I once had a drawer full of optons from a previous employer that were granted about a year before the dotcom crash. Total value today? Zero - not much of a retention tool when I was pondering another opportunity.
Of course, I didn't work at Google.
Put down your HR trade and start rubbing backs for profit (they really don't go together anyway, know what I mean?). It can work out pretty well if you work at Google. From a clip in the NYT:
"Bonnie Brown was fresh from a nasty divorce in 1999, living with her sister and uncertain of her future. On a lark, she answered an ad for an in-house masseuse at Google, then a Silicon Valley start-up with 40 employees. She was offered the part-time job, which started out at $450 a week but included a pile of Google stock options that she figured might never be worth a penny.
After five years of kneading engineers’ backs, Ms. Brown retired, cashing in most of her stock options, which were worth millions of dollars. To her delight, the shares she held onto have continued to balloon in value.
“I’m happy I saved enough stock for a rainy day, and lately it’s been pouring,” said Ms. Brown, 52, who now lives in a 3,000-square-foot house in Nevada, gets her own massages at least once a week and has a private Pilates instructor. She has traveled the world to oversee a charitable foundation she started with her Google wealth and has written a book, still unpublished, “Giigle: How I Got Lucky Massaging Google.”
Ugh. I can't even follow that up with clever analysis...