When banking was booming and bonuses were big, there was a very healthy trickle of bonus money down to the back office. Sadly, this is not so now.
I can personally testify that in the back office, the bonus trickle has dwindled to an intermittent drip and promotions are rarer than hen’s teeth. Come this year’s bonus day, I was summoned to the director’s office and it was bad. I’m not one to complain, but my colleagues were not so phlegmatic: the afternoon that followed was underscored by rumbling discontent from people clearly underwhelmed by the derisory state of their bonuses and the strange absence of promotions.
Peculiarly, having paid atrociously and failed to provide much that could be mistaken for career progression, management thoughtfully organised evening-drinks to mark the success of the chosen few.
As the night wore on and the drinks continued to flow, the shackles of office etiquette were loosened. The promoted became increasingly triumphant and raucous; the rest of us became increasingly bitter and forthright.
In the circumstances, there is only one solution: phlegm.
If you feel cheated by your payout then remember this: if you work in banking, you are very fortunate. With or without a bonus, this is still a very well paid career.
Bonuses are a nice to have. The real issue for us back office professionals is the lack of promotions on offer in the current climate. Suddenly, we have no bonus and no career progression. And that, really is bad.