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Proper ask or not to ask xmas bonus?

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She11ybeanz posted 11/26/2013 12:48 PM

So....last year I got a Christmas bonus....the Monday before Thanksgiving. I am an accountant and was able to see that we allotted for a bonus this year (a lump sum to be distributed to all employees) and texted a friend of mine in confidence and asked her if she knew or not if we would be getting one and she said yes, she got hers yesterday.

Here is thing.

I was out yesterday because my 15 month old daughter had a temperature of 104 and I had to take her to the doctor.

She is still not well today but I came into work anyways and caught up on my work from yesterday ASAP.

I haven't heard anything about the bonus today. No email from my boss saying to come to her office at a certain time (like she did last year) Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I'm a little concerned. I don't know if this means that A. *I* am not getting one B. My job is in jeopardy (of which I don't know why) or C. They just haven't gotten to our department yet (even though we got ours last year the Monday before Thanksgiving and my friend got hers yesterday....and they do this so that we have it before the Black Friday holiday shopping)

Is it rude to ask my boss if we are getting a bonus? Bad etiquette? Should I just wait it out til tomorrow? What would you all do? I desperately need the money....

The waiting game is about to kill me though...I've bitten my nails down to bloody nubs just about....

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 12:50 PM, November 26th (Tuesday)]

alphakitte posted 11/26/2013 13:14 PM

You'll probably get a mixed response to this questions.

On the one hand, bonuses are compensation and asking what your compensation will be is a fair question. On the other hand, if there isn't clear language in your employment contract, and if management hasn't discussed qualifications for a bonus, you are in a tough spot. Keep in mind that bonuses may be based on profits and any bonus may vary from department to department, even job to job.

I think it is fair to ask about it, but be prepared to hear that you aren't getting one, and why. Asking now, or next week, probably won't change the outcome.

She11ybeanz posted 11/26/2013 13:20 PM

I agree. I just didn't know if I should wait and not ask and see if she comes to me this week...or if I should just bite the bullet tonight before I leave and ask outright? Either way I would like to know because, I will be totally honest....that's how I do Christmas. I won't be able to afford it otherwise. So, if I'm not getting one, I would like to be prepared for knowing that...

7yrsflushed posted 11/26/2013 13:26 PM

If you received it in the past then it's okay to ask. Just ask if bonuses are being given out this year like they were in the past. They will either say yes or no but asking will alleviate your anixety. Depending on the answer you can follow up by asking was it a company wide decisions or was it per individual and performance based.

Pentup posted 11/26/2013 13:29 PM

I think since you are In accounting and you know the $ was allotted, I think you could ask. Did you ask her if you missed anything yesterday. More than likely she forgot because you were not there yesterday.

She11ybeanz posted 11/26/2013 13:30 PM

Okay....if I don't hear anything I will ask before I leave....

Is it best to ask her in person you think?

alphakitte posted 11/26/2013 13:31 PM

Either way I would like to know because, I will be totally honest....that's how I do Christmas. I won't be able to afford it otherwise. So, if I'm not getting one, I would like to be prepared for knowing that...

^^ This is what is driving your feeling of desperation.

Bonuses, like pay checks, are compensation for work performed, not to necessarily meet the financial needs of the employee. You mention that if you aren't getting a bonus you would like to be prepared for knowing that. Maybe you would like to take advantage of Black Friday sales, if you knew you were getting a bonus, but, again, none of that is your employer's problem.

You're letting your desperation drive your behavior.

ajsmom posted 11/26/2013 13:34 PM

Is it rude to ask my boss if we are getting a bonus?


Yes. And incredibly unprofessional unless it is an EXPECTED part of your overall compensation package for the year.

Hold off until they tell you one way or the other.


She11ybeanz posted 11/26/2013 13:34 PM

I guess its more that I consider it part of my income. We don't get raises.... we get bonuses.... and I got one last year. I would hope if I wasn't going to get one, that I would at least be told so.

wildbananas posted 11/26/2013 13:39 PM

To me, it depends on the relationship you have with your boss. My former two bosses? I would have no issue asking if they were giving bonuses this year. My current boss? Nope, not so much. He's very nice and I like him and all but I've only been working for him for a couple months. I wouldn't feel comfortable with it.

So, do you have a good relationship with her? Is she aware of your financial circumstances? How does she seem to feel about it?

Or maybe... is there a coworker somewhere you'd feel comfortable asking about it?

She11ybeanz posted 11/26/2013 13:43 PM

That's the thing....I asked a co-worker down the hall and she said she got her bonus yesterday....but I was out with my sick child....

I have a fairly decent relationship with my boss. I like her a lot...but she is professional too when she needs to be. She knows I'm a single I'm sure she knows that its not easy.

UGH....I don't know what to do. I've been here going on 2 years...and I got a substantial bonus last year.... and it helped SO MUCH....

alphakitte posted 11/26/2013 13:46 PM

I guess its more that I consider it part of my income.

But it isn't how you see it that is most important. If it isn't in hard print as being a part of your compensation, then it isn't. Does you employer consider it more of a gift, a token of appreciation?

My assistant gets a salary and a bonus that she knows how it is calculated and what she can expect. It is part of her contractual compensation. She gets a personal gift and a financial gift from me every year, but it is based on what I want to give. She might think of it as a bonus, but it isn't, and I would be offended if she asked about it in that context.

If she needed money and came to me to discuss her need to see if we could come up with a solution, that I would understand.

So how you consider this bonus isn't what is critical, here.

Pentup posted 11/26/2013 13:51 PM

Whether you decide to ask or not, I would not include why you need/want it or anything.

I have a boss that I could say, "doing some shopping on Friday, if we are getting a bonus, let me know so I shop accordingly!" She would laugh. We would both laugh, because there are no bonuses in our company.

AJ'smom is in HR, I would listen to her.

She11ybeanz posted 11/26/2013 13:51 PM

Well, its actually called a bonus. I know that much. I don't know what to do. If I'm not getting one, that's fine, but it would be nice to know either way.

I guess I will just assume I'm not getting one. Is it bad that I feel guilty for staying home with my sick child because I would have been here and KNOWN if my coworkers got a bonus cause I sit near my bosses office and I would have seen them go in and out of her office and shutting the door. But, because I stayed home to take care of my child, I will never know.

I was excited about Christmas this year. Not so much now.

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 1:58 PM, November 26th (Tuesday)]

alphakitte posted 11/26/2013 13:59 PM

Regardless of what it is called, the fact that you don't know if you're getting one, or how much it would be points to it being a token of appreciation.

If it is referred to as a Christmas bonus, that also points toward it being a "one-off" even if it has happened more than once.

I think AJ's advice is the best and that you should wait to see what unfolds.

PurpleRose posted 11/26/2013 14:13 PM

I've heard of people getting fired over asking about holiday bonus money. I would not ask.

If you are getting one, you will get it when your boss feels like giving it to you. If you aren't, well you'll know that too when a check doesn't come.

I know it is hard around this time of year. Don't do anything that could jeopardize your job.

Catwoman posted 11/26/2013 14:39 PM

Why are you asking co-workers? It will only serve to make you look unprofessional.


She11ybeanz posted 11/26/2013 14:58 PM

Why are you asking co-workers? It will only serve to make you look unprofessional.

I didn't just ask ANY coworker. I asked a friend of mine who works here via text AND I asked her if I could ask her a work-related personal question and told her that if she didn't feel comfortable answering that it was okay. She, of course, didn't mind. We hang out outside of work and go to each other's daughter's birthdays. I wouldn't just ask anyone. I asked a friend.

I don't plan on saying anything to my boss or anyone else. I'm just going to wait it out.

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 2:59 PM, November 26th (Tuesday)]

Pentup posted 11/26/2013 15:05 PM

Sending you Christmas bonus mojo!

Williesmom posted 11/26/2013 15:08 PM

Keep us posted! If it's direct deposited, check your bank account - maybe it slipped your boss's mind.....

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