Do defense contractor execs really sleep on waterbeds?

images-32.jpegAccording to Wikipedia, the waterbed was invented in 1968 by a design student in California who also tried to build a chair filled with Jell-O.

I thought waterbeds were a relic of the last century, but they popped up on Friday in this Relocation Policy filed by defense contractor EFJ Inc. (EFJI). (Here’s the 8-K.) The document – inexplicably tagged “confidential and proprietary” – looks like a policy, but really seems to be part of the deal struck with the company’s new COO, Massoud (‘Max”) Safavi , whose offer letter and employment agreement were filed with the same 8-K.

EFJ is smaller than the companies usually covered here, but the details of this “policy” are edifying, leading one to ponder what kinds of extras larger firms may be providing for relocating executives. In Safavi’s case, EFJ promises to cover up to $200,000 in relocation expenses (including the costs of selling his current residence), grossed up for taxes, but the company tempers this generosity with guidelines about what it will and won’t pay for on moving day.

Specifically, it agrees to hire a moving company to pack, crate and load Mr. Safavi’s possessions, put the furniture in place at his new residence, hang up his clothes and deposit his “kitchen items” on the counters. However, it refuses to foot the bill for “disassembly/re-assembly of pool tables, spas, above ground pools, swing sets, gym sets, utility sheds or similar items,” transporting pets, livestock, snowmobiles or boats, setting out knick-knacks or – this is harsh – “draining or setting up waterbeds.”

Most companies don’t disclose the specifics of relocation payments. From now on, I’ll be wondering whether the perks include waterbed draining, knick-knack arranging , or maybe having someone boil up enough Jell-O to fill an armchair.