Nurses are arguably working harder than ever before, but many aren’t getting the appreciation they deserve.
One nurse recently took to Reddit to share her feelings after receiving a gift from her boss. The bag of goodies was supposed to be a gesture of goodwill, but it ended up making the nurse feel even less appreciated than before. The internet quickly came to the nurse’s defense after seeing what was inside.
In a Reddit post titled, “Feeling the #appreciation my employer is showing to our dwindling overworked nursing staff ??”, the nurse, who goes by the username u/Personal-Pound-2260, shared an image of a gift she received from her boss.
The photo shows a plastic bag with a typed message that lists the contents:
“[A] rubber band – to stretch beyond your limit.
Snickers – because laughter is the best medicine.
String – to hold things together when everything falls apart.
Confetti – when you feel like throwing something.
Hugs & kisses – to remind you that you’re loved.
Tea – life is like a cup of tea, it’s all in how you make it.”
Billed as an “Anti-Stress Kit”, the bag is filled with nothing more than a bite-size snickers, a literal penny, and a single bag of Bigelow tea.
Thousands of commenters quickly shared their reactions online. The post has already received over 2 thousand comments and is 97% upvoted.
But the gesture spotlights how often nurses and other care providers feel undervalued on the job.
“I got these bullsh*t gifts working in daycare all the time,” wrote one commenter. “You know what I didn’t get? More money.”
“Literally take out the penny and call it a goodie bag,” another person added. “Treats are nice but god damn, when they frame it as workplace appreciation packages it’s just condescending.”
Many people also referred to the gift as “trash.” One Redditor said this type of gift may work as a joke around the holidays but does not show any actual appreciation for struggling medical professionals.
“This is more like some sort of gag gift for a holiday party, but organizational managers are just tone deaf enough to pull crap like this,” they commented.
“Sounds like they gave you whatever they found between the couch cushions and made some bullshit inspirational note about the stuff. Oh, look a crusty Cheeto for whenever your one penny won’t buy you lunch,” another person wrote.
“What’s even more insulting is that they are probably paying for this ‘treat’ out of their own budget, which probably reduced some amount of money going to something they actually needed like PPE and the like. It absolutely didn’t come out of anything for the executive level or above budget,” wrote another commenter.
“I left my gift bag out after a work event and didn’t bother taking it back and there were some personally offended people asking me why. Why didn’t I take home the $3.75 assorted gift bag? Well, I don’t know y’all didn’t give me a bonus despite talk of all the “great things” corporate is seeing so I’m cool leaving behind my bag of trash tyvm.”
With a growing nursing shortage all over the country, this lack of appreciation will likely only make the crisis worse as more nurses leave the profession in search of a job where they feel valued.
A recent poll from National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the country, revealed that 83% of nurses nationwide reported that half of their shifts were understaffed. The poll also revealed that 68% of surveyed nurses have considered leaving their jobs in the last year.
This lack of appreciation for daycare workers can also have a major impact on the economy. Most parents can’t go to work or earn a living unless they have someone reliable to look after their kids during the day.
“I’m a former daycare worker and these always put me in a worse mood. You always got them right before the company announced something bad (and usually for holidays too). I remember the last one was before they told us we didn’t get presidents day off anymore. We had to travel together on a bus and spend all day in a company-wide training. No holiday pay. I never want to go back to daycare,” wrote another person.