Did You Say “Thank You” With Conviction?

Trigger Question #49

“Are you happy now?” (created with Microsoft Copilot)

. . .

Back in the 1980s, bosses treated people a bit differently. At least, in the places I worked. The same probably happened in the 70s, 60s, and so on backwards. But I only remember the Eighties onwards, because I joined the workforce in 1979.

Today, some newer workers, mostly the very young ones, expect to be treated as if they are special. Whenever I interact with this handle-with-care generation (sorry, Traveling Wilburys), this memory from my 1980s pops up:

My boss summons me. He tells me I am being promoted. To boss it over much older and more experienced managers. I am unsure. And concerned. Actually, I’m afraid. I naively ask, “What if I don’t want the promotion?” He points behind me and says, “See that thing? It’s a door.”

That was the era when your reward for doing your job well was… you got to keep it!

“Thank you” and “well done” were almost unheard of. But when you did hear one or the other, it meant a lot. You took it seriously, because it was genuine. And it felt like you just got a bonus.

Okay. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as all that. But bosses… (come to think of it, I don’t remember the term leader being used back then). But bosses sure as peanuts did not handle us with care. We were there to do a job. The messaging was clear, consistent and blunt. Perform or push off. Deliver or disappear. Get it done or pack your briefcase.

Maybe I have mellowed. A bit. I now think that financial payment is not always reward enough for a job done well enough. Maybe a “thank you” will actually do nicely. Now and then.

But said with conviction. No faking.

And, please, not too often. Else you will dilute the impact.

And definitely no “thank you” just for showing up on time.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

. . .