Driving home from my daughter’s gymnastics camp yesterday, I passed by the Google campus during the lunch break. I kept spotting people riding the same yellow bike. It was déjà vu at every corner. Then, it dawned on me. Is bike rental a Google perk?
I felt like I was driving into Judgment City from Defending Your Life, only no one was wearing a white gown. Employees strolled along laughing together eating frozen yogurt or carrying takeout from one of Google’s 25, gourmet cafes. There’s a little park where employees were doing bicycle kicks together, as part of a fitness class. Little golf carts passed before me with employees going from one building to the next. Everyone was smiling. This sparked me to do a Google search for all of the local companies to see what perks I’m missing out on as a SAHM.
Google has yoga, an onsite gym, a dance studio, roller hockey rink and a bowling alley. Twitter has pilates and a rock climbing wall. LinkedIn has a running trail and morning boot camp. Countless companies, including my husband’s company, offer a free membership at a premier gym.
I have a yoga DVD, decent yoga mat and a workout buddy. Babyface likes to do yoga with me, but after 5 minutes when I open my eyes, she’s in my face. No, really, her eyes are literally a centimeter away from mine. My dance studio is the family room carpet, where we have nightly disco dance parties. My morning boot camp is when Babyface kicks me with her boot, while getting into the car. My gym has a treadmill and a hand-me-down lifecycle that’s so old it has a wind-up timer. We kick boxes for fun sometimes, so that’s our kickboxing.
Google has a car wash, dry cleaning service, free laundry machines and subsidized massages. Facebook has photo processing, leather repair and more. My husband’s company rented out an IMAX theater in San Francisco on opening day of the Promethius release.
I search for coupons to the local car wash and pretend I wash my own car. Sometimes, when money is really tight, I use the services of Hubby’s Car Wash. If I beg, Hubby’s Massage will provide services. The clothes that need to be dry cleaned, I no longer wear. Perk not necessary. My leather shoes are worn out, but I pretend that it’s a fad. Perk not necessary. Redbox lets me borrow movies for only a dollar a day and they’re usually G-rated.
Google has the 25 cafes I already mentioned. Lunch and dinner are free. Facebook provides breakfast, lunch and dinner for free. LinkedIn has a free catered lunch. Twitter offers catered breakfast and lunch.
If I go to Grandma’s house and I pretend I’m really tired, I’ll get a free lunch or dinner (usually, I’m not pretending). My husband is really sweet. Whenever they have free lunch from a great restaurant, he tells me about it. I’m not sure I want to live vicariously in this area though. It’s like watching a cooking show or going to the grocery store, when you’re starving. I always have challenging, lunch conversation. “Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, what are you eating? Mommy, I need to go poopoo.”
Twitter offers flexible PTO and holidays. Facebook offers 21 days of PTO and 11 holidays. Google offers 15 PTO days the first year and 12 holidays. Well, I don’t get a paycheck. Perk not necessary.
Get a perky, paying job, you say? I’m always on the fence, then I remember how tired I was when I worked and picked Babyface up from daycare. I remember how little attention I paid her. I remember even resenting her at times and I perk up. She would pay a big price for my salary.
I also remember that my perks are not material. I got to see her first steps, first hand, and not just the DVD replay. I got to witness her first kiss (yuck). I get to hear how much she loves me and that I’m her best friend all day long. Some pretty great perks, if I don’t say so myself.
I’m staying at home, so she can be nurtured and someday be responsible enough to work for a company with all of those kick a$$ perks. Basically, I’m giving her my perks. Heck, I even deflated my two perkiest assets when I had her.