New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings.

Let me give you an example. I once worked at a company that was pretty cheap. They didn’t spend money on regularly refreshing their equipment, so it was years old and very slow.

One day I was asked to upgrade some people to have two monitors instead of a tiny 15 inch one they had. As I did this, many people asked me if they were getting a monitor. I said that I had a list and only the people on the list got one. So there were lots of hurt feelings because they didn’t feel important enough to get a second monitor.

So guess what? A few days later one of the older monitors breaks. Now in any other company this would be an opportunity to just upgrade it with the new larger monitor. However in this case the political climate was to get the permission of their manager so that any hurt feelings could be addressed before this was done. Interesting isn’t it? Normally you would just replace something that is broken and let people deal with it as best they can.

In one way this is nice. It is nice that a company is aware of peoples feelings. In another way this is kind of treating people like children. Children don’t have the emotional capability of regulating their feelings like adults show, so you have to treat them more gently than an adult.

Of course the next day the monitor got replaced. However I see this happen in every company. Once someone gets something, everyone else seems to need it too.

It is a fascinating thing to watch. The person with the broken monitor said how terrible it would be if her monitor broke. Now that it did, she seemed kind of upset and nervous about the attention she would attract. She did attract attention.

It is ok to have feelings at work. However if your neighbor gets a new monitor or whatever, it doesn’t mean that you are less valuable. It just means people make decisions for reasons we aren’t always aware of.

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Categories: Opinion