You Didn’t Get That $500 Bonus?

Neither did I. Let’s talk.

Ramona Grigg


Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

I spent most of the day at the hospital yesterday, waiting while my husband had a procedure that would tell us whether or not there was any recurring bladder cancer. There wasn’t.

Breathe! Celebrate! Whew!

After we settled in at home, relieved but exhausted, I went to Facebook to see what was new, especially in the Medium Binders, and was floored by the news. One by one, many of my Medium friends were rejoicing over unexpected bonuses they’d received from Medium, to the tune of $500. Five hundred dollars. Out of nowhere. Incredible!

I was happy for them. (And still am. Read on.) Some of them really needed the money, but all of them needed the boost. We’ve been going through some strange times here at Medium and nobody knows for sure what it means or where we stand.

So I went looking for mine. It wasn’t there. What?

What?? Seriously, Medium, you’re ignoring me AGAIN? Hellooo…!

We spent some time in the Facebook binders trying to figure out why some got it and some didn’t, and it was awkward, to be honest. All kinds of emotions flying around and the last thing I would ever want to do is rain on anyone’s parade — but it hurt not to be included. Then someone shared the email they’d received and, after some thought, it started to make sense.

This is it, in part:

Note: ‘The writers who made the most impact on MEMBERS this past month.’ In the monthly income notice, they used the words ‘high member engagement’. I took that to mean paying members, but also members who are both writers and readers. I looked again at the writers I know who got it and noticed that most of them are writers who regularly write to and about the Medium community.

I may be all wrong about this, (and it could be just wishful thinking) but, based on the wording of that email, I think Medium might have chosen to reward those writers who often use their pages as a community forum. “Engaging” means speaking directly to readers, and they do that well. “Making an impact” on members suggests the same thing. They often write as if Medium were their audience and not the outside world, and at Medium there’s a wide place for that.