It’s hard out there for your typical startup employee: making more money than the average American, enjoying perks like stress-relieving massages, free beer and maid service, and worse, being forced to indulge in the numerous gourmet food offerings freely provided to you on literal silver platters.
In a devastating New York Times tell-all, Warby Parker employee Molly Young describes the terrible reality New York startup workers are forced to contend with. First off, there is food. Everywhere. So much delicious food, flowing from microkitchens, piling on standing desks, being used as back support and foot rests for ergonomically conscious workers. There are artisanal donuts falling from the Ikea light fixtures; cupcakes crowding wireless keyboards and smearing their icing on company swag; freshly smoked barbecue collecting on the ping pong tables, long abandoned after the inevitable obesity crept in.
Our favorite moment of the piece, however, comes towards the end, when engineer and Atari cofounder Nolan Bushnell argues that engineers are simply too important to the economy to be tasked with cleaning up after themselves.
“I’ve often felt that it is somehow wrong to have an engineer spend any time at all scrubbing his own toilet,” he told the Times. “It sounds elitist, but these people are highly important to the economy and to the company. Offering maid service to them as a perk makes total sense.”
Does that sound elitist? The thought hadn’t even occurred to us.