Good News and Bad News at Work

As I trawled through the masses of unread emails in my inbox upon my return to work after my holiday, one jumped out at me immediately, filling me with a bit of dread – my one-to-one appointment with my boss for my annual appraisal!

Over the years, I’ve tended to have good reviews but they’re just not things that I enjoy going through – I don’t like talking about my achievements, I’d rather just get on with doing them.

Yes, after all these years, I know I need to ‘sell’ myself, but I’m still pretty rubbish at it. Unfortunately, just doing a great job (which is what I do) isn’t enough, you have to apparently tell everyone about what a great job you are doing too and that’s the bit I find difficulty with…

Good News…

Anyway, despite the turmoil caused by New Co buying out Old Co last year, my boss told me that I’d kept my focus and put in a solid performance, hitting all my personal targets and helped the team achieve its target.

Also notched up another 100% attendance record at work – the few days I was sick happened over a weekend so I ended up not taking any time off.

The second (and bigger) piece of good news was that Old Co have honoured the bonus I accrued last year, have passed the monies onto New Co and I will be getting it in my March pay! Woo hoo! 🙂  This is likely to be my last bonus for a while as it doesn’t look like New Co operate a similar bonus scheme (that I know of).

This is only my 4th bonus in the last 10 years. As with the previous two, I’m likely to save/invest a lot of it but might put some of it aside for some forthcoming large expenses. Also, I can throw a chunk at my emergency fund.

I had thought that my savings rate would take a big dive this month, due to me having to pay off my family for some Japan trip expenses (when I ran out of money- oops!) but it looks like there will be a nice little boost which will hopefully help keep my rate up for the rest of the year.

…and the Bad News

Apparently, New Co Corporate have said that “nobody” will be getting any pay rises this year.

My boss actually did the quotations thing with his fingers when he said “nobody”, because word has already leaked on the grapevine that certain senior personnel have actually gotten pay increases (my boss was obviously not one of them!). No idea if this has any truth in it but there are mutterings around the coffee/tea machines.

It’s also unclear if the “nobody” only applies to us Northerners and that the folks in the office down south will be still be getting a wage increase. I shouldn’t care if this is the case but it did pi$$ me off a little when I heard.

Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ springs to mind, ie “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.  Oh to be a pig!pig

Still, I’m not sweating over this as I’m happy with the bonus – not everyone will get one so it could be a double-whammy for some, ie no bonus and no pay-rise. Ouch.

The second bit of not-so-great news is that there will be a key announcement later this month/beginning of April and another scheduled for Sept/Oct.

Already, people are speculating that these must be announcements about redundancies etc but I’m keeping an open mind and not stressing about something beyond my control.

Meeting of Like Minds

Anyway, off the subject of work, it’s the FIRE Escape gathering this weekend, organised by Huw of FFB40.

I’m looking forward to catching up with some of the old crowd and also meeting some new faces.

18 thoughts on “Good News and Bad News at Work

  1. Yikes, sorry to hear about the bad news. That seems to be the norm these days, keep job but no raise. I have gone through the same thing for seven years of no raises, it’s dredfull. Keep your chin up, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Hi Erik
      I’ve been through years of no wage increases so it’s nothing new, just have to suck it up! With things still up in the air with the company takeover, it could be that I’ll just be grateful to be in the job.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. That sucks – sorry to hear about the lack of a raise.

    Still – keep on trucking, and think about the retirement!

    I am a newbie – just found you today and have been diligently reading all morning. A new bookmark made for sure. To go on a slight tangent – my story is very similar in that I just cleared of and brought my credit cards under control and want to make investment decisions. I have looked in P2P and will be starting that end of April (expecting my own bonus). Between now and then I am planning to educate myself using books and blogs.

    One question I do have is about Vanguard investing platforms. I am thinking of using RPlan just because it looks simple and I can mostly walk away and let it take care of itself. I can drip in monthly investments and I can reinvest the gains. However, what platform are you using? I am terrible with spread sheets so I will need to sit down and create something to track my P2P lending in also – that should be fairly simple however.

    • Hi Jeepo

      I use Hargreaves Lansdown for my funds investing and AJ Bell Youinvest for my ETF investing. HL isn’t the cheapest but I’m ok with that as they make it really easy to manage my portfolio. AJ Bell are cheaper for regularly investing in ETFs (I hold both Vanguard funds and ETFs).

      Hadn’t heard of RPlan before but had a look at the website and it does look simple and good value. If you have the inclination, might be worth checking Monevator’s comparison list of brokers: http://monevator.com/compare-uk-cheapest-online-brokers/

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your investments!

      • Thanks Weenie – I appreciate the reply. I used the monevator page which is what led me to RPlan as I was checking each individual option out. I just looked super simple.

        If only something like betterment existed here!

        • Hi Jeepo,

          There are “equivalents” of Betterment over here but I can’t vouch for how good they are and I am pretty sure the fees aren’t as cheap. Check out Nutmeg to start with or maybe do a google for “UK Robo advisors” or similar to find others. I’ve seen a few other advertised on train boards on my commute but can’t think of what they are now (sorry!)

          Saying that, I think you are best of getting a basic handle on funds and ETF’s and buying some yourself, it’s not really that hard.

          Good luck!

  3. Hey Weenie,

    That’s really good news re the bonus. The last time I was a permanent employee I only got paid the bonus 2 of the 5 years I was there because the bonus was based on how the company performed overall, and if it didn’t hit its targets no bonus payments were made. I remember feeling really helpless that there was absolutely nothing we employees could do to affect the bonus really – it felt out of our hands.

    Sorry to hear about the lack of pay rise and about the looming meetings. I know too well how it feels to have dates in the diary where “big announcements” are going to be made, but it’s not always bad. Even if it does end up being redundancies, this doesn’t always mean the worst. I went through it and came out in a much better situation the other side…

    Good that your bonus will help keep your savings rate on track.

    • Hi OR

      My bonus was based on company performance/profits too. I had to fight for a few years to be included on the bonus scheme (members of my team were on it but I wasn’t because I did a ‘different’ job) – I guess I have to be grateful that I was able to get some at all in the end!

      As I said, I’m keeping an open mind about the looming meetings and just getting on with day to day stuff.

      Thanks for the kind wishes and hopefully see you at the weekend!

    • Hey Tawcan

      Yes, no raises for us during the financial crisis either, that went on for a few years!

      I’ll do a little update on the FIRE Escape in a later post!

  4. Well done on the bonus Weenie. Although not so good news on the pay rise.

    Keep your head down and let everyone moan about who might or might not be getting a pay rise. It is not worth speculating and winding yourself up.

    Cheers

    Richard

  5. Oh the joys of work. Well done on the bonus and that the old co is honouring it!
    The amount of years when I didn’t get a pay rise is too many to quote. Maybe it’s because I was bad at negotiating one or it was more to do with I was glad I had a job as the workplace was brutal. my friend who still works at my old employer was trying to get a pay rise out of them and they will not budge, she is annoyed and angry. unless she wants to move job, they know they have a captive employee so there is not reason to give more. Shocking but true. There view was you should be glad you have a job.
    All sounds positive financially and having a bit of the bonus to spend on some retail therapy needs to be done, otherwise no pleasure is gained on the journey to FI.

    • Thanks Sparklebee.

      Over the past 10 years, lack of pay rise has been ‘justified’ financially, eg recession, poor company profits etc. No real excuse has been forthcoming this time round, hence the unrest.

      Retail no longer provides me with any therapy – in fact, just the opposite! I wasn’t a fan of shopping even before I was aiming for FI, now I really dislike it!

      I’ll be putting it towards future holidays, which is something that still gives me joy! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Hi Weenie, Sorry to hear your bad news. All you can do is keep building up your War Chest. If the worst happens it could be a life saver.

  7. Hi weenie,

    Well I know what the bonus should be put towards, get involved in the Matched betting with a bigger bank so you can make some decent money on it – then once profit is rolling in you can start investing the surplus 🙂

    I am with you on the yearly reviews, I am also not very good at selling myself despite knowing deep down I’ve done a good job. I think it’s a combination of finding that sort of thing a bit “boastful” and that’s not in my nature, and also a bit of the imposter syndrome. Other people on the other hand suffer from the Dunnings Kruger effect (look it up on Wikipedia) and think they are amazing despite poor performance and so fight tooth and nail for a pay rise, and I bet sometimes they end up getting it just because they asked… Maybe it doesn’t happen as often as I think but I’ve definitely seen crap people get pay rises so it definitely happens.

    I’ve never read animal farm… another classic I must get round to reading, maybe when I am fully FI 🙂

    • Hey TFS

      I shall consider your words regarding bankrolling my matched betting with some of my bonus – need to shift some funds around, so thanks for the idea!

      Never heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect before but yes, I see that about in the business, some sufferers who have made their way into very high positions and others, who when they get found out, jump ship into a lucrative position with another company, leaving us mugs to deal with their crap!

      Animal Farm is a great little read (it’s a very short book) – in fact, I may read it again at some point this year!

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