miðvikudagur, mars 15, 2006

the fruit truck

Icelandic companies take pretty good care of their people, at least compared to some of the sweatshops I labored in in the good ole USA. In lieu of health insurance, which gets picked up by the Republic, companies provide a whole range of cool stuff here á klakanum:

24 days of vacation: the minimum by law, for full-time work. That's a day shy of 5 weeks, boys. And if the employer won't pay you for the time, they have to at least let you take it without pay. Things pretty well shut down in Iceland in July while the whole nation takes a bunch of contiguous weeks off.

subsidized lunch: many companies have a cook, and provide homemade lunch every day. I kick in about $75 a month, and the company picks up the rest. And our cook is stellar. He makes the best fish I've ever had, week in week out, and today was a kind of mouthwatering East-meets-Lamb over brown rice.

coffee: I ain't talkin' about no paper cup of coffee. I'm talking about a mug of coffee. Ground from whole beans and brewed fresh, at the push of a button, from a towering Selecta machine that pumps out cappuccino, hot cocoa, and lattes as well. And the coffee machine becomes a daylong gathering spot for kitchen shop-talk.

árshátíð: in a way, untranslatable, but loosely, an annual party. In addition to the Christmas party, this is an excuse for the company to pull out all the stops entertaining its people with live bands, trips to remote spa hotels, and lots of food and drink. Our old company hadn't done one in a few years, so they picked up and flew us to Warsaw last year for a long weekend.

the fruit truck: seems like perhaps the coolest bennie right now, as I chomp on a crunchy fresh apple flown in from a far-off land. Every week a truck comes to our office bearing a load of fresh fruit. It goes into a basket in the kitchen, and then disappears quickly.

Icelanders, when I tell you that you don't know how good you have it here in the Land, this is some of what I mean.


Anonymous Audi said...

For these things we are also expected to put in hours and all sorts of stuff that our neighbors in, let's say Norway, would never put up with.

We get a visit from the fruit truck as well at work and my share is deducted of my wages in the end of each month. And I've been working full time for 4 years now without ever getting my legal vacation.

Is it possible that maybe it's just that YOU work at a cool company?

Sorry, the past two 14+ hour days are making me really cranky :)

Anonymous Johnny Damon said...

Hey, man, I really like the globe at the bottom of this page.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

...and the coffee seems to be really good everywhere (at least everywhere I had it) and relatively inexpensive (relatively for Iceland that is...)

Blogger JB said...

Audi, that sucks. Sorry to hear it. Maybe you should, ummm, look around some? There are other places to work.

JD, thanks, it's always updated with the current view over the Land. But I think few notice that.

Prof. B, coffee is free free free at work. I used to spend $20 a week or more on coffee in Boston and now I just walk over to the machine and press the button. But yeah, coffee in Iceland is generally really superb.

Anonymous Audi, after some sleep said...

This is actually a vast improvement from my last job, at least here I get the choice of participating in something like the fruit truck thing and I get paid for my overtime.

Free coffee, good or not, is of no use to me as I don't drink it. I do get all the free water I want though ;)

Blogger JB said...

See that, *paid for overtime*...?! I'm telling you, life is pretty good here.

Blogger Jen said...

Great blog! I actually met you at the Happy Hour a few weeks ago. We also have a blog of our time in Iceland (but much shorter) at www.dinoiafamily.typepad.com.

Jen, just a spouse of the RSO at the Embassy

Blogger JB said...

Hi Jen,

Thanks for reading! How did you find the IR anyway?

Thanks for the blog link but looks like I have to have some kinda RSO security clearance to get in there. I used to have pretty good gov't clearance, but I guess it's expired. :-)

Blogger Jen said...

Well, honestly, was just doing a basic search on Icelandic blogs. Always looking for more stuff to do/places to go and figure it is best to learn from those who have been here longer!

As for the blog, oops, try un: caitlin and pw: alexandria.


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