by Cathy Sedacca
In my past professional life in a large corporation, I worked as part of a team that was considered a “cost center.” On its face, the name implied we were sort of a necessary evil. But, unfortunately, it was more than just an ill-conceived moniker.
Whenever our manager wanted to reward us for the work we had done, she had to fight upper management tooth and nail to spend money on things as trivial as a lunchtime pizza party.
Meanwhile, the company’s “profit center” departments enjoyed what appeared to be unlimited expense budgets when it came to their choice of opulent rewards, travel accommodations and food.
I never quite understood the inequity. I saw both the cost and profit centers working together toward a common goal—neither able to accomplish the company’s goals without the other.
And the truth was no one in our department expected lavish rewards. We simply wanted to feel appreciated for our hard work.
I do recall one manager who did communicate her appreciation during my time at that company. She sat me down and expressed some really nice things about me and the work I had done.
It’s funny; I don’t remember the words she used, but I still—20 years later—vividly remember how she made me feel.