Today marked what I once viewed as a milestone...an accomplishment if you will. Now I am not so sure. Today I reached the milestone of having worked for my company for 20 years. Yes that's right 20 years and that equals more than 1/2 my life that I have given to my employer. As I contemplate all that means, I am not sure what I think or even how I feel about this "accomplishment". Perhaps I am a little bit of a throwback to an era that has come and gone.
I feel a degree of pride... how many people my age can say they have been with their employer for two decades. I grew up with the stories of my grandfather having worked for his company for decades. I was always impressed by the loyalty that he had for his company. The loyalty trickled into all our lives. To this day, many of my shopping expeditions revolve around the company to which he dedicated his life. (my wedding gown and all my bridesmaids wore dresses from that company) Not unlike grandfather, I have a feeling of loyalty toward my company; however, I sometimes question whether my loyalty is misplaced. I think companies in general today view their employees as less than an investment and more as a replaceable commodity. The hierarchy in my company is always telling us to hire quality people; and I believe the issues for that lie with the expectations that everyone that comes through your front door will perform at the level of a seasoned employee within moments of starting the job. The true reality is that quality employees are created through development, training and coaching(ie. the investment).
My company does make a small effort to recognize our service and about a month ago they mailed my 20 year pin to the store. Well the pin was suppose to have diamond look chip in the upper left corner. That's right folks, my pin arrived with the little diamond looking chip missing and an obvious hole where the chip was supposed to be. Now I found that amusing but someone did call about the pin being defective (no not me - I was not that concerned). A new one is being mailed out and we can just "toss the defective one" in the trash while the person telling us that acted put out that we would even ask about such a thing. I think that probably sums up the corporate attitude about someone giving the company 20 years.