Falstaff has been saying for at least six months now that we were going to get stock options for whenever or ifever the company goes public or gets sold. They set the timeline at 4-5 years. I think 6-7 is probably more realistic, but it should almost certainly happen within the ten year window that they have set up for the options.
I’ve come to find out that their rhetoric actually trapped them into giving us the options. The COO didn’t realize that he is legally liable for statements on stock options, so when certain elements within the company wanted to pull them off the table, they couldn’t. I’m not sure of all the legalities involved, but since employment law documentology is our core business, I assume that they know what they’re talking about.
They finally sat us each down individually and let us know how much was going to be available to us and at what price. The options were… amazingly generous. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that someone who takes advantage of them could clear $50k. At least $25k is likely. It’s not often that I am so presently surprised by any employer. I figured that since they were kind of packed in to doing this, they would make a weak offering. But I guess they figured that if they were going to do this, they would do it right.
In addition to being taken aback by the generosity of the company, I was similarly stunned by the somewhat skeptical reaction they got from the RLC Department as a whole. They were tickling the tonsils of the gift horse with their nose. Martin and Kirk seriously batted around the idea that they would stall going public or making a sale until after the 10 year window. They figured that screwing us over would mean more to the company than maximizing sale or IPO timing. I explained that it would be doubly counter-productive for them to push back a good offer just cause they worry that we would be getting some of the money they might otherwise get. Considering where our company is headed and how much it would have to offer when/if it became public, what we’re getting isn’t that big a deal on the bottom line. Then of course the skepticm shifted into how much more they could be giving us if we really wanted to be nice.
I harbor no illusions about my employer. But you know, on a day when they’re going out of their way to be generous, it strikes me as truly bad form to complain.
Anyway, it’s all hypothetical. I won’t be here when it comes time to collect. Most of us won’t be, statistically speaking. It’s not so generous as to give me pause about leaving. But I’ve never been offered stock options before. That alone is pretty cool.