The other day at work, a typical scenario played itself out, again.
We were short staffed, which isn't all that unusual, but it's especially bad right now because one of the other managers got fired on Tuesday. There was only one manager on duty at a time all day, no customer service person, one person running the music department, one person working in the café (which was a real pain in the ass since the weather is freezing and people are coming in droves to buy espresso drinks, coffee, and tea), nobody working the children's department, etc etc. I was the manager on duty that morning. It's tax return season, when all the weirdos from the surrounding countryside that only have spare cash to spend once a year come crawling out from under their rocks and go shopping, so it was busy. The phones rang off the hook. Strange old women showed up wanting to buy tablets and had to have help setting them up and learning to use them. A bus full of school kids rolled through on a field trip. It was chaos all day long.
And I kept my cool. I was patient with the customers, even the demanding and rude ones. I was helpful. I juggled phone calls and people waiting in line at the info desk and in between gave mini "how to" workshops for the people buying tablets that hadn't a clue how tablets (or sometimes even the internet) work. I was polite, and patient, and helpful. And besides giving excellent customer service on a day when it was extra difficult to do so, I got several projects done around the store that were due that day so I wouldn't have to hand them off to anyone else.
I was feeling pretty good about the day's work I had done.
Then the assistant manager came in to work the second half of the day. And as usual when things are a tiny bit more hectic or stressful than usual, he was a total jerk. He was rude, sarcastic, and had nothing good to say about anything. The next day he hauled me over the coals for forgetting to put a bit of data into a spreadsheet the day before (something that isn't important and takes all of 5 minutes to do). He's beyond petty and a big bully, to boot.
There wasn't (and never is) a word of appreciation or praise at this job. Ever. And although the store manager isn't a rude asshole like her assistant, she's equally self involved and never bothers to thank or praise anyone for anything. It's caused more than one great employee to leave, and is part of the reason I'm looking so hard for a new job. ** It's demoralizing to work really hard and to never get any credit for it. I realized the other day that trying to do a good job is something I do for me, not for them. I told myself I could be proud of doing my best whether or not they ever acknowledge it. But it's hard sometimes. A little bit of appreciation would go a long, long way.
**I just applied for three positions this morning that all look like good opportunities for me. Please send me all the good vibes you can that I'll at least score an interview! Fingers and toes are crossed!