No. of Recommendations: 3

I'm sorry, but I've not had time to read your (long) post completely, but I felt sort of compelled to respond anyway. My take-away from skimming it is that "MC" is a highly-motivated, career-minded individual that is probably looking to climb the management ladder.

I actually see lots of individuals in the corporate world sacrifice their vacation time as well as their health and personal life in order to advance in a company. Many put themselves into situations where they're just "too valuable" to take the time off that they're owed. But that doesn't change company policy, so they sometimes lose vacation time over it.

That doesn't mean I'm sympathetic with them. Better planning and management - not necessarily their own - would probably have made their sacrifice unnecessary. But their sacrifice could have been avoided had they made different choices and painted themselves into such a situation. In any case employers tend to reward people that do such things in other ways. (At my current job these people tend to get fat bonuses, extra stock grants and big pay raises. Someone making such a choice could stand to gain a great deal more than that lost vacation time was worth - if what they were working on was visible and truly valued by the company.) And if the person making the sacrifice doesn't feel the rewards are sufficient, they'll either stop making them or leave for another job.

Ironically I'm more sympathetic about your sandwich and soda complaint. I work in a field where employers tend to provide free snacks and drinks as a "perk". In fairness, most of the employees are well-paid and providing free sources of caffeine and Calories makes economic sense because its a cheap way to squeeze a little more productivity out of fairly expensive talent. They even tend to provide us meals when we're running behind schedule. Personally I think most employers ought to do this - even the government. Most employees appreciate it and it's a cheap way to make them feel their hard work is appreciated at some level.

Of course when perks like this are seen to be abused by a few, they tend to get reduced or removed and everyone suffers the consequences. I suspect that a few public-sector cases of such abuse have surfaced (and were publicized) over the years which have resulted in the apparently strict bans you face now.

- Joel
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