Another episode in my Tales From The Under-belly of Business Communication series...
This actually happened to me.
A few years ago, I was toiling diligently on a data warehouse project, while the company for whom I was toiling was going public. I was a contractor in a temporary-to-permanent position. The rules were pretty clear: "Make it work and we'll hire you." Cool.
So I'm hammering away one morning when a young lady from HR shows up at my cubicle entrance with a gift to celebrate the company's IPO - and to express the company's appreciation for my contribution to thier success. She smiles, asks what I'm working on, I tell her, she smiles again, gives me the appreciation gift, moves to the next cubicle entrance, rinse, repeat.
"Cool" I think and go back to work.
But she returns about 10 minutes later - looking concerned. "Are you a temp?" she asks. "Yep" I respond. She reaches out and takes the appreciation gift and stammers "These are only for permanent employees" before leaving the cube looking very embarassed.
I felt bad for her. Really, I did.
I understand the company wanted to express its appreciation to the folks that had contributed - and were continuing to contribute - to its success. I think that's a good idea, in fact.
I also understand they probably only produced a limited number of the appreciation gift items - one for each full time, permanent employee. This meant I would have been taking someone else's appreciation gift had the young lady from HR not returned to reclaim it. All well and good.
What I do not understand - and this isn't a criticism as much as an admission of ignorance - is why the company* treated me as a second-class individual.
*I did not name the company for two reasons: they're a good company; and I experienced similar treatment as a contractor at almost every company I've contracted.
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