Who gets recognition?

This is something which often gets me frustrated. A few months ago, we were asked to vote for the person we thought was most deserving of Employee of the Year.

Now obviously, there’s going to be lots of different votes for very different people. The man who won was more than deserving; he’s in our training team and, no matter how many people he meets, he always remembers a little detail about you which makes you feel special.

The school’s nominee, however, was not someone I thought deserved it. Obviously, the person I voted for is the person I wanted to win. But I had a very good argument for her winning. For the sake of ease, I’ll refer to her as D.

Now D is caring, kind and compassionate in a way that I’ve never come across before. She goes the extra mile when no one else expects it. If she sees something when she’s out shopping that she thinks could be useful at school, she’ll buy it without a second thought. And, sure, she claims that money back usually, but how many other staff members do that? She listens to any rant any person has about anything, clearly worried and concerned about what ever has frustrated you. Working with D is like a sigh of relief. You know D has your back no matter whether she thinks you’re pushing too hard or not. She’ll help keep an eye on time, letting you know when break time sneaks up on you, or when the sand timer runs out and you’re still frantically getting the next step ready. She organises, she cleans, she fucking cares and it’s not often you come across something like that.

When the promotion opportunities came to light, I got lucky. I thought I was the only one who applied to my current position. It turns out that I’m wrong. D had also applied to this role and had been unsuccessful. But never once have I felt like she resented me for it. In fact, I think she was proud, pleased even that I got the role.

I have read her work before. She’s not academic and that, so far as I can see, is why I got TLP over D. She was much more deserving than me. She had the experience, the knowledge, the enthusiasm but not the skill. And that’s where I beat her. I’m good at making it sound like I know exactly what I’m talking about even when I don’t. I can give a whole two hour lesson on the importance of a balanced diet when that very morning I’d breakfasted on a sharing bag of Haribo. It feels like an injustice that I got a job which D could have done just as well as me. I get all this recognition for stepping up and getting the tick boxing paper work done as well as engaging lesson plans while D gets nothing. I’m getting recognition doing my job and D… she seems to get nothing for going above and beyond.

What actually made me angry to start with is that it was my boss who got nominated instead of D, beating her by only one vote. My boss is okay at her job, good at paperwork but not the everyday tasks. She is someone who got nominated to literally do her job while someone who deserved the nomination got little more than the knowledge that some people voted for her.

This anger has convinced me of something. I can’t let that happen again. I won’t take a laid back approach when it comes to vote. I’ll actively encourage people to vote this year. On a more personal note, I have to push myself to be better than my job description. I can’t allow myself to do the bare minimum. Does D know she’s had such an impact on me? Honestly, I think she’s too modest to ever even consider it.


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