Some Bay Area companies have "chief culture officers," and some of these party mavens think that Burning Man is the perfect place for coworkers to bond and unwind over a few hallucinogens.
It's August again, so of course it's time for another round of stories about things that have ruined Burning Man. And while there have been hundreds of stories about Burning Man becoming corporate and packed to the gills with influencers who are just doing it for the 'gram, this week Bloomberg has a piece about companies that are letting employees expense their Burning Man trips.
Pre-paywall we read about Shane Metcalf, "co-founder and chief culture officer of 15Five," who decided anyone at his company to expense their $425 Burning Man ticket this year, because the experience will "help foster creativity and community at work."
As Dealbreaker quips, regarding this story, "nakedly grinding against five dudes covered in henna while everyone [is] high as shit in a literal desert is a work trip that you can get reimbursed for now." And they suggest this is just further evidence that money is coming too cheap for Silicon Valley and interest rates probably need raising.
There are so many ways that a Burning Trip can turn into an HR nightmare, it doesn't really seem necessary to count them. But here are a few:
- You get a free trip to Burning Man, but you also have to abide by the employee handbook the whole time and not do any drugs?
- It's assumed that everyone is doing some drugs, but the bosses look the other way, even though this will inevitably lead to drama and professional embarrassment
- Rolling your face off on molly with your boss and three coworkers may be a great bonding experience, but probably the wrong kind of bonding experience because it will involve lots of touching.
- Let's say you fall out and require medical attention and a helicopter out of there — will the company's insurance be covering that?
- Is nudity still cool? Because that's kind of half the fun of Burning Man, right?
- How many sick days will be cool when you return from the playa an empty shell of human being with no serotonin left to speak of?
- Does this mean you get the Monday off after Decompression, too?
I wish all those coworker-Burners the best of luck.