WORK DAZE: Fed up with your job? New Age health treatments don’t help

Q: What could be worse than an endless, torturous, and ultimately futile meeting with your manager?

A: An endless, tortuous, ultimately futile encounter with your manager in an ice bath.

Guess what? It could happen.

If you haven’t grasped the desperation and madness gripping C-suite denizens today, you haven’t understood why a company would think that plunging employees in 39-degree bathtubs would make management’s ideas work better. You also haven’t read “The Hottest Place to Network Is an Ice Bath,” a chilling article by Alyson Krueger in the New York Times.

“Team brainstorming sessions take place in ice plunges and infrared saunas,” reports reporter Krueger. “Companies and entrepreneurs are doing more business than ever before in places designed for well-being and state-of-the-art treatments.”

Bleeding edge, I call them. Such as intravenous transfusions, vitamin drips, lymphatic drainage massages and cryotherapy. I wouldn’t want to be the employee who has to put up with this nonsense. I’d also hate to be the HR professional who has to decide if it’s okay for a manager to invite direct reports to join them in a cold tub for a lymphatic drainage session.

Of course, it’s covid-19 and all of its viral co-stars in our never-ending pandemic drama that are making managers realize that “it makes business sense to prioritize the health of their customers and employees.” What is new now is the focus on alternative therapies.

Apparently, it’s not enough for a company to offer its employees decent health insurance. To attract and retain employees today, employees need to be doused, poked, poked, prodded, shaken, stirred, and chilled.

Consider Ross Mackay, CEO of Daring Foods, a rapidly growing producer of “plant-based chicken” in Los Angeles (like, where else?). It was Mackay who woke up one day from his hyperbaric chamber with an answer to his company’s revenue problem.

His solution? “Jump into an ice bath together.” (It is not revealed whether the chickens were invited.)

“Executives spent six minutes in freezing water, breathing through the pain,” Krueger writes. That doesn’t sound funny to me, but according to the CEO, “after we all took a dip in the ice and our endorphins were skyrocketing, we all felt good about ourselves.”

The results solved the turnover problem. Unfortunately, it hasn’t solved the problem of a CEO making employees strip down to their pants and plunge into ice cold water.

While your employer may be too honest to employ such radical techniques, consider your next job. Meeting in an IV and sharing IV transfusions is an interview technique increasingly used by a new generation of new age recruiters. What’s transfused can be vitamins, minerals, or nutrients — basically, the same stuff you used to get in Flintstones Chewables.

While having a needle stuck in a vein during a job interview sounds weird and painful, it’s certainly an improvement over the old form of recruiting: get together in a seedy tavern and share a transfusion from 10-year-old Pappy Van Winkle. Or is it?

For those who want to avoid a blood brother experience, exercise caution when invited to a meeting at a “social welfare club,” such as The Well in New York City. And if you are involved in such a meeting in such a place, be sure to avoid “the most popular place for the meeting: the foot rub area.”

“I’ve seen dozens and dozens of meetings take place at footbaths every week,” says Kane Sarhan, one of the founders of The Well. “People have their computers on their laps.”

Getting your tootsies may not be conducive to your productivity, which is a good reason to avoid sending a resume to Hudson Bay Capital, where employees “held a meditation session and learned stress management techniques.” Whether the techniques were enough to resolve the stress caused by being forced to attend a stress management session, The Times does not reveal.

You also probably want to answer with a firm no to meeting requests from Deutsche Bank, which invited clients to a “Qigong session in which participants meditated, stretched their bodies, and practiced breathing.”

Body stretch may be fine — all it takes to transform me from a baggy body into a super ripped supermodel is an extra 10 or 12 inches — but if a manager wants me to start breathing, I’m out of there.

“I can’t deal with all this health stuff,” I’ll write in my resignation letter. “Frankly, it’s making me sick.”

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on

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