Saturday, May 08, 2004


The world in which I work is populated by cynics and I'm certainly included among them. News people tend to be skeptical at best, and radio people in all forms are usually not members of Optimist clubs.

I came into work the other day and noticed my top local boss had started having motivational signs put up around the building. They all have a similar message along the lines of "Do your someone's day...etc." We also found bowls of communal goldfish snacks in the break room. We were later informed the goldfish treats were to remind employees to have fun, not to help spread disease by everyone reaching in with their unwashed hands.

I have to admit it did make me laugh, primarily when the fun memo was followed by another saying "Please don't steal the goldfish bowls when they're empty."


Do these tactics really work? I mean are there companies where disgruntled workers trudge into the office carrying the burdens of the world on their shoulders, feeling underpaid, overworked, and under appreciated, and then they see a poster reading, "Do your best, because good is no longer good enough!" and instantly they are transformed?

This particular boss -I have a lot of bosses- is a wonderful guy, but he really has no clue as to what I do, or what most of the people on the programming side of radio do. Not too long ago I was in his office when the press liaison from the local FBI office came by. This boss introduced me to the agent with a job title that isn't mine, and he mispronounced my last name - yes, that is tough to do. As it happens, I have spoken with this particular FBI agent on numerous occasions, but we had never met in person. He smiled politely as I handed him my business card to reassure him that he hadn't been calling me by the wrong name all these years.

If bosses truly want motivated employees there are better methods than platitudes and goldfish.

Knowing who your workers are and what they do is a good first step.

It's amazing how much respect you can earn, when you give it too.

*posters from