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Friday, February 12, 2016

Appreciation (and the lack thereof)

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!

15 comments:

  1. Good vibes on their way Jennifer. The manager is a bully that's for sure.

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    1. Thanks Rachel. He's a bully and the worst narcissist I've ever met. I hope to see the last of him very soon!

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  2. It's good management to live by this credo - "praise, praise, criticism, praise". You get more out of people that way. Good luck in securing a position you feel happier in Jennifer.

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  3. Hello Jenny, I like the comments you leave on other blogs so I came over to read your blog. I am commenting here for the first time to wish you good luck! Greetings Maria x

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and thank you for the nice comment! :)

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    2. That was meant to be Jennifer and not Jenny, sorry xx

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    3. Oh, that's ok! I didn't mind at all! :)

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  4. Franklin, Penelope, and I pray for you. I work at home with only Franklin and Penelope to keep me company, so we have no arguments. I say what goes. I am the decider. I am the leader. I open the door for the dogs to make a poopie. All is well.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I love the sound of your little kingdom (queendom?) and I wish I could work from home, too! Ginger, George, and Marco would be soooo happy! :)

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  5. What's wrong with people!!! I would have thought that it was obvious to even the most idiotic of managers that a few kind words at the end of the day makes people feel good about their efforts, and can even encourage them to return to work the following day. Sometimes (very often) I despair.

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  6. How stupid and short-sighted your managers are! Don't they ever wonder why good people leave them?
    I am sure that many of the customers you served that day appreciated your work, even though they didn't say so to you. I try to give people the thumbs up when I see someone doing a particularly good job in difficult circumstances, but sometimes the occasion isn't there or I forgot at that moment. Still, it makes me return to the place, whether it's a restaurant or shop or anything else.

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    1. Actually, several people (customers) were very kind and thanked me, and said very nice things to me. One elderly lady shook my hand and told me how much she appreciated my patience and kindness in helping her.

      Although a lot of customers can be difficult, the good ones make it all worthwhile. I just wish my bosses recognized my efforts sometimes.

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  7. Good vibes from me too, Jennifer - all the very best for getting a new job, and one that you are really happy with. Good to know that the elderly lady appreciated your kindness.

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