That Annual Bonus


The little flap this weekend about the VA and its bonuses got Kris and me to thinking about bonuses. I once got 50 dollars, if my memory serves me right. Kris once got a turkey for a bonus. Obviously, we’ve not worked for the VA.

Questions: What’s your biggest bonus ever? What’s the zaniest or craziest or funniest bonus you ever got?

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  • Chris

    My father in law got a 50 lb bag of pinto beans after he started working in a hardware store in NM. That was 4 years ago and we are still cooking the 15 lbs or so that they gave us.

  • 50 bucks is about the most I’ve ever gotten. It’s been a few years since that.

  • During college I worked a co-op job at a ~75 person civil engineering firm. For Thanksgiving, everyone got a good sized turkey; for Christmas everyone got a good sized ham and an extra week’s pay as a bonus.

  • Pat

    I work for an insurance company and gotten bonuses around $1,000.

  • Barb

    30 years at major aerospace company–zero bonuses.
    Part-time at local Mountaineering store got a nice pair of ski poles.

  • Derek

    When I was a youth pastor for a couple of years I received a $400 Christmas bonus. My pay was $1000 a month so I was very excited. Two days later the clutch on my car gave out. Total cost to replace? $401!

  • As a software developer I have a couple times received a bonus equal to 1% or 2% of yearly salary. Some years instead of money it has been a couple extra vacation days for Christmas and some years a pat on the back. It costs more than the bonus to travel to see family for Christmas but it is a nice help for sure. Not expecting one this year.
    Here’s an interesting bonus idea: I know a manager (within a city-level corrections office) that inherited an office with low morale. The position of manager would typically get a substantially larger bonus than the lower-level employees. He changed the policy so that reward money would be added to the bonus pot for all projects coming in ahead of schedule and all items coming under budget. The pot was split equally, so everyone would receive the same dollar amount. If the manager got $10, everyone got $10. This significantly decreased his amount but increased the others’. I believe the bonus ended up being in the neighborhood of $1,000. The office worked together to achieve goals and save money on office supply items, etc. and it transformed the attitude and productivity.

  • I wrote a weekly humor column for my local newspaper, and they paid me with an enormous ham each Christmas. I don’t like ham.

  • I work for Starbucks and every quarter management is supposed to plan a “team building event” for us. Last quarter we were taken to Chuck e Cheese.

  • Clark G.

    One Christmas, I got enough money to build a swimming pool but that was only after my wife’s cousin kidnapped my boss and made him cough up the money.

  • My first year of college I managed an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel franchise and the owner gave me a $2000 Christmas Bonus!
    My friend who is a lawyer at a top five law firm at the end of her first year got a $40,000 bonus to give her a total first year income of $200,000!
    And we wonder why there are so many lawyers!

  • I worked for UPS in the 90’s and I also got a Turkey as a Christmas bonus. Did Kris work for UPS also?

  • Kim

    At the clinic where I am a nurse practitioner the Christmas and summer bonuses are $100 for every full year you’ve worked there. It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor or a housekeeper; it is entirely based on endurance. I think it’s kind of cool.

  • Terry

    This sort of blessing is not really a possibility in the congregation I serve (and it’s sort of hard to consider what I do to be employment anyway), but I did get a six-pack of jelly once while a Presbyterian youth pastor.
    Clark (10) thanks for posting. Would you contact me? We’re hoping to have an old fashioned family Christmas this year and I think you might be able to help.

  • I’ve never worked a job where I was fortunate enough to receive bonuses. Must be nice…
    No wait, Christianity Today gave me a Christmas bonus once when I was working there as a telemarketer while in grad school. Since I was only part-time though all they gave me was a $20 gift card to the local grocery store. 🙂

  • AHH

    In my previous job at a medium-sized science/engineering software firm, it was common to get a year-end bonus that was maybe 1% or 2% of salary if the company had a good year. One year was not so good, and we all got a certificate ($25, I think) for the local grocery. In announcing it, the CEO said we could get a turkey and name the turkey “Wang” (his surname). At least he had a sense of humor.

  • (#10) How long has Chevy Chase been hanging around Jesus Creed? Great movie!! I’m hoping for a greased down sledding saucer this Christmas!

  • Anonymous

    I am embarrassed to say around $30K, plus stock options, which is about twice as much as someone making minimum wage makes in an entire year. And I quit that job and resolved to spend my life not focused on money. Now I’m in ministry and I don’t make that much total in a year. I kind of miss not having to worry about money and heath insurance, though.