Well, I haven’t completed my list yet, but I’m sure it’s not a vacuum. Turns out though, that for some people a new vacuum was exactly what made the difference between feeling appreciated vs. taken advantage of as an employee.
Then it got me thinking. Over the last year, I have heard several similar stories from friends, colleagues, and family members suggesting that sometimes [most times] it’s the little items that really can get us down. For some, it might be having an approved business-use PDA be rejected from higher up the expense approval chain, or maybe something as simple as having to pay for a favorite notepad used exclusively for work out of your own pocket. Others have noted that the removal of aspirin from the company first-aid kit rubbed them wrong and some have had to personally pay for frames for employee appreciation certificates. In most cases, it is not the cost of the item but the perceived lack of consideration for the individual that presents the issue.
In my own experience, I once worked for a company that was so seriously cheap that we felt compelled to bring our own office supplies from home for fear of not having things like sticky notes or paper. In fact, it has only been this last year that I have given up on the practice of buying my own pens. Oh, and don’t get me started on the excellent decor of this startup: orange shag carpet and authentic 70’s wood paneling — sexy!
You can imagine how nice it was for me working out of the PeopleSoft HQ with its Pottery Barn inspired decor, I even felt good about my interior cave of an office in such a nice facility. Then, after the acquisition, I moved to Oracle HQ and was over the moon at the beautiful facilities. A gym that is beyond description and a cafe with an unbelievable array of pastries and the wonderful smell of fresh bread and coffee in the morning. Last week, and I am not making this up, there was even a holiday concerto in the lobby. Why? I’m not sure, and unfortunately couldn’t attend, but just the idea amazes me.
So, what is the point? Why the post? Some time back, Jake mentioned the fact that Building 300 is being remodeled. And here is where we come back to my Christmas wish to Santa that is about to be granted. For me, one of the biggest things I want is some decent chairs.
Now, my own office chair is not too bad, not anything to write home about, but not an ergo or comfort issue. Every other chair on the floors I frequent, however, not so lucky. The guest chairs in my office have had several near injuries of co-workers. The conference room chairs really defy description. I’ve come to think of the 2nd and 3rd floors of Building 300 as the burial grounds of the chairs at Oracle, and I’m really looking forward to that issue being fixed.
So, thanks Santa, for getting my letter and taking it seriously enough to schedule a refurbishment of this building, to include some decent chairs. I truly hope that I make it until we all move back into the new floor before I take out any additional hostility on the chairs that are left. I realize it’s not their fault that they died years ago and no one gave them a proper send-off.
Here’s hoping that you and your co-workers are as well considered this holiday season because sometimes it really is the little things that make the big difference.