Is the era of Google as the fresh-faced new kid on the block now over as it becomes more Evil Empire than Free Love?
It seems Google — once untouchable by the mortal world — is now feeling the pinch of its immortality as paying for child care bleeds the company of its historically effervescent goodwill:
Parents who had been paying $1,425 a month for infant care would see their costs rise to nearly $2,500 — well above the market rate. For parents with toddlers and preschoolers, who were charged less, the price increases were equally eye-popping. Under the new plan, parents with two kids in Google day care would most likely see their annual day care bill grow to more than $57,000 from around $33,000.
At the first of the three focus groups, parents wept openly. As word leaked out about the company’s plan, the Google parents began to fight back. They came up with ideas to save money, used the company’s T.G.I.F. sessions — a weekly meeting for anyone who wanted to ask questions of Google’s top executives — to plead their case, and conducted surveys showing that most parents with children in Google day care would have to leave Google’s facilities and find less expensive child care.
Do you think Google owes is current employees a large discount on child care if that perk is what lured them to the company?
Or is Google allowed, by the trenchant demands of a volatile marketplace, to practice bait-and-switch ploys to keep the bottom line committed to profitability against any higher human price?
If what once made Google super-special in the first place is replaced with ordinariness and dulled expectation, is Google able to remain the hot, wanna-work-there, oasis in a dark and dank world?
I think it’s hard to take something away from someone once they have it and rely on it.
That’s a good point, Janna. People need good childcare and if you have it you don’t want to lose it even if it means paying more — but the object making you pay more will not be your future totem of desire.