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After This, You'll Never Complain About Your Lousy Bonus Again

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Wages in the US are stagnant.

Pensions are being cut.

Goldman Sachs is -- horrors! -- reducing the size of its bonuses.

But no one currently employed in this country is getting shafted quite like the employees of North Korea's Kosan Fruit Farm.

According to state-run news agency KCNA, "Leader Kim Jong Il was so kind as to send his autograph 'July 14, 2011 Kim Jong Il' to officials and employees of the Kosan Fruit Farm," in response to a letter they posted pledging "to repay his loving care and trust shown for them."

The "news" report continues:

On June 12 they sent a letter to him carrying their pledge to repay his loving care and trust shown for them. Kim Jong Il visited the fruit farm several times, clearly indicating the way for it to follow and turning it into a nation's leading modern fruit producer.

In their letter they expressed their determination to steadily push forward the project for expanding its capacity and intensify the drive to put the fruit production on a higher scientific, modern and intensive basis in the transparent spirit of devotedly protecting the leader, spirit of national self-esteem, the spirit of self-reliance and in the spirit of love and devotion for the future.

As it happens, Kim Jong Il's signature seems to be North Korea's version of the classic gold watch:

Pyongyang, January 12, 2011: Leader Kim Jong Il read a letter presented by the employees of the Sangwon Cement Complex to him and sent them the following autograph: “Kim Jong Il, January 5, 2011."

Apparently, this is a signature in some countries

Then, there's this heartwarming tale, complete with nonsensical, maybe-a-sign-of-dementia-after-all-Kim-Jong-Il-is-80-after-all reference:

Pyongyang, January 19, 2011: Leader Kim Jong Il sent autograph to 12 discharged soldiers who were dispatched to Jonchon County, Jagang Province in the northwestern part of the DPRK. It reads “I hope you will become excellent men of the country like the heroes of light comedy ‘An Echo among the Hills.’ Kim Jong Il 2011.1.18.”

And this one, which brings to mind a really disappointing Christmas morning, after writing the best letter to Santa Claus ever:

Pyongyang, March 4, 2011: General Secretary Kim Jong Il received a letter from the employees of the Huichon Ryonha General Machinery Plant on Jan. 29 and sent them his autograph reading "Kim Jong Il on February 24, 2011" with his loving care.

It's an interesting motivational method, to be sure -- especially in a place where the statements tend to be somewhat more grandiose:

"Let's plant more trees!" carved into a North Korean mountainside

Appetite whetted for a Jong Il John Hancock of your very own? is there with a, shall we say, not entirely surefire way to make that dream come true:

Jong-il Kim is a politician who currently resides in North Korea. In this page, you can find his address for fan letters and autograph request.

Address: c/o National Defence Commission Pyongyang, North Korea

Be patient. The guy gets a ton of fan mail.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.