Doctors notebook - The bonus culture is greedy and poisonous

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I have a theory which goes something like this: the more you have, the more you fear losing it, so it is better to have even more just in case you do lose something.

If you have very little, you have very little to lose and your expectations of having more is not very great either.

I am not saying the rich worry more than the poor, but a little bit of me is wondering that.

And between the very poor and the very rich are the rest of us who think that we have enough. Enough to live on, enough work, enough leisure and enough holidays – not complacent, not self- satisfied but not too driven either. We might even have enough to give some of it away, to our family and perhaps to our favourite charities too.

To become an “enoughist” – I am not sure that is a word but it is good enough – most of us will have gone through a time in our lives when we are striving for more. A nice home, a newer car, holidays abroad perhaps – but in the end we become settled and satisfied, but not self-satisfied.

But some of us want more and more, those old worries of losing it all creep in.

The good times may not last.

So we push, we strive and we compare.

When we compare we are likely to say ‘I am better than you’, ‘what I do is more important’, ‘what I do is worth more’. ‘I must have bigger rewards and bigger bonuses’.

Most people have never received a bonus in their life. They do their work, go the extra mile, often go further than that, and they do not expect anything more than a thank you.

Sadly we do not say thank you enough.

Why should someone be paid more, much more, for simply doing their job? Doing what is asked of them whether it is important or not?

The bonus culture is a greedy culture, it is poisonous and it is wrong.

If the only incentive for doing something well is a bonus, often a big bonus, then there is something desperately wrong with the society that allows it.

I could say more but I think I have said enough.