What happened to Google's food and perks?

Google Fpvj53
Apr 13 48 Comments

Dear blind community, I have been following you for a couple of months now since I started interviewing/negotiating, very helpful!

I finally decided to accept Google offer partially due to the childhood impression of it being the 'happiest place to work', with whimsical charm and all mystical perks, etc.

Went to the orientation this past week and I am surprised to find the much-talked-about food to be mediocre at best (any decent dessert runs out in the first 15 minutes, I found absolutely nothing appealing in many cafes, micro-kitchens are worse than my previous company not in tech), the haircut is not free, massages are once a year and very few other interesting perks. Apparently, I am also not alone in feeling this way in our noogler group.

While I understand if the coding itself is interesting then those are very small things. Just a bit disappointed in that respect. I wonder if anyone who have been in the company for longer may have some insights on how did things change? (did they disappear or maybe there was never those rumored perks?)

Addition: thanks to all the replies, the purpose of this post is not to say it's necessarily a bad workplace in my standards (that I'll figure out in the coming weeks when real work kicks in). Just that I'm surprised how different it is from the media image one can get from outside the industry and I'm genuinely curious whether this is a result of evolution or those things never existed.

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TOP 48 Comments
  • Ticketmaster / ITGvB&$78
    I was always amazed by people making 250+ k and caring about free lunches and haircuts.
    Apr 137
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Well...true it doesn't actually matter...I just always thought this is about making life easier and believed it's a good investment on the company's part (on top of 250k+ paycheck a piece, those things cost very little and can make people happier with more time to work)
      Apr 13
    • Cisco ABGslayer
      LOl
      Apr 13
    • Microsoft / EngdKWp30
      Seriously... there’s a long line of people who would kill for a job that pays 250K+ (me included) and you’re complaining about the bad free food and no free haircuts.

      What’s your YOE?
      Apr 13
    • Truck truck
      Apr 13
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      YOE in software is 0, PhD and tried a number of unrelated careers
      Apr 13
    • Microsoft
      tech.ladki

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Google
      tech.ladkimore
      I thought everyone on blind makes around 250K?
      Apr 13
    • Seagate toti420
      Simple reason: economy of scale. Next would be deteriorating TCs. Google getting bigger means more labor cost and lower profits, which would lead to lower perks and lower pay. Those who enjoyed the hay days were that lucky ones. Besides nothing good lasts forever.
      Apr 14
  • Facebook dingaling🐓
    “Happiest,” charm, etc. is all fluff for suckers. How can any WORKPLACE be described in those terms. You exist to help the company deliver better returns to shareholders. That’s not bad per se, but not what I associate with charm and happiness.

    What really matters in any job, other than a means of financial support for your personal life, is that you’re working with people you respect and enjoy being around. The perks are a distant second.

    As to why the food doesn’t rock your socks off, good food does not scale. The chefs are working under significant constraints.
    Apr 133
    • Amazon ps.ily
      Love your comment and your username, dingaling
      Apr 13
    • Barclays PLC FAANGHNTER
      Google whining about food is ridiculous. Invite homeless people once for a while in the campus , they will be more than thankful. I have heard the food that can still be used is thrown out escorted by security in garbage cans that is padlocked.

      Sundar should cut off all free food and serve only dosa.
      Apr 13
    • Uber donates all leftover food
      Apr 13
  • Google / Engjust.uni
    I've been at Google for 4 years now (NYC) and noticed a decline in the perks. Quality of food hasn't declined so much, but:

    1) Holiday gift removed
    2) Site wide Holiday party removed, the first year this happened, our PA didn't have a holiday party because of poor budget planning
    3) Offsite quality worsened. We used to go on ski trips or to Puerto Rico. This past year we went to the Central Park zoo.

    Again, these are just perks. At the end of the day Google is still a great company to work for, but it's still disappointing to experience this transition.
    Apr 132
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Indeed it’s sad to know those things used to exist... >.< My last job (was not a programmer and in a non-tech company) had off-sites to Japan and Tibet; I thought google would at least be as good given all the media coverage...
      Apr 13
    • Amazon / EngRCMMT
      Gotta pay Ruth's 30-40 million dollar salary somehow
      Apr 13
  • Pandora !401k
    If the hefty salary doesn’t make you happy, nothing else will. Kids these days
    Apr 139
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Can't people care more about other things than $?
      Apr 13
    • Pandora !401k
      Yes they should. But with the salary you get, you can buy food and still have deep pockets my friend. Tomorrow you’ll feel lack of a maid service at home so will ask if company provides it or not. 🤦‍♂️
      Apr 13
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Thanks, I know I can afford good food and all the other things. If only there is an option to work somewhere that provides extensive benefits in exchange for lower $, I would probably sign up. After all, this is where I plan to spend most of my time and energy. Anyways, I see it as a personal preference.
      Apr 13
    • Homeaway girlp0w3r
      Yeah, I’m sure you would leave google for “extensive benefits”, solid point.
      Apr 13
    • Pandora !401k
      Ya, I know many companies that provide extensive benefits with everyday food with lower salary. Let me know when to refer you and we can get you out of your disappointment at Google.

      Jeez, these kids got no chills these days.
      Apr 13
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      I kinda hoped that tech would have a different culture than say finance or corporate and it would not be all about working in a box, getting the most $ then spend them however one wants in their free time... honestly planned to ‘live’ in the office mostly while focusing on work. There’s a difference between not needing to worry about things and spending $ to buy services...
      Apr 13
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      How about the trouble to select and order them and go out of the way for those services? All require mind power
      Apr 13
    • Pandora !401k
      Dude, what the helll are you going to do with all that money if you want google to spend on your food, clothing and shelter ? Blow up at a Casino or at strippers ?
      Apr 13
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      I don’t need that much $, I want nice office and my life at work to be simple instead, with easily accessible services. Why is this so hard to understand for you guys?
      Apr 14
  • Palantir ysYd23
    Come to Palantir. We have free weekly massages, haircuts, laundry, and the best dessert chef in the valley 🍰
    Apr 131
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Hey I interviewed there! You guys were the only one (out of 6 I did initial phone call) which I didn't get! Guess best perks don't like me...
      Apr 13
  • Google praise
    Haha. I keep telling people this and no one believes me.

    On the coding part: You might have another disappointment coming up unless you keep your expectations super low. Remember you are just a proto mover.
    Apr 131
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Thanks... I wish there are resources for this reality easily accessible for everyone outside...So they don’t come in with wrong expectations... I have lowered my expectations on the coding essentially to ‘as long as I get to code, it’s fine’; Kinda relied on the office being a great place to spend time in to compromise that.

      Has anyone done anything to address this on TGIF or other places yet?
      Apr 13
  • Google / Enghooli.xyz
    Food quality slowly got worse after Ruth joined.
    Apr 130
  • Facebook moonris
    I worked there years ago. The food was the best then! This was before fb became a well known name and goog was indeed the best in food snacks and perks. After I joined fb I occasionally missed the great good at google so I went back for lunch a few years ago. Boy was I disappointed. I think they try to save perks money now. But people as old as me would tell you what you thought of google used to be true. You missed it though. BTW fb cafes are so much better now compared to google. Hope it lasts.
    Apr 131
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Hi Moonris,

      Thanks for the answer, very helpful! Well guess I didn't catch the good time to enter tech... I indeed observed that in many ways they are a bit 'cheap' on the food/snack/perks, which doesn't match what I thought was part of the culture. I fear whether along with the food there are other things in the culture, more fundamental ones, which are gone too... Hence this post. Guess I'll have to wait and see... How do you like Facebook other than food?
      Apr 13
  • Facebook thatlala
    Go to FB, much better cafes and perks. Although the WLB will make you kill yourself.
    Apr 130
  • Amazon grashoper
    You interviewed at the wrong one. You should try Facebook. Food is good! Though you have to work harder in comparison to Google.
    Apr 134
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Interesting, I'm surprised so many people knew FB has better food/perks from both fb and other companies. WLB is not a major concern since in my last job I worked till past midnight almost every single day.
      Apr 13
    • Amazon moved2ms
      FBs food is so-so.

      The smoothies and soft serve are awesome though.
      Apr 13
    • New 500k
      Dropbox or LinkedIn if you prefer high quality food more than TC
      Apr 13
    • New / Engabuhr3i
      Well at least LinkedIn has FG level TC
      Apr 13
  • Facebook ImranKhan
    This is what happens in a welfare state when most people are there for welfare.
    Apr 130
  • Aon Hewitt sfstreets
    Went downhill after Laszlo left
    Apr 130
  • New / Engabuhr3i
    Is dry cleaning free?
    Apr 132
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      just checked: No... I haven't found info on laundry yet
      Apr 13
    • Google / Enghooli.xyz
      We have dry cleaning services but they’re not free ☹️
      Apr 13
  • Apple
    gBKo45i

    Apple

    BIO
    4
    gBKo45imore
    At least your foods free, our prices keep going up.
    Apr 130
  • Google Googler10
    Varies a lot by office. Where do you work? Small offices tend to have the better food imo. Not sure about perks over the years, doesn't matter a lot to me so haven't followed closely.
    Apr 131
    • Google Fpvj53
      OP
      Thanks! I did orientation in MTV but do work in a smaller office, will check it out next week when I get there! (I thought MTV is the best since it's what's in the movies and all, so I guess there's still hope for better). Doesn't matter that much to me either, just slightly disappointed after all the years of hearing about those things.
      Apr 13
  • Also the coding there is mostly uninteresting.
    Apr 130
  • Qualcomm Pssst.
    Go to Facebook!
    Apr 130

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