Cheap Gets Cheaper

Any corporate office I have ever been in has a break room with a pretty standard stock of items. They will usually provide a soda machine, coffee, tea, filtered water, and of course paper plates, plastic utensils, and Styrofoam cups. At Starbucks corporate office they have an espresso machine; and here at Microsoft all the soda and juice you can drink is free. AT&T (aka Cingular) in their never ending need to screw employees by cutting cost has recently one upped themselves. A few of my friends, who for some odd reason are still employed there, have just had the few items they were provided with in the break room cut. AT&T stopped resupplying the cups, the plates, and the plastic utensils. Not only that, the removed the filtered water. We are assuming so they don’t have to pay for new filters. And, they increased the cost of soda in the machine to .75 cents. That’s right, not only are they cutting cost on the employees, they are trying to make a little money off them. I did find out that they are still providing the cheap crappy coffee they’ve always provided, you just need to bring your own cup.

I was talking about this with a friend last night, and he pointed out that not only is this cutting cost, it’s reducing productivity. If you think about it, they are forcing people to leave the office for most everything. So there will be no more work related discussions when bumping into people in the break room. Lunch is lasting longer than it would if people ate in the office. And of course, they are creating disgruntlement with the employees. I hated working there for many reasons, this would have just added to the list.

Microsoft has done a pretty good job of motivating people and keeping them at their desks. I can walk into the break room, quickly grab a Mountain Dew full of sugar, and return back to work. Or if I’d prefer, I can hit the button on the fancy Starbucks coffee machine and have coffee ground before it brews a fresh cup. If I bring in a lunch, I can cook it up real quick, throw it on a paper plate and head back to my desk to eat it, while working.

I can see why AT&T would need to cut cost and make a little more money. They do change their
name every other year. It’s not cheap to change the signs on all the stores, and I’m sure it’s not cheap to change the paint scheme on the corporate jet.

If any of my readers are thinking about going to work there, don’t.

Comments