The perks of start up companies run deep. You may be understaffed and work late hours, but the free snacks, laid-back atmosphere, and plentiful booze often make up for it. But with great privileges come great fuck ups.
San Francisco health care company Zenefits is now in hot water with new management. Last week, new CEO, David Sacks, sent out a company-wide email banning alcohol and sex in the office, because staff members were allegedly acting like they were back in their college dorms, and things were getting a little out of hand.
But this wasn't their first warning. According to The Wall Street Journal, Emily Agin, director of real estate and workplace services, sent employees a scathing note last June:
“It has been brought to our attention by building management and Security that the stairwells are being used inappropriately....Cigarettes, plastic cups filled with beer, and several used condoms were found in the stairwell. Yes, you read that right. Do not use the stairwells to smoke, drink, eat, or have sex. Please respect building and company policy and use common sense...”
If that doesn’t sound like an email sent by the school dean to the frat bros of Alpha Omega Bodega, I don’t know what does. Like I said, things were getting out of control.
According to Buzzfeed, staff members would take shots when a salesperson closed a deal, which does sound a little inappropriate for an office setting...but then again, Zenefits is valued at $4.5 billion, so they were obviously doing something right. Employees reportedly work 15-hour days, so maybe they thought they deserved a shot or two and a nice afternoon quickie in the stairwell, but apparently they do not.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Zenefits spokesman Kenneth Baer said, “As Zenefits' new CEO has made clear, it is time to turn the page at Zenefits and embrace a new set of corporate values and culture. Zenefits is now focused on developing business practices that will ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements, and making certain that the company operates with integrity as its number-one value.”
That’s code for “Absolutely no drinking or screwing in the office. Ever.”
Hopefully the staff members at Zenefits have an easy transition into the tame office life. Good luck, guys.