Jesse Oxfeld, former Gawker scribe and current senior editor at New York magazine, gives a great oral history of Time Inc.’s once-lavish expense accounts.
Take, for instance, former staff writer Joel Stein’s (via the Daily Beast):
“I somehow got them to pay for my Rainbow Room membership. Free breakfast every day over at the top of 30 Rock. I think I just sort of snuck it in. I don’t think there was a rationale at all. And then my Friar’s Club membership I also expensed. There was some rule that may have been true, or we have made up, that it was OK to expense lunch if we took each other out. Not every day, but often. It would be, ‘Not anything good in the cafeteria? Let’s go out and have a ‘business discussion’ and expense it. It was outrageous. When I left the staff, I was sad to say goodbye to all my friends there, but the really hard thing was giving up that AmEx card. I gave it a little funeral, and I was crying over it.”
Read the whole thing here …