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Happy Bonus Day
2007-03-30, 5:20 p.m.

Day 950

For over 100 years, my company has paid their employees a bonus each spring based on the companyís prior year performance. A profit sharing really. In the 60ís and 70ís, the bonus payout was enough to buy a modest car, or be a very nice down payment on the latest Cadillac.

The formula to determine the bonus payout underwent some tweaks. By the time I started here, (May 24, 1982), the bonus no longer supported the entire purchase of a new car, however modest. Still, folks making 30K a year back then were walking off with checks for $4K (minus Uncle Samís share), just for being good employees and showing up every day. Of course, back then you only got a full bonus after 5 years of service. If you were newer, your share was prorated for time in service. The local economy loved it. Cars, furniture, appliances Ė all sorts of advertising and Ďsalesí were geared towards ďBonus DaysĒ, as another kinda famous local employer (ever hear of Xerox?) also paid out a bonus around the same time.

Fast forward a couple years (okay, decades). Today, I got my last bonus. Ever. New company? Doesnít pay out a bonus. Profits are for the shareholders. Employees already get paid. Tonight, Iím hoping we can go out to dinner to celebrate the last of the bonuses. Having some trouble getting agreement on going. Seems someone wants to hit the gym after work and may not feel like going out to eat after getting all hot & sweaty. Ummmm, isnít that why civilized societies invented indoor plumbing?

Weíll work it out. At the very least weíll order out for calzones and have a beer or two out on the Riviera. Thatís what I like to call out front patio/sidewalk area, where we sit out and watch the neighborhood go by.

But there lies a wee bit of a dilemma. I would really enjoy sitting out front, sipping on a beer, shooting the breeze with the neighbors. But I fear that is somehow in direct opposition my own attending Al Anon. I can rationalize it in my head just fine. I donít abuse alcohol. Couple of beers and Iím fine. But for some people (local abusers included), there may be some inkling that Iím a hypocrite. I go to Al Anon because of a family members alcoholism, but I can sit there drinking a beer the day after a meeting? Well, yeah, Iím not drunk 5 nights a week, falling through doors, barely able to communicate, hiding the evidence of my excesses in the trunk of my car.

This would be another fine topic to speak with my spankiní new sponsor about. The other hot topic Iíve already mention to him is the resentment I perceive for even attending meetings in the first place. Since weíve been sponsor/sponsee for all of, lets see, 22.5 hours so far, we havenít had a lot of opportunity to talk. Yet. Itíll come, and soon, Iím sure. The other thing Iím sure about is that olí Mikey wonít just be handing out answers. There will be some suggestions from him, and a whole lot of reading, studying and navel gazing on my part. Which is as it should be. Everything will mean so much more if I discover it myself. Mikeís just got to keep me on the path. Hope he installs some sturdy guard rails.
Frustrating day at the zoo, in spite of the bonus. Went spectacularly backwards in the last two hours. Might have to come in this weekend. If my head clears out. Just wanted to jot down this quickie to save the current frustrations for future consideration.

And yes, I went to the gym this morning. Had my one day of rest, thought Iíd be fine. Except Fridayís we get the sadistic puppy that loves sprinting up hill. Knew I was toast 15 minutes into class. Did what I could, but resistance levels and pedal rates were no where near as high as they could have been. Still felt good to get in the work.
Tomorrow I have the option of doing anywhere from 30 to 150 minutes of cycling, plus a full round of weights. And outdoor riding Sunday!!! Temps in the 50ís, not much breeze. Might not need sweatpants even.

Off to figure out dinner. Glad nothing is out to thaw, makes going out that much more attractive.


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