The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


4%? Sounds good …

Compensation – now there’s a topic to test our sense of humor today.  Seems like my “income” isn’t keeping up with my “out-go”.  How about you?  According to the naysayers, if we were the federal government, this wouldn’t matter.  However, we’re not; so it does; yes?  (But I digress…) 

I really shouldn’t complain about money; financially, I have been truly blessed.  Especially when compared to the very first job I had after graduating college (last century, nonetheless!).  When I think of how my wife and I started out back then, well they should be printing a happy face on my pay check stub today.  I can even chuckle when those naysayers start to complain, citing our favorite, Unknown Sage again: 

When I first started working I used to dream of the day when I might be earning the salary I’m starving on now. 

“Starving” might be a bit over-stated; but we would all welcome a little more “take” in our “take-home”; a bit more “net” in our net; I mean, a little more on the “bottom line” is our bottom line, true?  It can be hard to make ends meet today.  Careful about those “ends”, though: 

About the time we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.

                                  Herbert Hoover 

(Was Hoover a naysayer?)  

Thankfully, in the sales profession we enjoy a variable component to our compensation.  Call it commissions, bonuses, spiffs, whatever, the great part about being a sales professional is one’s ability to give oneself a pay raise.  

Now figuring out how to calculate those commissions – well that’s a different story.  Let’s just say it would be nice if our employers were a little less creative in designing our compensation plans, yes?  I was looking at my month-end, incentive compensation statement last week.  Talk about “new math”!  I’m always amazed at how some managers can dream up the most imaginative goals for their people.  Then they turn it over to accounting to try and figure out how to make the calculations.  Thank God for super computers! (Or would an abacus be better?) 

How our executives come up with the basis of our incentive can be a bit of a circus, too.  I worked for a painting company once and the owner literally counted the number of railroad cars while waiting for a freight train to decide the number of jobs I had to complete to earn my bonus.   It was a long train, too. 

As you know, the challenge of paycheck accuracy isn’t limited to sales people, either.  Just ask Paul Dickson: 

An angry worker goes into her company’s payroll office to complain that her paycheck is $50 short.  The payroll supervisor checks the books and says, “I see here that last week you were overpaid by $50.  I can’t recall your complaining about that.”  “Well, I’m willing to overlook an occasional error, but this is two in a row.”                                 

There is good new on the horizon, though.  According to a recent business report, employers are planning to offer their employees an average of a 4% pay raise in 2012.  A raise, any raise, would be great!  

Yet, those naysayers will cite our Unknown Sage again, I’m sure: 

The Salary Axiom:

The pay raise is just large enough to increase your taxes and just small enough to have no effect on your take-home pay.                   

 Nonetheless, I’ll take the 4% if offered in 2012, and be grateful for it.  You? 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.



  1. Titia
    Sep 13, 2011

    Posts like this birhtgen up my day. Thanks for taking the time.

    • Gary
      Sep 13, 2011

      Thank you very much for your kind comment – inspiration for writing my little ditties. Yhx, GAP

  2. Addrienne
    Sep 14, 2011

    Was ttolaly stuck until I read this, now back up and running.

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