top of their six figure salary.
2022-12-20 10:50:24 AM  
Late 80's I worked as a trade entry clerk for a trading firm. Some of the perks:
- Free hot breakfast and hot lunch delivered to your desk. Chef used to work at the Palmer House so everything was great
- Free soft drinks, bottled water and fruit juice in refrigerators throughout the offices
- Free beer you could drink at your desk after 4 PM when trading was done.
- Thursday afternoon hors d'oeuvre get together. Tons of hot stuff and shrimp
- Christmas party at the Signature Room at the John Hancock Building.
- When you got married they would give you a Waterford vase
- When you had a baby you would get a car seat
- They offered to sponsor me to become a trader (the stress level was too much for me so I declined)
- They had a quit smoking program. If you quit for 6 months they'd pay you $1000. They'd take out taxes so you'd get about $800. If you were caught smoking though you had to pay it all back. I quit smoking, got the money, got married, got the vase and then quit the company (new job opportunity). Then I started smoking again.
2022-12-20 10:53:43 AM  
Best perk across all jobs? A 15% annual bonus.

Second best: Health insurance when I worked at a university that was "gold" level and cost me $25 a month, the company paid over $500.

Third best: Travel for installations.
2022-12-20 11:00:21 AM  

phimuskapsi: Third best: Travel for installations.

This was 5-10 years before my time, but I know guys who were on installs for 6 months at a time, and they made so much per diem (which isn't taxed) that they didn't even touch their paychecks.

And on top of that, they abused the fark out of the monthly flight back home by booking last minute, then cancelling and banking the credit.
2022-12-20 11:04:43 AM  
Disability benefits paid for by my employer...which I had when I suffered my aneurysm.  $2k/month since June '09.
2022-12-20 11:16:59 AM  

BMFPitt: phimuskapsi: Third best: Travel for installations.

This was 5-10 years before my time, but I know guys who were on installs for 6 months at a time, and they made so much per diem (which isn't taxed) that they didn't even touch their paychecks.

And on top of that, they abused the fark out of the monthly flight back home by booking last minute, then cancelling and banking the credit.

Mine were more like a week at a time, but I have gotten to see a lot of parts of America that I didn't get to see when I was a kid. I worked for a point of sale company and did installs at restaurants, so it was pretty fun hanging out, eating food and being there for training.
2022-12-20 11:17:04 AM  
When I worked in sales I'd usually hit my quota by noon, smoke a joint, and take a nap in a nearby park. That was pretty sweet.

My first job in the produce section, if you could fit it under your shirt you were allowed to take home any fruit you wanted.

Now I work in a union and the only real perk is the excellent pay *kicks rock*.
2022-12-20 11:31:01 AM  
Company car, 10% over cost on auto parts, and the best perk is working for a family who cares about their employees.

/The office I sit in is also nice, 30 years selling auto parts and it's nice to not have to work the walk in counter any longer.
//The office might have something to do with my lack of patience with car ignorant customers.
///"What kind of car do you have?"  "That one out there."
2022-12-20 11:37:48 AM  
My neighbor used to be a valet parking attendant at a nice golf club in the 80s. He'd steal weed and coke from the cars he parked. What would the customer do, call the cops?
2022-12-20 11:44:08 AM  
Company 1 -  Free snacks and cell phone. I'm talking literal pallets of various snacks dropped off every week. I also received Intel CPUs months before the public knew they existed as well as servers, stuffed animals, golf shirts etc.

Company 2 - 25 cent vending machines (everything was a quarter), paid overtime even though I was salary, excellent quarterly bonuses, free laptops etc. When I was laid off in June due to corporate restructuring I had already made my annual salary and was given another $14K severance. Then they tried to rehire me at a substantial salary increase and position, I declined because they had 86ed the perks.

Company 3 - Company car, charge cards etc. Never paid for anything. Left due to lack of confidence in my manager.

Company 4 - Allowed to carry up to 44 vacation days per year. Max of 90 sick days (which I'm using now due to health issues), 12% of my salary is paid by the company to my 403b plan (none of which comes out of my pocket). other perks are not used by me, as in automatically accepted to the university I work for and 50% off cost of classes. They'll pay up to $40K per year college tuition at any college if you opt not to attend their university.

There were probably other perks I was unaware of or didn't care about. During one interview I was being told about 'stock options' they were going to give me, to which i replied "I don't care about stock that I can't use for three years, I work for money so I can eat now". They're stock tanked after I was hired.
2022-12-20 11:53:40 AM  
Company allows me to expense my country club dues.

401K is 100% match up to 6%. Profit sharing goes into 401K as well. Depending upon the year 50-100% of whatever your total was. I max it out at the 25.5K (catch up provision), so a pretty good chunk goes into  it every year.

/keeps Xmas lights up year round
2022-12-20 11:54:27 AM  
We had compressed work schedule. I got every Monday off. I hate Mondays. But on Friday, instead of working until 5:30, the boss would come by at 3:30 and say "If you're wrapped up for the week, you can take off at 4." Which meant my extra hours were only 3 days a week.

Then my awesome boss left and the whole thing went to hell....
2022-12-20 11:55:52 AM  
So a $200K a year tech worker will have to pay for their own lunch and can't play ping pong anymore?
The horror!
2022-12-20 12:06:30 PM  
Had job in the early 2000's for a food manfacture.   We got free meals, everyday.   We also had free soda fountains.    We could also go thru "damaged stock" and get free food to take home as much as we could carry.  Damaged Stock is a case or box that got damaged before it left the warehouse.

It was a complete sh.t job, as there were 12 of us in IT keeping a mutilnational manfacuting company running.   But the perks were nice.

I did also get a ton of stock options, well till the CEO/ CFO and Comptroller all got sent to prison for cooking the books, so they could get even bigger bonuses.
2022-12-20 12:07:04 PM  
Worked at a beer distributor. They set up a soft drink vending machine but replaced the Pepsi with beer. You could get a can for a quarter. Also: employee discount on cases of beer.
2022-12-20 12:13:39 PM  

hubiestubert: Weekly tastings of our beer, wine and liquor. It was actually job related, since we had to come up with possible pairings, but really, we got paid to drink in the middle of the day. Unlike getting paid to have a drink at the end of the night with shifties.

Come and see the alcoholism inherent in the system.

When I was a banquet server one of the unofficial perks was the boss not caring if we drank on the job as long as we were cool about it.
2022-12-20 12:15:05 PM  
I've been a line cook for four years now. I never want for good food

I've made some of the most ridiculous and delicious food concoctions ever known. Oreos deep-fried in pancake batter was up there

/We got really bored during the pandemic closures
2022-12-20 12:18:05 PM  
First job: No perks
Second job: my boss would let me scan a 30 pack of cheap beer and I could take a milk crate of random bottles from the 6 packs that had broken bottles in them
Third Job: Thanksgiving turkeys every year
4th job: Free zoo admission to any AZA zoo
5th job: Perks?
6th job: Perks?
7th job: Perks?
8th job: catered lunches
9th job: Beer in breakroom, xbox in breakroom, catered lunches, car washes (I was a field employee, not office, so I never got to partake)
Current job: all your standard benefits, 401k matching etc. Add to that waterskiing behind the owner's boat, summer parties on the lake, discretionary budget for computer upgrades, company furnished my home office (desk, chair, bookshelves, lamps, decor), Holiday parties featuring Band X (Atlanta party band), end of workweek beer samplings in office, wfh, work from wherever I feel like, discretion to log time or not as I see fit, holiday bonuses, profit sharing

/I own three pairs of shoes but only one belt
2022-12-20 12:18:08 PM  
Worked at a brew pub making beer, so free beer.
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