Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Butter Boys

An appropriate Throwback Thursday post.

I know I haven't been posting much lately. I could go on and blame the baby and all the time my hands are tied with taking care of her, or how busy work is because we are moving offices (not by choice) but to be completely honest, I haven't been in the right head-space to write anything.

I had a really disappointing professional set-back involving a position that was basically made for me in an institution I thought I'd end up back in. Because of reasons that are still unclear, (although it appears they may have had someone else in mind from the beginning), I did not get that position. It was devastating to me, and I was not in a good place. Breaky was, as always, the best support system I could ask for, but even he couldn't quite reach through this fog I was in. It was a funk scarily similar to the depression I battled years and years ago.

As I mentioned before, our office is moving, which contributed to the funk I was in. As a result, I have to pack up my office for it to be moved. One item that I packed up was an empty (and clean!) tub of "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter".

It's not that I had forgotten it was there, or why. It's just I hadn't stopped and looked at it, having had it placed in the same spot for 2+ years. Of all things, this tub of butter helped me get over my slump and made me feel a little better.

Why you ask? Well, have I got a story for you.

Just about 11 years ago, I worked for my university's student ambassador office. Our main jobs were giving the campus tours around the university and calling students at night who were either applying or had been accepted to the university to see if they had questions or concerns, or sometimes to even tell them they were accepted. The behind-the-scenes stuff which the public did not see is where I thrived. I was the Technology Coordinator, the Coordinator of the Campus Visit Center, I was a night-time supervisor for the phone calls being made, the list went on and on. Most of my leadership skills and organizational skills either was born there or was honed there. I owe my career to the student ambassador office.

As a result of my multiple leadership positions, I helped out, professionally and personally, a lot of individuals. Two of which were two guys who would often work the front desk together. If you worked the front desk, you had to either wear the black polo or the "butter yellow" polo. It was the "butter yellow" polo, because that was the exact name of the color in the magazine when we chose the polos. Whenever these two individuals worked together, they would both wear the butter yellow polo. I do not know or remember if this happened accidentally and they just went with it, or if it was by design from the beginning, but henceforth, they were nicknamed the "Buta Boys." (which sounds like Buttah, like "Butter)

Not one of the Butter Boys, but a friend in the "butter yellow" polo! 

I am not one to do things for recognition. Helping people was something that came naturally to me. A result of my upbringing, or just my personality? A combination of both? Who knows. I would listen to anyone who came to me for help, and I would do my best with any advice or help I could give. Individually, each "Buta Boy" had come to me for one thing or another. Some of it professional, some personal.

At the end-of-the-year banquet, the Buta Boys went up to present their own award. While listening to them talk about this wonderful person who helped them out so much during the year and how much they appreciated it and so on and so forth.... I was convinced it was not me. I was preemptively a little hurt, and my self-esteem had taken a hit. A few sentences later, and they said MY NAME. I was awarded the Buta Boy Award (I believe it was called) and the empty, clean tub of "I Can't Believe it's not Butter."

Looking back on it now, I wish I had listened more carefully to what they were saying when making the award. I was so wrapped up in my own self-pity, I did not enjoy and appreciate their very kind words. Got me really thinking. Yes, I can feel sad and defeated, but I can't let it get in the way of forward progress. I may miss something really important that others see in me that I couldn't see in myself.

The "Buta Boys" just not in their butter yellow polos

I have not spoken to either of the "Buta Boys" since graduating college more than 10 years ago. Not as a result of some bad rift or anything. That's what graduating college will do.

I have had that tub of "butter" (but not butter) in every incarnation of my office I've had since I graduated college. A reminder that, though it may not seem that way, people do notice the good that is done. I have it right next to the painted rubber ducky that was given to me, disingenuously by a former boss because "a conference told her to" to recognize my hard work. That reminds me that not all recognition is true recognition and how sometimes recognition for my efforts can come in different forms.

1 comment:

  1. Have you tagged the "Butta Boys" so that they, too, can bask in being recognized and appreciated?