Friday, January 6, 2012

Perk-a-licious: what are the best company perks?

I see (via SeeArrOh) that the American Snuff Company is hiring a chemist; do you think they give you all the tobacco products that you want to carry home? (I seem to recall that a benefit of working at the Jack Daniels distillery is a free case of Jack Daniels?) Other perks I've heard of:
  • A family member is an employee of an electrical utility -- discounts on the electric bill. 
  • When I worked at a major pharma, there was a company store with discounted consumer goods. That store is gone, of course. I got a T-shirt with a molecular model of V/ia/gra on it. 
  • I hear that BMS (?) used (still does?) to give you free cases of formula when you had a baby. 
  • One place I worked had all the free soda that you could drink and free peanut butter, jam and bread. Good enough for me!
What other perks have you heard of in your time in the chemical industry? Do petroleum refiners give away free gas? 

20 comments:

  1. Anheuser-busch used to give each employee a certain amount of free beer each month. Thanks to a brewing chemist on our board, much of this showed up at our ACS local section board meetings.

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  2. Oh man, Novartis used to (still might) hire an ice cream truck to come up to the front of the labs every Tuesday in the summer and give employees free ice cream. It became one of those things that everyone really enjoyed, and so the weekly exodus out to the front to get ice cream was born. We also had any OTC Novartis drug free, and could get most of the prescription ones free or severely discounted. There are so many more things that they showered us with, but it would take a post of its own!

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  3. I heard that GSK had free drycleaning and child care at RTP. They also had a heavily subsidized cafeteria and gym program (all in-house)

    I myself am just grateful for occasional free coffee and Diet Cokes.

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  4. All medications from my current company are free to employees, and we receive a pretty steep discount on things from their nutritional end. Was a huge money saver in terms of infant formula and costs...

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  5. Working in the environmental field, we get lots of food and such from farm and processor clients.

    I miss the free pod coffee brewer at my first lab.

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  6. I work for a paint and coatings company. We get discounted paint from the contractor supply store, and once a year they give away batches of paint that were mis-tinted.

    Unrelated to paint, there are also slightly discounted tickets to sporting events, plays/movies, the state fair, etc.

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  7. Lilly used to offer free OTC & prescription meds and vitamins--even soap. Near Christmas we were offered a boatload of Elizabeth Arden (associated firm) cosmetics for a few $$.

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  8. Ahhhhh, yes. I forgot. Tickets to the company box at the Padres. That was pretty awesome, even if it was the Padres. (sigh)

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  9. 3M had a "company store" where you could buy products at good prices, but that was just half of the fun. When I first joined the company (1991), they had a "bartered goods" group - people that would barter with customers that couldn't pay their bills. Some of those goods ended up in the company store as well, which made each trip an adventure. Sadly, that group was shut down.

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  10. At one place we got free food after important meetings were held in the big meeting room. The moment the suits left the room, word spread round the neighbouring write up areas and labs and we descended like scavenging birds to decimate the remaining sandwich quarters and pastries. Good times.

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  11. Consumer electronic goods manufacturer I interviewed at had decent discount on its products. Of course I make sure I never buy any of their stuff :)

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  12. It used to very common for Larger Organizations to have many Freebies or Company Store Discounts of their products. Such also would often have lavish Summer Picnics and Christmas parties. Moving to Biotech typically did not have these type of perks although most had internal weekly or monthly Friday Happy Hours with drinks and food.

    Was not official but did once get "free gas" benefit as I used to work at a Petroleum refinery in an Analytical Lab were there was periodic sampling of the remote gasoline storage tanks (majority on the main production tanks had installed on-line sample/GC testing). The Plant operators would bring our samples in 1 or even 5 gallon Safety Cans and since only required 1-5 mLs to test then the leftovers typically topped off someones car tank rather than go to Waste. This was possible since the lab parking was inside the main gate and not so sure we would have been allowed past the security gate carrying the cans if our vehicles where outside the facility fences. In addition we did officially receive healthy employee discount for gas purchases at Company Branded Stations.

    A number of years back a friend worked at P&G. I know he saved a fortune on baby diapers that where either cheap or possibly even free at the Company Store.

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  13. I think the BMS baby formula perk stopped when they sold Mead Johnson.

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  14. Here are some of the perks offered by the old company where I used to work: weekly (free) ice cream truck visits in the summer, tuition reimbursement ($5K max) for work-related education, monthly visits by professional masseuse (10-min sessions), and paid holiday for the ENTIRE week between Christmas and New Year. Although the pay wasn't the greatest, the perks and interesting projects definitely provided work incentive.

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  15. Where i used to work for almost 14 years (small Drug Delivery company) We got free soda, Coffee (good stuff) and juice. at least once a month they brought in good food for a company lunch, a great summer outing every year to nice places and nice Xmas parties as well, very good medical benefits of which they paid 80%... It was a great place to work in a lot of ways

    That company no longer exists in that form. I wish the FDA had been kinder to us ..

    Oh well after a year and half unemployed at least I have a job for the moment.

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  16. A1:54:

    Want to tell your story? E-mail me at chemjobber -at- gmail/dot/com.

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  17. I was an intern at a large wine company (large enough to have research chemists). Along with discounted wine, there were departmental barbecues every few weeks during harvest, plus a nice jacket to indicate that we had survived harvest.

    Oh, and wine at non-working lunches/dinners.

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  18. @1:04 PM,

    P & G did not have the "traditional" company store - as a manager once said, if they did it would be as big as Wal-Mart. Rather, there was a smallish "market place" where employees could go - however, you could not use money. They had a product test trial system set up to give you P & G bucks to use in the store. If you didn't participate, you were not allowed in the store. Some were rather small things - testing Kleenex for 5 - 10 "bucks" and some were rather long Crest trials that would net several hundred "bucks". The diaper trials were very popular. Free diapers simply to try them out and give feedback. The one caveat? You had to return the soiled diapers. Yep. Many people I knew went out and bought a used freezer and put them in there until the time to return. Small price to pay for free diapers.

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  19. BMS offered free infant formula to employees who became parents, but that program ended in 2009 after they spun off Mead-Johnson.

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