They also ask us to tidy up our cubicles, which usually seems like a pointless requirement. Clients visiting the building don't want to see my department. They want to meet managers, say hi to the sales rep who sold them their account, and see our customer service center. My department is comprised of operations staff. The only clients who want to meet me are those who want to hit me because I'm screwing them out of their money (though legally, they're screwing themselves out of their money).
Upper management is the same way when they grace our humble office: they want to hobnob with the higher-ups, take a look at the call center, and go out for an expensive lunch with our site manager. The only exception is our CEO, who, when he first took up the position, announced that upper management needed to be more visible and accessible to the average employee. And they have been. It really took me by surprise one Friday afternoon last year when suddenly I heard a voice behind me say "...and this is Colin Gagnon, one of our merchant dispute specialists. He co-coordinates our United Way campaign." I turned around and found myself face to face with our CEO, whose first words to me were something like "Pleased to meet you. Is that pantyhose hanging on your wall?"
It was not a proud moment, and I curse they day I ever received those stockings as a Secret Santa gift (December 19th, 2002).
Anyway, it is in light of that memory and this article which mentions the strong Christian values of my company's upper management that I think it might be a good idea to take down the WOW Award I've been displaying for the last few months.
There used to be another level of management between my boss and her superior, but the position was eliminated two years ago when it was noticed that this women spent most of her time planning arts and crafts projects and similar "fun" activities for the department. She wasn't lazy, there just wasn't much for an extra manager to do. One of her many ideas was the WOW award, a small certificate you could fill out and present to a co-worker who had "gone above and beyond." The idea was probably to document worth that might otherwise be overlooked in a performance review, but there was always some ambiguity as to whether things like picking up lunch or telling a really funny joke were WOW-worthy.
At the time of her uh, dismissal, there were a couple of hundred blank WOW certificates. In the interim, they've become sort of a joke, and every once in awhile one of them gets filled out for no real reason. Here's the one I took down:
It's a good thing I caught it early. Sometimes we haven't been so lucky with offensive material, such as the time when somebody taped George W. Bush's face over a statue of Jesus Christ.
We don't talk about that incident.
We're not allowed to.