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Really? You’re complaining about free money?

Really? You’re complaining about free money?

Someone was complaining recently about getting a smaller-than-usual bonus after having originally been told not to expect any bonus at all. Other people complained that all they got from their company at Christmas was a turkey or a gift card. When I worked for a company that gave cash gifts out at the end of the year, people would complain that it was “only enough to get groceries with” or “not even worthwhile”.

I never understood that. Why grumble because someone is giving you money?

And it was funny, no one ever took me up on my offer to take that “piddling” amount off their hands. Apparently the amount WAS worth keeping, so long as they got to complain about it too.

I always want to respond with “Really? You’re complaining about free money?” when people do stuff like that.

I suppose it boils down to expectations. I mean, have you ever heard a person complain about getting an extra quarter back in their vending machine change? No, they happily pocket it without complaint. Sometimes they even tell someone about getting the extra quarter back, as if they’ve just won the vending-machine lottery.

My view is that (except in cases where “bonuses” are part of a person’s employment contract) bonuses and gifts are just that: a bonus or a gift. And I’m pretty sure that an employer is going to look a lot more favorably on an employee who is grateful than on one who complains.

View Comments (8)
  • I agree with you 100%! A bonus is a gift, and not an expectation. Too many people think that their employer “owes” them, when the truth of the matter is the employer only owes you a paycheck at the agreed upon wage (and if there’s a bonus incentive in writing, then they owe you that too), but that’s in trade for the work you’ve agreed to do for that wage.

    I get funny looks when I bend over to pick up change off of the sidewalk. Hey, it’s tax-free money just for bending over!

  • I couldn’t agree more. I am shocked at some of the bonuses people in sales and other professions get–thousands of dollars per year! I work for a nonprofit social service agency, and we’re lucky if we get a $100 holiday bonus. This year we did, and I was grateful for every dime.

  • Maybe at your job. Depends on the job. At my job, over 1/4 of my salary is paid out a lot in bonuses when projects are done. So, yes, I expect them and rely on them.

  • dogatemyfinances, that’s why I said “except in cases where “bonuses” are part of a person’s employment contract. (I don’t get a bonus at the job I have now, although my former boss did give me some chocolate, which was nice.)

  • I get that with some of my employees on their yearly compensation reviews. They’ll get a $1k-4k bump some give a funny look. I usually like to remind them that they are getting more than a 3% raise hassle free. Unions of thousands strike to get that kind of bump.

  • I am a teacher and some of the teachers at my last school got a bonus on the students test scores. I heard a number of people complaining because they got lower bonuses than they expected.

    I think the problem is that a lot of these people spend the money before they get it so when it is less than what they expect they get angry. I would just be happy to get any kind of bonus (did not get because I was new to the school) and I would just say woo hoo!!!!

    I pick up change on the ground as well and just ignore the looks I get. I even have a friend who said he feels sorry for me because I get happy when I see a penny on the ground. Oh well.

  • I agree that its very ironic to see how some people mock their companies when given a little extra cash for the season instead of being grateful and thankful for the bonus.

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