Inside are two AMC gold passes. Let me explain why this is important to me.
After five years of working at the library they’d acknowledged my experience and skills in a few different ways. I was the go-to guy with all kinds of questions. I was paid over $2/hour more than any other part-timer. I got a lot of random gifts from friends there every Christmas, a $10 gift card here and there, and it was good. Everyone there knew (at least during Joan’s tenure) my abilities and respected them, if not necessarily me. Most of them knew what I’d done for the library system and that, despite my joking, I am actually pretty good at customer service despite being somewhat unbending on regulations compared to others.
You know what never happened? My bosses might praise me and trust me, my coworkers may have come to me with ever question, but I never got any of the “public” accolades. Those were too political and always went to the people who worked “in the back.” No one ever hauled me up in front of the entire library system and gave me any recognition for going above and beyond. Within the people who actually worked with the public I was a premier player; within the system, I was respected but not praised.
That’s why this is important to me. I may work for a soulless corporation now, but my group is great, just like at the library. I’ve carved my own niche again. I write and update our internal process documents; I’m the go-to guy for knowledge, again. My boss gives me tons of special projects. And today I was called out in front of the group and given this for my work on the AlphaZone, a tool that everyone in my department uses every single day, including my boss’ boss. Not only that, but other groups are starting to use it too. It may not be much, but considering I’m still just a contractor, and the fact that it was given to me on the floor in front of everyone as an official acknowledgment of my efforts, skills, and talents, I’m proud of it. Some of you who get $10,000 Christmas bonuses are probably laughing at me getting movie tickets, but I know they came out of my boss’ own pocket, and I know how little money she has of her own.
This little gesture means more to me on a personal level than the flexibility they’ve given me with my schedule, the sudden raise they gave me in July, or any of the responsibility they’ve given me over special projects. Because this means I’m more than respected among the whole group; I’m appreciated.