High tea at Google takes a hit

No one escapes the gathering storm, not even the mightiest titan of Silicon Valley

By Andrew Leonard
December 3, 2008 8:31PM (UTC)
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Times are tough all over! The Wall Street Journal reports that Google, "one of the most extravagant spenders of the boom years," has finally "begun to tighten its belt."

Even some employee perks are getting cut:

In recent months, it reduced the hours of its free cafeteria service and suspended the traditional afternoon tea in its New York office.

Now, I have had lunch at Google and I can tell you that cutting back on the hours for what was already a crowded mob scene is nothing to sneeze at. (Unless you are sneezing at the hand-ground pepper on your freshly tossed salad.) As for afternoon tea service -- I stand by my long held belief that this would be a much more civilized world, if all companies took a break for high tea (cucumber sandwiches are a right, not a privilege!) Maybe the Obama administration can do something about this.


But if this is what a rough patch at Google looks like, the company is still offering "a fantasy version of what the corporate workplace environment could be," as I wrote in "The Google Brain" a little over a year ago. Crumpet, anyone?

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Coffee And Tea Globalization Google Great Recession How The World Works U.s. Economy