Company Perks

A friend recently told me about his company’s job openings, explaining the job description and benefits.

Friend: “We offer everything – sick leave, health insurance, performance bonuses, rice allowances, transportation allowance…”
Me: “Wait – did you say rice allowances?”
Friend: “Yes – and?”
Me:
“Forgive me if I’m sounding ignorant, but companies offer that? Is that just your company?
Friend: “No – it’s common here!”

rice perksApparently, it is. Companies literally provide sacks of rice, or money to go towards purchasing rice. And that money is non-taxable. It makes sense, given that rice is eaten with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many desserts are even rice-based.

But rice is cheap right? Sure, by American standards; but, if you haven’t heard, wages here are low. A customer service agent or call center representative earns about 15,000 pesos per month (that’s about $350). Factor in rent and living expenses, and you’re not left with much to live with.

Rice allowances, sure I’d take it!

Any thoughts or questions about rice allowances, local wages, or riced-based desserts? (they’re good, I promise – one day I will share another post on these treats…)

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7 responses to “Company Perks

    • I thought it was too….it’s funny that even just the littlest things can open your eyes to different ways of living. Thanks for reading!

    • Sad to say it’s not my photo – but you’re right, it is a great shot. I didn’t know that rice was so common in Hawaii…I do love Hawaiian bbq though….and spam masubi too!

      • That’s great. If you like spam musubi, you would fit in well here. Spam is our unofficial state meat, and I would go so far to say that rice is our unofficial state vegetable (I know it’s a grain, but still…). We’re very connected to the other side of the Pacific. I look forward to more of your expat posts.

  1. Good story for our “job readiness” I already share some of the stories from when I was in Mexico, but “rice allowance” is a new one. Helps put things in perspective for some our clients (especially at TSJ) about how good things really are here (and not to take it for advantage!) ….next I’m going to want some rice recipes though! ;)

    • You’re right – living here as really changed my perspective on poverty. Here, upward mobility is not an option. Back home, no matter the circumstances you are born into, at least you have a choice. Granted, you will have to work your butt off to get there, but at least it’s possible. Anyways, future post to come on that issue (been thinking about it a lot lately)…..glad my story might help a few students back at TSJ! :-)

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