Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank You for The Stinking Holiday Spirit

I don't know whether I'm just a stingy som' bitch who doesn't deserve a thank you or my employees are ingrates. Or maybe both.

I had intended to close up shop about 2:30 or 3 today, but things got in the way. So, it was 4:00 pm before I announced that everyone should go home after they wrapped up anything important. "Happy Thanksgiving and here's an extra hour," I said to them. I heard one verbal expression of thanks. But mostly I heard the door open and close as they scrambled to leave. No "thank you" or "happy Thanksgiving" or "it's about time." Nothing.

I may not need appreciation, but I want it when I go beyond what's required and give a little more than I must. I don't expect people to bow and scrape and express heartfelt devotions, but a fucking "thanks for the hour" would be nice on occasion. Depending on the payscale, it's like I handed them between $30 and $50 when salary and benefits are thrown in. Yet they don't think it's appropriate to say "thank you" for that. Maybe they don't know. Maybe they weren't taught. I'm not going to teach them. Next time, I should just pocket the $50 and send them home early without pay.

"Happy Thanksgiving," I will say sweetly.


Nicole said...

A thank you is always nice, but instead of getting upset you need to figure out WHY you didn't get the thank you. Have you asked yourself how many hours of unpaid overtime your employees have put in? How many times they may have gone out of their way to get a job done?

If they are anything like me, then they have probably spent an extra four weeks working unpaid overtime throughout the year and have missed more personal time and appointments then they can recall to get a job done.

An early minute from you with expectations of a big thank you in return would seem master-and-slave-like to me if that's the case.

Have a good think about it. They may have simply been insulted with a 1 cent tip.

Or they may have thought that an hour isn't much of a big deal. They may have been tired and stressed and just wanted to head out and forget about work.

I have noticed a pattern in a lot of employers where they think that their employees need to go the extra mine, but quite frankly, an employee is paid for a certain amount of hours and any extra they put in should be thanked too. An employer will easily ask an employee to stay back an extra hour every now and again because it's needed, but imagine if I asked my employer for an extra $50 every few weeks? I'd be laughed at. My time is just as valuable to me and yet nobody thinks twice about asking me to constantly donate.

Anyway, I'm probably a bit off track because it's a topic I feel strongly about, because I'm a great believer of a work-life balance and that employees are equal to employers because both need each other and one shouldn't feel superior to the other.

Give it a thought as to why your people acted the way they did. Maybe they're just a bit rude, but maybe a free hour was no big deal?

I would have said "thank you" just the same, but I also like it when the people I work for recognise my contribution and say thank you when I go the extra mile or five.

Springer Kneeblood said...

Actually, Nicole, it is my practice to pay time and a half for any overtime I ask my staff to work. So, no, I don't think there's any "master-slave" relationship there. I make it clear that I understand if my staff needs to take off here and there to take care of personal business; we don't track it closely, we simply ask them to use their required time only as REQUIRED. We frequently buy lunches for staff, we bring in goodies for breakfast, and do lots of other things to demonstrate our appreciation. So, I feel that my disappointment is perfectly reasonable.

I feel pretty strongly, too, about people who seem to feel entitled to benefits that are freely given but are not required.

Nicole said...

That's just crummy then. You sound like a place I'd like to work. My past experiences have been, that much is required from the employee and not much is granted in return. I'm sorry that your staff weren't happier. Maybe they've become accustomed to the good life, in which case they may be somewhat spoiled. (I left work five minutes early today and was thrilled!)