Bloomberg BNA has a snack problem. And not of the startup variety that Molly Young wrote about yesterday in the Times. Unlike a precipitous weight gain occasioned by the perks of the tech boom, it seems that Bloomberg employees have been raiding the snack pantry and bringing the spoils home.
Because, after all, why would you buy the milk when your job gives you cartons for free?
“As many of you know, the pantry was put in place for your personal consumption while you are at work,” reads a memo, posted by Jim Romenesko, that went out to Bloomberg employees this morning. “Unfortunately, over the past few months there have been several instances where employees have been observed filling bags with sodas, snacks, fruit, and in some cases cartons of milk, to take home with them.”
To stop would-be snack thieves, the memo proposed installing a pantry cam, and it not-so-gently informed employees that said behavior is a fireable offense.
“In order to deter this behavior going forward, BBNA plans on placing cameras in the pantry,” the memo concluded. “Prior to the installation of the cameras and even after the cameras are installed, if you are observed taking any amount of soda, juice, milk, fruit or snacks home you may be subject to termination from BBNA for cause.”
But actually, deterring petty pantry thieves and firing employees for stealing soda is never as easy as HR would like.
According to a later memo, also posted by Mr. Romenesko, the company can’t just install surveillance devices willy-nilly (it isn’t the government, after all). BBNA must negotiate said installation with the Guild. And the pantry cannot be removed, since it is a benefit outlined in the company’s contract. Also, as per the contract, “any discipline that BBNA imposes is subject to the grievance and arbitration process.”
So, as the follow-up memo states, that should allay employee concerns.
Still, when you contrast the hard-line anti-snack-stealing sentiment with the perks showered upon startup employees, as Ms. Young outlined in her envy-inducing piece, well, it seems rather stingy.
Guess it’s a good thing Bloomberg BNA doesn’t have a kegerator. It’s really hard to hide a growler under your suit.