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Compensation truly is one of the many trades where you are paid to handle impossible situations with as much grace, courtesy, consideration, expertise, persuasiveness and logic as possible. Every competitive and adversarial occupation has that same feature where the the worker is paid for bravery under the worst possible situations. We live in a society based on compromises made under adversarial situations. Some win and some lose.

You know the standard phrases. Take one for the team. Hold that line. Fight a heroic delaying action. Battle that raging fire. Give that mass murderer the best legal defense possible. Protect the abuser from illegal treatment. Attempt the impossible medical intervention. Explain the fatal diagnosis. Justify that unfair pay.

Not everyone wins. Those on the losing side frequently deserve better rewards for their courageous efforts than they actually get. Our field is called "compensation" for a good reason.

I hear you Chuck! I once had a CEO tell me to change national holidays globally to match holidays in the U.S. Reason? The CEO wanted to make sure that all company employees would be working —- in case he wanted to speak with one of them. Try to explain that one!

Jacque - great to hear from you, and I hope all is well. I suspect that many of us have horror stories similar to yours. I once had a CEO demand we change the retirement plan because of a single article that he had read. Another time, a client CHRO demanded a four scale performance rating system (no averages). That too was a flaming failure .

Great article. I guess there is a fine line between stupid and ill-advised. In the case of stupid the easiest way is to avoid rationalising and simply clarify who made the call and how it will be implemented. Longer term from a reputational perspective you've got to weigh up the value of continuing to work in Company where stupid is ingrained.

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