Year-end cruises and getaway vacations were out of the question for employees of T. Rowe Price Inc. In preparation for the rollover to 2000, the Baltimore-based investment company banned vacations for all 3,800 employees between Dec. 15 and Jan. 14. But the firm still tried to ensure workers would have fun while putting in long hours at work.
Robin Henderson, a retirement plan administrator, took her nieces to the Baltimore Zoo after work on Dec. 28 with tickets courtesy of the investment company. Along with others working at the Owings Mills, Md., operations center, she also took advantage of the company's relaxed dress code during that period.
T. Rowe Price employees also could have manicures, and their cars washed and vacuumed while they worked. During the first week, employees were offered a complimentary gift wrap service. This week they get free breakfast.
The company kicked off its Y2K preparedness month with a party and organized themed events, said Peggy Baldwin, manager of training and performance support for the retirement plan services group.
The investment company also arranged games and raffles and offered day care for vacationing children and elderly relatives.
The 40-odd computer employees who spent New Year's weekend monitoring systems for glitches received three times their usual pay, free meals and transportation.