Money for a job well done

“Did you get a raise?”

That’s my wife asking. She takes care of the money in our family because she’s the smart one.


“Then why do you have an extra $100 in your paycheck,” she said.

“Let me see that,” I said. Sure enough, there was more money in the check. On the stub, it said, “Bonus: $100.”

“Looks like a got a bonus,” I said. “News to me. But I’m clearly pretty special.”

“No, seriously,” she said.

Normally, at the paper, the editor tells you that you’re getting a one-time bonus for an exceptional job, but no one mentioned anything about it to me. At the time, I was one of five assistant city editors. Editor’s note:This was about 30 years ago, when the newspaper opened its doors every morning and people threw in money.

The next day I took the paycheck stub into work and told Faye Jolley, who was editor Ben Bowers’ administrative assistant, that there was a mistake in my pay.

“Let me see that,” she said, unknowingly mimicking me as she took it. Her face fell. “Oh, no! This wasn’t supposed to go to you! I made a mistake.”

I said, “That’s OK. You can take it out. Mistakes happen.”

She took my pay stub into Ben’s office. A minute later, she returned and said, “He says don’t worry about it. It’s too much trouble. You probably did something worth a bonus.”


Those were the good old days when newspapers had hundreds to throw around.