Six-Figures Plus Retention Award

Not a bonus; a retention award

By David Hogarty
|  Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 PM PDT
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Six-Figures Plus Retention Award

Martin Mistretta

That big pile of cash is not a bonus. It's a "retention award."

When is a fat year-end check from your employer not a bonus? When it's your retention award!!

Many people might think simply retaining their jobs would be award enough in the worst economy the nation has seen in decades, but they're not getting the big picture. Recently released audio from a Morgan Stanley conference call among executives explained the fine distinction.

"There will be a retention award. Please do not call it a bonus. It is not a bonus. It is an award. And it recognizes the importance of keeping our team in place as we go through this integration."

Sounds reasonable enough. With Wall Street laying off tens of thousands of workers in the current financial crisis, we imagine the grass looks awfully greener in the unemployment line--lounging around all day cashing one's unemployment check and throwing fondue parties with government cheese and day-old bread. It's a hard sell to keep the remaining team together!

How else could the economy get fixed? Not that it's broken; it's just "distressed," like the cool jeans that bum sleeping on the street corner is wearing. And cash-strapped state governments aren't cutting employees' pay; they're offering them "furloughs," which always sound awesome when issued to military personnel during wartime in the movies.

Have any recession euphemisms of your own in the style of "retention awards"? Leave them in the comments and we'll put the best together later this week.

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