Sorry About This Year’s Bonus

“Money always looks like a lot more when you actually see it physically,” said Kreil. “If I had a disappointing bonus, I’d withdraw it all and give it to my wife for her to count.”


“Come in with tears in your eyes and look like you’re about to faint,” he said. “She’ll immediately know and you won’t have to explain too much.”

This advice column about how to break the news to your spouse that you’re receiving a bad bonus this year is hilarious and sad and oh-so-dumb. [via]

Photo: roberthuffstutter


13 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#22)

What’s a bonus?

@deepomega I think it’s kind of like when you take the leftover bagels from the conference room.

“I’m sorry, honey, I only got five bagels this year.” Tips: Prepare your spouse beforehand (e.g., start dropping hints like “You don’t really like breakfast, do you?”). Seeing actual, physical bagels always makes it look like a greater quantity than the abstract number (“5″ vs “O O O O O“).

sunflowernut (#1,638)

I feel like this has to be a joke.

thatgirl (#1,965)


Worker Parasite (#2,292)

I disagree – as someone who worked in an entry-level finance position the bonus made up a HUGE part of my annual income. My base salary was 30% more than minimum wage (assuming 40 hour weeks), the bonus was usually another 35% of that, which made working 70 hour weeks somewhat appealing. The few times bonuses haven’t been paid have been tough – there’s no incentive to work that much for such a low base salary.

That’s not to say that the system isn’t absurd, but all of my professional jobs have involved bonuses that make up a significant portion of my income, and I’ve worked damn hard for them. I’d much prefer to get a reasonable salary and no bonus.

OllyOlly (#669)

@Worker Parasite Yeah for me, my yearly bonus isn’t a bonus as much as ‘withheld salary.’ It gives the company the legal option to withhold it, while telling me my yearly compensation is higher. It has nothing to do with my performance and is scheduled the same time every year.

Morbo (#1,236)

Isn’t too funny if it has happened to you.

synchronia (#185)

“‘Conservative husbands will also pressure their wives into questioning whether their job is really worth sacrificing family time for when the bonus is low.’ To avoid this situation, she also advises that female bankers signal to their spouses that their bonuses might be disappointing before the bonus is revealed. That way the difficult questions will have been addressed in advance.”

Right, maybe he’ll make you quit your job *before* you get your bonus!!

boringbunny (#3,260)

I think it’s sad that this article seems to target people who build their whole self esteems around their bonuses. I think it’s also sad that people will read this column and dismiss it because if you get a bonus, you are not allowed to be upset. It seems to be more a column about how to keep your spouse from leaving you when you earn less money – not about buying a smaller yacht than you were expecting.

Well ok, I’m in the biz and got a zero bonus this year. That means for me, I actually got a 25% pay cut for the past year after the fact (because bonuses are supposed to be for past performance).

That does suck especially since it wasn’t my personal performance that resulted in a zero bonus but some C level that said this whole group shouldn’t get any bonus. But this is the same industry where I used to see banner ads for BMWs that said “My bonus is faster than your bonus” so I know all about the excesses. (The excesses could make a fun hate-column.)

And it’s fun to make snide comments about how this is a 1% problem or whatever but lots of “normal” people are affected. I know lots of admins who make around $60-70k with a $20k bonus, who didn’t get a dime this year.

And I know of two equities people who committed suicide in the past 5 years after losing their jobs. They were definitely 1%ers and I’m sure there were other problems there but their families are still hurt just the same.

Anyway, I’m not saying have compassion for these people, there are lots of ASSHOLES here, but there are also lots of normal folks and there’s no need to spit on everyone when they’re down.

navigateher (#555)

@forget it i quit This exactly. The bonuses are in many cases part of the actual annual income more than a real “bonus”. For a lot of people it’s not money that you can update your Porsche with, it’s just… salary, and when you’re hired they always factor that in and justify paying you just a little less because of it.

megadith (#273)

@forget it i quit Yup! At my husband’s previous job he had a relatively low salary but unlimited bonus potential. Notice I said “potential”. We never knew the amount until a couple days before and often it would be $0. It kind of sucks not knowing how to plan, so we just decided to ignore anything but base salary and anything over that would be gravy. I can’t imagine the stress of counting on a totally mysterious bonus.

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