Saturday, May 27, 2006

Almost an Oscar

It's been a lucky month for me. This morning I went to a volunteer orientation for that international conference I talked about before. They gave all 40 or so of us tickets for door prizes, then got three random people, including me, to draw for the winners. I drew my own number. I offered to draw again, but since the prize was a logoed umbrella, no one wanted to fight me for it.

Afterwards was the volunteer recognition event for my provincial chapter of that organization, whose website I edit. When I went to register and pick up my name tag, there was a yellow ribbon hanging off it saying "nominee" (FYI: "look at me!" is not the best way to recognize someone who hates being the centre of attention). I thought it was one of their silly icebreaker games, but no, I was nominated for a President's Award for Outstanding New Volunteer, and I ended up with the trophy (and surprisingly, there was an actual trophy). Which is very nice, but I feel like I sort of guilted them into it by throwing a hissyfit at the beginning of the season when I realized what their expectations were of the volunteer web editor and outlining why they were dreaming. All season I think they've been treating me with kid gloves in case I up and quit on them. Because no one else wanted the job, not because I was so fabulous.

Earlier this month, in a sweet and unexpected gesture, my employer gave me an award for a project I implemented last year to consolidate the gazillion and one all-staff e-mails that get sent out daily. It's a twice-a-week compilation with a clickable table of contents people can skim and only read the e-mails that interest them. It's a simple idea, one I stole from a seminar I attended, but it helped a bit to reduce the staggering e-mail overload in our 22,000-employee organization. After I ironically got flooded with grateful e-mails when I launched the e-news, I almost felt that if I never did another thing at work, I could pretty much rest on the success of that one idea. Not that I want to test that theory, of course. In a not-so-sweet but entirely expected gesture, because I'm also the newsletter editor, my boss asked me to write the little blurb for our employee kudos page congratulating myself for the recognition. I refrained from too much gushing.

Anyway, I think I should start cutting out the middle man and creating my own self-congratulatory awards. I wonder if the Oscars lose their shine a bit after all the lobbying that goes on? At least Reese Witherspoon didn't have to write her own press release. I think.