the shocking twist on employee appreciation day


by Todd R. Nordstrom

You might assume that it was an average day.

The people came to work. The people got their pay.

But for Frederick P. Witherbee, it’s not the same old story.

Today was the only day of the year when Frederick got his glory.

He ironed his lucky shirt. He wore his best blue blazer.

He carefully combed each strand of hair, and shaved with his best razor.

Then Frederick grabbed his briefcase. He headed out the door.

He sat in morning traffic, and wondered “What’s in store?”

“I’ve been at my job, and worked very hard, for nearly thirteen years.

I’ve tried my best, given my all, and even shed some tears.”

But today is what he waited for, the annual event…

where people were appreciated for all the hours they’ve spent.

“For just one day my boss says thanks,” the employee summarized.

She’ll tell me that I’m valuable. She’ll tell me that I’m prized.

She might just throw a party, where employees reap applause.

She might give raving speeches, because I’ve joined the cause.”

But, this story takes a twist, that’s different than you assume.

There were no streamers or balloons when Frederick entered the room.

Instead there was a single note, lying on his chair.

The worker sitting next him muttered, “Open if you dare.”

“Please join me in the boardroom,” the letter did express.

“I have an apology to make. I have something to confess.”

The glee in Frederick’s eyes, turned to a furrow of his brow.

Disappointment filled his beating heart as he grumbled, “Great. What now?”

“I give my heart. I give my soul. And, that’s all I have to say.

Is it too much to ask that they’ll remember Employee Appreciation Day?”

Thump after thump, Frederick’s heels clicked the floor.

He groaned and grunted, slamming each and every door.

And, at the boardroom he stopped to breathe, a calming of his nerve.

“This is not what I expected. This is not what I deserve.”

So taking a seat in the corner of the room, Frederick crossed his arms.

His smile was gone. There was no more smirk. He turned off all his charms.

“I must say that I’m sorry,” the boss stated to the team.

“I realized something important. It came to me in a dream.”

“I had planned a massive party for today’s celebration.

There should have been loud laughter and grand jubilation.

Yet, I could not see the point of this annual event.

We have a business to operate. We all must pay the rent.”

The team, they looked disheartened, as their spirits were just crumbled.

The boss paced back and forth—as if she had just fumbled.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “This will be a typical day.”

“You all came to work. You’ll all get your pay.”

And then the boss paused, and let out a big sigh.

“From now on this day is typical, and let me tell you why.

I know that each year, I thank you each and all.

But, after thinking through it carefully. I know that’s just too small.”

“Yes, we’ll celebrate your efforts today, as we all know that we should.

But, it came to me within a dream that I have not been too good.

You deserve appreciation, and there’s something I must say.

A year of hard work cannot be thanked in just one single day.”

“So, I celebrate you today, and each day that comes to follow.

Today is a reminder, and a hard pill that I must swallow.

I will do better, and I’ll start right away.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll say it everyday.”

And, there in the corner, a smile on Frederick’s face.

“This is why I give so much. This is why I race.

It’s exactly what I waited for—a thank you for my passion.

I want to hear it every day. I want it in this fashion!”

Celebrate today. But make yourself a note.

Appreciation everyday will truly float their boat.

As we celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, let us not forget today is simply a reminder of all the efforts given to our organizations day in and day out. Today is a reminder of the weeks, months, and years of service people commit to our causes. And, no matter how much we celebrate today, let us not forget to pay attention to the “Fredericks” in our own lives—who might be waiting each and every day just to hear some simple words, “Thank You”.

Oh! By the way…

Show your appreciation right now! Is there someone on your team or within your organization who is always there to help you out? Maybe they’ve saved your bacon on an important project or are known as the Big Kahuna for their brilliant ideas.

Show your appreciation today by sending a fun eButton to your boss, your team mate, or your mentor. Let them know how much you appreciate all their great work. It will make their day. And yours.

Todd R. Nordstrom is a renowned blogger, book author, researcher, social marketer, and speaker. Todd has worked side-by-side with many of the world’s biggest names in business books, self-improvement, and health. “So, who am I? Quite simply, I’m a guy who gets out of bed each morning, knowing that it’s my turn to contribute—believing I can make this world a better place.”