Monday, January 09, 2012

cheap pins, dried up pens

maybe a coffee cup with a corporate logo.

Unlike the motivational poster, these corporate tokens can be shoved out of sight just like your next raise. It’s just common sense that you don’t motivate anyone with a poster. 

Most of the tokens given for service awards don’t do much either except to become junk in a drawer. What motivated me to discuss (it will be a discussion if you add to the comment section) these lame forced expressions of fake appreciation was a blog post by Pearl. (see her link at the bottom)



I grabbed a quick collection of my corporate memorabilia and snapped this picture. I think the pins are the dumbest. Have you ever seen anyone wearing a gold colored service pin?

Back in the 80’s I was given a glass pitcher and tumbler set with the company’s logo engraved on the glass. At first I thought it might be useful for an evening of drinks on the deck. I don’t ever recall using it. A few years ago we were cleaning clutter out of the basement and came across the glassware set. Hmmm, maybe a e-bay auction would work I thought.

At that time, I happened to be working at that company again as a contractor and mentioned to the manager of the group that contracted me. To my surprise (BTW I think he was still single) I convinced him to buy it from me for $25.

This same company, a telecommunication manufacturer, did give me one of my best service awards. Back when they were a small growing public company, they gave out stock awards. I was granted a couple hundred dollars worth of their public traded shares. I still have a few of the shares which over the years split many times and rose and fell in value. Not only was the gift more valuable in the long run, it opened my eyes to the stock market. Much better than a glass pitcher with a logo across it.

My wife recently received a service award. It is a little nicer when they offer you a selection of gifts. Of course the selection had limited appeal to her. She picked a small off-brand video camera (like the flip camera but another brand) gadget. It works OK.


Don’t misunderstand my point here. It’s not just money that forms the big picture of the workplace for workers. Respect, working conditions, team relationships, type of assignments, openness to suggestions and many small daily things play a part in creating a desire to show up for work. Management gets it right once in awhile. I believe the bigger the group, the more removed management is from the daily tasks being requested.


Here’s the post from Pearl that motivated this post. This shows that other bloggers can movitate me. (Pearl a pen and clock set or maybe a t-shirt, baseball cap combo - no key-chains please.)




another circus 

21 comments:

La Principessa Errante said...

Yep - I'm nodding in agreement and roaring with laughter.  Love your comment about the stock shares - makes the most sense.  I have always been a fan of motivational posters and stationary from despair.com, they are my go to company when I need to get employees moving.  Thanks for the diversion this afternoon.

Rebecca said...

I've never been given anything from any of my workplaces but I'm kinda a slacker and haven't really 'worked' for anyone for too long.  I worked at several different places while I was in college (at the same time I might add) and then once I graduated college I became pregnant and never really worked in my field of study.  Would be nice if companies gave out trips for years of service, even if it was only a trip to downtown of your nearest city with an overnight hotel stay.....beats making the bed in the morning and sweeping up crumbs the kids leave behind.

savannah said...

i have a very lovely framed photograph of the Savannah riverfront that's signed by the photographer, sugar. i've taken the same photograph 30 times and i like mine better. *sigh* xoxoxo

lisleman said...

Is there some deeper meaning to this?  Maybe you should sell one of your 30 photos to the photographer.
thanks

lisleman said...

I think most people will tell you that you are not missing anything.  I have heard of trips.  Even an extra vacation day would be nice.
thanks  - oh you bother to make the bed?  I'm too lazy.

lisleman said...

You are welcome.  Yes I have enjoyed despair.com and have purchased one of their framed cards as a gift for my wife.  I don't think she enjoyed the humor as much as me.

unknownmami said...

I have a stupid gold pin that I was given for working somewhere for 5 years. I use it as a push-pin on my bulletin board. Waste of gold.

lisleman said...

Hey at least you found a use for it.  Probably not much real gold in it either.  thanks for sharing

Barbara said...

When I worked for DuPont, we were able to select gifts. One year I got a hatrack (long gone) and another, a crock pot that I'm still using! I like your idea of stock options much better. But do companies even give these out anymore? 

savannah said...

no deeper meaning, just a poorly constructed sentence that made sense in my head, but somehow didn't translate to the screen. instead of a bonus, i received a framed photo by a well know photographer that was used as a "stock shot" of the city, as in, everyone takes the same picture looking across the savannah river from the westin hotel.

Joseph Smith said...

If you got the guy to pay $25 for that you should have been in sales!

lisleman said...

My selling achievements have been far and few between.  That one worked out good but everyone thinks I was selling stuff too cheap at the estate sale we had my mom's house.
thanks

lisleman said...

I think some still do.  Of course the stock prices dropped a few times during the last decade so the gift didn't always increase in value.  Still using the crock pot, that turned out good.  I have a small travel clock that works well in the bathroom medicine cabinet so practical thing have a better chance of providing something useful. A pin just doesn't apply to much.
thanks

lisleman said...

thanks for coming back and explaining.  We all type too fast at times.

Bearmancartoons said...

I once got cuff links with #1 on them for being a top seller.  HOw pretentious would I have to be to wear them?

lisleman said...

Doesn't that type of thing go with being a salesman?  salesman = showman   Ok I'll admit I don't have the best imagine of a salesman in my mind.  Not too  people wear cuff links anymore.  Well congrats on being the top seller do you want to share what you were selling?

Jene said...

I wonder how these things will evolve now that the next generation of workers has entered the picture. I know that my own generation trends toward shorter stints at companies (which is probably a negative in and of itself), so maybe they'll have to adjust the intervals at which these incentives are awarded as the older (more loyal?) generation ages out.

lisleman said...

Ha so soon it will be "for your one month anniversary...".  Job longevity actually changed from the 60's to the 90's.  I job hopped some.  But the strange thing was I ended up at the same company 3 different times.  The loyalty is certainly a two way interaction.  I don't believe many companies express much loyalty to their employees.  My attitude about companies changed (I learned?) over the years.  Working conditions do matter but silly useless gifts not so much.  thanks

mccgoods said...

I agree  I have a keychain(somewhere) a lunch box, a water bottle,a notebook,and a blanket all with the company logo.  An extra vacation day would be great, or I know since I work in a child care center how about a discount on child care if I ever need it?  It's interesting that if I ever do have children I wont be able to afford to send them to the place I work.

lisleman said...

thanks for browsing by and sharing a comment.  That's not a good situation of caring for children and not being paid enough to have your kids attend that same place. 

Aliceweiss2011 said...

Collections are cool, specially if they are unique. And these thing can be expensive in the next generation so better take care of it. Plumbers Greenwood Indiana

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