Give It Back?

What would you do if you received a 12 percent pay raise and then, weeks later, your boss comes back and says, "I made a mistake, it was meant to be a 2 percent raise." Now he wants you to give up the raise and pay back the difference for the raise.

What would you do?

Now, imagine for a second then being U.S. Olympic gymnast Paul Hamm (search).

The International Gymnastics Federation now wants him to give up his gold medal. It seems that because of a technicality and a screw-up on the federation's part, Hamm didn't really win the gold medal — South Korea's Yang Tae-Young did.

Yang was wrongly docked a tenth of a point for his parallel bars routine. Had he not been docked, he'd have won the gold, and Hamm the silver.

The U.S. Olympic Committee suggested giving Yang an additional gold. But Olympic rules wouldn't allow it. Funny, because Olympic rules allowed a Canadian figure skating team to share an additional gold when they were un-fairly docked points in the last winter Olympics.

But that's not the point. Re-doing rules is.

Judges make mistakes. So do referees at football games and umpires at baseball games. Sometimes they get it wrong, but that doesn't mean athletes should be wronged.

Paul Hamm didn't do anything wrong. The people who judged his opponent did. But they are the system and they make the rules. The same rules Hamm follows. The same rules they should follow.

You shouldn't be penalized for a mistakenly over-generous boss. Paul Hamm shouldn't be penalized for a clearly stupid, desperately ass-covering set of judges.

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