[Dixielandjazz] TIPS

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 7 15:35:01 PST 2003

Jim Beebe asks:

"Would you solicit tips as an engineer or a businessman?"

Sure, I spent 30 years in the business world, before retiring in the
90s, 15 years as a Division CEO of a multi billion dollar conglomerate.
We regularly gave tips to our employees. (and ourselves) Only we called
them bonuses.

It is a common practice throughout the business world, many times to
great excess as the recent business news has pointed out. Many Execs get
millions of dollars in "bonus" compensation. over and above their
normally high salaries, for doing even a substandard job. These bonus
payments are tied to a "performance standard" which is figured out by
the compensation committee, a group of corporate buddies in the "old
boy" network. The fox guarding the chicken house so to speak.

Tips, bonus, performance bonus, are all a very common practice
throughout the business world. Usually stated as an "incentive" in the
company's stock prospectus so that XYZ CORP "can hire and retain the
best execs, engineers, architects, computer nerds out there". All of
those high powered execs are exactly the same as the rest of us when it
comes to "selling" our services.

Trouble is they have become routine compensation for even substandard
performance and are meaningless as incentives. Just another way to cheat
the stockholders out of money that should be reinvested in the company
instead of paid out as  bogus "bonus" earnings.

The recent spate of corporate failures and scandals just proves that
these highly tipped execs didn't know what they were doing and all that
bonus money was wasted. Wouldn't it be great if musos got those kinds on
bonus pay outs?

There is no need for us as musicians to feel like whores if we get a
tip. Or even if we ask for one. Whether right or wrong, the richest and
best educated folks in the world do it, albeit a lot better and a lot
more brazenly than we do.

Steve Barbone

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