The turmoil of bonus advisory day.
'And just when I thought the waiting was almost up, my firm has announced a delay - it seems the powers that be have to get some kind of regulatory approval to pay us out in the way it wants.
No-one does any work this time of year, of course - we just worry about how much we are going to get paid out. And then there's the dread of the advisory interview with your line manager - a time your boss loves, as he has your undivided attention and ultimate power over you.
Frankly, I wish that they would just send me an email with the number on it - it would be easier; it's the interview itself that makes the situation far worse, you see.
I hate the ritual - the email that says that you will attend a meeting at an approximate time, the walk to the office once you get the official summons to meet your line manager, and the faces of your work colleagues when you eventually return to your desk, all pretending that they couldn't care less what you got but in reality desperate to find out if you got more than them.
No-one asks you out-right, of course (officially you aren't supposed to tell anyone what you got anyway), but you can feel their eyes following you back to your seat - trying to work out from your reactions how you might have done. A few of your close mates might even give you a secret thumbs up (or down) sign, but you never respond; you just smirk and sit down at your desk.
It's only later when the games begin. You meet in a huddle with a few of your cronies and make hints about the size of your bonus - you never want to be the first one who disclosures your number. Imagine the shame if you end up getting the smallest bonus!
In the end - after much toing and froing - someone throws out a number. If it's smaller than yours, you sympathize (although inside you are over the moon). If it's bigger, you are deflated - but only momentarily, until you realise that your colleague is probably exaggerating in any case (just like you would if you were the first one to reveal your number)! Oh what games we play at bonus time. But I guess it's better than doing any real work!!'.
image: © hegemonx