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Automated email congratulating me for 25 years service
Old 09-16-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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Automated email congratulating me for 25 years service

I got this automated email today telling me what a wonderful person I was for having completed 25 years of service for megacorp. Further, I was eligible to go to an online catalog, enter my pin number, and choose my consolation prize. I know it was an automated email, since the return address was from some e-notification service.

I felt really " good" that the powers that be could train the computer to automatically congratulate me, but could not pick up the phone or the pen, and say a heartfelt thanks . I'm in senior management and it felt bad to me. How much more so for the guys and gals running the front lines their entire careers. I, for one, will never let a milestone like this pass without offering some real, personal gratitude from my heart, for my employees who achieve it.

Did any of you have similar "congratulations"?

R
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
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yep. and i got some mailings from the company - OC tanner - which delves out the crap. it was only my 5 year and my boss had no clue. he caught on about 3 months later. all that mattered to me, my extra week of vacation was in the system.

i think if you make it to 35 years with a company, you should get a nice rolex. not the case at megacorp here. you get some cheap ($150) watch with their tacky gold pin and a diamond for every 5 years of service. what am i to do with a gold pin with diamonds on it? I guess i can say i have holdings in gold now....
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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Rambler (by any chance is your first name Nash?) I agree what you experienced is absolutely crappy.

I will give the company where I spent 27 years credit for showing appreciation for employee longevity. They had a great system for notifying managers of upcoming anniversaries and a program to recognize the employees at monthly sectional meetings.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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I got this automated email today telling me what a wonderful person I was for having completed 25 years of service for megacorp.
That is the most inane, ridiculous thing I have ever heard of!!!

No, in federal government we were presented with certificates, lapel pins, etc by the regional director of our agency at a semiannual awards ceremony. None of the awards are worth much but getting them from the regional director with the applause of co-workers makes you feel like you have really accomplished something (which is debatable, but anyway it is nicer than an automated e-mail).
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:01 PM   #5
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Every year, an hour before close of business on December 23, our IT department gets calls from people whose boss wants them to send their sincere, heartfelt, personal season's greetings" using our "electronic Christmas cards", and want to know how to perform that spontaneous act of unselfish goodwill and generosity using a pre-existing e-mail list.

Since the cards are hosted on an external Web site, existing e-mail lists don't work. Since the IT department is not involved (it's the propaganda, err, marketing & comms people who do it), they're SOL when it comes to support.

Even funnier: our spam filters flag anything with more than 5.0 points, according to a set of complex rules, as probably spam, and most people in our organisation follow our advice and set up Outlook so that anything marked this way goes into a spam folder. Our externally-hosted Christmas cards score 9.5. So in-house recipients will never see them, and since most companies use some form of anti-spam software, neither will external recipients.

In other news, I'll have my autodialler call your voice mail and we can do lunch.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:15 PM   #6
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Tacky...
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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I'm in senior management and it felt bad to me.
Sooooooo......... given your sr mgmt status, whatcha gona do about it?
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:00 PM   #8
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This happened while I was on a yearlong assignment in a remote city. Was commuting cross-country every week and rarely had contact with my manager. About 6 months after my 10th anniversary I received an email from HR. It was a forward of an email conversation between HR and my manager.

The HR person's email explained to my manager that she was newish in the job, her predecessor just walked off the job one day with no notice or reason, and going through her desk she found a (standard issue) 10 year anniversary plaque with Rustward's name on it, what should she do with it? Normally the managers handed these out at the next convenient gathering where it would be appropriate. Manager replied to either email or call Rustward and ask him.

They Fedex'd it to my house. It made me fell so special.


Five years earlier the 5th anniversary gift was a selection from a catalog. HR mailed the catalog to my house. The only thing I could select for five years was a Cross pen and pencil set, but I had to check the box and mail the selection back. Seems like somebody could have seen there is no point in doing the catalog thing, but what do I know? Stupider things had happened.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:14 PM   #9
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Five years earlier the 5th anniversary gift was a selection from a catalog. HR mailed the catalog to my house. The only thing I could select for five years was a Cross pen and pencil set, but I had to check the box and mail the selection back. Seems like somebody could have seen there is no point in doing the catalog thing, but what do I know? Stupider things had happened.
Did the catalog's other shiny objects inspire you to renewed efforts in pursuit of MegaCorps longevity?
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #10
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I was on "bridge to nowhere retirement" LOA when my 25yr anniversary came along. Don't know nor care what senior management, or anyone else, for that matter, thought or didn't think...

But I did get a really nice Weber SS gas grill...
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:05 PM   #11
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Did the catalog's other shiny objects inspire you to renewed efforts in pursuit of MegaCorps longevity?
Trinkets and do-dads. I lasted another 1.97 years.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:12 PM   #12
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Uh, I got a keychain apparently made out of a very short piece of steel cable after 1 year.

Even better, last April and May (2009) I worked on a high stakes project that required massive amounts of stress and overtime, short notice travel, etc., for absolutely no tangible reward I could see. Over a year later, they sent me a t shirt commemorating my participation and a certificate it cost them maybe 50 cents to print off. Yeah, guys, I will volunteer for more special projects in the future...
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:23 PM   #13
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My DH had reached 20 years of service in 2009 and the catalog came in the mail. He picked out a watch, I think. Months later they had some sort of meeting where everyone who had a milestone of years of service was asked to stand to be recognized.

A few months after the recognition meeting they told him that his contract was not being renewed. They didn't know he had 5+ additional years of service at another agency.

He likes his watch.

He loves being retired.

Our son just got a "Congratulations on 5 years" greeting card in the mail. Then came the catalog. He ordered binoculars. Watch out for the recognition meeting!
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:02 PM   #14
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My FIL worked in a basic steel mill for over 40 years. Can you imagine being able to survive for all of those years?
"OK, it's John's 40th anniversery. Do you have anything to say to the gang? No? OK everyone back to work!"

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:07 PM   #15
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Even better, last April and May (2009) I worked on a high stakes project that required massive amounts of stress and overtime, short notice travel, etc., for absolutely no tangible reward I could see. Over a year later, they sent me a t shirt commemorating my participation and a certificate it cost them maybe 50 cents to print off. Yeah, guys, I will volunteer for more special projects in the future...
I know a guy who pulled a $300k piece of equipment out of a well that no one could get out and the company had already written off. afterwards, someone approached him and said, "good work, here's a baseball cap and a t-shirt, which one do you want?"
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:21 PM   #16
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Rambler,

That is really tacky and as a senior manager I think you should make it clear that you thought it was. To give my company credit the management of the local site would be responsible for informing their employees in person of long service milestones, and there would be a piece in every one of the quarterly newsletters showing a photo and listing the names of the folks who had made the 10yr, 15yr etc milestone.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #17
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I got my 20 year pin tossed onto my desk 6 months after the fact. The colonel in charge retired and it was found while cleaning out his desk.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:02 PM   #18
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Rambler,

That is really tacky and as a senior manager I think you should make it clear that you thought it was. To give my company credit the management of the local site would be responsible for informing their employees in person of long service milestones, and there would be a piece in every one of the quarterly newsletters showing a photo and listing the names of the folks who had made the 10yr, 15yr etc milestone.
That was the same in the company I was with, at the local site where I was at.

Most months, our department (around two hundred people) would meet in the company auditorium and the "awards" were given out. You were called up to get the award (usually a service pin, but you did have options). Over the years, it was funny since the same folks would go up the same year/month since that group was hired at the same time. I started out as one of 10, but was one of five, after many years there.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:05 PM   #19
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We get automated and personal. Every 5 years they mail us catalogs with a happy-happy letter and form to fill out choosing a gift, we use a firm like OC Tanner. The gifts are decent.

But there is also an annual awards banquet at each location where we eat rubber chicken. I MC ours, so they get to listen to me speak for 5 minutes or so (oh joy), and shake hands with a few well meaning Corp suits who mostly don't know anyone in the room. How's that for personal?
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:10 PM   #20
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Well, to give them a little credit, 4 years after my 20th anniversary, they did give me a very nice gold watch...cost more than my son's new Honda Fit. Buuuttttt, it was 4 years late. Retention has become a big buzzword at our megacorp over the past few months. Problem is just that...it is a buzzword, a "program", flavor of the day type of thing.

From more than 10 years back, I decided that loyalty and retention should be more a part of the fiber of our business. With as many employees under my responsibility as I have, I obviously cannot do something personally for all of them, but as I travel around my region, I do take a few minutes to talk to the long term loyal employees that we have, thank them for their service, shake their hands, etc. Sometimes if my visit falls on the anniversary date, we'll have a big "to-do" right in the office, or a dinner for a more senior employee. In my case, I recognize that at times my boss (the CEO) may not even have a clue how long I've been around....since I have had 5 of them in the last 8 years (hard to talk about retention when ya can't hold on to your CEO), and since I am employed by our US entity, assigned to Japan, and reporting to a boss in Europe. I am going to let my boss know, however, that if he really wants to focus on retention, that the heartfelt thanks of each manager should be dispensed with a handshake, a meeting, a phone call...whatever, before the "trinket company" sends you an automated email congratulating you on your longevity.

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