Worker Appreciation Day

Do Certificates of Appreciation mean anything anymore? Some of them certainly look better than others. You can get the dime a dozen ones from the stationery store, the specially printed logo-embossed ones, or you can make your own from templates found on the internet.

But wherever you get them, their intention is the same – to let someone know that what they’ve done is valued.

Thanks for coming out today! Image credit:
Thanks for coming out today!
Image credit:

Last week my husband went into a government office and the person serving him had one of these appreciation certificates prominently displayed. He started to describe the worker and before he could get too far I already knew who he was talking about.

And I wondered how this particular individual managed to snag this accolade.

I have myself been served by this person and to say that I never figured him to be a model employee would be putting it lightly.

With nary a “good morning” or a “good afternoon”, he grudgingly attends to your needs in a manner that suggests that you are interrupting his day. You also can’t shake the feeling that he’d really rather be somewhere else, and that serving you is not his first priority. In fact, I’d wager a bet that it doesn’t even make his list.

It’s almost as if he’s just holding on for the person who had to take a quick trip to the restroom who unfortunately (for you), never comes back.

I’ve complained before about poor service; about workers who seem intent on driving customers away and others who don’t consider you a customer because, frankly, you have no choice but to come and pay that bill.

I understand the need to keep workers motivated, and that as a customer I can’t possibly know the many issues that cause workers to be satisfied at their jobs – or not – nor should I have to. But I think I should have been able to see that certificate and know why he got it.

As it stands though, I’m left to wonder whether it’s several years old (you know, from back in the day when he was fresh out of school and eager to serve), but it’s now no longer relevant.

Or whether it relates to something he did behind the scenes (because not all of us belong at the front of the house), and his co-workers would tell you that he’s not always like that.

Or whether they all get them for – you know – showing up.

Like I said, I don’t know how much weight they’re carrying these days. But maybe that’s why they say that some things aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.


8 thoughts on “Worker Appreciation Day

  1. I used to TREASURE my “student of the week” awards from grade school. They seemed so elegant, personal and downright special with my teachers lovely scrawled writing stating my name and what I had done that was “outstanding.” Then one day I was in a stationary store and came across an entire pad of blank awards, the exact same ones. How cheap and common they now became in my mind. Funny, I’d forgotten about that until I read this post and came to your last line – – great ending btw!

    1. “Student of the week” award? How long did she keep that up and how many times did you win that coveted prize?
      I’m sure yours were well-deserved though – it’s the other people I have to wonder about.
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. I used to have to give out certificates of completion whenever I trained new staff. It just seemed wasteful. No one hung them on the wall or got excited about certificates gained by showing up. I was so happy when my boss allowed me to drop the practice.

  3. Ha– the awards we give out at work are like a curse. Anytime someone wins something, they’re almost sure to be involved in a scandal within the next few months. Maybe he used to be a nice gent. Until they gave him that certificate…

    1. You know, you may have a point, seeing as how I didn’t know him in his early days. Maybe these certificates should all have expiration dates.
      BTW. Congratulations on the article in Cosmo magazine!

  4. Yeah good service is hard to find these days. it seems like most have the mentality that they are volunteering and, like you said, we, customers, are interrupting them from anything else they’d rather be doing. And I’m sure it has to do with how they feel undervalued in their position by undoubtedly unappreciative employers. So the conundrum continues…higher prices, lower service…smh

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