… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Looking on the bright side of life

I walk into the office this morning and the receptionist tells me we have a meeting with the boss in 10 minutes. Uh oh. That’s not good. A first thing in the morning, no warning meeting is not the best way to start the day. As I walk to my office I pass whole departments heading into conference rooms. Uh oh. I’m starting to regret eating breakfast now because my stomach is clenching painfully. As I anxiously wait in my office, I gather together the Christmas presents I was going to hand out today. If we are having a meeting anyway I might as well give them out while we are together. I see co-workers doing the same. A small way to mitigate the bad with some good I suppose.

Finally, 20 minutes late I might add, the boss is ready and conveys the news: All merit pay increases scheduled for 2009 are being canceled and no one will receive an increase throughout 2009 in order to be fair. Additionally, the company will still be doing performance based bonuses for most associates and management will be given their bonus in stock, not cash. First reaction, relief that I’m not being laid off. Second reaction, happy I’ll still likely get a bonus. Third reaction, sad realization that I won’t be up for a raise again until January 2010.

A co-worker asks why we still have a performance based bonus program. Should we let that go because of the economy? I chime in that the economy will not always be bad. We don’t want to fundamentally change the culture of the company now just because times are tough. We still want to reward people for their hard work and when things get better, and if the company survives, we are going to still want that in place. That earns me a smile and agreement from the boss. We end the meeting with doughnuts and a present exchange.

Now, I’m a little sad and a little worried. I could have used a raise and I do deserve one. But I still have a job and I’m certainly not alone in this. Does this make me more inclined to look for a new job? Yes. Am I desperate to leave? No, things aren’t quite that bad yet. This company has always been very open and honest with it’s employees and I appreciate that. So that is why I am being forcibly positive right now and looking for ways to cheer myself up. Which is why I went and found the clip below and would like to share it with you, my dear readers.

Always look on the bright side of life…

6 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Erik :

    There’s a YouTube around with Eric Idle leading the other Pythons in that song at Graham Chapman’s funeral. It’s very moving in a sick kind of way.

    My advice to anyone in your situation:


    These things you call “Holidays” are a two-week spell of unemployment to those of us who live contract to contract. “Merit Pay” is what I get when I complete a contract, and it’s usually allocated to the next month’s mortgage already.

    I’m good at what I do, and I do a lot of things to get by. But I have no time to slack off at all. It’s all on me, from the health care to the life insurance to the savings to make it through these “holidays”.

    Never forget what you have!

  • 2 HR Minion :

    Erik – Oh, I am most assuredly grateful, I promise.

  • 3 Breanne :

    OMG!!!! We had exactly the same day yesterday! Literally the exact same meeting, and I had the same reaction.

    I was relieved no one was being laid off, but bummed because this has been my best year and I was hoping for a raise.

    We have to keep perspective and be grateful we are still employed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 4 Gary :

    Hey Minion;

    Thank you for your article and the reminders it includes. I found it through it’s posting on HRM Today at http://hrmtoday.com/ …minus your interesting Monty Python-type video.

    I appreciate your positive approach to organizational life during these troubling times!

    And your wisdom regarding not killing performance bonus plans because times are less profitable …for the moment.

    Congratulations to you for both!

    As a Follower of Jesus, however, I’m not sure how I feel about the video. God can defend Himself, so I do my best not to get myself worked up about what some would call “sacreligion”. (Typically with this kind of material, it contains some truth that religious people will miss. I hate religion, however, so I got it!)

    Unlike the writer of the video song, there’s one thing I know about part of it’s message that s(he) doesn’t. There is no “last laugh” on anyone who trusts in Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life in Christ.

    If Erik ever returns to this page, I remind him that if he doesn’t enjoy being an entrepreneur, he can always get a “job-job”. I struggle a bit with his cynicism given that I have coped with his challenges possibly longer than he’s been alive. And I wouldn’t trade my life as an entrepreneur for my prior “job-job” if someone paid me. (All offers, however, would be gratefully accepted! :-))

    If York U and their contract/TA teachers’ union in Toronto would please resolve their strike so that York can fulfill their half of the HR teaching contract they’ve given me for the winter semester, I would not complain, either. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Merry Christmas!

    The People Development Guy in Toronto
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  • 5 HR Minion :

    Breanne – You even had the doughnuts and Christmas present exchange? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 6 HR Minion :

    Gary – Thanks for the comment!

    And yes, Monty Python’s Life of Brian movie is full of sacrilegious stuff. Lots and lots of sacrilege. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s also funny, not as much as Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail, but it has quite a few gems.