Monday, April 26, 2010

Thank You Everyone... Except You.

Okay dear blog friends, I am going to tell you something and I want you all to tell me if you think I am being silly. DH thinks I am, but he cares about precious little in this world outside of the baby and I.

Tomorrow at work they are holding a departmental award ceremony. They do this every year, and up until the economy fell flat on its face last year, this ceremony was a big deal where they would rent out a section of a really nice restaurant and everyone would dress up for it. They had nice trophies made every year that cost them hundreds of dollars, if not thousands. But then The Tank happened, and last year's award ceremony was held humbly in the office, and all of the teams in my department chipped in to make inventive trophies instead of buying some.

Now my job is not impressive. In fact, more often than not my job is seen as a necessary evil and I am shoved in the corner cube like the bastard child at pretty much every company I've ever worked for. My job is important, and without it, my company cannot sell a damn thing. It is an integral part of the process. Not only that, but I am the only person in my company who does what I do. I am further the only person that supports all four teams of my department. Everyone else is pigeon-holed into their role in their team. We also have multiple people doing the same jobs, except for mine.

Because I am the only one doing my job, I am often overlooked, and never does that sting me like it does at the awards ceremony. Why? Because I will never get an award. I didn't do anything super or design some crazy new product that is going to make the company millions of dollars. No, friends, I am the decrepit wench in the dark corner cranking out manuals for these products. I have no one to compete with, no one to be compared to, nothing to measure up to but myself. In the eyes of my company, what is impressive about that?

Forget the fact that I work side-by-side with these teams as they all create and drive new projects to completion. Forget the fact that without my documentation, these products can't go anywhere. Forget the fact that I go through just as much to get my documents approved as they do designing and getting their products approved.

I am dreading tomorrow. I don't want to go, and the thought that if I don't it will be viewed very poorly and come up in a review makes me angry inside. I have to go and watch everyone around me be recognized for their great work, clap my hands and smile when they receieve an award, and pretend to not notice I will be the only one who doesn't receive any kind of award, recognition, or praise. I'm not exaggerating.

Last year I spent months working on a project trying to get some seriously messed up documentation (that was created before I arrived) in a more than presentable state while fighting tooth and bloody nail with a PM to make it happen. When it came time to celebrate the product launch, an award was given to another woman who had spent all of two weeks reviewing the documentation I had spent over 4 months writing. I kid you not. I got NOTHING. No recognition, no t-shirt, nothing. It took all I had to keep from screaming and telling everyone they could go to hell. It took every last ounce of my resolve to stand there for the rest of the party and not rip heads off, but instead, put on a happy face.

Every year they give out an award for the new person who makes the most impact in their first year. I was a contender for that award last year. Remember how I said I am the only person in my department who does work for all four teams? Well, keep that in mind as I tell you the award went to a guy who had to fly out to Germany a couple of times for one product line. Poor guy! He had to go to Germany to drink German beer and eat German chocolate on the company dime. How sad! I feel so very sorry for him. It is a good thing he won that award. I'm sure it made him feel so much better.

Do you know that I wrote a manual for a major product launch for all of our products that year? Now you do. And between you and me, we're the only ones who know.

I am trying not to be bitter and resentful, but I just can't help it. I was the bastard child in my last job, litterally shoved in a corner office and forgotten about. That was a big part of the reason I left. I don't know which is worse, a boss who has no idea what you do for him every day but thinks you are the best thing to ever grace his doorstep, or a boss who knows exactly how hard you work every day and gives you no recognition.

Tomorrow my teams will all get awards for their progress this past year. They will all be recognized and celebrated. When they hand out the praise they will say, "Thank you to everyone for a job well done... except for you, Saige. What you do doesn't really matter. We have no award for people like you. By the way, why are you at this ceremony? Don't you have something to write?"

Please tell me, am I being silly? Is it stupid of me to want to bask in the glow of well-earned praise? Like I said, DH thinks so. He doesn't know why I care. I care because it sucks to watch everyone else take home a trophy except for me.

Maybe I will call in sick with explosive diarrhea tomorrow. That would be better than going to the ceremony only to be overlooked.


Mrs Bee said...

No, I don't think you are silly for expecting recognition for the hard work you do.

Can you speak to your manager and let them know how you are feeling?

Sending you all my love.

Willow said...

Ugh, that sounds awful! I too would want to scream! As the only person who cared about what I did at my last job (I ran publishing at a toy company, and most of my colleagues couldn't have been less interested in books), I can relate to that feeling of being overlooked and undervalued. Also, sounds like you are a technical writer? That's what my mom does! She loves it, but also often ends up overlooked. But from me to you, I know how valuable what you do is. And I think you should totally skip the ceremony tomorrow!

S.I.F. said...

Not being silly at all! I am one of those people who does so much better with positive recognition.

Will it help if I recognize you and tell you how awesome you are?

Shanel said...

You are not being silly... you should listen to your feelings and if you don't want to go... don't go... there's no sense in being there and inside you're filled with anxiety and sadness the whole time... if during your review you're asked about not attending... tell your boss that it really hurts your feelings that you don't receive any positive feedback on the work that you do and the dedication that you put in to every detail... and it's without a team of people like everyone else.... anyhow... just be honest... and stay home if that's what you want to do.

AnxiousMummyto3 said...

Oh honey,
I am totally with you on this one. A sick day with lots of chocolate and baby hugs is definitely in order!! I don't think it's small or silly of you. You genuinely deserve recognition and if it's not a mandatory event, I say skip it. You rock at your job though!
Take care

Saige said...

Willow, I am a Technical Writer. I am not geeky or nerdy though. lol I love my job too, except when it comes to stuff like this.

Its so hard to be gorgeous and smart. ;p

Potters said...

You were valued at your last job just not by the right people. :) I don't know what I would have done without you there. I give you a "super woman" award. You are a great mother, a loving wife, a hard working, and you are one of the smartest people I know. You work full time and still go home to take care of DH and Baby Bean. Having done something like this before makes me admire those who are still doing it. Plus you really do make it so those products are a success, how would people know how to use them without you? I MEAN REALLY!

Suzanne said...

You're not silly at all. You contribute a lot to your job and you should be recognized and valued. I think it's awful that you haven't been recognized at the awards ceremony.