Super-achieving for a Cup of Coffee…

 An extra cup of coffee a day. 

That’s the extra bonus I could end up with this year, if I’m a really, REALLY GOOD little worker bee at the Widget Factory.

It works this way.   Our annual pay raises are pretty much pre-set.   If you do an adequate job, put in your 37.5 hours a week, doing just what’s required, you will earn a “Good” rating in your performance review.   Your pay raise will be something like 5 percent.   (Okay, fair enough.)

But, on the other hand, if you a great job,  bust your butt, and exceed your job description, your performance review could be rated “Excellent”.  And your pay increase will be something like 5 percent, plus another $500. 

So let me get this straight.   You can spend an entire year, putting in overtime, asking for more work, and going above and beyond the call of duty.  And in exchange, you will get a whole five hundred dollars more than someone who only did a so-so job.

You have got to be shitting me.

After taxes, that’s an extra $250 in take-home pay.  Divide that by 200 working days a year, and you get $1.25 a day.  Which just about covers the cost of one cup of coffee from our overpriced cheesy cafeteria.

Hardly seems worth it, does it?

Especially when everything is based on a quota system.  You see, it’s graded on a bell curve, so almost everyone gets rated as “Good” and only very few will ever be rated “Excellent”.

So even if you did invest all that time chaffing the rod and singing the company song, and your poo smelled like oven-fresh cinnamon rolls, you might STILL only end up with a “Good”, because the last “Excellent” was already given out to some Uber-Keener in another department.

Tell you what, Widget Factory.   I’ll work just hard enough to meet my requirements.  No more. No less.   And you can keep your cup of coffee.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s quitting time and the lake is calling.  I have some bass to catch…   


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12 Comments on “Super-achieving for a Cup of Coffee…”

  1. Brett Legree Says:

    Heh heh, yeah, it’s a cup of coffee a day, or pizza for my family for one night. Barely…

    Yup, I sure want to trade my life for that 🙂

  2. Friar Says:


    Wow! I never thought of that. Saving up your “bonus” and buying something more expensive.

    A pizza…Hmmm. That’s about 20 bucks for a large. That means I can do that once a month.

    But with the entire Legree clan, I’m sure a single pizza is just a snack. You’re right…you probably can only treat your family once a year.

  3. Ellen Wilson Says:

    I have never been one to kiss butt. That’s why I do not make a good bureaucrat.

    Maybe you should bring your analysis up at the next meeting, Friar. I think the boss would understand and probably give you guys at least $ 5000 extra for busting your ass. Whadya think?

  4. Friar Says:


    Phew! I’m relieved to hear that you haven’t been “assimilated”. (Strong in you, the Force is!) Join the rest of us who have avoided getting the “Management Chip” implanted into our heads.

    As for my $5000. Well, anytime I’ve ever commented about the pay-raise system, this is the knee-jerk answer I keep hearing from management:

    “Yes…I agree, it’s a totallly unfair system, and nobody likes it. But that’s the way it’s always been and it’s not going to change anytimes soon. The rules are set by the Union and HR and we can’t do anthing about it”.

    Nice to see such open-minded thinking, eh?

  5. […] his spirit and the fact that he can embrace chaos and practice his art.   Friar is the author of The Deep Friar.  Check out his crispy words, tasty tidbits and wicked sense of humor.  He’s got a lot on […]

  6. Karen Swim Says:

    Yep, sounds about right! I was one of those great workers maxing out on all bonuses but for all the hours I put in flipping burgers may have made more “cents.” As a manager I also hated the tiered review. I mean seriously you’re telling me that it doesn’t matter if my employees busted their butt only x percentage can be rated “excellent.” No coffee is that good!

  7. Friar Says:


    Sounds like you’re one of the minority who “gets it”. Wish I had a manager like you….

    Of course, there are those who would work extra hard, not for the money, but just for the personal satisfaction and potential of career advancement.

    But I’m not like that…we under-achievers want someone to “show us the money”.

  8. Kelly Says:

    Oh, I am so glad Ellen linked to this. That is the best! Crisoy words indeed!

    Thanks for a great laugh!



  9. Friar Says:


    I’m so glad you liked this (It’s something I jotted down yesterday evening on the spur of the moment).

    But when you consider what most work places are like, it’s not hard to find great comedic material to write about.

    I’m really greatful to Ellen, I can’t believe how nice she was to have referred everyone to my blog. It’s unbelievable how my traffic has suddenly spiked.

  10. I really hate those sucky managers who want you to suck up to them and lick their bums until your tongue is brown.

    Seriously I’ve had my fair share of resistance to all that crap and alway run into walls that stopped me from moving up the ladder. At least I kept my integrity and these dasy those suckers are still employed by the same crappy company doing the same crappy job while I….am my own boss.


  11. Friar Says:


    I hear ya. Every company has one of those.

    Once, there was a glitch in the production facility where I worked. Ms. Sally Suck-up worked late.

    The next day, at a meeting, she just HAPPEND to let everyone know “I didnt’ have anything to eat for almost 24 hours”….because she went straight to bed after work, and then went straight to work again.

    Umm…There is a cafeteria a few buildings down…who put a gun to your head and said you’re not allowed to eat?…DUMBASS.

    If I was her boss, I’d have given her shit. But instead, nobody said anything. It’s almost like they condoned her martyrdom/stupidity.

    I’m so glad I no longer work there….

  12. Heh, my day’s a two-fer.

    My mom told me many years ago that the secret to success in a widget-factory environment was to be visible enough to appear to be overachieving. If you make a point of showing up and announcing your presence (like letting folks know you worked so hard/long you didn’t eat), you “appear” dedicated. Then you get the coffee without putting in extra effort.

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