When I was a kid it seemed as though there were milestones to be celebrated every year. The obvious ones; graduation, getting your driver's license, learning to ride a bike, etc… were something to look forward to and provided a sense of accomplishment and completion that propelled life forward. Which leads me to this sorry-looking-not-quite-fresh from the DQ piece of ice cream cake melting before me.
A colleague came by this afternoon and offered me a piece of her ice-cream cake. Not one to pass up a mid-afternoon sugar high I reached towards the tray and asked her what we were celebrating. “I’ve been here for 20 years and they got me an ice-cream cake,” she said. “Wow, 20 years!” I replied “How Great!” I said as her words, “I’ve been here for 20 years and they got me an ice-cream cake” rang in my head. My boss, having heard the conversation came in shortly after the gal she left. “Just shoot me,” he instructed.
Now juxtapose this moment with an email I received this morning from a bright-eyed college student studying organizational development. As part of his research he and his team would like to know:
1) What is the management style of my company
2) What are our the organizational values
3) And, what controls are used to monitor / appraise employee behavior
I am considering replying “at 20 years you get ice-cream cake.”