Friday, September 9, 2011

Today's fortune: September 9, 2011

Today's fortune: You are appreciated by your company.

This fortune, particularly that word "company," could be interpreted two ways. It could refer to appreciation by those around you, i.e. the company you keep, or it could mean appreciation by the corporation for whom you work.

I'll talk briefly about the first, and more extensively about the second. I have only a small group of friends. If I didn't feel like they appreciated me, they probably wouldn't be my friends. That's enough about that.

Now let's move on to "company" as in "corporation." I have quite a long history of working for companies that didn't appreciate their employees. In fact, I think I'm an expert on media companies sucking the life out of reporters and editors and then kicking them to the curb like so much garbage.

At a very early newspaper job, back when I was pretty violently allergic to cats (thank god I'm not now), the editor allowed one of the neighborhood cats to come into the office and lounge around on the furniture all day. Whenever I walked into the office my eyes reddened and I began to sneeze. When I told the editor either the cat had to go or I would, the editor chose the cat.

Later, Jamie and I uprooted our entire lives and moved to Arkansas so I could work as the editor of a paper. The publisher promised a good salary and health benefits that would kick in after 90 days. On approximately Day 85 the publisher came into my office and said, "Yeah, sorry, we're not gonna be able to give you those benefits after all."

A month ago I wrote about a job at the Kansas City Star, where I was a copy editor on the sports desk, working the graveyard shift to design pages in the newspaper. I almost had a nervous breakdown at that job. The salary? Minimum wage.

At my most recent newspaper job, the management conglomerate that owned the place was god-awful. I won't say the name of the company. You can't make me. But I will provide a link to a Wikipedia page that may or may not have anything to do with this paragraph. When the corporation chose to stop print publication of my newspaper and convert it to online-only, they cut that staff from ten to four people. To earn one of those four positions, they made me interview for my own job. I didn't get it.

Now I'm out of the media business, and you know what? All that stuff is behind me. Because I work for a great company, and I know they appreciate me.

My salary is commensurate with my abilities. The benefits are good. I am recognized as a vital part of the team. I am respected by my superiors and co-workers. And for once in my life, I can see myself working at a place for the rest of my career.

My company appreciates me. And I appreciate them right back.