Tip to Get Ahead at Work: Proper Display of Achievement Awards
There is a certain office hierarchy that’s determined by the number of achievement awards displayed. At the top is The Star Player. Every available inch of his cube (or office!) is devoted to his achievements. Many of his achievements may not be that spectacular, but in sum they create a magnificent tribute to his knack for being in the right place at the right time. Next come the High Achievers, who may not have enough Award Certificates to wallpaper their cube like The Star Player, but still make a strong showing. Then you’ve got Almost Everybody Else, who at least have one or two awards placed somewhere, usually either some trophy-like abstract hunk of resin, or a certificate in a plastic $.50 frame. At the very bottom of the totem-pole, with zero awards, are the Non Achievers.
You don’t want to be a Non Achiever.
Non Achievers are not “team players” nor do they promote an “atmosphere of engagement”. This may not particularly bother you if you’re a Non Achiever, but these silly things can impact other, more significant issues. Like your yearly salary review.
The good news is that an easy way to at least seem like Almost Everybody Else is to hang a few awards. Awards are notoriously easy to come by in the Corporate setting, and can be obtained any number of ways. For instance awards are usually granted to any warm body able to sit through a certain number of PowerPoint presentations in a row, otherwise called “Training”. Or, if you’re forced onto any kind of “stretch” or “process improvement” project and are able to attend at least 33.3% of total meetings, you will usually receive a piece of paper congratulating you on doing something. Also, if you perform your job at least adequately for any significant length of time, you can almost always depend on receiving a “congratulations for doing your job” award.
If all of this seems too difficult for you (and it probably does if you’re a Non Achiever) don’t lose hope. There is always the option of using a Fake Award Certificate. Fake Awards are handy in that they accomplish roughly the same effect as Real Awards, only without the annoying “earning” aspect of it. No one actually reads awards, instead they make a quick mental judgment on your Office Hierarchy by the number displayed. Therefore a Fake Award isn’t particularly difficult to get away with*. Be discrete about it though, if you go overboard with your new found talent for making up talents, suspicion may arise.
*Interesting and Appropriate Author Side Note: I was actually given a very good-looking Fake Excellence Award from a friend after I perpetuated the rumor that I received a $200 bonus for having a great attitude. In fact it looks so nice, I framed it with the $.50 frame from a Training Completion Award I got for suffering through a week of PowerPoint presentations on how to do a job I’m not assigned to do. I really think it adds to the aura of Excellence I like to promote while composing emails. I periodically get positive comments on my Excellence Award, so I know my co-workers must be impressed, although 95% of them fail to notice it was signed “Sincerely, The Man”.