RE: a question about "atmospheric" benefits

Subject: RE: a question about "atmospheric" benefits
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 11:09:42 -0500

Our work environment looks like this:

- we're crammed in like sardines, cuz we've outgrown
both our current space and our ability to beg, borrow
or expropriate nearby spaces... but...

- we're having a building built for us and will move
in February -- managers will inhabit offices near
the core; the rest of us will be in cubes, but near
the windows. (So, here it's the MANAGERS who are
kept in the dark and fed ... er... uh... never mind :-)

- On the days that I jog to work, I come in at 09h30 or
later; on other days, I have come in at 07h00 -- either
way, I adjust my leaving time to match. I work about
37.5 hours per week except for a few crunch periods
in a year. Nobody has EVER so much as raised an
eyebrow about my hours, nor about any but a few people
who were blatant abusers (arrive late leave early), and
who have ... um... moved on.

- we've got a couple of small shower/changing rooms for
the athletic/masochistic among us.

- the new building will have a small exercise room, with
a few aerobic machines and some resistance equipment --
I'm helping specify, right now. TVs and sound system,
to help ease the monotony of rowing/cycling/treading.
Showers and lockers, of course.

- There's also an indoor lockup for those of us who
cycle to work... well, for our bicycles, anyway.

- We'll have a lunch-room/lounge area, but nothing
fancy, since the new digs are across the street from
Don Cherry's restaurant, a couple of fast-food places
dry-cleaner, massage/physio/chiropracter clinic (we
have a discount arrangement).

- The new digs are at the edge of the Ottawa green-belt,
with bicycle paths almost to the door, and with nothing
but pleasant neighborhoods to stroll in, at lunch-hour.

- if we had a real dress-down or casual Friday, most of us
would have to wear pajamas. All summer, I wore shorts,
golf shirt, sandals. Right now, I'm in sneaks, slacks
and a micro-fleece t-shirt.

- a guy brings several dozen fresh bagels each 9am, and
ensures that we are well-stocked with cream cheese and
other spreads.

- another fellow comes in at 10 with fresh muffins and
a selection of donuts/dutchies/crullers...

- another, older couple comes in each morning to fill/
service the caffeine machines, that dispense variety
coffees, hot chocolate, etc. all quite good, and all
quite free, of course.

- naturally, we also have standard drip coffee-makers
for those who prefer more control over their beverage.

- the free soft-drink fridge always contains tons of
soda-pop, iced tea and other stuff.

- there does seem to be a problem that whoever orders
the snack-food stuff seems inordinately fond of
pretzels, and not quite fond enough of party-mix,
but I'm sure that will straighten out eventually.

- the candy bowls are kept filled with Jujubes, Tootsie
Pops, jellybeans, or whatever was on sale at Costco.

- Engineering has "lunch'n'learn" every second Friday,
where pizza or some other food is supplied.

- just about every quarter, the company is handing out
some article of clothing... caps, golf-shirts, pull-over
lined wind-breakers, etc. They've also become more
discreet with the logos (embroidered, rather than
screen-printed), so many of us actually wear the things.

- there's a draw of our business cards every Friday in
the lobby, for pairs of premium sports tickets or

- the medical and dental plans, in addition to the other
health'n'sanity-related perks are quite decent.

- previous years have seen bonuses in the form of stock
options... quite welcomed, as our valuation keeps

- the only thing I miss right now is a matching-contribution
RSP, but they're working on establishing a pension plan soon.

- I seem to be surrounded by a gang of bright, willing,
energetic little overachievers, and haven't met a bad
apple yet. The grouchiest person in the place seems to
be the HR manager, and she likes dogs, so she can't be
all bad... :-)

- professionally-speaking, I have requirements to produce
certain docs, but I have input into the requirements
phase; I get all the access I need to anybody who might
harbor some useful info or opinion; I am rarely
questioned with respect to organization or presentation
of my work, and I have effective veto/overrule; in
recent months, I have been asked if I thought I could
use some help yet... didn't even have to go lobbying;
the Product Verification (PV) department is mandated
to both provide me with info and to test/edit my docs;
I'm frequently asked for help with other folks' docs
and have not encountered any resistance to the notion
that I "suggest" and they implement... and not that I
take it over from them.

- Salary is decent for my area, but I don't make as
much as an engineer with the same years of experience.

Life is good, but it seems these conditions are almost
standard for high-tech industry these days. May it last
and last.


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