09 May 2008

Go ahead, buy yourself an award

It is absurd if one has to pay for an "award" that one is supposed to have earned. If an award costs you money, then it is not a real award, but a gimmick the real purpose of which is either to make you sort of feel good about yourself or to make money for those who are giving the award. An example of the latter is the scientific "awards" sold by the International Biographical Centre that I wrote about in this post.

An example of the former kind is currently being promoted by the U.S. Government. I work for a Federal Agency. Towards the end of March, a circulating e-mail at work invited everyone to sign up for an exercise promotion program called The President's Challenge. The idea behind the program is to get people to be more active physically, which is a good thing. I exercise everyday anyway, so I signed up. Apparently, we are competing against other offices in my agency. All I have to do is to remember to enter my activities in an on-line log book, which gives me points based on the type, intensity and duration of the activity. So far, so good.

Then I learned that I could even get a personal award, but only if I paid for it. The individual awards are rather cheap, only a few dollars each (order form). But it's the idea of having to pay for an award that makes it ludicrous. If they really want to reward those who may have started exercising thanks to this program, then they should give them awards without making them pay for their awards. It just wouldn't feel the same to me if I had to say, "I logged in 40,000 points in The President's Challenge and then I bought myself this medallion."

But If you think otherwise, don't let me curb your enthusiasm, go ahead, jog to the nearest, or better yet, the furthest sports store and buy yourself a trophy. Congratulations!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well...this is an issue, and sad as it is, and issue with many, even great men. Receiving an advanced degree from a University such as Harvard ($$$) Not necessarily exceeding the norm (time and energy $$$)...exceeding the norm...showing the right stuff, costs of experiment and analysis...not free...takes($$$)
After your degree...($$$) for waiting for just that right nitch, perhaps a great dollar award...perhaps just a mention, perhaps a faculty associateship which does not pay the rent ($$$)
Another degree to make up for what the first several did not...a booster shot, lets say...research ($$$) Now you have a company who gives you ($$$) but not enough to make it worth while so more ($$$) are spent, more research. Perhaps a fellowship comes...perhaps it dosent (so sad $$$$ spent) A person gives their life to the prospect of a breakthrough!!! A cure for a lever, chemical interaction...or a cure for cancer. Politically correct...he does get a button to wear on his collar, but someone somewhere spent 25 cents or 25 dollars for that button...it may not even have any respect (anywhere) Now how about ($$$) It is a two way street...honor has gone away with the victorians. It would be nice to receive a politically correct button now and then for something achieved???? Or should we even ask that question of politics...where did the 25 cents come from...or a Nobel Prize?: