Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's That Exciting (or Dreaded) Time of the Year: Staff Appreciation

This is the week that allergy sufferers dread.  The week when you have to get on that crowded train or bus with people carrying armloads of beautiful bouquets of flowers.  

Or the week that everyone in your office got flowers, candy and gifts except you.

Or the week that your office gave you a free lunch or brought in a clown or whatever they did to make you feel like they couldn't go on without you.  Which we all know, after the "recession" isn't true, because if you don't want your job, somebody else sure does.

Which is why I'll keep the complaining to a minimum.  

I don't really have anything to complain about.  I work at a firm where at the very least the administration acknowledges that we're still celebrating "Administrative Professionals Week" (formerly "Secretary's Week," formerly "Secretary's Day").  

It sort of surprises me that we still celebrate it because each year it seems more and more like most law firms and companies really don't want to do it.  

Personally, my appreciation is truly in my paycheck.  But, I'm only human so when someone asks you what you got, you'd like to be able to say "A trip to the spa."  As opposed to, "Nothing."

And since the actual day was yesterday, I suppose there's no need in me sitting here holding my breath for that gift certificate that's probably not going to come.

We should be grateful to have jobs.  I know I am.

Which brings me to the burning question, "Why do I feel so badly right now?"

Oh well.  There's always next April.

And who decided to make "Staff Appreciation" right after Tax Day?  Talk about a one-two punch.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Emoticons At Work

It is widely believed that emoticons have no place at work.  They are viewed by many as unprofessional and childish.

That said, I'm guilty of being one of the people who uses them.  I don't put a flower next to my signature text or add cute little puppies or even sad faces.

But, I have used a "smiley" face to soften my response.  By that I mean often when one of my bosses sends me a request that I can't get to right away (because I'm doing something for one of my other five bosses), I will reply with something like "Once I complete my filing, I will turn to that."  (smiley face)

My purpose is to let the person know that I'm not putting them off or exasperated that I'm being stretched too far (because that would never be the case - insert sarcasm here) but because I want to "de-escalate" what could turn into an email exchange that goes all wrong.

Which is a big problem with email exchanges.  They often go all wrong.  If the person is close-by or doesn't have their office door closed, I will often stick my head in the door to let them know that I received their request and will get to it as soon as possible.

The art of communication is a lost art.  And I'm going to go out on a limb and blame email in part for that.  Although the biggest offender is texting!

Seriously, I've read so many articles in the last few weeks about how emoticons have no place in the office, that I've decided to include a cartoon caricature of myself right next to my name in the "From" line.

Just kidding.  Smiley Face.