Christmas is coming and for many employees that means a much needed – and much appreciated – end of year bonus. But what about when HR gets it spectacularly wrong? Here, we take a look at some truly terrible bonuses…
- Senile sentiment from nursing home employer
David Hood once worked as a cook at a nursing home - he says company-wide Christmas gifts always missed the mark and often caused downright offence. He shared four of his most memorable festive flops:
- “One year each person got a ham,” says Hood. “I don't eat meat and many of my co-workers were Jewish.”
- “I got a company sweatshirt mailed to my house that was four sizes too big and one arm was longer than the other by six inches or so.”
- “A coupon to eat a free meal at the nursing home I worked at...as a cook. They didn't charge for staff meals either.”
- “An envelope full of pamphlets on how to lose weight with no letter or explanation.”
- “A gas card for 15 bucks from a place that had been closed for nearly six months.”
- Lost in translation
Andy Warwick was employed to write his company’s English courses but when his Christmas bonus arrived he couldn’t help feeling misunderstood.
Warwick, who doesn’t have children, received a 20 per cent discount voucher for his company’s English courses for kids. How useful…
- Taking the biscuit
HR specialist and recruiter Corrie Hausman says her days in retail consisted of long hours, short breaks and mean customers.
“Amazingly, though, we got a Christmas bonus!” she says. “A box arrived from the head office – in it contained some cookies (six in total) which were to be shared amongst a staff of about 25, a catalogue listing all the cookies we hadn't received and a letter from the head office, telling us all to work harder. The best part? All six cookies had been smashed to bits in transit.”
- Turkey troubles
Steve Johnson, a federal contractor on a military base, received a turkey for 15 years, a tradition that survived three different contractors.
“Then the cheapest company on earth got the contract,” Johnson reveals. “For Christmas that first year, they actually, honest-to-God gave the employees a photocopy of a turkey silhouette. It wasn't even a copy of a real turkey. It looked like the turkeys your kids make out of their handprints in kindergarten, except it wasn't even in colour. Just a black and white silhouette of a turkey. Several of them were taped to headquarters' front door in the days following.”
**We turned to question-and-answer website Quora for all contributions**