Fringe benefits
Jul 23, 2008 at 10:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

DanG

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So I graduated from college last year (spring '07) and the first job I had was as a contractor, getting paid for every hour I worked. Only thing I missed out on was the crappy "fringe benefits" that permanent employees get. You know, the Christmas party, the paid holidays, etc.

Now I've moved to Germany with a different job in a different division of the same corporation. Today we had our summer grill party. We went to a fancy, expensive restaurant on the outskirts of Freiburg with all-you-can-eat beef, lamb, and pork steaks as well as shrimp kebabs. Also salads, bread, spreads, etc. Also, all-you-can-drink unfiltered Pils and Hefeweizen as well as red and white wine. I've never experienced such generosity by a company... and it makes me wonder -- even if you make a little less as a full-time employee, is it maybe worth it in terms of overall happiness, even if you don't take as much advantage of it as I did tonight? And trust me, I had quite a few steaks, beers, and glasses of wine... I often hear people say silly illogical things like "yeah... benefits are priceless." Well, illogical since they have a concrete price, and that's how the company determines that it's worthwhile to provide them. Still, after tonight (and after my first paid sick day ever last week) I'm beginning to see -- aren't there some "fringe benefits" that exceed their purely pecuniary value?
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 10:42 PM Post #3 of 7

Equus

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Completely. I remember during my stint unemployed the teacher for the compulsory class I had to attend mentioned something relevant to that. Basically, she said that your personal happiness was as important, if not more important, than the amount of money that you make. It's pretty true, since it wouldn't be worth the extra money if you end up stressed and rack up medical expenses, alcohol intake, or whatever else just to try to deal with the negative aspects of your job.

The fringe benefits also help an employee feel like they're appreciated, which I think we all crave at one level or another.
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 10:49 PM Post #4 of 7

aaron313

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There are some companies that treat their employees extraordinarily well. And there are some companies that don't. For me, the money is important, but I want to feel needed.
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 11:03 PM Post #5 of 7

chesebert

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That's only true to a certain extent. When you start to make the big bucks you are not only working for your own happiness, rather you are working for your kids' happiness, your parents' happiness, and anything left over goes to your wife
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I think if you can't derive enjoyment from work alone, you are in the wrong profession; time to find something you truly enjoy doing.
 
Jul 24, 2008 at 12:09 AM Post #7 of 7

Uncle Erik

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Eh, it's all a tradeoff. My firm has a holiday party you're expected to attend. Country club, good spread of food, open bar, etc. It's a snore. The partners give longwinded speeches that don't wrap up until close to midnight. My survival tactic the past five years was to put down several drinks early and time the buzz to wear off around midnight.

There are other perks, which are nicer, but I mostly want to work for myself. The writeoffs get a lot better.
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