When a Private Jet and the Little Things at Your Company Mean the Same Thing…

Kris Dunn Culture, Kris Dunn

By now, you've heard that the CEO's of the big three automakers (Ford, GM and Chrysler) each took their own PRIVATE jet to DC to plead for a $25 billion dollar bailout from the federal government. 

3 Execs.  3 Jets… One big bailout…

See the issue?  So does Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) who blasted the big three with the following missive:

"There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and peopleBig three coming off of them with tin cups in their hands," Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) advised the pampered executives at a hearing yesterday. "It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high-hat and tuxedo. . . . I mean, couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here?"

Gary - how do your REALLY feel?  Of course, you're right.  I guess the gloves are pretty much off, based on the economy… 

Hey Detroit – isn't that still an expense that hits your bottom line?  That might help you forego a $25-50 billion dollar bailout? A yes/no answer will be fine; spare me the additional rationalizations. Sadly, I haven't even heard any spin from the automakers.

So, the Capitalist likes capitalism but dislikes bad PR in the wake of a bailout.  Big deal. But the private jet drama got me thinking – what are the perks and signals in your workplace that tell your rank and file employees that everyone's not created equal?  I started my own list below and ran a similar article over at the Capitalist, but that was about the AIG spa trips; I couldn't resist using the same theme here.  Hit me in the comments with your additions and check out the comments at the capitalist about AIG here:

-Reserved Parking Spaces

-Company Cars

-Executive Elevator

-Separate Medical Benefits for Executives

-Security for executive level offices, but none for the rest of the company

-Different email storage capacities based on your position

-Top managers always get the new stuff, never allow their direct report to skip them in technology

-Different business cards for senior executives

Like Bush and Good Charlotte said, it's the little things…

What am I missing?  I know there are more, and you're just the person to enlighten me.  Hit me in the comments with your Big Three-like examples of bloated corporate excess you'd love to blow up, as a HR pro responsible for the flock….