Monday Column: You get back what you give

Opinion Sunday 05/March/2023 21:00 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday Column: You get back what you give

I guess many people do not really like their working environment thinking that they do not get paid according to their contributions. But some of them never stop to think whether they are contributing enough to warrant for the promotion.

It is all about the routine which can be very predictable and nothing to do with the extra pay.  By now, you are wondering what I am talking about and you are probably thinking I am getting ‘delirious’.

Let me explain. Only last week, I made an innocent call to the head of communication of one of the largest corporate businesses in Oman. I wanted to check on his company’s scheduled conference. He gave me precise detail, word by word, as if he had stayed all night memorising the words. I also detected something new in the style of his speech. Since I was impressed, I told him so but I also needed to know the story behind it. You guess right, the man was going through abrupt changes, most of them forced ones.

He said he had been given new responsibilities and he was not paid extra for it. His superiors, perhaps trying to save money and get more work from him, gave him a fancy little title considerably increasing his workload.

Life for him, like most of us, must go on. He seems to adapting to new changes very well and perhaps because he is a thorough professional. When I caught up with him on the conference day, he gave me a tired smile. The facial strain did not influence the way he worked. He appeared to take extra responsibilities very seriously because his body language showed no fatigue at all.

But I also noticed that his boss was kind to him. He looked at him and talked to him with respect. Just before the conference was over, I caught up with him and told him he was lucky. He raised his eyebrows to enquire why I thought that way. I told him about his boss and the respect he showed towards him. He acknowledged that and said that was the only thing that he stayed in the job and never left after all these years.

When I left, I thought about all the relations I had with my superiors in my younger days. Money never is, and never was, the priority in my workplaces. It is how you build relations with colleagues that is important, as long as you are paid decent enough. I know many people who get paid very highly but get back home every evening with a headache. They have to drag themselves out of bed each morning to go back to the office.

I also always believe that you get back what you give. If I have a little advice to young people who are just getting employed, is that they must not put payment first but their worthy contributions. If they do that, then the rest will be easy, including the promotion. In conclusion, employers always hang on to people who are loyal and reward them somewhere down the line.