It’s all up to the Hungarians.  And my family.  If they sign off, then this (actually, something very close) is going to be gracing my presence very soon.

“How much would you have received as a bonus for your 25 year anniversary from Magnetrol?”, my boss looked at me from the chair in his office.  I was about to call Friday a day, my weekend a few moments away, and was checking in with Dave before leaving.

I didn’t have to hesitate.  This number was one I knew well, one of the reasons I had hung on with that company as long as I did, even as the stress sent me to the hospital.  Had I made it to October with Magnetrol last year, I would have made it to my 25 year anniversary with the company.  Every 25 year employee gets a party at a restaurant of their choosing, invites their closest friends at the company to attend, with gifts and a special gift from the company that the honoree chooses ahead of time.  I knew what I wanted, had been talking about it for a year as the date approached — a new bicycle, the first new bicycle I would ever receive.  I have nice bicycles but all of them belonged to at least one person before they belonged to me.

“At least $2500, maybe a little more.”

Dave looked at me, tears in his eyes.  “You are getting your bonus, Steve, and I am making sure it is at least the same or better than what you would have gotten last October.  I asked for a minimum of $6000, which means you will see at least half of that.  You deserve it.  If our friends in Hungary (company ownership) approve it, you will get it in a few weeks.  If they don’t, then I will take as much as I can out of our operating budget.”

I didn’t know what to say.  Dave had been promising me some kind of bonus ever since I started with our company last May.  The bonus was dependent on our subsidiary reaching the sales goal that had been set for us, a goal we had surpassed.  Not only did we meet the modest goal that had been set for our first year as the official U.S. subsidiary, we were the top subsidiary worldwide.  But it had looked like ownership was going to balk at giving me a bonus.  I had not worked for them the entire year, they said.  However, it was up to my boss.  He said yes, now our Hungarian owner has the final say.

Dave was also fired by Magnetrol, perhaps suffering more humiliation than I did.  He wasn’t there as long as I had been, but was at the director level and actually had partial ownership of the company and the companies it owned.

Camber CompThis bicycle now has my name on it.  Well, the one with my name on it is close.  ‘Mine’ is a 2014 model that the shop used as a tester.  I rented one just like it a year and a half ago for a weekend trip.  Because it is essentially a used bike and last year’s model I will get it at a $700 discount.  The bike is a 2014 Specialized Camber FSR Comp 29L with aluminum frame, dual Fox and Rockshox suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano and SRAM shifting components.  This is the bike that kept me at Magnetrol.  I can not freaking wait.

I have to wait, though.  The bike shop, Pedal & Spoke (North Aurora, IL), locked the price in with a ticket that confirms the stock number, price quoted, accessories, and total after tax.  The bike is waiting for me.

Please say yes.  Please write that bonus check.  Please make it enough so that I can have enough left for my family, because they are the final approval step!

In the meantime, I will dream of carving the wooded trails on that bike.  Oh yeah!