The Power of the Right Reward

This is a chinese knockoff – not a genuine 1984 Optimus Prime but it doesn’t matter to me.

I recently had an episode where a client sent me to a Verizon reseller / authorized dealer store (Victra) to resolve an issue. Resellers / authorized dealers excel in sales but not in service. Corporate stores (owned by the wireless carrier) except in service but not in sales.  I needed the account serviced so clearly it was a mismatch and after several hours of aggravation I did get the issue solved elsewhere but I was very angry afterward and did not talk about it for days.  

It was 2 work hours of my life I could not get back and I had other clients and priorities to handle that day – namely helping Ukraine refugees get to safety through some other work I do. How many lives could have been saved during those 2 hours I was tied up wanting the account serviced while the Victra worker wanted to sell me a phone instead? But that trouble was worth something right?

I was offered monetary compensation for the trouble but that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to feel better. I realized that the local comic / collectible store was having a sale that weekend and had a Transformers Generation 1 Optimus Prime Chinese knockoff for sale. It was a price I didn’t want to pay but I did want one and one I could transform without fear of breaking a $250-$400 collectible every time I touched it.  But you don’t get anything if you don’t ask.

I asked for that as compensation for the episode. The toy has not left my coffee table. What I learned is there is value in a reward making you happy and not necessarily just money as compensation. Each night I come home and transform Optimus Prime. It’s not about Optimus Prime or the toy. It’s about feeling happy again. In time I won’t remember the visit to the Verizon reseller Victra, the incident that happened or the Optimus Prime knockoff toy but I will remember the feeling of happiness and will associate it with the work I did for that client. Happiness is the power of the right reward.