Workplace perks and Max Headroom

It has been well publicized that many tech companies offer crazy perks to their employees, probably for a host of reasons.  Pool and foosball tables, video game rooms with PS3, Wii, XBox.  Some of the flashier employers in the Bay Area offer meals, even on-site dry cleaning, haircuts, chair massages, and fitness facilities.  Some people say these perks help keep people at work longer, while others say they are necessary simply to attract the best talent.  When I started my new job, I didn’t expect any perks like this because it’s still a small company, and I was right – there are no relaxation lounges, spinning classes, or laundry facilities, but, they do give us a few things – Starbucks coffee with a variety of extras – milk, half and half, raw sugar, sweet & low, etc.  Friday mornings bring bagels, cream cheese, fruit, and lox, and the fridge is always stocked with Coke and Diet Coke.  I think there might even be orange juice.

I rarely buy soda to drink at home, but I have long been a fan of Coke – I never did like New Coke as much as Classic Coke, except during the days of Max Headroom, when it was cool to take the taste test between Pepsi and Coke in the mall.  If you picked New Coke, you got a Max Headroom poster and other junk that I used to decorate my bedroom walls, along with cutouts of Ralph Macchio and Kirk Cameron from Tiger Beat or whatever the teen magazine of the day was.  Anyway, now I drink coffee all morning, but switch to a can or two of Coke in the afternoon.

It reminds me of my uncle.  I have never known anyone that likes Coke as much as he does.  In fact, his son’s first word was Coke.  We were all sitting at the dinner table, and my young cousin was somewhere around 2.  All of a sudden, hands flailing in his high chair, he yelled, “Coke!” in the sort of clipped voice of a newly talking toddler.  The rest of us laughed, so he repeated the phrase over and over and over.  My cousin is now out of high school, and I have no idea if he turned into a Coke drinker, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t, what with all the Coke my uncle always had in the house.  I do believe that nothing beats Mexican Coke, though.  They still use real sugar instead of corn syrup, and it is so much better.  Not to mention that drinking from a glass bottle is more reminiscent of youth and hot summers, whether or not you actually drank Coke from a bottle back then.

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