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I think I'd do something else vs. an increase. What about a retirement type account where you'll put x per month. THen both parties win.

Well not to be too harsh but - the employer should never bail out the employee. Nor should the employee share the debt situation with the employer, but if s/he does, the employer should be sympathetic, but no bail outs.*

Increases should be merit/market based and not have to do with anything about an employee's decisions about how to spend their salary.

* Like anything there might be something truly exceptional, but it wouldn't be consumer debt - it would be like a medical crisis or something really... ODD.

Pay should be based on performance. Period. What an employee does with his/her pay is their business, and not that of the employer.

The deeper question here is how much should said employer be involved in said employees financial affairs. And THAT is something that only you can answer! When an employer is giving financial advice and assistance to an employee, the relationship has, in my opinion, gone beyond that of employer/employee.

If it were a friend, what would you do? If it were one of your children, what would you do? (Again, I am not talking about the increase --- that should be totally separate from the financial squandering/subsequent assistance predicated on said financial mishandling..)

Sometimes we have to allow people to make their own mistakes AND GET THEMSELVES OUT OF IT!! Bailing them out is not always helpful.

Best to you.

Ah, your first commenter beat me to the retirement account suggestion!

It's common practice in the states for employers to contribute a set amount of money into a retirement account, and then also to give the employee the option of contributing more money voluntarily, which the employer would match up to X amount. That way the employer is rewarding the employee for saving.

I agree 100% with Shandra. As soon as I saw the words "you take charge. You take responsibility for their debt". I saw red flags. In a small business situation, where the employees are close, friends even, I can see the employer wanting to help. But that help must be given at arms legnth - referral to a financial advisor. At the very very most, a review of their records and advice on how to fix it themselves.

I agree that the increase should be based on merit but if the employee owes the employer a monetary debt, I might work payoff of that into the contract.

Sticky situation though. Its difficult to be hard nosed in a small group like that (and don't take my advice as confidence that *I* would have the balls to carry it off. I am imagining how I would expect to be treated as an employee, not an employer).

I just wanted to add that if you look at the research presented in "The Millionaire Next Door" you find that grown children who receive "economic outpatient care" generally end up in worse debt than those who don't.

Here's a blogpost about it (not mine!): http://whymoneymatters.blogspot.com/2007/09/economic-outpatient-care.html

I don't think it's real help for an employer to bail out their employee. Although if IBM does this maybe I should get my husband to look into it! (j/k)

I'm in a position where I have an employee, for many years. At some point, I had to tell her "this is your last raise, because you are at the top of what you earn for what you do." I don't think most people get endless raises, just because they can't get promoted.

If you feel bad now, what's going to happen when you don't need the employee, but she can't get find another job with comparable pay?

If I were the employer, I would not have bailed the employee out, friends or not, it is their responsibilities. They need to learn their own mistake and deal with it, otherwise the spending pattern will just continue.

If I were this person's employer I would feel terribly torn. I would probably give them the increase they deserved (and which I could afford) but I would never again bail that employee out of debt and I might make it clear, as their boss that I feel they are living a dangerous lifestyle. I'd tell them that I care about them but that I would be unable to be their fallback again.

Answering your question, I would feel very annoyed and irriated. Mostly because *I* am a major control freak and I have the tendency to be bossy and want everyone to do what *I* want them to! I would have to control myself and just let them spend at will. Their money, none of my business. If the roles are reversed, I wouldn't expect my employer to bail me out at all. Its not their job to make sure I spend responsibly. Good luck!

I would be thoroughly irritated despite the fact it really isn't my place (as a boss) to have an opinion on how they spend their money. The only way I could feel I legitimately had a right to comment about it would be if it impacted their job performance.

I don't think I would feel irritated by how someone else spends their money, no matter what role I played in channeling that money to them. I would feel concern perhaps but I truly don't believe anyone has any right to tell someone else how to live.

If a giver is unhappy giving because of what happens after they've given, they're giving for their own agenda. You'll see this unfolding with your own children once they're old enough to be given their own money. You can advise them but you will know you absolutely have to allow them to be responsible for themselves. If you don't take your hands off, it becomes an unbalanced and unhealthy control issue.

How they spend the money is none of your business. You are paying them for their job - the work they do. Period.

Considering the boss has chosen to help out with the debt of the employee as a friend. They have kind of already crossed the line from business world to friend world. Which is fine but they should never be mixed up.

If I was the boss and had already be generous enough to help out with the debt of my employee and they did not appreciate it, I would not offer a merit increase and let them know that they have not gotten the merit increase due to the debt relief. But next time when merit increases are looked at no personal feeling should be involved.

That's my 2 cents

D

I would feel shit and annoyed but at the same time its their money to do as they please. I would explain that now with this increase I wouldn't be bailing them out of trouble the next time it happens. Good Luck with this.

... oh yeah forgot the feelings part lol... I think I would be hurt if I helped out a friend in need that just happened to be an employee of mine and they didn't appreciate it. The debt relief money was at one point mine and had to be earned by me.

I might do a retirement matching benefit and get Financial Peace University for everyone on the team. You can lead a horse to water...

feeeeeeeeeelings... Um, I would probably be low grade irritated re the bailout and I would ask for that $ back and make sure to make the person squirm about it on occassion. Then I'd probably resolve my own irritation, but still engage in some occassionally squirm inducing questions.

I don't really think it's the employer's business how their employee spends the money, but then i would never go to my employer and reveal my money problems either. But if they have a very close relationship, i don't think it would be terrible to offer a pay raise in the form of a Certificate of Deposit. I would point out the benefits (some savings, interest on the principal), but ultimately let it be up to the employee. People should be allowed to make their own lousy decisions, as long as they aren't actively hurting other people.

I don't understand why the person making salary decisions would be at all interested in how the employee spends money. Salary should be commensurate with the contribution the employee is making to the success of the business. As the employee makes a greater contribution, thus should they be recognized for that in terms of a salary increase. The salary represents the value the individual brings to the business.

If how a person spends money is having an effect on their contribution to the business (e.g., "I can't make it to work today because I can't afford to buy gas.") then that should be considered relative to their performance, and appropriate measures taken. Other than that, the business owner should not try to step into the role of financial advisor or parent.

My .02.

I would feel guilty, like I was financing this person's bad habits. But, unless this person is spending the money on a drug habit or something, I would not get involved. If a raise is expected and deserved, give it. If the person comes to you for additional financial help because he/she has dug a hole too deep, I'd gently say, I'm sorry, but that's your problem, not mine.

In all honesty, I would feel very irritated with the employee, but still give them the raise I felt they had earned on the job. Then later, when said employee was complaining about being strapped for money, uh oh well, too bad, no more bail outs.
Yeah, then I'd probably feel a bit guilty, but that's a whole other issue. :)

I think that I would feel much the way you describe. I would hate to see someone I care about, whether or not it's someone I also pay, enslaving themselves to debt for unimportant things. It's one thing to be beset my financial calamity (an uninsured loss or a big medical bill) and run up debt, but quite another to run up debt for frivolous things that don't appreciate in value. If I cared about the wellbeing of this person's life in all matters, financial issues would be no different. When it's further complicated by the employer/employee relationship, and money is an inherent aspect of the relationship, it would be even more complicated for me. I like the very first suggestion about offering some sort of retirement plan, vs. another increase that may well be squandered, especially if current compensation is generous.

I would feel good about paying someone what he or she is worth and I would not worry myself about how the money was spent - not my business. I would also feel good about saying 'no' when the person asked for financial help. I would say, "I pay you and I pay you well. Managing your money is your business" and then I would get back to work!

Of course I spent years working on my co-dependency issues and that helps quite a bit.

here is the problem:
"They get themselves into bad debt; they come to you for help. You help out, you take charge. You take responsibility for their debt; you have a serious talk about budgeting and living within your means."
Why in the world would you help out or take charge? You can't take charge or responsibility for their debt! You can talk to them about living within their means, but that is all you can do. The rest is up to them and them alone.
You pay an employee based on their performance. If they want to save every dime and live in box, goodie for them. If they want to spend it all and then some on credit cards, still not your issue.
To get involved on a personal level, this is going to sound harsh, but is wrong. It is not your place as their employer. You wouldn't bail your kids out would you? Why would you bail out an employee?
I would feel sad/sorry for them - but would be irritated with myself if I had taken on a responsibility that never should have been mine in the first place.

Hi Tertia,

Here is my opinion, as someone who has been and currently is an employer. No matter how close you may be to your employee, remember that you are still an employer. So you pay in exchange for work, nothing else. If the job performance deserves a raise and you feel it's fair to give a raise, then give it, otherwise don't give it. It is not your business to live other people's lives or to decide how they spend their money.
If your employee is really close to you, you may give some advice once, and that's it. You may think the employee doesn't remember, but that's not it, they just chose not to follow your advice and that's his/her prerogative. It looks like you have already given the advice and much more, so anything else would be overstepping the employer-employee boundary too much in my opinion. Adults are responsible for their own fate.

And if I may add this....even with non-employees, people need to make their choices...on the next post you may follow completely different advice from what I suggested here....but I posted it, you read it, what you do with it is your business.
Ciao

I would feel irritated and frustrated, but I wouldn'r let it influence how much I paid. I also wouldn't take on anyone else's debt. I have enough of my own.

Two additional comments --

One, I agree with the commenter who talked about capping raises. Several times in my career I reached the "top of my grade level." Which meant no more raises until I was promoted. Perhaps this employee has reached the top of what they should be paid for the job they are doing.

Second -- note to Molly re "You wouldn't bail your kids out would you? Why would you bail out an employee?" --I suspect that Tertia absolutely would bail out her kids!

I totally get how people spend beyond their means in ways that can be hard to comprehend. I was just watching Oprah yesterday where this couple had $90,000 in credit card debt and didn't seem to get that they were not victims but had created their own situation. I was irritated to watch it. Of course, I thought of my own finances and how I would "never" rack up that much debt, at least without accepting my personal responsibility.
That said, I think it is very dangerous territory to start judging another's spending, because who among us doesn't spend on non-essentials, even put them on a credit card from time to time. I have no idea who you are talking about or how much debt is involved or how excessively he/she spends on luxury items. But I would advise, perhaps, a little compassion. Is she/he in debt purely because of extravagant spending, or maybe just because, even earning a salary that is more than he/she has ever earned before, it's not a terribly high sallary given expenses/family responsibilities etc.
I think that there is a big difference between racking up debt wrecklessly and buying some nonessentialls that you technically can't afford, because you work hard and want to live a little. And in the latter case, I think that its dangerous for those of us who are more fortunate to judge. I can't help remember the topic a few weeks back about your expensive botox coming after countless mentions of how broke you are. I trust you have your finances in order and are not spending on anything that would hurt your family's future, but you see where I am going? Perhaps someone else might think, how could she ever spend on self improvement (which I do too -- definitely not judging) when she could be putting more toward retirement, kids education etc.
Just my two cents

if this were a friend i would think they were in trouble (addiction) and offer support in a quest to get help. i guess with an employee it's different, the situation would make me feel frustrated and irritated more that sympathetic.

The only thing that would irritate me is if they came to me a second time asking for help with budgeting. Then I would have to re-draw the line in the sand between employer and employee. Employer pays based on employees performance and employee is free to waste & squander or invest their own money as they see fit. Employer does not want to hear about it, help budget or in any other way parent their employee. Not their problem.

I would feel frustrated to see someone spending recklessly, but if they were my employee, I suppose it would be none of my business, and I would just hold my tongue. On the other hand, if they came to me to bail them out, I would not do it, because they were an employee first, then a friend. A retirement account sounds like a good idea.
Also, I think one person commented that they didn't think most people get endless raises...I'm not sure what country she lives in, but in most developed countries, it is quite common for people to receive cost of living increases. I know of very few fair employers that include COL raises in their wage caps. I think it is excellent to reward a job well done with a well earned raise.

I think you should pay the person based on the quality of his work, not his spending habits. But that also means the employee should not come to you for help. If he does, the most I would do is refer him to someone, like a credit counselor.

I'd be irritate but in the end, how this employee spends his/her money is his/her business. If you'd give the raise for a job well-done then do it, regardless of the bad spending habits. Unless you have a personal relationship with said employess, do not bail them out again or offer further financial counseling. This person is old enough to hold a job and do well at it. S/he needs to be able to take responsibility in other areas as well and will not do so if others are bailing him/her out.

It seems like most people are missing the very personal nature of this working relationship as described by Tertia. I don't know Tertia's hypothetical case but, in my case, I've employed both a personal assistant and a nany. I was much more emotionally invested in the nanny because I wanted, even needed, to feel as though she was more like a member of the family than another employee. This person was charged with caring for my children. I didn't feel like I could expect the kind of devotion to my children that I wanted if I didn't also treat the nanny like a family member. It gets a lot more blurry when it's about both money and family. (I'm just glad MY P.A. wasn't my MIL, so I didn't have to treat her like family.!)

It's hard to maintain a strictly business relationship in a very small business scenario unless you hold that line from the beginning. I think it's all circumstantial. If this person looked to me for advice/help in unfortunate circumstance, then I would feel that it was not out of place for me to offer advice/help when things are seemingly going well.

I think it has to be one or the other - strictly business or personally involved - but not sometimes one and sometimes the other.

How would I feel? Annoyed, angry even. As soon as they come to you for help, they are making their business your business. I have been there and done that. Paid bills for friends, only to see them spend money on completely unnecessary items to "make themselves feel better". How can you not be annoyed? How can you not judge their actions? I wouldn't give another raise. Maybe I would do something like a retirement account for them. Or maybe I would just put the extra money aside in case of future "emergencies". Was the money from the bailout repaid? If not, then I would be angry that they continued to spend on wasteful things, rather than repay you. I would feel like it was a slap in the face. I would be very annoyed if I thought they maintained their lifestyle with the thought in mind that they could always get help from you when things got bad. Frankly, I have absolutely no interest in how people spend their money. They earn it, they can spend it how they like. BUT, when they are coming to you for a bail-out, then I think THEY have opened that door to being judged for their actions. I don't think it is wrong to help people out. I have done it many, many times in various ways. I am a classic "soft touch". But yes, when you see that 9th new handbag or latest cell phone I think it is completely fair to be upset, annoyed or even angry.

In my opinion, it's really not an employer's business how an employee spends their salary. BUT I do think that you pay them a salary, and that's where it should end -- no help out of a bind, no loans, no taking on debt, etc. Financial advice, (when asked for), sure! But no extras that aren't strictly related to how they perform their job. And on the same token, if they're doing a great job and you think a raise is justified, give it to them -- how they spend it is their concern.

If it was me, it would bother me if I gave them extra money or lent them money to help them out and then I saw them continuing to waste it. But if I just paid them their normal salary and they wasted it, it might secretly annoy me, but everyone has different values and wants different things out of life. For some people, investing in property or putting money in a savings account makes them happy, for others they like the freedom to buy the things they life. Just remember there's really no "right answer" when it comes to how anyone chooses to spend their hard-earned dough.

How would I feel? Annoyed, but it's just not the employer's business how the employee handles his/her money.
If that employee ever came back to me with more debt, I would refer them to a financial counselor.
This hypothetical employer needs to work on his/her boundry issues.

I would certainly feel some amount of irritation over it because somehow I feel I know better and would want this person to see how right I am, thank me for setting them on the right track, and become ever so practical about money in the future.

However, when it comes down to it, the reward is in the giving. I know what a wonderful job this person did and I get to acknowledge that with another good pay increase.

I spend my money on a 401K/investments, fertility payments, my beautiful home and good eats. Another spends their's on something else. We all put value on different things in life and there really is no right or wrong- just right or wrong for me. Right and wrong for you. Hope that helps.

tough love baby, tough love. the only way to learn sometimes is to get yourself in a pickle and then have to get yourself out - if someone does it for you, you probably won't learn. i did 'bailouts' for my adult kids, then said no more. guess what? they are managing their money better now i am respecting their ability to do so. and, there are many many stories of how people have squandered money and lost their material wealth, but have then worked their way back up again, having learned valuable lessons about budgeting and self-help in the process.

employers are just that: employers. they pay people for what they do, and do not have a moral obligation to bail their employees out.

tough tough love.

Would you be able to fly out to Washington D.C., USA tomorrow and meet with congressman Barney Frank and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson? I'm sure they would welcome your thoughts on this subject. The USofA has the same problem!

I would feel irritated, but I would not let that affect pay increases. It is not your business how they spend their money, but you don't have to bail them out. No loans, no advances.

I would also steer clear of being their advisor, therapist or confidant. They are an employee and in a situation like this, I believe in drawing the lines clearly as a professional employer-employee relationship.

All that said, I know intellectually that is the way that is right for me, but it would be untenable, torturous.

No matter how small the business, it seems your employee is still an independent person. If you take it on yourself to try to fix their spending habits, you're making them your dependent. And it would be better if you didn't.

I would try to pay what seems right to me (and I too would pay more than the going rate, given everything you've written) but I would try not to get involved in the employee's private life.

If the employee came and asked for debt help, I would send them along to someone else, too. But I'd really squirm under any sort of employer-employee relationship that smacked of paternalism. Maybe I'm naive about how it really works.

I would pay my employee what they are worth to me and what I could afford.

I would NOT be there however to bail them out of any financial fuck ups they may make however. That is THEIR personal problem. Period.

You asked about feelings. How would I feel as the employer or employee? When I think of things I've spent money on that OTHER people think is extravagant and wasteful - I immediately think of our numerous and unsuccesful IVFs. I cannot describe the intensity of my emotional response if my employer said to me that I deserved a salary increase, and he wanted to thank me for my work, but he was afraid that if he gave it to me I'd waste it on IVF.

I would...be very irritated about the frittering of money, and grumble about giving the raise. But ultimately I would decide to be fair, and give the bigger increase, because the raise is about performance, not what they do with the money.

Okay. I also have employees, and I have been placed in a similar situation. The bottom line is... once you pay them, it's not your money anymore and as such, you have no say about how they spend it. When you give them a salary it's for a job well done. So is a raise. However, if they are borrowing money because they have put themselves in bad financial situations, I would give them all of the well meaning advice that I could. At the end of the day, when they borrow money or ask for an advance to bail them out.. that's my money and it comes with strings and conditions. I feeeel good about that answer.

I'd feel irritated by the whole situation. It feels like you give and give (money as well as advice) and it doesn't make an ounce of difference. Except that you're out of pocket. But the fact of the matter is, you're the employer and your only concern should be job performance and rewarding said job performance. ;-) After all, if someone works really hard, they should be rewarded. What they do with their money is a seperate issue.

Hi

I think this person should be able to buy what they please. However, if I would have to start bailing them out because of debt, that is where I would draw the line. By bailing this person out of the dept, you are taking the responsibility away from them to spend money wisely. Let them feel the pinch when they realise they have overspent, see what it is like to have to pay off accounts. If I would make debts because of over extravagance, my employer would never bail me out, it is not his responsibility, but my own.

I agree with alot of the above. Its very easy not to get involved but I understand why you do and why you feel the need to help bail them out even if its not the right thing to do. I would do the same. This is therefore the obvious reason why you feel annoyed/irratated when he/she does it again. You feel let down. Same kind of feeling as giving advice to a close friend in an abusive relationship where you spend alot of time and energy counselling them and getting them to understand that it is best that they leave the relationship only to discover that on the sly, they actually took their abusive partner back.
That is what I make of it. My suggestion or what I would feel appropriate with the raise it also to start some kind of retirement fund or put the extra money into a long term bank account that cannot be touched on a daily basis.

i think as an outsider it is easier to seperate the issues - ie i think this is more to do with knowing-the-intimate-details-of-the-employees-spending and chosing-to-have-a-personal-as-opposed-to-professional relationship.....and i think it has little to do with the renumeration package/increase

i think i would need to pay the persons worth but make a choice about how-personally-involved/-personally-responsible can you remain without having overwhelming +ve and -ve emotions

its that thing we refer to about letting them climb trees even if they fall.

sorry, but it is none of your business how someone spends the money they earn from their job. you're just being nice, but you have no choice but to let go and live with it. if it is really killing you then as a PP suggested turn the next raise into some kind of pension plan or something long-term like that.

I am really bad at these situations, because I would want to give more and would - feel guilty for being irritated.

Taking a step back I think you need to look at the person's needs. Would they use the increase to pay off the debts and to start saving? (prob not from what you said above :( )

Are you in a situation to say, "you now have an increase of X, but I am putting the X amount into a savings fund for you each month, or using it towards XYZ for you'..... Is that too presumptuous / rude / intruding / treating the individual like a teenager....

I have been in that situation. I was living in a very poor country. I had an employee who was the youngest of nine children of the poorest family in town. The first week he was working for me, he asked for a salary advance. I asked him what it was for, thinking that it would be a family issue. Nope! He wanted to buy a walk-man. I said no. In the next two years, I watched him squander every penny he earned. It was horrible, and I was very frustrated and sad. When my project ended and I moved away, he had nothing to show for all of his work. It broke my heart, but it was his decision.

I would be irritated. Then I would be guilty about wealth disparity, the culture of commercialism, etc. Then I would be sad about the hopelessness of the situation because the employee's attitude towards money prevents any real progress being made by the employee.

How the employee spends the money isn't your business, but when you involve yourself in bailing them out, it does become your business. It also creates more resentment between you and the employee because not only are they not making progress, but they are getting into debt and you have to help them.

I would not lend money. I would feel emotionally blackmailed by constant requests for loans and bailouts, especially when you are already paying about the going rate.

i would get irritated yes... if you are expected to "fix" their problem like you've mentioned, then you should have a say in how they spend their money... how about an Retirement Annuity instead of an increase/as an increase? pension money can only be accessed at age 55 in SA and then you're forced to take a monthly income, which is what's needed then.

but i'll get irritated, hell yes :)

Chicago, you said: "I was much more emotionally invested in the nanny because I wanted, even needed, to feel as though she was more like a member of the family than another employee. This person was charged with caring for my children. I didn't feel like I could expect the kind of devotion to my children that I wanted if I didn't also treat the nanny like a family member."

It's funny because I'd been an employer/manager before I had a child and hired a nanny and it was actually the reverse for me. I'd seen how important it was to keep the relationship of employer/employee "clean" when it came to money and so when I hired my nanny I was really really careful not to get into any of her personal financial stuff or to give extra money. (However I did pay above the going rate and provide extra vacation and sick time.)

Obviously every situation is different but I found it worked really well for me and her.

It would be nice if you (hypothetical you) could be unaware of how the individual spent their money, as you would be in most employer/employee relationships. But if you know that you'd give them the raise without a second thought if you could assume they were making wise decisions, I think you're morally obliged to give same even if you *know* they're making poorer choices. Because it's a reward for labour, not an allowance. Right?

P.S. Hypothetical you might want to see if there's a hypothetical financial advisor who could provide an education to the hypothetical money squanderer who may not be aware of some of the other alternatives.

I would feel supremely irritated if I were to see how badly an employee handled their money and it would certainly affect the way I treated increases - in fact I think it would bring out the mean in me and I would pull back on increases. I think perhaps I would reduce the 'cash' increase and introduce a 'pension / RA / forced savings' portion of the increase. I think baling out is a bad idea and merely teaches the employee that there are no consequences that the boss won't get them out of - genuine consequences is the only true teacher in life. Thanks for the blog. Jaci

So what if they buy "status symbols"? It seems obnoxiously like getting an allowance if the boss gets to decide what an employee spends the money on. If my employer told me I spend too much on videogames, or my car is too nice, I'd be really insulted. What if your boss said that fake boobs isn't an acceptable thing to spend your salary on, so no raise for you?

It's a bit different as you + I aren't in financial trouble and asking our employers for help. But this (hypothetical) person DID ask you, which changes the dynamic completely.

I think I would pay what I could for a job well done and stay out of his/her personal spending. That means the next time they ask for help, staying clear of the problem. Even if you see it coming a mile away. No advice, no taking charge, leave it alone and try not to let it affect your sleep!

Another commenter suggested a retirement fund instead of a raise, and that would be a practical solution to reward for a job well done AND look out for the future of someone you care about.

Ridiculous. You have no right to deny someone a pay increase because you "don't like the way they spend their money". Who made you their parent?

I would just give them the increase and not bail them out anymore. You helped them out once, and once was very generous and more than enough. I think that it is up to an individual how they spend their money-whether your employer likes it or not.
I am currently a student, so I am unemployed. But my former employer was a middle aged woman who obviously spent a lot of money on things like getting her nails done and keeping her car sparkling clean. Both of these things are wastes of money to me. I can do my nails myself and the car gets dirty again as soon as you have it cleaned, so I don't really see the point. However, I really like clothes and going out and such. I am sure that my employer saw buying new clothes all the time and going out for dinner were wastes of money. I am sure from her thinking that the clothes I had were fine and I know how to cook, so I shouldn't go out all the time. My point with all this is that we had different opinions on what was "wasteful".

I would feel torn and guilty for feeling torn and ultimately would talk with my husband, who would wisely advise me that I wouldn't want my employers being in my business about things and it's not my business to be in theirs. So, ultimately, I'd have to evaluate what I'd give them and then try to stay out of their financial situations. Hard to do when you know the person and care for them but necessary to get them off the track he/she is on.

I am bladdy confused, doll. What exactly are you mad about?

Your earliest post this morning thanked all your readers profusely, and then finished with a comment along the lines of... [don't quote me, am trying to recall what I read]... 'here's an air kiss for you fabulous commenters, and a tentative pat on the back.'

I was intrigued about what had made you post such a grumpy and passive-agressive missive, so I went back and read their fifty-five thousand comments relating to the financial affairs of a Certain Employee.

I read all the comments, and still couldn't figure out what made you so annoyed.

Not that I blame you for being annoyed: hell, that's what I am all the time. But why, doll?


I actually had an employer who based raises on what she thought of the employees and their lifestyles, on a personal level (I was the one who did payroll and printed checks, so I was the one privy to this info) and this resulted in Joe Blow getting more than Joe Shmoe even though Shmoe was a much better worker simply because Blow was a bigger suck up. THIS led to a lot of resentment when employees got to comparing bonuses and raises (I've never worked someplace where the comparing thing happened like it did there, but I think once someone figured out that it was happening unfairly everyone wanted to keep tabs) and the turnover rate was phenomenal.

In other words - I think it's human nature to bring your personal feelings into it, but I agree with those who've said that a raise or bonus should be based ONLY on work performed. Personal feelings have no place in the payroll of the workplace.

(Incidentally, my boss didn't like me much, so when she hired in another assistant in my department, and started her at $3/hour more than what I was making after over a year there, it wasn't a huge surprise, but it didn't make doing the payroll fun, that's for sure!)

BTW, one thing my boss did do that did work ok, was the way in which she handled giving loans to employees. All loans were agreed upon before being issued, and the agreement and repayment schedule was signed by both the employee and the boss. Then the agreed upon payments came right out of the paycheck until the loan was paid off. It worked for both parties involved. Perhaps if a boss feels like getting at all involved with bailing an employee out, this is the way to do so.

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