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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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There is an article over at Mercury News talking about hi-tech company cafeterias. Not too much information there, other than that yes, hi-tech companies do give perks such as decent subsidized/free food, in order to keep people on-campus more often than not. At my current job, we get sandwiches/salads and all-you-can-drink beverages each day, and a cafeteria is on the way. That’s not what I’m interested in talking about, however. It’s this quote that jumped out at me:

Broadcom counts on a good chunk of its engineers swinging through its Zanker Café after 6:30 p.m. for the fixed-price dinner: $3 for prime rib with soup or salad and dessert. Families are welcome.

“There are people here all hours of the night,” said Tom Porter, senior director of corporate services. “This gives them a chance to see their kids before they go to bed.”

I understand that there will always be workaholics. There will always be deadlines to meet, and products to ship. There will always be the occasional crisis. However, the implicit expectation that people will be at work late, and that this is the only way to see their children is insulting. I think this is central to a lot of companies; people want to work hard and play hard, but I keep coming back to the thought that one needs time to enjoy the proceeds of their labor, and that time should not just be restricted to the one or two vacations they get per year.

While still on the topic of work, on NPR this morning they were talking about corporate dissension, and how it’s difficult to find a responsible independent board of directors. Part of the difficulty came in that management (they cited HP as an example) often takes a very hard stance towards criticism and boat rocking. This lead to the most marvelous quote I’ve heard in a while; I didn’t catch who said it — “Dissension is not disloyalty.” This plays nicely with what I was saying on the topic the other day.