Sunday, August 25, 2013

Appreciation in the "Real World"

     I'm sure most of the people who may end up reading this blog have had a job at some point in their lives. Whether it was for a day, a week, or several years. We've all been behind the counter. Out on the floor. At the desk. What have you.

     My first job had very little interaction with my coworkers and superiors. There was a bit of electronic correspondence, and a face to face meeting every few months. But nothing to really remember. For someone like me, that might have been a good thing.

     My current work is fairly steady. I go in five to six nights a week, I work in a certain section of the building, I do my job, I go home. It has gotten to be fairly routine. But the one thing that hasn't changed much is that I don't have any real talks with my superiors about my job performance.

     The only time I get feedback is when someone else catches an error I have made. This usually means the other shift, since working nights leaves us short handed and untrusted. But it also means that the only impression I have of the day crew personnel, and the managers in particular, are that they are out to find out every little thing I've done wrong and punish me for it.

    Most of the time, I can shrug this off. I can ignore it and remind myself that as little of them as I see, they see just as little of me. And that the one percent (or less!) of your mistakes are often the focus of what others are going to want to talk to you about. No news is good news, right? You would think so.

     But I have my one year review coming up in the next month. And for the last ten months, I've been doing my job. Getting the same pay, day after day. But my responsibilities are FAR beyond what they were when I received my last review.

    But is appreciation for a job well done truly reflected in a simple raise? Or the addition of a few benefits months later? What kind of response do we need to know that we are truly doing a good job, and that our work is being noticed? Is it even being noticed when we do our jobs correctly?

     These are the thoughts on my mind. And as I dive through my own mind, I've come to realize that the lack of communication has jaded me. Yes, I think I deserve to be paid far more than I am. If only because someone who is still learning the job gets paid just as much as I do for effectively running an account for an entire shift. While doing the majority of the work for that account. And training others how to work in that account. Etc, etc. But is it right for me to think this?

    Is it reasonable to expect a jump in pay just because I have accepted more responsibility? Or was it my duty to argue for commensurate pay raises as these duties were piled upon me? Would it be fair to my coworkers, who have (for the most part) been working there longer?

     I sometimes wonder if I actually deserve to be paid more, or if it is just a sign of my frustration with the way my life is currently going. Our troubles are not always so easy to see and to put labels to. And I fear I may end up acting out in ways that will harm my long-term ability to work in this industry. Not just at this company, but in general. To become jaded to the reality of this life may make it impossible for me to be happy doing work that I was once proud of.

Growing up sucks!

1 comment:

  1. Recognizing this about yourself gives you the opportunity (if not the ability) to change it. If you want bigger and better - reach for it. The worst that is going to happen is that the answer will be no. If the answer is no, you'll move on to something else, or refocus on what it will take in order to make that answer a yes.

    Learn from your mistakes, and be willing to accept criticism and improve based upon it. As trite as it sounds, put it under your feet rather than on your shoulders. It's a choice, and how you take it is up to you.

    Too much serious. Look, a squirrel! *points over yonder, then bolts*