PAUL LICENSE - Playing by rules set by themselves

THERE has been quite a bit of flu in the office lately.

Coughing and spluttering is everywhere.

And empty chairs for those more seriously afflicted.

They are home in bed, waiting for the illness to take its course.

No doubt, also making life miserable for anyone who hasn't bothered to ask after their wellbeing for the last quarter of an hour or so.

I'm the same. When I am ill nothing else matters.

It shrinks my world to a snotty hankie and a bad temper.

That's it.

I can't ignore my cold. So I won't even try to make myself more amenable.

However, the opposite is true when I am at work and others are off ill.

I like to roll up my sleeves and get stuck into the extra work. It brings out the 'little martyr' in me.

Of course, it also means I get a big fat bonus.

I pause here to laugh.

Bonus! What's that?

Never had one. Never expected one.

I am paid a wage to come to work and do my best.

I do my best.

And I get paid.

It is a good arrangement which has sustained me for years and, God willing, will continue to do so for a few more years to come.

But bonuses are a hot potato and shouldn't be dismissed so lightly.

Bankers are not the only ones to be paid a nice chunk of cash at the end of the year.

This has spread throughout industry.

I'm at a loss to know why.

Bosses, after all, are well paid. So why do they get a bundle of extra cash for having done their job through the previous year?

The argument is that they performed well, hit their targets, brought in projects within budgets and generally helped their business/organisation/bank prosper.

Therefore they deserve the extra inducement of an end of year bonus.

Who says?

They say, of course. And they write the rules.

So the merry-go-round continues to spin in its greed-driven cycle.

Nobody is daft enough to stop it. Why should they?

The only ones in a position to do so are those clawing in an end of year bonus too.

But does this mean that they only work hard and inventively because they will get a big fat cheque on top of their wages?

Aren't the wages enough?

Do they think that they are paid some money but that is only to ensure their presence in the office?

If more is expected then they'll have to put their hand in their pocket...

Otherwise, all you can expect of these high fliers is that they will spend their day shuffling paper and lining up the paper clips. Is that any message to pass on?

There is another problem with bonuses, if you ask me.

They make managers very short-sighted. They can't see beyond their greedy nose end.

As long as their business/organisation/bank hits all its targets this year, they are happy. And why wouldn't they be? A big fat bonus cheque is on is way.

But don't businesses etc need to be nurtured in the long term?

Shouldn't bosses be looking beyond the immediate horizon? And isn't it conceivable that a decision today which means a bonus will not be earned could benefit the company and its workers, for years to come?

But the temptation is to follow the money.

Got a view? Leave a comment below.

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