Being the type of person I am, little notes of encouragement are always a nice surprise whenever I find them.
So, I was wondering if it would be weird or inappropriate to leave anonymous notes or letters of encouragement around my workplace. Could you get in trouble for that sort of thing?
I know people generally discourage leaving passive-aggressive notes, but if it's not anything threatening or mean-spirited, is it still a bad thing to do? The note would be something small. Something like, "I really appreciate all the effort you put into your work" or "I hope you have an awesome day today!"
I initially thought of writing a whole letter and leaving it somewhere to bring a smile to someone's face when they find it, but I was worried that it would be really weird (or even get me fired), so I'm mostly asking about smaller notes.
Though, I am also a bit curious about whether you could get in trouble for leaving whole letters lying about too. It'd be so cool to have a pen-pal at work, but I'm pretty sure that would be a bad idea.
Alright, so the general consensus is that it is definitely weird. I can live, knowing that. Actually, I came into this, knowing full-well just how weird it was, but since I also know that social cues don’t always reach me, I thought it would be good to get confirmation on that. So, thank you to those of you who took this seriously. I really appreciated your responses, as they gave me a lot of insight and helped me understand some things that I wouldn’t have understood on my own otherwise.
I’ve never been the type to follow through with leaving notes about, anyway, so don’t worry—poor Janet wouldn’t have been scared out of her wits by me regardless.
I think I should be clear about some things, since the way I type can come across as confusing to some—I am in no way a supervisor.
Initially, I had written more generic examples for this post, because I didn’t want this to somehow reach my co-workers in an obvious fashion that would have let them in on what I was thinking, but the notes would’ve been more like personalized thank-you cards than anything. Something to show appreciation to everyone for just being a joy to work with, but I can see where it would be better to just say it outright and deal with the anxiety that comes with it as opposed to making some mystery out of it.
I am young. Perhaps not young enough to be called a child or even a teen, but this is my first job—Covid-19 kind of stopped me from getting out there earlier, and everyone I know expects me to just be perfect, so I can’t reach out and say that I’m having trouble. With no one scolding me or setting clear boundaries, it’s hard to understand what might be the wrong step to take. I can understand some things intrinsically, like knowing this would be weird, but it’s still important to hear it from someone else—someone who doesn’t know me or my situation, and therefore, has no bias toward me.
I’ve always had issues with self-confidence and social interaction, and the doubt that haunts me today is a result of having cynical parents and always receiving compliments from everyone. At a point, spoken compliments just began to feel disingenuous to me, as if everyone was just reciting words and nothing really meant anything anymore if there wasn’t clear thought put into it. Maybe that’s where it comes from, and maybe I should speak to a therapist about it, because it does interfere with my quality of life, but that’s my problem to figure out.
Regardless, you all have given me the answers I needed, as well as some that I didn’t know I needed, despite being less than pleasant to read. I appreciate that, and I’m going to go to work now without any anonymous notes of any kind. Thank you very much. I wish you all the best.