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..: Job Satisfaction
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When we were only going out, I got kj a lexan car body for a radio controlled car. The car body is modelled after an Opel Calibra touring car, and this high quality Tamiya model has the same sticker scheme as a 1/18th scale diecast model she proudly displayed on her bookshelf. I gave her that lexan kit as a gift, to express my appreciation for her. To let her know I was thinking about her.

Years have gone by now, and we're married now. My gifts to her have changed. These days, I don't give her as many toys. Especially those that require my assembly time. Especially those that are plush and can take on personality (See the story about Little Guy). The thing that is hardest to give her, but that I do all the time, is consistency. It is the best thing I can give her right now. Her world has changed; her home, her work, her social life--all are different.

The things I learn at work, I often apply at home. And the things I learn at home, I often apply at work. I have been stuck, lately, as a manager of people. The people that work with me are talented, dedicated and smart. They were that way when they were hired, and they are still that way today.

What I gave to them in past was healthy doses of time, my time. I listened to them. I made sure they knew I would always go to bat for them, for that was something my predecessor made sure he did for me. And I always appreciated it. The other thing I always give my employees is everything and anything that I felt I missed out from my previous bosses. Where in the past my bosses were insecure, tyrannical and lonely, I give to my people security, power through information, and my friendship. People often talk of profit in terms of making money, but to me, the profit I gain is the job satisfaction my people experience on a day to day basis.

And now, I am in a time of crisis.

A month ago, the new HR guy said that young managers often try too hard to get people to like them. I have to wonder about the truth in that statement. There must be some in there somewhere, or it wouldn't prick me so. I think about what I gave to my people in past, and I know that it has been useful. But I wonder if the time for that kind of gift has passed, and a new kind of gift is in order. Something along the lines of consistency. Something like hope, or stability. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be very difficult and the rewards will take very long to reap.

I have to admit, when I purchased that Tamiya model for kj, I was thinking more about what I would want, and not necessarily what she would want. The gifts I give must always have the recipient in mind, shouldn't they? It runs in our family, we've always been terrible at giving gifts.
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