Why You Should Take a Pay Cut to Skip Lunch

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Recently, PCWorld's Business Center has posted a couple of articles that debate whether it's in the best interest of employees to take a 10 percent pay cut to telecommute or not to do so. I'm not going to get embroiled in the controversy over the joys of working at home versus the pleasures of working at the office because, honestly, if I had the choice I wouldn't work at all. But since that "dream job" choice is impractical for me and (I suspect) for many of you, I've developed an alternative action plan that will enable you to take a 10 percent pay cut regardless of where you work.

If you've reached a certain age (and according to demographic data we've gleaned from our surveys, you probably have), the odds are that you could stand to lose a little weight. And what better way to achieve that goal than to pay someone to help you do it? That's where my plan--Take a 10 Percent Pay Cut to Skip Lunch--comes in. The genius of this strategy is that it enables you simultaneously to shed unwanted pounds and to help your company succeed in today's challenging business climate.

How does it work? You simply ask your company for a 10 percent pay cut, and then put some of that money toward not having lunch--every day. Not only will you slim down, but you'll probably end up taking a more critical look at your other food expenses, too. Goodbye, budget- and body-inflating doughnut breakfast and In-n-Out Burger supper; hello, handfuls of concentrated protein from a 50-pound bag of soy, interspersed with bowls of thin oatmeal gruel.

Before you know it, you'll look like a formerly plump passenger aboard an 18th-century sailing ship caught in the South Pacific doldrums as the vessel's remaining supply of hardtack dwindles. All without exercise--so you can get additional important work done each day.

Best of all, this arrangement won't cost you very much in the long haul, because you would have wasted most of the money on unnecessary calories anyway. If you spend your remaining funds carefully, you'll avoid malnutrition, improve your health, extend your potential working life, and reduce undesirable emergency hospital visits. That means lower insurance premiums for you, another way to recoup the investment in no lunches.

Care about the environment? Well, not to get too graphic here, but you can significantly reduce your "carbon footprint" by eating two meals a day instead of three. You'll look green and feel green!

What does your company get out of the deal? Not much, really, except the satisfaction of knowing that it has helped you make healthier life choices and possibly increase your productivity. But if you're worried that the arrangement takes unfair advantage of your employer's generosity and concern for your well being, consider this: When you take a 10 percent pay cut, you instantly make yourself 10 percent more valuable to the company.

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