11/09/2007

When I am King: Thanks Giving

When I am King...

Every employee will be thanked for everything they do, always, automatically.

Anyone who has worked for a company with more than, say, one employee is familiar with the thanks-giving ritual that follows some event in the corporation. An individual or a team does something, like shipping a bugfix to an incremental update based on a major update to some product version, and their manager sends an email thanking them:



To: someteam
From: boss1
CC: boss2
Subject: Good work!

Great job, team! Well done, shipping that thing you shipped in such a timely and responsible manner! If we didn't have such awesome hard working drones, we would never be able to ship such important things as the thing you've shipped today. I can't thank you enough, but I'll sure try! ;)

Thanks again,
Your Boss


This email starts an e-avalanche. The boss's boss, boss2, was CC'd and she figure's it's her job to thank them as well, on behalf of the larger organization:



To: boss1
From: boss2
CC: someteam, someexecutive, bigorganization
Subject: Re: Good work!

Fantastic work shipping that thing! Way to go! Sure is great to have your team on my team!


Then the executive, not wanting to appear aloof and too executive-like jumps into the fray:



To: boss2
From: someexecutive
CC: boss1, someteam, biggerorganization
Subject: Re: Good work!

Awesome! Fantastic! Neato!


At this point, entropy kicks in and random people in the organization that happened to be shelled by the wide coverage will wake up and figure that they should add their voices to the rabble. After all, there's upper management and executives on the email thread, so it must add good career points to join in:



To: someexecutive
From: joeshmoe
CC: someteam, bigorganization, boss1, boss2
Subject: Re: Good work!

Hey, good job guys! I guess I'll have to buy the donuts this week! :D


Now it's a free-for-all, with people chiming in from up and down the ladder and out on the lawn. Meanwhile, nobody really understands what the team did. They just know that they have to thank them for it, both from a desire to not appear rude and a fervent wish for advancing up the company ranks. Random phrases of congratulations rocket around the organization:



Kudos!

Awesome!

Huge kudos!

You guys rock!

Whoo-hooo!


Then the end-game is finally reached, where people in unrelated organization have been copied who don't know the product, the team, the management chain, or the executive, and they start sending out their own barrage of return fire:

To: everyone
From: disgruntledemployee
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Fwd: Re: Good work!

Please remove me from this alias.


This salvo starts a new phase for the discussion that then results in an explosion of new emails, with such winning phrases as:

Remove me, too!

And me!

Everyone: stop sending emails out to the entire organization!

No, you stop sending!

Shut up, everybody!

No, you shut up!

No, you shut up!

Soon, everyone in the organization has their inbox filled with replies to replies to replies on this thread until finally the weekend hits and a ceasefire is declared. In some lucky instances, everyone forgets about it over the weekend and the insanity ends for now. But in some cases, the emails continue until inboxes max out, servers crash, people quit, and the company goes under.

When I am King, I will ensure that this situation will no longer occur. The waste of time writing these emails, the uncertainty of whether to join in the conversation or not, and the hurt feelings of those teams that sometimes don't get thanked at all is counter-productive and harmful to society overall. I will institute a new policy of thanks-giving where every company will install a system, currently marketed under the name Thank Goodness!, that sends a single email to every employee at the end of every day, thanking them appropriately:



To: employee
From: Automated Thanking System 221-B
Subject: Thank you.

Thank you for your excellent work today, Mr/Ms Awesome Person. Kudos, etc. Fine job. Your manager has been instructed to feel thankful toward you.

Smiley follows:
:)

Sincerely,
Automated Thanking System 221-B

Note: This email does not in any way imply continued employment by the company. Your job may be terminated at any time for any reason.


Thank you for reading this. Excellent job, dude. No really, thanks. I appreciate it. And so does the company.
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