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.