The email from US Bank Vice Chairman of Technology and Operations Services (TOS) Jeffry von Gillern ended on a downer note.
"While this was a difficult decision to make," read the April 2014 to all bank TOS employees, "we believe short-term solutions such as this help us avoid taking more drastic measures such as implementing layoffs."
Von Gillern was referring to the bank's mandatory vacation policy for workers "to take the equivalent of one week of unpaid time off between May 1 and Dec. 31" in 2014 because "until we see signs of a sustained improvement in the economy, we must keep our expenses in line with current economic trends."
Someone must have forgotten to forward the email to US Bank CEO Richard Davis.
As the bank rank-and-file were seeing their weekly paychecks docked to factor in the mandatory time off, Davis was in the process of swimming in an extra $8.5 million when compared to his 2013 compensation.
He was not alone.
According to the company's federal filing from earlier this year, four other top executives -- Andrew Cecere, Pamela Joseph, Richard Payne Jr., and P.W. (Bill) Parker -- were paid between $120,000 and $3.3 million more in 2014 versus 2013.
A phone call from City Pages to US Bank's media relations was returned via email.
The bank's mandatory vacation policy for employees ended in November, spokesperson Teri Charest wrote back, adding that it was "consistent with our prudent management approach."
In layman's speak, bank leadership was talking thrift to its underlings while demonstrating gluttony behind-the-scenes.
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