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Friday, January 13, 2012

Perks in Occupations

I’m a creature of habit. I do not adopt or embrace change in a timely manner. My least favorite book of all, about business, is Who Moved My Cheese? This should tell you what kind of guy I am. Now, get off my lawn.

Having to go to work every day is a necessity. Having free coffee in the workplace is a luxury. Having K-Cups provided to you along with vending machines with free soda is an awesome luxury. Having all that change on you in an instant is enough to make you want to flip the tables over in the kitchen and go Wild Bunch.

When I started this new job a year ago, I was floored at the prospect of having free soda provided to me. I only drink one can a day, with my lunch, but I’ve already saved like $70 over the last year from not having to buy cases of pop for that purpose.

As far as the coffee is concerned, for about six months I was making three batches, consisting of two k-cups per batch, for a grand total of 36 ounces of coffee per day. I noticed that I needed the coffee to keep going and I didn’t like it. So, I actually embraced a change when I got a cold and switched to a two k-cup, 8 ounce cup when I got to work and then drank two cups of tea consisting of three Lemon Zinger k-cups in a 12 ounce mix. What I didn’t realize was that there was no caffeine in the tea and after awhile, I didn’t miss it and was more alert than ever. See, caffeine is a drug, you can become addicted to it, and it can cause you to need more to compensate over time.

But back to the coffee. My work just made a switch over to regular brew pots of coffee and these things called Perfect Servings which dispense all of the cream and sugar automatically.

Not happy. I need a puppy to kick, like now.

First of all, I know the company we switched over to. We had them in my old job for vending and coffee service. They used to supply the muffins and pastries in the cafeteria at the plant and one day, my late mother-in-law was witness to someone breaking open a muffin to find blood in it. Now, of course, this information never made it to the general employees’ ears. She worked in HR and she kept a lot of things secret that would have made the masses occupy boardrooms. I only found out because my wife once said, “Don’t eat any pastries from XXX”. I won’t say who they are but their company is also a file extension for video files. So, I’m a little bit leery when it comes to hearing that this company is now providing us with coffee and is providing us with pastries as an incentive to make the switch.

I know I should not complain. I have a decent job with a decent company and having the perks I’ve had is something that I never saw in my old job. To see them go is a shame but that’s the cost of doing business. Once the bean counters realize that they’re spending x amount of dollars on you and they can save that money by outsourcing that service, streamlining it, and reducing the offerings, they are nuts not to make those changes. Considering the economy, the fat has to be trimmed. But at the expense of morale?

Look, you come into work every day, sometimes with an enormous chip on your shoulder. You’re not getting a raise or seeing promotions come along. Whatever. The one thing you have to balance the mundane requirements is that little perk. Then, suddenly, it’s gone. And the company that provided those perks have now installed these fancy machines that supposedly do all the work (i.e. cut down on people using a lot of sugar or creamer) for you. You have this routine down where it takes you enough time to roll in, make your coffee, get stuff done, and get to your desk in time to get working. You throw a wrench into that routine and devastates some people.

Not to mention that when you come in on the day of reckoning and members from the service are there to stand over your shoulder while you fumble your way through the process. They get that cheery disposition and the ‘We’re going to make it all better’ attitude that is just lip service. The bottom line is, “You guys have had it good and we’re not going to cut you off completely but there are going to be some cost saving changes.”

No one wants to say that, though. Because of all the stigma surrounding those in power who make the decisions, they’re not going to fire that shot across the bow of the S.S. Underling.

“Mongo, you’re crazy. You’re shorts are too tight in the seat. You’re just displaying that old man curmudgeon mentality that you always show.”

Maybe you’re right. Maybe I am just too resistant to change to see the positive. Maybe I just need coffee. Oh that’s right. I couldn’t find it this morning because they moved everything around and there’s a huge ass line because we all have no idea how to work the new machines.


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