Friday, 20 July 2012

On acknowledgement for hard work: Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy

Jacques Maritain (French Catholic Philosopher) and me could be best buddies. If only he weren't dead.

We both think gratitude is important.

I'm truly grateful for the work I do. I know how fortunate I am to be at home all day writing interesting and diverse pieces for some great clients. 

At the same time, I DO work very hard. 

Going back to yesterday, on meeting deadlines...

I actually finished the work I had to complete at half past three. I THOUGHT. Well, I DID finish it and sent it off, explaining I was catching a train to London at 5 o'clock. Hooray, I thought. I'll have time for a shower and something to eat before I go. Then the phone went... "Caroline, I know you're heading off at 5 but could you just...?"  

I worked on the train. I worked in Pret A Manger (other eating places available) while stuffing a sandwich down my face. I worked in the open-air theatre while waiting for A Midsummer's Night Dream to start. I worked in the interval, and when we got home at 12.30 a.m. I worked until 2.30 a.m. And got it done.

The thing is, I don't mind working so frantically hard for someone who appreciates it and takes time to tell me. I had an e-mail last night. Here is part of it (NOT repeated for the purposes of making me look good but to illustrate why I love what I do)

"Just wanted to say thanks – you have been absolutely bloody ace in your stoic and unstinting support throughout the course of this challenging project – I’m personally under a lot of pressure to deliver not only this tender, but three other important interim campaigns in store... 

I am grateful that your appreciation of the situation and dedication to turnaround has been so incredible. Without it, in the timelines we have been working towards, I would simply be dead in the water.

Big respect. "

This is a lesson in how to motivate co-workers. Bosses everywhere take note. (Not MINE - I'm lucky enough to work with three exceptionally switched on people who DO acknowledge hard work.)

Mind you, I'm a bit knackered today...

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