OF COURSE

If you know what an employee stock purchase plan is, then you’re aware it allows employees of a company to purchase shares in said company at a discounted price. I’ve participated in the programs before when I’ve worked at EA and I enrolled in August for the six month offering period that ends on the last day of February.

A portion of every paycheque has been going into the ESPP since the end of summer. Since my contract ends on February 26th, I checked on Friday just to make sure I’d be getting my ESPP shares when I leave. I received clarification that participants in the ESPP for the current offering period need to be EA employees on February 29, the last day of the month and next business day after February 26th (the last day of my contract), if they are to receive their shares. If other words, my contract is short one day for me to get my discounted shares.

Of course, I can’t blame anyone other than myself for this. I knew when my last day was and the ESPP dates and regulations are clearly stated on the company intranet. No one forced me to sign up for the ESPP, that was my doing. I suppose the only thing I could have wished for is that the stock admin department might have warned me in the summer that I was not eligible to receive my shares based on my contract length.

All is not lost yet however. Based on a suggestion from a co-worker, I e-mailed a pretty senior manager dude in our department about my predicament and asked if I could extend my contract by one day. To his credit, he replied and CC’d some HR people. Since it was end of day Friday, he said they’d start looking at the options this week. I appreciated that since they are under no obligation to help me. I’m the idiot who decided to sign up for this thing and they get nothing out of this by helping me, other perhaps one more day of work.

In the event that nothing can be done, all the money that I’ve put into the plan gets returned to me, interest-free of course. That isn’t the end of the world but I’d certainly prefer to get the shares since I can sell them for a profit immediately.

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