I have a thankless job.
When things are going great, we don't get the credit we deserve. When things are going crappy, we get the credit that we don't deserve.
We clean up other people's messes because those other people don't do what they're supposed to do, and yet, no matter how many times we tell them to do something, they still do it wrong. Better yet, they make a mistake and don't tell us about it until the last possible minute, and oh btw, it needs to be done before payroll closes, and oh btw, we're doing an upgrade and cutting your nose off to spite your face, 'cause we can.
Respect is definitely not a two way street in my agency. A lot of over-inflated egos demand it, but are loathe to give it.
And would you believe that these over-inflated egos actually expect to get paid properly even though they don't follow the rules, 'cause you know, rules are for the little people.
We trade horror stories in our unit about people who manage to say/write the most incredibly stupid things about us and in front of us, and express shock and dismay when we actually call them on it.
For instance, a coworker of mine has been called all kinds of things, simply because he tries to do his job the way it's suppose to be done. Like getting timesheets from staff members.
Contrary to popular opinion, in order to get paid properly you have to hand in a timesheet, that has all your hours (both worked and non-worked) written down, in a timely manner. The other day, my co-worker was riding in an elevator with two other people, and those people started talking about him in rather derogatory manner. 'Course, they didn't know he was their payroll clerk, so they were talking about their payroll clerk and were calling him a "timesheet nazi", simply because he had the temerity to ask for their timesheets to brought to him in a timely manner.
Just before he got off the elevator, he happened to identify himself as their payroll clerk. Well, you can imagine their shock and dismay when they found out who he was. They immediately start saying that they weren't being serious and that they were simply joking around.
Another time he told me that he was given a timesheet that had a derogatory sticky note about him still attached. Suffice to say, the same reaction that was previously mentioned in the last incident was given this time around by the people who were caught.
No one in my unit is immune to this kind of criticism. I myself have been thrown under the bus quite a few times because people didn't get their own way or didn't do something because they thought someone else would do it for them.
I had one particular individual who actually threw a very long temper tantrum over a mistake that they had made, and that temper tantrum continued even when my supervisor and myself decided to bend the rules and fix the problem so that their paycheck wouldn't be short, and we told them as such.
I had another accuse me of being "mad with power" because I had the audacity not to pay them something because they didn't fill out their timesheet correctly. And, I gave them the opportunity to actually fix it, and yet, they felt it wasn't necessary to respond to my response, 'cause you know, I'm just a payroll clerk.
We also have staff members who are just clueless beyond all help. I can't tell you how many times that what should be a simple one minute phone call stretches into something that ranges from 10 to 20 minutes, simply because they either don't get it or refuse to get it, or even admit that they're wrong in the first place.
And then we have staff members who like to drop names (veiled threats) if we don't do something for them right then and there, especially if that something is very out of the ordinary. Our usual response is something in the realm of, "So?" or "Okay?". In other words, whatever name you're dropping isn't likely to do thing one for us. Or for you.
What it boils down to isn't much, because we don't ask for much, just a little respect for what we do for you. We make sure that you get every dollar that you deserve, in spite of your best efforts to sabotage your own paycheck. Or, if doesn't affect your paycheck but someone else's, sabotage your own job. Because of that supreme effort in dealing with you on a daily/weekly basis, wouldn't it make sense to show just a smidgen of appreciation to the people you use and abuse.
And for those of you out there who think that this is limited to the public sector, think again. Take a moment out your busy day to thank the person who makes sure that you get every dollar that you deserve, that every deduction that's supposed to come out does, and that your leave balances are correct down to the very last minute. They do an increasingly thankless job in today's increasingly stressed out work environment, and we should try to make things as painless as humanly possible.