Crappy Hour: how to tell you are about to get laid off.

When it comes time to trim some fat out of the budget, watch out. Those special, free “treats” you’ve been enjoying – happy hours, catered lunches, fancy gel-glider pens – they’re all up for grabs. And when they go, it might be time to start packing your bags as well.

According to a recent Tech Crunch post by Ryan Lawler, “Mourn The Loss Of Odwalla, Mourn The Loss Of Your Job,” the true telltale sign of job security is all about the snacks.

In the post, Lawler is following a “wide-ranging” Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) about the massive Zynga lay-off when the stark truth of the Odwalla-theory hits him. 520 people were laid off. Should they have seen it coming?

According to the threads’ original poster, former_zyngite, the proof was in the (lack of) pudding:

“First there was the disappearance of Redbull and Odwalla, then there was the long-running decline in the quality of the happy hours.” What used to be giant, weekly affairs with big themes and popular food trucks ended up being scaled back to once-monthly meetings with chicken skewers and spinach dip.”

Can you say red flags, anyone?

Near the end, they even had to (shudder) peel their own hard-boiled eggs.

As for Tech Crunch’s Lawler, he reports a well-stocked company fridge, a healthy spare tire and reasonably flashy perks. “It wasn’t always this way,” says Lawler, tracking Tech Crunch’s journey from small news conglomerate to their current residence: the comfy confines of big-ass AOL.

“When I first showed up, a little more than a year ago, the TechCrunch office was still populated by Ikea desks…Then at some point things got all corporate. We got… a fridge filled regularly with Odwalla, coconut water, Red Bull, etc. Tons of things to snack on, like gluten-free granola snacks, industrial-size barrels of mixed nuts, bags of Kettle chips, M&Ms and gummy bears, and — I shit you not — packages of Kale chips. TechCrunch had provided lunch a couple times a week even before the AOL acquisition, but now there’s, like, crazy snacks everywhere. Like a Whole Foods exploded.

So, admittedly, with a healthy pour of Smart Savvy’s in-house red in hand, we suggest you take your own immediate snack audit.

The kegs and hot-lunch programs they wooed you with…are they still there?

The gel-glider pens…have they been replaced by Bics?

Is the only available water from the…TAP?

Perks aren’t everything in a job, but when they’re one of the major recruitment “sells,” their quiet disappearance can certainly be…unnerving. Silence in the bar fridge – watch out!

Whatever you make of the symptoms, we all know at the end of the workday, it all comes down to the COFFEE:

  • Van Houtte – Dust off your Resume.
  • Starbucks Drip – Stay course.
  • Nespresso Machine – Buy Shares.