By David Draper
The higher ups at my former corporate job in the Human Resource department—in a misguided attempt to boost morale (that actually pretty much did just the opposite)—would call my coworkers and I into a big room each year and preach to us about our “hidden paycheck.” This was the term they used to talk about health insurance, retirement programs, and all the other benefits they provided outside our normal salary. One particular HR director (who, curiously, no longer works there) also included things like the horrible coffee and stale popcorn available in the break rooms as part of our hidden paycheck. Not surprisingly, those two words quickly became the standard meme in the building when referring to anything from toilet paper to Post-It Notes.
Well, here at my current job, I have hidden paychecks, too. In fact, we freelance writers have to live for the perks since we’re certainly not in this business for the money. As a guy who writes about food (among other things), I reap some pretty cool benefits (neither health insurance nor a retirement plan among them). There was that box of nut butter Justin’s sent me after they read my blog praising their products a few weeks back.