Reward and Recognition

Interesting conversations this week around reward and recognition. Often enough it is simply a topic on the HR agenda for the year. How many people did we give an award to? How many of those vouchers did we give out? Did we praise 10 people per month or was it 15? Tick the box and move on to the next calendar year.

But more often than otherwise, recognition for a job well done does not occur and for those who need extrinsic rewards, it can be a hard slog to simply do your job well.

I do wonder at the bonuses handed out in the white collar world. Do we contribute to our fellow man? Do we rescue lost children or make the world a better place? Not exactly. Perhaps, in an abstract way – we keep the economy turning. No, we don’t really produce anything. We show up, we do what we are told, we go home. Someone somewhere makes a crap load of money from the whole process… and then HR turn around and hand out bonuses or rewards or recognition. Whatever keeps us going.

Every day of his career, my dad solved electrical problems in people’s houses. A practical trade. A useful occupation. It was very very very very rare for someone to thank him beyond his bill and often those bills were still paid begrudgingly by everyone from white collar workers to white haired retirees and other tradies. Strangely, Dad still liked his job and strived to do the very best job he could.

There are studies that show that the more someone is rewarded extrinsically, the less likely they are to experience intrinsic reward from performing a task.

The last time I felt the thrill of my own internal reward system was on this day last year when I finished my first ever #nanowrimo. No money, no external acknowledgements, not even a promised read through from anyone dear to me.. just the knowledge that I had created out of nothing, a 50,000 word story that had never existed before.

I couldn’t do it this year, for a number of reasons, but the power of that reward has stayed with me.
Take control of something, master it if you can, appreciate what you are capable of —- without the acknowledgement of others. Who knows? You may just find that you get more out of the task, than those that really just want to be a tick on the HR calendar.


Deep press I on

Dark days. It’s a common enough term for people like me.
When we are told to look at the calendar and mark the dark days in black, we end up with a checkerboard, sometimes licorice allsort stacks, sometimes the night sky. A pattern of the crazy.
Yes it is crazy. Stew-pit crazy because the healthy currents of thought that can switch and swish along the rivers in your head suddenly become polluted. They still whip quickly amongst all the things in your life, but instead of soothing and smoothing, they taint and taunt and tear. Polluted thinking. Crazy thinking.

“I’m going out to water the palms”

Simple enough, and instead of carrying the reassurance of love and devotion to our home. It suddenly is the voice of criticism. Why didn’t you plant the palms properly? Why are the palms looking wilted? We spent all of this money on palms and now you don’t look after them and I have to go out and save them. Can you do anything right?

Dirty. Detrimental. Demented. So far from the truth, and yet so constant this hate filled torrent in my head. Punishing me, punishing those I love too.

And deep press I on.
Into the dark days.

Better ways

There are probably better ways to publish my national novel writing month (#nanowrimo) effort from 2009.. but I don’t have time to investigate.. so am dumping it here. Read and you will be confounded by how such a normal person can quickly lose themselves in their own sticky verbage. This is a story to confuse all stories. Guaranteed to annoy the pants off you. Pants pants pants. Oh and I don’t have a title.. because then I’d be being all serious which I’m not in any way supposed to be. Pants.