The number one thing I notice and dislike about big companies is the self-rationalizing process of the executives as they waste their company’s money.
Some perks are so absurd that we all know them — fancy executive cars, dining rooms or junkets.
In tech most of these are eliminated. But the top tech folks do fly business class. I have seen them every time I have boarded the SF-NY routes, at decent hour or redeye. Yahoo, Cisco, Oracle. I have seen them all.
The rationalization is usually
– I travel a lot
– it makes me less productive
– business class buys back some productivity
I think it is mostly BS but I have a special reason that I really feel strongly.
The only cost to the employee is how they feel. Uncomfortable for 5-6-9 hours (not in torture, I mean economy suits me fine at 6’3″). Same time away from family, same interruptions of work rhythm, etc.
Nevermind the “cost to the company”. If there was a cost to the company, then the CEO would be the one advocating for this crap. It never is.
So this intensely personal comfort — this request that you *sacrifice* for your company is what’s at stake.
And when you say no you say you won’t do it.
Every friend who sold his company immediately starts complaining how nobody stays late anymore. I am pretty sure those guys lobby for business class too.
Second order outrage: the CEO who is too wimpy to call this out and say no to it is
a) trying to retain unmotivated people by showering money on them (appropriate for later stage companies), or
b) a ninny.