Writing is an Itch. This is a place to scratch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy and Appreciated: It Starts with You. Part 1.

By Rattus Scribus©, 15 Sept 2009

Hurt & Unappreciated: This is a culture where all too often one can be made to feel very unappreciated and unimportant indeed.

Top 10 signs that you are unappreciated:
10. People always seem to talk about you in the past tense.
9. You keep being asked to operate the camera for the group picture.
8. People keep trying to walk through you.
7. You’re told that you’ll go far, and the sooner you start the better.
6. Your co-workers keep asking, “May I help you?”
5. Someone asks for your opinion and immediately starts looking at an imaginary wristwatch.
4. The only "personal" mail you get are bills.
3. You’re told you’re irreplaceable, and that’s why you can’t have the promotion.
2. Even the IRS doesn’t recognize your existence.
And the number one sign that you're unappreciated:
1. There’s a retirement party in your honor and you’re not even close to retirement.

I wrote that Top Ten joke a few years ago as an icebreaker for a Staff Appreciation Day at which I was asked to speak. It is more relevant today than then.

The financial collapse of the last couple of years has thrown many out of work, out of homes, out of sorts, some even out of hope. Moreover, the ongoing trends of corporate America make it likely that (unless one has in-demand skills) many people who do find work will earn less, have less medical coverage (if at all: I know people with multiple jobs, none of which will give them medical insurance), and generally will find it more challenging to keep body and soul together than a decade ago. Like a disease we thought long ago eradicated, preventable financial disaster has come back, and with it all the symptoms that were common during the last pandemic called The Great Depression: lack of joy, of a sense of meaning, of being appreciated, that one matters.

Add to all of this the widespread frustration with many corporations and businesses that are run by very unsavory beings like the Ferengi, from the TV series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The Ferengi were an alien culture that had elevated "Greed is Good" to the highest of virtues. Obviously meant to symbolize the worst of a heartless type of capitalism, the more unscrupulously avaricious a Ferengi was the more hideous his appearance. And they deserved it: Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #111: "Treat people in your debt like family: exploit them." Rule #211: "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Do not hesitate to step on them."

This is a culture where one can be made to feel very unappreciated and unimportant indeed.

What is one to do? Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I will share with you some insights (psychological, historical, humorous, spiritual, etc.) about what you can do if you feel unappreciated, used and hurt by employers, other people, and the big wide world.


Fete et Fleur said...

This is a great post, and so very true. Leave it to Star Trek to come up with a society that so closely mimics ours. I look forward to the next installment.


Marie said...

Boy, you captured my life in so few words. I'm feeling it all. As I prepare to go to my "temp" job and be trained by a 20 year old I thank God that I have this 3 month assignment and quickly ask if there's a possibility that it might end sooner. Thankful and ungracious all at once. Well! At least I'm being honest about it.

Great post. Can't wait for part II.
Elizabeth...or Marie

Bonnie said...

Don't forget the #21 Rule of Acquisition: Never place friendship above profit. Gordon Geckko from Wall Street may have that phrase embroidered on a pillow I believe.

I would not make a good Ferrengi, thank goodness.

Unfortunately, I can identify with everything mentioned in your post. In my endeavors to find a job I have only this to say...when did they take the HUMAN out of Human Resources? They might as well go back to calling it Personnel.

Look forward to Part II of your post.


Jane said...

So fortunate to be retired at this time, but still can relate to this post from past experiences. Looking forward to your next post. Glad to find your blog!
Jane - Jacksonville

Jane said...

Oh, I don't see the rss feed sign up there. Hope you'll get that capability soon.
Jane again

Judy said...

Sad day at work today. Fifty-one employees were told that their jobs could possibly be eliminated the end of the year. It depends on how our County Legislature accepts the budget that was proposed by our County Executive. One is my best friend. I feel so sad and don't know what to say. She wanted to work one more year before she retired. If she loses her job it will be hard for me to go to work everyday.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

It's a rough and frightening economy and job market for us that are retired or trying to be retired. TRYING being the operative word.

I am so happy to have recently acquired a new job where they really do seem to appreciate their employees which makes up for the fact that I retired making $30 more an hour as an engineer than I do now. But my engineering job at the phone co. was going to another part of the country hence my decision to retire with 30 yrs service. My engineering was very specialized & my knowledge became very outdated very quickly.

Then the economy went down the drain along with everyone's retirement. Except for the Ferngis that are sitting on some lovely beach being served Mai Tai's with little umbrellas stuck in them... Oh my that felt good, thanks for the steam outlet!

Looking forward to your next post!

Sherry - to be retired or not to be retired, that is the question

Rosemary said...

Nice to meet you! You are a wonderful writer.
Great post!!
Have a wonderful day!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I came over from Sherry's and enjoyed reading your posts!

The workplace is certainly a mess these days. So many people I know are on unemployment desperately looking for a new job.

One good outcome is that professions such as teaching and nursing may add many of these workers to their ranks, as people are now looking into those careers as being stable and accessible after they attain training. We were importing many workers from other countries, especially for nursing, to take those positions in the recent past.

Gina said...

Yet another insightful post, RS. Y'know, I once read that the year 2015 will see MORE jobs than people as baby boomers retire, or sadly pass... but the date isn't 2015. It's 2009 and the economy is in a $9 trillion dollar federal deficit and 16.3% Americans are unemployed...the only thing we can do as a nation is pray that it's gonna get better. IT JUST HAS TO... I'm certainly counting on it. In the meantime, we need to treasure the employees that we have and the jobs that some of us have been fortunate to keep... It's gonna get better.


Rattus Scribus said...

Thanks for your regular visit and comments, Gina. Greatly appreciated. I'm praying too.

The Dutchess said...

Great....so nice to meet you;)..I will be back to read..and scratch

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dear Rattus,
I see that my dearest Dutchess came with Miss Moussie. They both adore your writing style and are very intellectual ladies; bring it on! We love what you have to say! Cheers, moi

Marie Antionette said...

HERE! HERE! But you had to see it coming.
Love your style of writing. I enjoyed reading this post very much. Love the Star Trek comparison.
And Welcome, Marie Antionette
PS.For now or any future comments from me...LOL, excuse all bad grammer and spelling.

Loving Her Beautiful said...

Hope you have a great one. I love the blog! I'll be back for more!

Wanda said...

hey ruben love your blogs name have a great b -day thinking of you wanda.

Bonnie said...

Hi Ruben, just wandered by and saw you had a birthday yesterday! Awesome - I am a Virgo as well, Sept. 16. Hope you had some fun - if you're like me you'll manage to stretch the festivities till the end of the month!


Jacqueline said...

Come hither and there, I finally got back to your blog! I feel the need to play catch up for sure.
I work for one of those big corporations, the kind that whip you and then throw you out, but in the middle of the sandwich there's a lot of chewing going on. I'm sick of it and pray, God, have compassion on this work force we've created that runs over human man kind for the good of corporate self.