Column Date 2009-03-15

Captain, officers of Titanic get performance bonuses

London, England. The White Star Line, the world famous British shipping company, today announced million dollar bonuses for the captain and officers of the Titanic, the legendary ocean liner that hit an iceberg and quickly sank in 1912.

Despite the fact that the White Star Line had received considerable financial assistance from the government,
a corporate spokesperson said that the company was 'contractually obligated' to distribute the bonus pool.

The belated bonuses will be given to the Titanic's captain and senior officers in absentia, since most have been deceased for nearly a century.

"It's never been easy to find top-notch talent in this line of work," the spokesperson said, "and the multi-million dollar bonus pool was designed for executive retention, to keep the company on a sound management footing."

"If these key employees had just upped and joined the competition, the Titanic could never have left port, " added another company official.

The company defended its policy, pointing out that this really is no different from many American corporations, where top executives of poorly managed, nearly bankrupt companies often receive eight-figure bonuses while selling their firms to the U.S. government.

In other news, descendants of members of the U.S. Seventh Cavalry who fought in the Battle of Little Big Horn were said to be involved in intense discussions with officials in Washington.

©2009 Peter Tannen