Food Instead of Pay
There are some bosses, employers, managers, etc., who have figured
out a way to make themselves look good and save money at the same time. This
is done by giving the people that they employ either food or taking them out
for a meal instead of paying them with money.
As you can tell, this really ticks me off. The way it works
- The employees work really long and hard and do a good conscientious job.
- The "boss" schedules a formal or informal dinner as a "reward".
- The "boss" picks the restaurant and the time.
- The "boss" also selects items from the menu for everyone.
- The "boss" is beaming and smiling and welcomes the attention of
his employees and also of the restaurant workers.
- The "boss" sits at the head of the table and work is discussed.
- The "boss" pays the bill with a flourish to the restaurant
owner who acts suitably impressed that the "boss" brought people
to his restaurant.
- Everyone now leaves and pays respect to the "boss".
- The restaurant owner now also knows that he 'owes' the "boss"
for bringing a group into his restaurant and is expected to give him
special treatment the next time he enters the door.
What's wrong with this?
- The dinner took place outside of the workplace and maybe even outside of
normal working hours and took away time from whatever the employees had
planned during their time away from work.
- Each individual meal costs no more than $20.00 for each employee and took
about an hour or more, so the employee was "paid" about $20.00
per hour to attend a work related off-site meeting rather than "time
and a half" for working off hours.
- If the employee asked for the money instead of the meal, then the
"boss" would be really ticked off and the employee would see how
little they would get for the time they spent with for the "boss"
at the dinner.
- The employee should be able to pick the items they would like to eat
especially if they have a food allergy, or a personnal or religious
conviction or preference.
- The employee may not want to associate with the "boss" or
various other employees outside of the workplace.
- The "boss" writes off the entire meal as a business expense.
- Since the dinner was a "business expense" the "boss"
does not have to pay any sort of associated W2 amounts to the employees.
What is a better way to do this?
- The "boss" should hand out high 3 digit monetary awards to employees
that deserve them.
- The "boss" should schedule the dinner at some distant place and
pay for transportation and lodging.
- The "boss" should include the employee's spouse or significant
other to attend.
- The "boss" should let each employee select their own items from
- The "boss" should let the employees pick the restuarant.
- The "boss" should give out a monetary bonus instead because
that is what most employees really want.
What can the employees do to show their displeasure?
- Order additional food and drinks that they prefer and make sure the
that these items get added to the overall bill.
- Ensure that spouses and significant others and kids also show up at the
restaurant and sit with their respective family members.
Move tables and chairs to ensure that everyone sits together.
Also have them thank the "boss" so that he can't back out of paying for
what they eat.
- Turn the dinner into a Friar's roast, especially if one of the employees
plans on leaving/retiring and does not want to ever return.
A presentation of various failings, quirks, snafus, should be quite an
- Hire a lap dancer or chipandale, whatever is appropriate, for the "boss".
- Getting ill at the table after eating some of the strange food choices
would make life interesting for everyone, especially lawyers, and
especially if there was projectile vomiting.
Why am I so grumpy about this?
- When I was growing up, our family was dirt poor and "well meaning" people
would give us food instead of paying us or offering us a job.
- My grumpy attitude also applies to "gifts" of food and clothes.
It is much better to offer a person something that they have expressedi
interest in and be willing to trade for it.
- "Free" gifts and favors are not really free. A person trades their pride
in themselves for these "things".