Sometimes, I wonder if I am actually a perfect human being, just like the horoscopic signs portray me to be. Or is this feeling because of the experiences and lessons from which I have learned multiple things over the course of the years?
Anyone who follows my blog knows that not everything has been smooth sailing at my current workplace. Take this text, for example, which was about finding another job because of the stress and the lack of appreciation. Two very important factors when it comes to work life.
This time around, I am sadly amused by the concepts of thoughfulness and ignorance and how they are used as tools to create an atmosphere at work, or indeed, at one’s own social life. When looking at these concepts, which are opposites of each other, it seems that small actions matter. And this is something that we all should pay attention to.
Following the harrowing experience of the redundancy negotiations, I felt lost, stressed, thankful, and a multitude of other feelings, about which I even wrote a short blog. As the whole six week ordeal was a period of uncertainty, I needed a break that came in a form of sick leave, followed by the rest of my holiday allotment from last year. So, all in all, I was absent from work for over 5 weeks in a row.
Five weeks is a long time, and I had about 160 emails waiting for me to prove it. I was trying to skim through them all and get back up to speed with all the changes in the procedures, program updates, and new clients. It proved to be hard and stressful as I felt the need to be back at the basic work as fast as possible. Still, after two weeks back at work, I feel that I don’t know everything that changed during my absence.
Dont get me wrong. This is not just about the number of emails that there was waiting for my return. That is completely secondary issue. The main focus of this whole situation should be the message my supervisor sent for me after I came back from this extended leave. Or rather, the message they did not send.
I don’t think any of us expect a red carpet and fanfares when they return from a leave, but I would have expected was a short one-line message in Teams or email: “Hey, so nice to see you are back. Are you OK?“
Alas, no. It was, and still is, a total radio silence concerning this. And I am completely dumbfounded. Shouldn’t this be basic level caring for any human being, not just your subordinates.
When it comes to thoughtfulness, it really is the small things that matter. But those small things and gestures are invaluable in most cases. Be it at work or in our social circles, those small things can make or break the relationships we have spent time to create and nurture. This is why, in my opinion, we should concentrate on the idea of being thoughtful instead of concentrating on being ignorant.
As I said, it is the small things and actions that matter the most. If you see in a relationship, imagine the result when you come back home, feeling tired and cranky after a bad day, and your spouse just ignores you. How would that make you feel?
Now reverse the situation. You come home feeling tired and cranky, and your spouse greets you with a smile and a hug and asks, “How was your day?”
In the modern, oftentimes hectic world, we tend to forget that we are more than machines and we still need that appreciation. What we can do, as individuals, is to provide those moments of recognition to each and every one of us.
Back at the day when I was still a young student, I used to work as a cleaner at an airport. Very invisible job. No one notices you, and the client always notices those spots you missed. This experience, however, taught me that cleaning jobs are very important ones. Because of that experience, I still try to at least smile and nod to the cleaners I see, just to let them know I see them and appreciate them.