Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Bonus Check Time Has Come Again

It's that time of year when companies all over the country hand our that much needed and appreciated Christmas bonus check. Most companies I've worked for never gave Christmas bonuses, but for the first time in ten years, I'm working for a company now that does provide one and they are going to be given out at the annual Christmas party on Saturday. Hey, that's tomorrow! It doesn't really matter how much it is, it's that fact that my company is going to give me one that I like.

I was reading a story the other day about a company in New York where their average Christmas bonus was $500,000. Of course that doesn't mean that every single worker will get a bonus of half a million dollars. Some will get much less than that while others will receive multimillion dollar bonuses. I'm so curious how they decide who gets what in this large corporation. Let's see, the CEO will probably get say 50 million dollars and his secretary will get $500. That's probably how it works, but they can tell the news media that their average bonus is $500,000 per employee and that would be factually correct.

About fifteen years ago I worked for a cable company that offer Christmas bonuses. They were very fair in my opinion. Their bonus was two weeks normal pay. This was company wide, so naturally the higher management types got higher bonuses because their pay was higher, but the folks at the bottom got a pretty good check as well. No one at this company complained or felt like they were being treated unfairly. I wonder if everyone at that New York company feels like they were treated fairly? I doubt it.

I don't think there is a law in any state that says a company has to provide a Christmas bonus, so companies decide to do this entirely on their own. I think giving an annual bonus is a sign the the company is being lead by a person that sees more than the bottom line when it comes to his/her business. For many people that Christmas bonus check is the difference between their kids having a decent holiday and not having much at all.

Hats off to my employer for their bonus policy and the rest of you "Grinch" corporations. Come on and get with the program!

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