Good Job

4 Apr

Ladder 49 is one my favourite movies. Each time I see this movie I must confess I have a provoking thought – the thoughts would defer based on my circumstances and personal situation. So this time round I was stuck asking myself this question: Why would I or rather anyone want to be a firefighter? 

The movie made it look like an esteemed job, a job that would bring one pride and sense of fulfilment. I only have the movie to compare it to as I have not really interacted or seen a firefighter at work (the later by the grace of God). But this time round I learned a different story. The movie portrays perfectly well the life, the threat to it and their selfless and relentless effort to save lives, to help people.But today something else stood out as I looked on. Why does one really work? Why do we so easily give up on our personal lives to be available for our employers? Why do we abandon our sick parents or lonely partner or neglect our children and their plea to spend time with us? What makes it all worth it? For some it maybe the paycheck, for some it maybe the sense of security, for some it maybe the sense of fulfilment or of achievement.  While those maybe true, but  this I can say with a surety that we all work for – Appreciation. In my 6 years of corporate work experience I have realized that people work for you (the employer). Their jobs may not be as life threatening and life changing as the firefighters but it is no less a sacrifice. How did I get this out of the movie you ask? Well the words “Good job” with a pat on the back by the captain is the only time you see the firefighter beam up a smile. They are too caught up in the series of events and actually saving lives that they forget that, that’s their job. The”Good job” reminds them that what they do is appreciated and recognized for what it is.

The people that work for you are much like them. On some occasions they leave behind their aligning parents to come meet your deadlines. At times they are unavailable to attend their best friends wedding because of a client deliverable. Sometimes they pop pills and drag themselves out of their sickness and put on their best smile for the clients you trying to impress. Their children go to bed waiting for them to come home and their spouses wait for their phones to bring in a message – only to say they will get late at work. They may not be saving lives but they are definitely sacrificing theirs. I realise you going in your heads – well we have promotions and salaries that take care of that and they do it out of their own will no one subjects them to? I completely agree with you upon that. But saying “Good job” when they actually have done so will not make you a less of a person will it now? In fact I see that it is so scarcely said. I have heard Managers refrain from saying those two magical words cause they are afraid of one: if the subordinate is indeed doing a god job and if the Manager so much so says it – his job is at threat- as now he needs to share the limelight and two: then there is the risk of the subordinate becoming overconfident and not doing a good job in the future maybe. I know they sound ridiculous but believe me that these are few of the major reasons why the words “Good Job” are so sacred in the corporate world. To get an appreciation you really need to deserve it. You should have done something so remarkable like gone to the moon or discover a new molecule in order to be worthy of those precious words. Why can’t Managers understand that it is the cheapest way to retain and motivate someone? People work for appreciation and recognition. Let your seniors know how well your subordinate has performed and what he has accomplished – for one it will show you in a good light (that you have taught him/her and guided him/her well) and will allow the person in question to experience a sense of accomplishment and pride in what he does.

I know you thinking: all this I learned from Ladder 49. Well not really I learned it at work but Ladder 49 made me realize it’s importance enough to write. Each individual each day gives up something so that you can achieve something. Each individual each day chooses to work for you so that you can become somebody. So why not let him be a partaker of that sense of accomplishment, that success that puts you on the front page of a magazine that reads -“Good job So and So”.   

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One Response to “Good Job”

  1. Jack Morrison April 4, 2014 at 2:22 AM #

    Good Job

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