Sometimes there are little things that an employer can do to make life generally better for its employees.
Up until last June, I worked for a mega wealthy family in their private office. The facility was gorgeous and had been featured in design magazines. Priceless paintings hung on the walls, including one in the ladies room that probably cost as much as my car. Our lunches were prepared by a private chef who trained a couple of Food Network stars. We had access to pretty much anything – box seats for concerts, best seats in the house for sporting events, tables at unbookable restaurants. When I decided to leave, people thought I was insane because I walked away from so many ‘prestigious’ opportunities.
So why would I leave? All the glitter in the world won’t make you happy or fulfilled. And as you may have guessed, the uber rich are very different from you and I in every way.
I chose to leave and work in a lower level position at a company that has the reputation for a great corporate culture. Sixteen months in and I’m still marvelling over the ‘little things’ this caring culture provides, and how my life is positively impacted.
- I walk to work. Sure, it might take me a whole 22 minutes to stroll that 1.2 miles when I could drive in 7, but I get some exercise, walk into the sunrise in the morning, and towards the sunset in the evening. I destress and solve problems as I talk to myself (not the crazy lady mumbling, I just have great conversations in my head).
- Super gym with every machine, free classes, towel service at the bottom of my elevator bank. For about what I was spending on gas when I drove to work, I pay for personal training twice a week. Better still, I’m able to use the gym because I’m not working overtime every day.
- There’s a culture of kindness. Although there are about 5,000 people just in this particular complex, it’s rare to find someone who is unpleasant or rude. The culture doesn’t allow it. Nasty people are weeded out.
- The subsidized restaurant. Today G and I both had prime rib, au jus, mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables – for about $7.50 each. And it’s healthy. Fresh fish, made to order steaks, veggies of every form and variety. Of course there are hamburgers and fries, too, but given the choice I’ll choose a grilled chicken breast and veggies any day.
- The paid time off … I went from 10 days to 24 days overnight. That does a lot of good for a marriage when your spouse has 30 days.
- Finally, the environment is so peaceful. Tonight as I walked home I took a picture of the asters in bloom in the garden. What would you rather see on your commute home, flowers, or bumpers?
Nothing is perfect, but I’d take a company that wants me to be a fulfilled, happy employee over one that gets me World Series tickets any day.
Happy Friday 🙂