I received an email the other day from a young woman who was upset because her boss did not provide any Christmas cheer in the form of a bonus, a staff party, or even a card. She explained that she had been waiting on tables at his place for the past seven months and was what she considered, “a Damn Good Server.”
Her contemplation on whether or not to leave her current job and look for another position at a competing establishment was more than mere whim. She had her eyes focused on a new venue. The problem was that she was promised the best section in the house for New Year’s Eve and thought she would make a wheel barrel full of cash so she had set her desires on just one more week of thanklessness before jumping ship to a competitor.
She wanted to know the moral ramifications if she stayed for the New Year’s loot fest and then left. Feeling badly about leaving she looked for advice.
The Christmas bonus dilemma is becoming more of a problem each year for not only restaurant owners, but for every business owner. I believe we all struggle with the right thing to o and in the politically correct world in which we live we have built parameters on the historic tradition that gift giving should come from the heart, not the pocket book. And, it should also be a gesture of choice not mandatory requirement.
I know many who feel if they give to one they need to spread the cheer amongst all of the employees. Hire powered HR departments and employee handbooks and public policy review may very well have the act of gift giving documented. However, it is the choice of the owner to bestow or not bestow a crumb or a crumpet on the staff. It seems strange that an owner would give everyone something since most owners are generous to a fault. Yet, in some instances owners cannot afford to keep the lights on, never mind the gift.
As far as the moral position, I would take the best section on New Year’s Eve and forget about leaving for another position. If you are happy with your job and the people you work with, if you enjoy your customers and make a good living, don’t let the owner’s lack of Christmas spirit or thoughtfulness alter your professional position.
I would even go one step further. Buy a reasonably priced bottle of champagne, wrap it nicely with a large bow and give it to your boss on New Year’s Eve, thanking him for a great year.
Remember, the reward of the deed is the deed. You’ll feel better, you will have spread a bit of spirit and in the long run you may have proven a point.
Have a great New Year’s Eve.