Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rewarding Work

The Man and I had a discussion last night about how to honor someone for their work.  We realized there are different views about and approaches to rewarding an employee or helpful person.

My thoughts drifted back to former bosses and how I've been thanked for doing a good job on a difficult project or task outside of my normal duties.  I had one boss that never did anything to thank me.  That was fine, I guess, as at least I knew not to expect anything.  I had one boss offer me a cookie for a job well done (yeah, he literally said to me "oh good girl, do you want a cookie?" and handed me a cookie--and he thought this was appropriate).  That was more demoralizing than being ignored.  I have had bosses that want to take me out to lunch on "Administrative Professionals' Day," or whatever it is they're calling slave labor now.  It always struck me as poor way to show thanks to an employee, feeding them lunch.  One, perhaps lunch on the boss made sense decades or centuries ago, but shouldn't an employer pay wages enough that the employee can feed himself?  Two, if the boss pays for lunch, isn't the employee beholden to thank the boss?  Doesn't that sound weird to you?  "I'll take you out to lunch to show off how much more I make than you, and you also need to be thankful for it."  Really, the boss gets credit for taking the employee out, and the employee still gets no extra credit for doing his job in the first place.

The Man asked if it would be appropriate to publicly thank a person and honor them with a ceremony or plaque or trophy.  He seemed to like the idea, and figured others would too.  I thought about it and disagreed.  Publicly thanking someone doesn't give him any more credit than feeding him lunch.  If the boss calls Sam to the front of the room to thank him and demands a round of applause from all of the other employees, it feels like the boss is saying "look how great I am, rewarding someone with clapping! see how great we are for clapping! clap clap clap! now Sam will feel all better about the five nights of missed sleep, zero family time this month, and his brand new stomach ulcer from all the stress we cause him! more clapping!" (Meanwhile, all of the other employees now secretly despise Sam for attracting attention to himself and making them look bad, determine to get even by making his work life miserable, and Sam starts looking for a new place to work a few months later.)

What if, instead of publicly humiliating a person, the boss or friend or parent actually thanks the employee or helpful person personally.  Rather than demonstrating superiority or benevolence, the beneficiary of hard work says "Thank you."  If my bosses were to come to me privately with "we understand how difficult that project was and how much time and effort you put into making the outcome exceptional, and we thank you," I'd drop my jaw.  Wow.  No dramatic (and awkward) lunches, no cookies, no gifts necessary.  Or if The Man says to me after a homemade meal, "thanks, dear, for making dinner tonight.  I know you didn't want to cook tonight, but it was very good," I'd definitely keel over.  If this sort of praise happened every time I did something above and beyond, I might actually feel compelled to go above and beyond more often.

I realize that having pride in one's work is something that has to come from within, but being recognized by others is something I think we can all get on board with, right?

I'm not sure The Man agrees with me about how to best reward someone for a job well done.  How do you prefer to be rewarded?  How do you prefer to reward those who help you?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

4th Anniversary

The Man and I celebrated our 4th anniversary last week.  We didn't "celebrate," exactly, we simply marked the occasion, and we're going out to dinner tonight instead.  I have a hard time remembering it has been that long, but it has.  Our 4th year of marriage was pretty awesome.  Life is good, friends and family are wonderful, and we're chugging along.

Of course, none of that makes for great blogging, but hey, I'm not complaining.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Back to Papercrafts

So... yeah.  I kind of took a break from blogging for a while.  I've been [insert excuse here].  The truth is, I just haven't felt like writing.  I have been papercrafting lately, though, and I can blog all about that.  Rather, I can share pictures!  Click on any picture below to see the huge (apologize for cell-phone quality) version.

When my sister joined the Air Force, she left a HUGE stock of stamps, inks, and papers behind and is graciously allowing me almost unbridled use of them.  I have a few of my own products as well, and I combined all of our stuff into one craft area.  It is so much fun to walk over, grab a basket of stuff, and set to work.  Long before I was a quilter, I worked with paper.  Getting back into this is like meeting up with an old, old friend.  Well, not too old, haha.

Since my sister is letting me use her stash of stamps, I figured most of my cards ought to be for her, right?  This was the first card I made on my own.  I am so bad with knowing what's what, but the cardstock is generic white stuff from Staples.  The stamped swirls were stamped with Versamark ink and dusted with Perfect Pearls Confections set.  The striped paper and yellow paper are from some 6"x6" pads I found in a drawer.  The "thinking of you" is by Lawn Fawn.  No clue about the shiny dots.  Corners rounded by a Corner Chomper.  Adhesive was by Tombow.

This card was tricky as it is entirely my own design.  I get inspiration from Pinterest, but sometimes I just want to do things all by myself.  White paper is all plain white cardstock (Staples), and the green is by Recollections from Michaels (I think).  I used green ribbon from Jo-Ann Fabrics, green Distress Ink on the vine stamp (no idea), Versamark and green Perfect Pearls on the Lawn Fawn "thanks" stamp, Copic marker in some shade of olive green for the dots around the greeting, and a pokey tool for the pierced paper.  Adhesive was by Tombow or Scotch ATG.

Okay, this was pretty much a stolen idea from Pinterest.  I didn't come up with this all on my own.  However, I did choose a plain pink paper for the background to make the 1" squares and used a Corner Chomper to round opposite corners.  The colored paper is all from one set (no idea) of 6"x6" pattered paper cut to 13/16" squares (just a bit more than 3/4").  The "miss you" and heart on lower right panel is part of an alphabet by Lawn Fawn, stamped in Versamark and dusted with pink Perfect Pearls.  Adhesive was by Tombow.  I sent this one to my sister as well.

Hardest. Card. Ever.  Seriously, this card took hours to finish.  I started with white cardstock for the card, nothing fancy.  The black cardstock, also just generic, got the special treatment.  I put a bit of each color of the Perfect Pearls Metallics on my craft sheet, swirled them around a little, added a few spritzes of plain water, then dropped the black cardstock down in the sparkley mess.  The pearls stuck and created a pretty galaxy of color on the black paper.  I heat set that and cleaned my craft sheet up.  Next came the Saturn stamp and stars, stamped over the Perfect Pearls with Memento Dew Drops in metallic colors.  I stamped the robot (from Recollections at Michaels, long ago) on black cardstock with Versamark, embossed using Zing! black powder, and used the same Perfect Pearls mixed with a tiny bit of water to hand-paint the robot.  I used a Versamark pen to draw a talk bubble around a Versamark stamped Lawn Fawn alphabet "thank you," and dusted Perfect Pearls over those.  I used a white gel pen to add the dashed signal lines over the robot's head and a Sakura glitter pen to fill in Saturn's rings.  Once I cut the robot out (carefully) along with the talk bubble, both got some foam square adhesive stickers to create relief.  Hardest card, but also very cute!

I love! this background stamp.  I stamped it with Versamark and dusted it with different shades of blue and white/silver Perfect Pearls.  A piece of blue cardstock got small scalloped edges (Fiskars scissors that I've had--literally--since grade school).  The "Happy Birthday" was stamped in Memento black, not sure of the stamp brand, on a piece of scrap teal paper I found in a scrap pile.  Adhesive pearls add a bit of dimension and mimic the dots found in the background pattern.  This card is a lot prettier in person, but it still didn't turn out quite as well as I wanted.

The Man has realized I have a bit of talent for making cards, so he commissioned this card for a relative.  I used some very old pink paper for the background (adhered using Scotch ATG) and generic white cardstock for the card base.  The scalloped circle is from another paper in that very old set, cut using a Spellbinders die through a Cuttlebug.  The castle stamp, banner, heart, star, and "make a wish" are from Lawn Fawn and stamped with Memento black ink.  I colored the castle using pink, yellow, and grey Copic markers (yeah, hand-colored, take that craftypeeps).  The heart and star are also yellow Copic marker.  To make the banner pink, I blended Distress Ink over the cardstock.  Once the circle and banner were glued down (Tombow), I used foam squares to pop up the castle, heart, and star.  I ran a dashed line in white gel pen around the border of the card and added some Crystal Stickles around the scalloped circle, the castle towers, the heart, and the star.

Sorry to unload this all at once, but I thought these needed to be shared.  Also, I need to make more.  So many more.  So very addicted to card making...