Bastard company

I work for one of the largest IT companies in the world. We all know that times have been tough, and I for one have accepted that, and essentially ridden it out. But this week’s move takes the cake.

Two months ago, I was told that I would receive a retention bonus - 1/3 immediately, 2/3 in 2 months time. This was great - I’m underpaid by a significant amount, but this bonus would have made my pay for this year about what it should have been if I’d been given a payrise. My next paycheque arrives, and no bonus to be seen. At this stage, I question what’s going on and am told that it’s coming and not to worry.

Well, on Friday my manager calls me into a meeting and announces that he’s terribly sorry, but you’re not getting that retention bonus after all. WTF? You can’t just tell someone that you’re giving them a large lump sum of cash and then say oops, sorry. I just bought a house, I really needed that money. I would have started looking for a job elsewhere 2 months ago, but I stuck in there because staying for 3 months for that sum of money was absolutely worth it. To add insult to injury I was told “Congratulations, you get a (tiny) payrise, you should be really happy”, um no, when it comes to a choice between more cash now, or much less cash spread over a year, I’ll take more cash now. But here’s the absolute kicker - the payrise hasn’t had final aproval yet either.

Not only is it unethical, it’s probably illegal. Although the costs of fighting it, both in terms of legal costs and career impacts probably aren’t worth it. It just makes me so angry that they will get away with it because I am powerless to do anything about it without incurring significant loss myself (even if I did get the moral victory).

And I’m really, really pissed. I feel like I’ve been taken for a fool, and ripped off. I’ve was lied to, and I fell for it, hook, line and sinker. More than the money, I hate the way this whole episode has left me feeling - I just want to cry.

This is a company that has prided itself for years on the way it treats its employees. Just a few of years ago, it won “employer of the year” in Australia. Things have changed. Dramatically. I think anybody who knows the reputation this company has in the industry would be shocked.

It isn’t right, and there’s nothing I can do.

Don’t write to us, write to your union.

Don’t have a union, sadly, otherwise, I actually might be in a position to do something about it. I don’t even know what union would cover my industry in this neck of the woods (assuming there even is one).

APESMA for one. There are others.

Oh, crud. You sound like you may be a member of my company – your description fits pretty well.

I would wager that it’s probably not the fault of your manager. I know with us (being a part of a huge corporation), most of this sort of bullshit comes from up the pike a few notches more than we tend to think. Almost every situation where an employee is screwed around happens because of corporate HR, and they’re not even on-site.

Does your company have an open door policy (to go to upper management)? If so, I’d exercise it. Make it clear that you were promised this money already! They offered it to you. If they pride themselves upon treating their employees well, there should be some sort of escalation process. Use it. You may not win, but at least this sort of nonsense shouldn’t happen again – at least, the manager (and others in the company) would get a firm talking to about promising things that he/she can’t deliver on.

You choice of words makes it sound like you may well work for the same company… :slight_smile:

I know it’s not my manager at fault - it seems that he (and other managers at his level) were authorised by the in-country general manager. The “no bonus for you” decision, my manager didn’t know who made it, but thinks it was either made at an asia-pacific level or worldwide level. All of that makes it very hard to know where to escalate to.

I’m stuck as one of the most junior (definitely in terms of age - I’m second youngest in my business unit in this country) but also in terms of the whole management foodchain, and since the one who stuffed it all up is the biggest fish in the country, I just don’t know where to go or what to do.