Tech companies get a lot of attention for offering some crazy awesome perks to their employees. Google has on-site masseuses, and Epic Health Systems has a building with a three-story slide in it and another one designed to look like a Dungeons & Dragons game. In fact, these types of perks have gotten so much attention that many companies – the boring ones that don’t offer in-office dry cleaning or weekly beer pong tournaments – worry that they’ll never be able to attract good employees. After all, who would want to work at a normal company when you might get to pet the corporate pony every morning as it grazes in front of the main door?
Well I happen to work at one of those companies, and I can say for a fact that those fears are well-founded. I truly hate my job, but my perks are incredible!
In fact, let me tell you what my typical day looks like. I wake up at 6am in a cold sweat, dreading the thought of another day tweaking algorithms to induce a few more teenagers to stare at the clickbait my company has made millions of dollars creating. Then I remember that my company has a cereal bar!!!, which is fantastic because I’m 33 years old and thinking about starting a family sometime soon, but it’s still pretty cool to get to eat cereal out of a tube like I did when I was in college. I think I’ll choose Captain Crunch today, or maybe Frosted Flakes. I don’t really know, they have so many choices! If I take my time, I might be able to postpone the moment that I actually have to start working.
But not for too long, because they monitor everything I do. Thankfully, that monitoring happens in an abandoned warehouse that’s been re-designed to look like the inside of a pirate ship – they even put sails up in the foyer and painted the entire ceiling to look like the sky, which totally distracts me from the fact that I won’t actually see the sun today. I loathe the people I work with, but thankfully we all work on walking treadmills that make it impossible to work, walk, and carry on even the most trivial conversation all at the same time. The slow grinding sound of 35 treadmills plodding away at 1.2 miles an hour used to cause a facial tic, but I’ve got that under control now. I pity the poor souls who have to work at actual desks.
By 9:30 I’ve written a few dozen lines of code that I feel certain have inched the world closer to the apocalypse, and I need a break. That’s when I go to the crow’s nest – I told you I worked inside a pirate ship, right? – which is strung up halfway to the sky ceiling. Other than the sound of the treadmills, it’s crazy how quiet everything is. You’d think that 150 people working in an open office peppered with egg-shaped meditation pods and ping-pong tables would be buzzing with conversation and activity, but we do everything online – face-to-face is soooo 20th century – so everyone basically keeps to themselves. Especially the bosses, which is awesome because I can’t stand any of them.
Today’s Thursday, which means we’ll do a Beer 30 at 4pm. I’m not a huge IPA fan myself, but that’s apparently the only beer hip people drink, and I’ll take one anyway because it’ll dull my senses enough to help me ignore the complete meaninglessness of what I do. And when it’s over I’ll take one of the Pirate Scooters – did I tell you they gave us all scooters? – and whisk my way back to the apartment I can’t afford.
I have some friends who work in less exciting places. They like who they work with and feel like the work they do makes a difference somehow, but I can never understand how they can be so happy to work in an office that doesn’t offer free psychic readings. I take advantage of that one all the time! Maybe someday she’ll finally give me the winning lottery numbers I keep begging her for.