Feeling pretty darn good!
My immediate boss gave me some Christmas gifts yesterday - a personal one from her, and an "official" holiday gift from the owner of the business. From the owner, I received a $500 bonus! I didn't even know she gave bonuses at this time of year, since I was still new at Christmastime last year (so did not get one), and it is not a very common practice at all in this type of job. I was told that business has not been as good as they had hoped (I already knew that profits were down from last year), and some employees did not get bonuses this time around, but they wanted to show me their appreciation. Along with that, I received an invitation to select anything I want from what we sell, and she wrote some very nice things in the card that accompanied it.
I feel quite valued and acknowledged by what the owner wrote in my card. I sent her a "Thank you" text after I left work and she texted me back with "You deserve it!" Gosh! The owner and the manager (my boss) have both been reassuring me that I'm doing a great job in my current position as an assistant manager.
I was promoted back in October and had a rocky start getting comfortable managing my co-workers (still not totally there yet). A few times I had burst into tears (while at work, ugh!) from the stress of trying to juggle the many obligations I now have, and I had a few tense conversations with both of my superiors. But they decided to take back some of my responsibilities until I am more comfortable and proficient with other tasks, rather than see me drown under it all - and that helped. There are a lot of details to manage and they both tend to be very particular that things are done to the letter, but some of the procedural stuff does not align with my own brand of logic, so there is a learning curve for me. After the new year, they will give me back those responsibilities they took away, so I go in with the attitude that it is my own business and my baby to care for.
I have just been trying to do the best I can. I also worked a few extra days and been doing tasks for them in my off-work hours because they needed help. I know they genuinely appreciate my willingness to go an extra mile. Yesterday was my 10th day in a row without a day off, and some of those days I could only take a short break to wolf something down for lunch and then run back to work. I don't mind doing that, because... well, it needed to be done and if I didn't, some things would've turned out a mess. After having been unemployed for a long time, and getting by with freelance work which I enjoyed but that didn't always add up to enough to pay my bills, it feels really good to have finally found a job I actually like, where I am not only paid a decent wage but also feel appreciated in a very real and human way.
Anyway, the Christmas presents my immediate boss gave me were very thoughtful -- a very nice journal and a gift certificate to a store that I've always wanted to shop. She threw in a few fun novelty gifts that humorously acknowledge how I've struggled a bit as a manager - candies in colorful wrappers with funny sayings and images from the 50s and 60s. One has a picture of a secretary and it says, "I need more money and power - and less shit from you people." Hahahaha!
Afterward, I took myself out to dinner in a casual but sort of swanky cafe, had a few drinks, and came home. Fell asleep with a contented, full belly, and woke up early this morning feeling grateful. Merry Christmas indeed!