of praises and cherries

So in general I have a problem with receiving awards, rewards or compliments. Professional or otherwise. I instantly switch to the “why” mode. Why is someone saying these nice words? Why are they giving me a compliment? Why do they think I did well or went beyond my role? I don’t know why this happens. But it is a consistent response from my brain to any sort of compliments or appreciation. I don’t like receiving praise. It’s actually that simple. My instant response to praise is “alright that’s enough, let’s get on with the business.” I don’t know why I am wired this way. But that’s just how it is. Or it was.. until today.

Google has a wonderful culture of peer and spot bonuses. It is a good mechanism available to Googlers to reward behaviors they want to encourage in an organization. And of course it is a nice way to say, “thank you for your efforts!”. I used to be a peer bonus minter back in my IC days, but those are hard to come by when you take on people management. Heh! But once in a while I get the spot bonus, and those are always special. In fact when someone prints the certificate and hand delivers it to you, with words of encouragement, that’s like an icing on the cake with a cherry on top. It is a very awesome type of feeling. But only until my questioning mind jumps in with it’s onslaught of questions.

Today, for literally the first time ever, I stopped the debate right then, and pushed it aside, and decided to enjoy the moment instead of indulging my brain. The outcome was that I enjoyed the conversation and let it be my special moment of the day. So rewarding. And a little difficult. I did go down the path of “but others worked so hard and I didn’t purposely go beyond. I just don’t see the lines. You don’t need to reward that. yadaa yadaa yadaaa….”. And then I said, “stop it! Just take it, and be thankful. You really don’t have to say anything else here.”

Phew! Awkward, but kind of nice. And as always that spot bonus will be attributed to the laundry list of things – like the kitchen floor, that Tiffany’s pendant, the splurge at Crate and Barrel, or the new eye glasses, or for that matter a summer splurge on Tara’s dresses at GAP 😛 I make my bonuses stretch a few thousand miles. Agam knows the drill. He does not object to the limits I cross. He knows that I don’t see the lines 😉

Anyways, I came home and pinned my certificate on the soft board, right next to Tara’s million dollar art work. I like seeing it there. And it was then that I realized that it’s not that I don’t enjoy praise. I don’t like to enjoy it publicly. I like to smile at a piece of paper, pinned on a board. I like to read the words but I am uncomfortable about hearing them in person. I like to enjoy my awards in solitude. But why? We are not going to answer than tonight.

Anyways Tara and I sang this song at bed time. Today she asked me the meaning of dhara… since it rhymes with Tara 😉 Slowly and steadily she will learn enough words to make enough sense of the language. Or so I hope!

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