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A superstar's lament

Dear Boss,

Do you want to keep me?

I’ve been here for two years and I’m a good employee. I usually come to work early; and I do what you ask me to do.

But more than that, I do things you don’t even know to ask of me. I attend to customers with a pure heart and a smile on my face.  I’m always watching for ways to make us more profitable; and I believe in what we do.

You run the company, and I help you succeed. I’ve hitched my wagon to your star, and I’m helping you get to the top.

And now that you’re getting there, why am I still on the ground looking up? Do you want to keep me or am I just a tool to you?

You have plenty of people who just do the minimum. I do more than that.  Why haven’t you noticed? Why haven’t you thanked me?

When you need something done, I’m always there. I don’t complain. I’m fast and efficient, and my register is always right. And even when I’m not at work I talk about our company. I’m proud of it as if it were mine.

But you don’t seem to notice.

Maybe you think you could have gotten here without me. I don’t agree. I think I’m part of the reason. Am I crazy?

So you hire speakers to come and tell us to work harder. That hurts a little.  Am I not doing enough? Meanwhile, you go to seminars so you can learn how to ‘engage’ with me. And what have they taught you?

Mandatory company picnics? What a joke. That’s not engagement, it’s a gimmick. What I hope they teach you is empathy. And if they don’t you’ve wasted your money.

I want you to notice the effort I give. And if you can’t do that, how about a bump in pay - or a bonus?

We’ve been successful; and you’ve been successful; so shouldn’t I succeed too? I can say this for sure: I’ll leave you in a heartbeat for a 5% raise.


Because if all I get is money…then money is all I’ll care about.

But I don’t want it to come to that. I’ rather be appreciated here, with you. A raise helps, but so do kind words. Thoughtful words. And there’s still time for you to turn it around.

If you understand you couldn’t have done this alone, and treat us accordingly, I’ll be happy to stay.

Your credentials are impressive but they may have confused you. Maybe you’re overthinking “employee engagement.”  Dealing with people takes a GED, not an MBA. Dealing with people takes time and thought, not a college degree.

It isn’t that hard to do. We’re people, not Rubik’s Cubes.


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David Sneed

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company,and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss– The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company." As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at  David@EveryoneHasABoss.com

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