For the first time since I started working at my job in 2008, I received something in interoffice mail today. A runner hand-delivered the bright blue envelope around 11:30. I thought, "Surely you must be mistaken. Who would be sending me anything?"
But there it was. Anticipation built as I unwound the string enclosure and opened the flap to find a smaller envelope inside. In bold cursive: Thank You. Complete with a smiley face.
It was a $10 gift card to a chain restaurant. You're thinking, 10 bucks to a chain restaurant...big deal.
It made my week.
Turns out it was a thank you from my manager, a small token of gratitude for my hard work and dedication on a project. I went above and beyond, and she acknowledged it. That gesture goes far beyond the wings and soda the card probably won't even cover. (I have since found out that a content specialist on my team actually suggested the award for "diligence and outstanding copyedit skills"...which makes me even more thrilled. Knowing my work helped another team member do her job more smoothly was another reward!)
I don't work hard and strive for high quality so someone will applaud. I do it because I don't know any other way; it's as automatic as breathing. I'm obsessive and nitpicky and perfectionistic. I want to do my best because I'd feel guilty and inadequate if I didn't.
But, wow, it's nice when someone notices.