When I worked at a large law firm that traditionally gave out a "holiday" bonus decided to change the way they give out bonuses, they called the entire staff into the a conference room to tell us about it. The managing partner stood up in front of the crowd telling us that the bonus this year was going to be given early, because they wanted to move it away from the holiday season, so we would be getting it the week before Thanksgiving this year. The following year we would be getting our bonuses in March and that the way they were awared would also be changing. They would no longer be a "given" they would be based on merit (what a concept), the harder and better you worked, the larger your bonus would be.
At this point he opened the floor for questions. I still remember one woman (a secretary) stood up and actually said -
"Well, I certainly wished you had told us earlier that our bonuses would be based on merit, I might have worked harder."
I think at this point I actually thought could any statement be stupider? Well, I think AIG saying they are "contractually obligated" to give out millions of dollars in bonuses to the same exact people that got them and us into this fucking mess certainly beats it.
I kind of think that the rest of us that live in the real world might have had our asses fired for losing our companies billions rather than getting a bonus. It does also make me wonder if you get 3 million for leading your company into such a state, what would your bonus have been if the company had not fallen apart.