I do SEO/Website/Email Marketing work at a small company. I do also happen to have limited knowledge of Windows Administration/Tech Support, and fairly good Hardware knowledge.

I had half a day on Holiday and when I got back in the company was in a crisis as our whole CRM, Accounts Software, and Order Entering Software was down.

Being as the boss had spent half the day trying to fix these problems and had to go out, he asked me to help. I went through each error, co-ordinated with various tech support companies etc and by the end of the had fixed all of the issues, despite this not actually being my role.

TL;DR: The Company was unable to function, and management time had been wasted, sales time lost etc, and I got it back up and running.

I haven't heard any kind of Gratitude or simple "Thanks for that" from my boss at all, rather just annoyances at the issue and sarcasm, even though he would have been at a far higher expense and time pressure if I hadn't mitigated the problems.

Am I wrong to expect some kind of Thanks?

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    Expecting gratitude every time you do something right is probably going to lead to some sad days. You know you did a good job, you got it up and running, that should be thanks enough. – New-To-IT Nov 15 '16 at 16:26
  • @New-To-IT I understand that. It's not my role though- day to day I would entirely agree with you. – harley_woop Nov 15 '16 at 16:28
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    Other than "Thanks" what form of gratitude are you expecting? In my opinion, it would be smart of your boss and the company to thank you. But you know your company better than anyone here, so only you can know what to expect from them. – WorkerDrone Nov 15 '16 at 17:59
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    @New-To-IT this isn't a case of "every time you do something right". The question boils down to "when you go above and beyond". – user30031 Nov 15 '16 at 18:10
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    You did a task during working hours, a 'thanks' would be nice but unnecessary – Kilisi Nov 15 '16 at 22:30

Package it.

Write an email with issues and corrective actions you took to get everything back on line.

He may think it almost fixed itself.

  • 3
    This will also be useful when it's annual performance review time – Dan Pichelman Nov 15 '16 at 17:22
  • I'm going to do that, just so he's actually aware, I think maybe he isn't right now. – harley_woop Nov 15 '16 at 17:36
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    +1 for "He may think it almost fixed itself." In my career, I've been fortunate enough to have bosses who expressed their gratitude regularly. However, they are less technical than I am, and often didn't know which of my accomplishments were major and which ones were minor (unless I took the time to educate them). So I might get effusive thanks for something that was trivial to do (but important to them), while an accomplishment I'm very proud of might go unnoticed. That's life. – mhwombat Nov 15 '16 at 18:28
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    +1 This will work even better if you package it as a manual for what to do if this problem should re-occur. If it was bad enough to bring the company to a complete stop for half a day, everyone should see the benefit in having a complete report on what happened and how it got fixed (if you can provide all that). – Dan C Nov 15 '16 at 19:11
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    @DanC That's a good idea! He'd appreciate that. – harley_woop Nov 15 '16 at 20:29

Expecting gratitude is setting oneself up for a lifetime of disappointment, as it may come in ways you never see. The boss may not express gratitude now, but when it comes time for layoffs, and you're still there, or somewhere down the line, he invests more in you or even promotes you, you'll find the gratitude in ways more meaningful than a simple "Thanks"


It's always nice to feel appreciated in the form of gratitude such as simple words or rewards. However, you can't get disappointed if you expect nothing. Focus on that, and in the occasional case of it actually happening ("It is natural for people to forget"), you'll really appreciate it.

I'm more or less quoting Dale Carnegie's advice on the matter, which I find very relevant:

Let's not expect gratitude. Then, if we get some occasionally, it will come as a delightful surprise. If we don't get it, we won't be disturbed. It is natural for people to forget to be grateful; so, if we go around expecting gratitude, we are headed straight for a lot of heartaches.

-Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

  • I encourage anyone who hasn't read this book to read it. – Jonast92 Nov 15 '16 at 16:59
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    Many thanks for your Answer, I think I've learned something :) – harley_woop Nov 15 '16 at 17:37

A good manager will know what sort of positive feedback their employees need. Obviously you and your manager aren't on the same page on your needs in this respect.

Your have three options for this:

  1. Do nothing and hope that your manager changes without a reason to do so.
  2. Adjust your expectations to align with your manager's management style.
  3. Request and adjustment to your manager's management style.

All of these are difficult. It isn't easy working in an environment you feel is thankless, it isn't easy consciously adjusting your expectations, and the conversation with your boss saying "I would perform better with more active positive re-enforcement" and following up on it is really uncomfortable.

If you do go with the third option, do it as a private one-on-one conversation and cite specific examples where you felt you did an exceptional job and didn't get any recognition.


I'm not going to label you with the word wrong, as you put it.

First, I assume that you know that you can't force your boss or anyone else to do or feel anything. Now - if you hang it out there that your boss SHOULD be grateful (your own internal value), and your boss does not express said gratitude, then you have set yourself up for disappointment - depression, frustration, or anger.

If you modify (downgrade) your value from "he should be grateful" to "it'd be nice if he were grateful, but I understand that he doesn't have to be", then this is more in tune with reality, and it won't sting so much.

Try taking those "should" statements out of your vocabulary, because every "should" that you emit implicitly toward someone else says it's okay for others to do the same to you.

Best of luck.

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