Thursday, March 20, 2003

Work. It Can Be Fun...Really!

Here’s some background on this. It’s really nothing more than an email exchange between me and a friend of mine who works for a mortgage/loan company. (Never having gone through the home-buying process, I’m a little unsure as to all the right lingo, so get off my back about it already!) Even in today’s world, in the new and enlightened century we live in, this company retains some very stodgy banking cultural attitudes that you wouldn’t necessarily find in similar places. Like the dress code. You know, stiff and formal. Even though they say they’re “business casual,” they really want you to be business professional. It’s a rough road to hoe, especially for my friend who is much more comfortable in jeans and tennis shoes than dress pants and frilly blouses. Anything less is a punishable offense. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for all the eggshells she feels like she’s walking on. She just never really knows if an action or pair of shoes will be acceptable or not.

One of the vice presidents has taken it upon herself to send motivating “thought of the day”s and friendly reminders about acceptable behavior, eating habits and dress standards. I don’t know how she got that job, but I’d like to know where to stand in line for it. How cool would it be to be the jerk who gets to tell everyone how to act and condescendingly tell them to enjoy their jobs!

Anyway, please note that I have not edited anything from the original messages. Really. You can’t make up stuff that’s this good.

-----Original Message-----

From: my_friend@thebank/


Wednesday, March 12, 2003

7:29 AM

To: me@work

Subject: ABCD Awards

Yet another heartfelt communication for our very own VP In Charge of Whatever:

VP In Charge of Whatever

To: all@thebank/

Subject: ABCD Awards

I just wanted to reiterate my statements on Friday regarding the purpose of the ABCD awards. As the acronym states, Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, these nominations/awards should be reserved for those individuals who have extended themselves beyond their normal work responsibilities. Individuals may be recognized for exceeding expectations, assisting someone else with a project, or taking on additional responsibility. Employees can receive a nomination for this award directly from management or from a peer.

Management wants to ensure that employees who receive an ABCD award are recognized based on the conditions above. Therefore, starting last month, a preliminary review of the nominations was conducted (prior to the presentation of awards) to ensure the worthy efforts would be acknowledged. Those nominations which did not stand out as exemplary nominations were removed from the ABCD selection process even though they were included in the honorable mentions. This process will continue going forward to ensure we are truly acknowledging employees who are going above and beyond their normal job responsibilities.

So, to ensure that your nomination is worthy, follow these simple requirements:

* Nominate a permanent Port Comm employee (full-time or part-time); and

* Make sure your summary identifies how this person exceeded your expectations,


* Include the specific project/task that the other person helped you with, or

* Identify the extra projects/tasks for which the individual took responsibility.

Test Yourself!

Select the write-up(s) below that would be worthy of an ABCD award:

a) I want to thank Jessica for always being there when I need her, especially last week.

b) I needed to get some volumes to my supervisor ASAP, but I had some challenges completing the necessary Access query. I called on Pam, and she dropped everything to help me out. She even created this neat report so I don't have to export the information to Excel.

c) Kathy's attention to detail really came in handy for me last week when I needed a second set of eyes to review a report I had prepared. She caught an important detail that I had left out.

d) Whenever I'm having a rough day, I know I can count on Eida to maintain a positive perspective. Thank you, Eida!

Applaud yourself if you selected "B" and "C". What makes them worthy? In "B", Pam dropped what she was doing to help and she went a step further by creating a report. In "C", first of all, Kathy was second set of eyes when she didn't have to be; and second, if Kathy hadn't caught that important detail, an incomplete report would have been submitted.

Please feel free to see me, your manager, or your team leader for any questions you may have regarding the recognition program.

If we diminish the overall

VP In Charge of Whatever

Portfolio Communications

-----Original Message-----



Wednesday, March 12, 2003

7:29 AM

To: my_friend@thebank/

Subject: ABCD Awards

Ooh! I have so many comments on this! First off, the infallible Karen Abrams did not, repeat, did NOT finish a sentence at the bottom of her email. Coincidence? Or was she knifed to death just as she was finishing it, and her killer hit the "send" button for her? Hmmm.. .

Also, I think that B & C are the correct answers, not because they demonstrate the willingness of Kathy and Pam to go above and beyond the call of duty, but because the person writing the nomination gave the more suck-up essay-type responses. For all we know, Jessica and Eida really *do*deserve the award, but the person nominating them is too lazy to actually acknowledge why.

Lastly, I nominate you. "C is a wonderful employee. She does more for less money than those other idiots who work in her group. She really took over a difficult situation last week and acted calmly under extreme pressure. She was under a rush job to get hundreds of reports printed out, and the old man in the print room, Pops, was having a little prostate trouble and feeling really grumpy. He lashed out at the first person who actually asked him to do his job. Sadly, it happened to be C. The way she reacted though, can be a lesson for us all. She did not yell back at him, stomp out or even wonder, 'Why me?' No, instead she listened to all of Pop's woes and troubles, called the pharmacist, picked up the medication, handled all the other print jobs that were in the queue, distributed all the reports, and STILL managed to meet her own horrific deadline.

"C is a star. Not only do I nominate her for the whatever-stupid-name-duty-calls award, but I think she should get a cut of all those fees that customers have to pay when they pay a loan over the phone.

"C is a supreme example of what we should all strive to be here at The Bank/Loan Place. She demonstrated kindness, integrity, calmness and patience, all while wearing restrictive bankers' clothes.”

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