Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gratitude in the Office

I tend not to write about my work here. Truthfully, I try to avoid discussing my work anywhere in my online world, particularly because I imagine my posts could become emotionally fueled (as they always do) and write something so awful I end up screwing my bill payment/feeding schedule.   However, I wanted to address this.

There's a strange division of culture within my workplace.  Most of the office staff can be divided into two groups based on the nature of their work: 

Group A arrives at work at 8am, boots up their computer and pecks away at the numerous requests that arrive throughout the day.  They usually pack their lunch, sometimes working through it.  At 4:01, their computer is shut-down, and they head home for the day.  There are a number of good, skilled workers in this group, and most of them have a lot of experience in what they do and a college diploma under their belt.

Group B are jet-setters.  They may roll into the office at 10am, but this could be for any number of reasons (for example, a 7am meeting to work around our clients' schedules).  The boss gives them the latitude they need to get their work done, simply trusting them to keep track of their own time.  In many ways, they're the elite.  They generally have more education than Group A, and they earn more money.  I need to make it clear at this point that I think most of the people in Group B work very hard and don't have an easy job (I do believe there are some that screw around a lot, though).  At the heart of them, the people in Group B are social creatures, which causes Group A a bit of aggravation at times.  Group B often pops out for lunches with 4 or more of them, and they can be loud and boisterous about it.

Now, I tend to think of myself as stuck in between these two groups.  I work most closely with Group B, so I do see how hard they work, but I understand Group A's frustration with the ruckus and goings on.

Enter the Paper Chain of Gratitude Resentment.

Several months back - I believe around Thanksgiving - a member of Group B started a little project in our office.  This particular individual works volunteering with teens when she's outside of the office and brought a little of that spunk into the workplace.  She's distributed a baggy of markers and paper strips and we are constructing a chain of gratitude that moves from person to person around the office.  I've seen more than one member of Group A get angry at having this dumped unceremoniously on their desk ("as if I have time for this shit").  At any rate, this paper chain has made its way to me.  I took it, brought it home, and set it on my desk.

This was a few weeks ago.  It's still there.  I hate it.  This kind of shit just smacks of insincerity.

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