The Commute: This is one of the most variable aspects of the office. If one lives downtown, you can simply walk to work, catch the TRAX (light rail), or use the bus system; all of which are fairly cheap options. The ten-to-twenty minute commute is not that bad either. When one lives on the Wasatch Front outside of Salt Lake City, the FrontRunner (commuter rail train) is an inexpensive option to using one’s own vehicle (or purchasing an additional one). As I am not close to Salt Lake City and eschew maintaining another commuter vehicle for my family, I choose to use a combination of walking, FrontRunner, buses, and TRAX. My typical commute lasts about an hour (15 minutes walking, 25 minutes on the FrontRunner, 10 minutes on the bus, and 10 minutes of pacing), but the amount of time that I pace greatly varies for the usual reasons. Additional options range from Uber, using a vehicle or bicycle, participating in GreenBike (only available the half the year we are not frozen over), and the various combinations of all of the above. Initiatives, such as dedicated biking lanes separated with medians, are rolling out in Salt Lake City as well.
Lunch Spots: My personal favorite is our five star breakroom. We have a wide selection of jellies to go along with peanut butter, almond butter, or Nutella (for that really special occasion). Freezer and fridge space is also plentiful. Harmon’s (a local Utah grocery) is not that far of a walk from the office either. In addition to such fine in-house dining, there are plenty of reputable joints around the office wherein one may lighten the purse. These include:
- Siegfried’s: For all one’s Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Almdudler, and German Delicatessen needs.
- Spitz: For one’s Americanized Berlin Döner and other street food.
- Padelli’s: For one’s not-so-Germanized Greek food.
- Various Iguana restaurants: Tending to “Mexican” food.
- The Pie Pizzeria: A local pizza.
- P.F. Chang’s: For some nice Americanized Asian food.
- Along with a great variety of other choice local and chain restaurants.
If one needs a recommendation for the Salt Lake area, ask Gage Love, Jim Kearl, or Steve Waters; they know the best places to eat. Though whenever one heads out on such an excursion, let everyone else know (just in case they have forgotten to eat). Be warned: I appear to be the black sheep of the company, in that I have an affinity for the burger dealer with a golden arch.
Dress code: Business casual with an emphasis on the casual. On a rare occasion, one may break out a tie, wear a suit, or put on an unusually nice pair of pants. Dresses, kilts, ie faitaga, and other such items are likely acceptable as well, though I have not tried any. I prefer a sturdy pair of Carhartt’s and a button up shirt, as it is quite the utilitarian-meets-business outfit.
Socializing and outside activities: With so many great places to eat and have a friendly chat, there is always an excuse or five to chat with one’s coworkers outside the office. Expect to get together later in the evening as well for holiday parties, service activities, and post-deadline rest and relaxation. The local area boasts plenty of music houses and other enlightening engagements for one to attend. Gage is the person to talk to about the latest in movies and entertainment. Steve, Leah, and Ryne are all great resources for books. Greg can direct one to the best slopes. Unfortunately, I have not found a true Kaffeehaus in the area, and good luck finding Starbucks.