The Only Reason You’re Able To Read This Is Because I Got A Foot Massage Yesterday

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Let’s get personal for a second: sometimes it’s hard to drag ourselves out of the gutter—er, bed—every morning, trudge to the office, sit at the computer, look for “interesting” business news and regurgitate it. Sure, sometimes we can mix it up by throwing in some gratuitous pictures of Boy George and some lines about coke, hookers, screwing at high altitudes, and the like every now and then, but it can still get pretty repetitive and inspire countless “we hate our lives” and “let’s end it all now” and “screw it, let’s go to Taco Bell” mornings, afternoons and evenings. The higher-ups, noting this phenomenon a few weeks back, decided to spice things up with little treats, incentives, if you will. Keith who, you’ll recall, previously worked under JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, known for banning two-ply TP at the JP HQs, is now awarded three squares of Charmin extra-soft per day. Every Wednesday, I get a foot massage from a rotating group of financial journalists while Boyz II Men plays softly in the background. And for Carney-boy, only the best: every Friday, we hook “C-bombs” (his words) up to an IV filled with Jameson's, which almost trumps the twice-weekly download of Two And A Half Men episodes he’s allowed to put on the company dime.
Apparently Mme. Spiers isn’t alone in her tactics: perks are now a major part of the small-business operation. Gaining momentum since the late nineties, HR specialists approximate that the use of perks has shot up more than 20% in the last ten years. Business owners find that perks are “more effective because they give employees an experience they will savor and not easily forget,” which is not unlike the argument for unprotected sex versus protected sex that our General Manager waxed poetic on during lunch in the break room yesterday. Anyway, perks (including sky-diving trips, Nine-Inch Nails concerts, dog walking services and more) are also a better idea than cash bonuses because “employees who are rewarded with a bonus come to expect one regularly and feel snubbed if they do not get one.” Or on another plane, execs at Goldman Sachs, for example, might feel snubbed if they got a $15 million bonus this year, and a paltry 12.5 next. Smells like a good topic for a poll:

Next year at bonus season I vote for:

Perks; it makes me feel good to know my boss took the time to research my interests, and concluded that the 17 year old twins would be a meaningful gift for me.
Perks; otherwise, I’ll just blow the money—literally—in two weeks time.
Bonus; “perks” are for pussies.
Bonus; what I want to do with my money is none of the Nebbishy Master of the Universe’s business.
Bonus; because I need those singles to act out the ‘Demi on money on bed’ scene from Indecent Proposal.

When in Doubt, Offer a Nice Perk
[NYT]

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