A slew of studies that I am not going to link to right now because I am lazy and it’s Monday morning, traditionally a low motivation time of the week for me, suggest that being recognized for your work is a key motivator in work performance. I know that a lot of people think that Millennials need too much praise, and young workers are too anxious for a pat of the back when it comes to performing every day tasks.
But honestly, recognition, and giving recognition where it is due (i.e. NOT taking credit for other people’s work), is pretty key for me.
I came to temp this morning after having stayed until 6pm on Friday getting all these different materials ready for an event. This morning, my new supervisor and her supervisor had an email exchange on which I was copied that went like this:
Boss: I have a meeting off site, I’ll be in at 11am.
Big Boss: See you soon. Is everything ready for the event?
Boss: Yes. Ann Marie has a checklist that we will go over before we leave for the event.
Big Boss: Ok, thanks for your diligence.
Does she mean my boss’s diligence? Or my diligence? I can’t tell. I doubt it is me she is praising. And honestly, it infuriates me that she would praise someone else for work that I did in front of me.
This used to happen all the time in another job I had, and it drove me insane. I am probably just projecting my previous resentment on this email exchange. Because this is a temporary position, I genuinely don’t care, but the sense memory (remember when I acted in plays, and kind of had fun living my life?) of my previous job, my dander is up (where does that phrase come from? http://lmgtfy.com/).
But I remember describing a frustrating series of events to a friend of my parents’ while I was on vacation. She worked at a massive investment firm, and had managed huge teams of employees. She looked at me and said, “oh my God, that’s management 101–give your team the credit they deserve! Bosses don’t need to take credit for their employees’ work, they need to demonstrate that they create an environment where that work is possible, and then celebrate their employees’ successes.” I was so moved by that description of what management could be like.
I am so bitter about this stuff. Clearly. I have to stop carrying around these years of being poorly managed and mistreated. It’s going to cause me to do something rash, like walk away from a high paying, prestigious job because I was being verbally abused–OH WAIT, it already happened.
I snapped. I have to rebuild my career. I can feel the anxiety building again. My part time nights and weekends job is over, and now I am just temping. Financially, I am running on fumes. And yet still, I would consider turning down a job, or purposely tanking the interview process, if I felt like the atmosphere was unhealthy.
If I could, I would go work as an office manager, or a bartender, or a kitten wrangler, or in the finance department at a TV show, or in a knitting shop. As long as I could pay my rent, and I knew that I wasn’t going to be eternally manipulated, yelled at, and used as a pawn in other people’s insane machinations and/or self-esteem boosting exercises.