Bless those nuns.
The other day I was writing a narrative about the customary duties I performed during the course of my work day. I found myself using the word “we” when describing actions that only I performed.
Laughing as I wavered between using such a magnanimous pronoun to describe my responsibilities rather than the more accurate one, “I”, I deleted more than one sentence containing the latter due to the guilt of not recognizing my colleagues and affording them any credit in the departmental effort.
Somewhere along the line that light bulb in my head was plucked and I decided strongly on the use of “I”, chiding myself along the way for not only wanting to give credit where credit wasn’t due but also for putting my own self down in the process.
I thought then how we learn at an early age to be group conscious. We’re taught that “There’s no “I” in team”. And while I won’t remind those same people that there is an “I” in “Bull….” I’ll just say that too much emphasis on such modesty severely limits the individual and personal success that comes from individual and personal achievement.
Teamwork only succeeds because of singular expertise; one or more persons rising to the occasion so that everyone can win. Often though, employers don’t look beyond the collective success to determine the major factors or factions that made such success possible. For that reason, it never hurts to remind them exactly what it is we bring to the table.
As organized labor continues to be the fall guy for today’s economy fair or unfair, the result of the demonization is lack of on-behalf-of employee petitioning at a time when such entreating is necessary. Without unions, employees are left on their own to make the best deal for themselves that they can in terms of pay, paid time off and other perks.
If they’re lucky enough to work for a company with an empathetically employee-friendly workplace culture, then such seemingly selfish attention to detail is unwarranted.
However, because the economy is still on its comeback trail and unions have yet to regain their relevance and are still unwelcome in many workplaces, such self-aggrandizement is not only prudent but also essential.
As young people, we were told another saying: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. It’s surprising how a grade school proverb could become so relevant for today’s workplace.
Like I said, bless those nuns.