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Rated: E · Column · Career · #1112403
What kind of fringe benefits does your job give you?
Everyone I know works. Except for my sister, mother and me. Okay, not everyone. This morning the phone rang and I was the lucky winner. A very good friend calling to say “Good Morning” (house rule). During the course of our conversation we veered off road to a delightful discussion about his holiday weekend.

Four whole days! While I enjoyed my morning coffee (required) he regaled me with tidbits about his “fringe benefits”. His holidays off were paid, he has six (he’ll have to miss Washington’s surprise party), insurance and he gets a few “fringes”.

Last week it was a green ball cap stamped with the name of his employer on the back. Can you say billboard? He was genuinely glad to receive it and told me so. He called it a “fringe benefit”. Well, if he never wears it—in say twenty to thirty years—it could become an antique. Now that is what I call a “fringe benefit”! If his employer's knew that they probably would have kept it. Their loss!

This lively conversation got me to thinking. Is everyone this lucky? I think so. When I was working I got “fringe benefits” too. I was given ink pens and tee-shirts (name included), clocks (to make sure I wasn’t late, no doubt) and once I was even given a trip to Las Vegas, never mind that it required me to audit an office or that I spent my entire paycheck.

I immediately called several of my friends (yes, at work) and polled them (my friends are very good sports) as to the type of “fringe benefits” they were given. They were glad to help me out…moving expenses, gas reimbursement and mileage were the most popular! There were others, the proverbial turkey and hams (no, not the boss the other kinds), clothing and ink pens emblazoned with the name of the business.

There were some unusual ones, as well. Gift certificates to tanning salons and gyms (what’s that about?), some received tickets to a ball game (minor league), a subscription to the Wall Street Journal (that friend works for a dry cleaner!) and a music cd. No, I’m not making these up!

What I want to know is what happened to good, old-fashioned cash and where is the advertising budget being spent? Employer’s wanted to know what happened to the envelopes and stamps? Well, I can tell them. The employees took them home, so they could mail a letter of complaint!
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