2 Years ago, after they had liquidated my department and then hired one other person (Hi Keith!) to be one of the station webmasters, as we sipped on margaritas in Playa Del Carmen, our superiors showed us this movie. A horse racing movie. Something about Secreteriat. And I met it with that much fervor. But they narrarated the piece and I couldn’t help but watch. The whole story culminated to this – a horse they thought originally wouldn’t have a chance… ended up winning one of the biggest races in history by a world record breaking amount. This picture sums it up… He won by SO MUCH at one point, the jockey thought maybe he’d made a wrong turn and wasn’t in the race anymore because he didn’t know where the rest of the horses were.
They then announced that they were naming a divisional award after this accomplishment. 31 Lengths award. There were criteria set forth about who would be a winner of this award… Someone who worked hard, of course, but more so who really believed in the work that they were doing, strived to stay innovative, evangelized the work to others and so on. Deep inside I hoped that day that I’d be a recipient one day. So I just put my nose to the grindstone and kept working hard. And quarterly call after quarterly call, they announced winners names – none of which were mine. And I’d go through the same stupid behavior… they would start announcing the name…. I’d close my eyes and squeeze my hands… and open them to see someone else’s face on the screen. Every one of them deserving – don’t get me wrong. But at the end of the day they just weren’t me and I’d feel my heart sinking just a little more. I finally got to the point of apathy and started to turn my attention to others – nominiating others to recieve the award but both the nominations I put in were either ignored or had to be turned down for logistical reasons.
Fine – I was just going to keep leading my new department – a full one finally for almost a year with 3 web designers (including myself) working very hard but having GREAT rapport. Just trying to keep us motivated and educated about the political systems at work – what we need to do to get ahead, etc. And we do work hard – unabashedly stay till midnight and beyond to make sure work is done, constantly using each other as a sounding board for each other’s work and of course endless playful joking and a brothers and sister kind of synergy.
Well, this week was a pretty arduous week in terms of work. I felt my head never coming up from the grindstone – along with being reprimanded for being 9 minutes late by my boss, then innundated with GOBS of PRINT work (please read back above where I said I’m a web designers)… it was never ending. The work kept piling, my resolve was wearing thin. (See yesterday’s post about the lack of hope and excitement about anything.) Wrapping up things yesterday was another quarterly call. Some more droning on about the changes we can expect that are upcoming etc… but as the call is going on … I’m still trying to finish work. And I was getting PLENTY done. But before the deadline of 5:00 which I had to beat so that Earl and I could go meet with the folks at United homes about our future. So I begin wrapping everything up… the call is still going on and they’ve come to the part of the call where they are going to announce this quarter’s 31 Lengths winner. I looked at the screen and felt nothing as I Alt-Tabbed away from it to finish my work and started packing my bag and then I heard my name…
I heard my name coming from the conference phone… followed by the whoops and hollers of my coworkers in town and across the nation over the phone. I won?
I Alt Tabbed back to the presentation on the screen and there I was (although looking fat then) emblazoned in all my glory in front of my website as one of the administrators went on about my leadership and my commitment and blah blah blah – I wish I could remember all that he said. I wish I could have held that moment for just a few minutes more. It felt great.
At first I was more excited about the monetary value that went with the award (1k never hurt NOBODY). But then I really realized… it’s all about the recognition. And although it took a while – It was worth it… and I feel, in the words of Dave Chappelle –