Should the company pay for parking / cell phone?

ThackerThacker Posts: 170Member
I have a potential job offer that might come through next week if the next round of interviews go well.

However in the first round, I heard from employees that the company does not reimburse cell phone (this is a 24/7 on call position) and the company only pays half of the fee it takes to park in the garage. (it's $80/month).

Would it be fair to push for cellphone reimbursement or ask for a company provided phone and to push for the parking to be paid for as well? It seems like both of these costs should be pushed onto the employer and not the employee in my car but I am not sure what the common accepted terms are.

Comments

  • AverageJoeAverageJoe Posts: 264Member
    It's fair to ask if those are options, but I'd keep these points in mind:

    Compensation and benefits packages vary, but there is give and take. Higher salary versus perks? Which gives the most benefit? Not everyone drives and needs to park, so paying parking gives a higher perk to those who drive. Should people who walk, ride a bike, take mass transit, car pool, etc. get an equal perk? Why should you get a perk with value that non-parkers don't? Should they pay for your gas to get to work too? Or the shampoo you use while getting ready for work? Crazy, right? But you probably do get other perks, so weigh the complete package. If parking were $10 a day (like in my area) it might be different, but for $40 a month I don't think it makes sense to push very hard for something that's really for your convenience.

    Similarly, for cell phones, it's very common to have cell plans that provide huge numbers or minutes, not to mention free calling to same provider phones, friends and family options, etc. So for many some minutes spent on a job related call is not something that needs to be reimbursed. The hard fact is that if a job requires you be on call 24/7 that means you're agreeing to make yourself contactable 24/7. You could do that by sitting in your office 24/7, staying at home with a land line 24/7, or by having a cell phone. Your convenience to have a cell phone, not theirs. If you wind up getting so many calls and using so many minutes that it actually makes a big difference in your phone bill then you can always request that later, but it seems very petty to me to quibble over what probably amounts to a very negligible value. IF you really think you'll use a lot of minutes for these calls and it'll be of high cost to you, absolutely negotiate a better deal.

    Frankly, I usually assume anyone wanting work to pay for a cell phone is looking for work to pay for personal calls. It also creates questions about what is allowable use of the cell phone. And it may open you up to harsher discipline if you miss a call. After all, if you insist on a phone so you can be reached 24/7 are you going to get written up or fired if you forget (or break or lose) the phone? Personally I hate when I have a work cell phone because then I wind up carrying two phones.

    All that said, lots of companies pay for parking and cell phones. Lots of others pay for neither. That's why I say it's fair to ask, but I'd keep expectations low and certainly not demand. If you're really interested in the job, you don't want to blow it over a $40 a month parking fee or a handful of phone calls. Salary, health insurance, vacation time, yes. Small fees that are for your convenience, no.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Joe
  • guy9guy9 Posts: 59Banned ■■□□□□□□□□
    At one of my previous positions a guy was attempting to negotiate his salary and the company started interviewing other candidates. This guy was married with kids, eventually he ended up calling the company back and literally begging for the job. He told me this at work. I said that to say this sometimes negotiations bite you in the butt (not saying I haven't done it) but its usually for jobs I am not jumping up and down about. Personally I wouldn't negotiate unless I had options or a decent savings account. One of the first things I ask is how many positions are you hiring for, another question I ask is how many people are being interviewed (assuming they will tell the truth). If its 7+ remotely qualified individuals being considered for 1 position.....I am not negotiating. George will take that job and start tomorrow and pick the phone up on the first ring and park down the street dropping quarters in the meter
  • ChitownjediChitownjedi Chasing down my dreams. Posts: 575Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you are out of a job and need work then not haggling may be wiser.. However if you are in any position to negotiate you do so.
    This is the difference between the Lion and the Sheep.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,209Member ■■■■■■■□□□

    If you are out of a job and need work then not haggling may be wiser.. However if you are in any position to negotiate you do so.
    This is the difference between the Lion and the Sheep.

    Agreed. If you value your worth, then fight for it. If you are competing with others then try to be the best candidate. Anecdotal evidence like "this one guy had a problem.." are not a great way to build a career because there are always going to be people who failed or had issues doing what you are trying to do.

    Here, I'll share one too. I was trying to break into the security field, I went on an interview where they were interviewing a bunch of other people, they were pushy and annoying but I wanted in really badly. I did great in the interview but the salary wasn't great and the distance was far and it must have clearly shown when I was talking to them as I saw them jotting down the part about my commute when they asked me about my trip in. I didn't get the job, I thought I totally screwed up. Then a few weeks later I got a job at a much better place, with a higher salary, better work/life balance and a shorter commute. So if you only take my first story you should live your life never negotiating, telling the interviewer that everything they say sounds awesome and you would love to work there, even if you don't or you'll lose the position.
  • AverageJoeAverageJoe Posts: 264Member
    If you are out of a job and need work then not haggling may be wiser.. However if you are in any position to negotiate you do so.
    This is the difference between the Lion and the Sheep.

    Well, I almost agree icon_smile.gif There are some things just not worth haggling over. To me, $40 a month falls pretty squarely in that category. A lion might disagree, but a lion might also go hungry for being stubborn or scaring away his prey.

    If I'm in a good position for the job, like knowing they're having a hard time filling the position or knowing I'm one of the most qualified candidates, my negotiation is going to be about higher salary, more vacation, training opportunities, etc.

    Would you negotiate for an extra $480 a year? That's what the parking pass costs. Not me... I'm asking for another $10k (or whatever I think I'm worth) and paying my own parking. On the flip side, if my negotiation goes bad I may well throw in something like, "come on, how about at least throwing in free parking" but that's a consolation prize, not the target of the negotiation.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Joe
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    The extra $500 a year out of pocket for a phone isn't really what would turn me off, it's the fact that if they're so cheap they don't even give you a cell or stipend what else are they going to cheap out on? Raises? Budget for projects? I've never seen a company require someone be on call and not provide them with some kind of phone or reimbursement.
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  • Khaos1911Khaos1911 Posts: 366Member
    Seems like the company would just budget for an on-call phone that rotates between team members every few weeks or months, etc...But I'm with the person who says they'd rather negotiate over salary/vacation, I wouldn't mind paying $500 bucks a year for parking, especially if I negotiated for another $5000+ a year.
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member
    I wouldn't fuss about the parking and cell phone, they are at least giving a parking discount which was pretty common in my job search around here. I really would be worried about the company being cheap like networker050184 wrote. I'm currently with one of these cheap companies and some things are only changed when they break; XP, no vlans, struggle with cheap, unreliable hardware rather than spend 20% more to buy quality hardware, etc. I feel it restricts my progression in the field. The only reason I'm still there is the responsibilities are more than what I've been offered elsewhere. Since it's a small business I've been told by recruiters that my server experience won't fit in a large company and would have to start on tier 1/2 help desk, sounds like BS to me.
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  • emazemaz Posts: 34Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    The extra $500 a year out of pocket for a phone isn't really what would turn me off, it's the fact that if they're so cheap they don't even give you a cell or stipend what else are they going to cheap out on? Raises? Budget for projects? I've never seen a company require someone be on call and not provide them with some kind of phone or reimbursement.
    Agreed and something as small as a cell phone bill to a company not having it reimbursed gives me the impression that their IT budget is very small, which translates into a literal 24/7 on call position. I would find out more about their operations before committing to anything. Its a 100 bucks at most that we are talking about here.
  • W StewartW Stewart Posts: 794Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    guy9 wrote: »
    At one of my previous positions a guy was attempting to negotiate his salary and the company started interviewing other candidates. This guy was married with kids, eventually he ended up calling the company back and literally begging for the job. He told me this at work. I said that to say this sometimes negotiations bite you in the butt (not saying I haven't done it) but its usually for jobs I am not jumping up and down about. Personally I wouldn't negotiate unless I had options or a decent savings account. One of the first things I ask is how many positions are you hiring for, another question I ask is how many people are being interviewed (assuming they will tell the truth). If its 7+ remotely qualified individuals being considered for 1 position.....I am not negotiating. George will take that job and start tomorrow and pick the phone up on the first ring and park down the street dropping quarters in the meter

    I wouldn't waste my time at a company like that if they decided to pass me over for something as small as parking or a cell phone but then I'm not usually hurting for a job.
    Being a sys admin sucks but I love it
  • ChitownjediChitownjedi Chasing down my dreams. Posts: 575Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    AverageJoe wrote: »
    Well, I almost agree icon_smile.gif There are some things just not worth haggling over. To me, $40 a month falls pretty squarely in that category. A lion might disagree, but a lion might also go hungry for being stubborn or scaring away his prey.

    If I'm in a good position for the job, like knowing they're having a hard time filling the position or knowing I'm one of the most qualified candidates, my negotiation is going to be about higher salary, more vacation, training opportunities, etc.

    Would you negotiate for an extra $480 a year? That's what the parking pass costs. Not me... I'm asking for another $10k (or whatever I think I'm worth) and paying my own parking. On the flip side, if my negotiation goes bad I may well throw in something like, "come on, how about at least throwing in free parking" but that's a consolation prize, not the target of the negotiation.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Joe

    No, honestly anything within 5k I'm willing to leave on table if it's a good position and I feel that I may scare em off. But not negotiating at all is a big mistake when you actually can and are in a position to do so...

    I agree with 10k asking for more, it's better to pay for your own damn parking and cell-phone by making sure your salary is well in line with your value and skillset, versus accepting a low ball where every little nickel you looking for in return becomes a battle of pride and honor.icon_twisted.gif

    I mean if you can get it great... but just like certification reimbursement it's not a big deal.. I'm going to get it regardless.. you help pay for it, then you earn a little slack with me..if not.. Well, I'm watching everything about this place like a hawk, and when it's time to move on, you bet's believe I'm tallying up all the pro's and cons.
  • KronesKrones Posts: 164Member
    If you can afford to negotiate do so. I would ask for a lot more than penny-pinching reimbrusements because being on call 24/7 sucks and is unhealthy if you start obsessing about every Nagios alert that comes in at 2AM. Operations can be pretty rough and if you don't have team coverage for a night shift there will be those times you will be called in when crap hits the fan which it wiill. So I would ask for 10k more than their initial offer if that offer is in your range. If you are really good and match the job description to a T, ask for even more if you know the company is doing well financially.
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  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member
    The extra $500 a year out of pocket for a phone isn't really what would turn me off, it's the fact that if they're so cheap they don't even give you a cell or stipend what else are they going to cheap out on? Raises? Budget for projects? I've never seen a company require someone be on call and not provide them with some kind of phone or reimbursement.

    This nailed it for me. Unless you're out of work, I'd look elsewhere.
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