Dawn was a data entry expert, and at her new job, she quickly surpassed expectations. However, when her exceptional performance raised eyebrows instead of earning praise, Dawn made a decision that would redefine her approach to work. Let’s take a look.
Exceptional Skills Shine
Dawn was a woman who took immense pride in her skills. Her efficiency was unmatched, with a typing speed exceeding 120 words per minute and an affinity for discovering keyboard shortcuts.
But her journey at her new workplace soon revealed that being exceptionally good can sometimes draw unexpected reactions.
A Proven Track Record
Dawn had an innate talent for data entry. Her past experiences in similar roles had proven that time and again. She prided herself on her ability to find and implement time-saving methods, always pushing the boundaries of what was possible.
Early Success in New Role
Just three months into her new job, she was already making waves.
Like most data entry positions, this job had weekly productivity targets. Dawn, being her usual self, had not only grasped the ABCs of the job by the second week but was consistently meeting the expected productivity.
Her natural curiosity and dedication drove her to delve deeper into the systems she was working with.
She began employing simple keyboard shortcuts to navigate between programs swiftly, closed unnecessary tabs, and even harnessed the power of Excel by using formulas such as ‘concatenate’ and ‘lookup.’
These strategies saved her from the repetitive strain of manually inputting the same data points. If there was a way to save time, she would find it.
A Personal Record
One fateful day, the team’s weekly productivity email landed in everyone’s inboxes. Dawn’s results were nothing short of astonishing.
She had managed to achieve three times the productivity expected of a single employee in a week! Her numbers were unprecedented, and this was a moment of personal pride for her.
But instead of the accolades and acknowledgments one might expect for such an accomplishment, Dawn’s exceptional performance was met with suspicion. Management sent her an email labeling her results as “concerning.”
Concerns and Accusations
They implied she might have cheated, even sharing a screenshot comparing her numbers to her colleagues.
While Dawn had registered numbers in the 800s for the week, the next highest score was a mere 300, and management said it was impossible for her to have that much of a lead over people who had been there for years.
It was hard for her to understand how surpassing expectations had turned into such a negative narrative.
Investigation and Review
A call from her boss followed soon after. Dawn’s manager informed her that she had been meticulously reviewing Dawn’s work throughout the day.
The impromptu “investigation” wasn’t her manager’s idea but a directive from higher up. The silver lining? All of Dawn’s entries were accurate. Her boss allowed her to continue her work without any hindrance.
However, this episode revealed something deeper about the company’s culture to Dawn. It wasn’t a place that celebrated achievements or encouraged over-achievers.
Instead of seeking out her methods and potentially elevating the entire team’s productivity, they chose skepticism and doubt.
While Dawn understood that if something seemed off, the company would want to check and ensure she understands the work and is entering it properly, especially when it comes to new hires.
What troubled her was that they emailed her, stating it was concerning and impossible before ever checking her work.
The Lack of Follow-up
She argued that they shouldn’t have even needed to tell her they were looking into it. And after finding out that her numbers were indeed accurate, there was no follow-up, no apology, and certainly no praise – just total radio silence.
From Over-Achiever to Malicious Compliance
Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Dawn, with her basic Excel knowledge, designed a spreadsheet to monitor her progress.
It alerted her the moment she achieved her weekly targets, ensuring she didn’t overshoot the expected numbers. She included a little buffer to prevent falling below the mark, but her productivity would now be just slightly above the bare minimum!
The Shift to Bare Minimum
If they’re going to treat her like a bare minimum employee, they’re going to get a bare minimum employee.
Message Through Action
Malicious compliance at its best! It goes to show that a simple acknowledgment can make all the difference when it comes to employee performance.
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