You can be a perfect employee and still get to recognition.
This solidified in my mind, and is something I never had to come to terms with before. I always at least received a "good job" or thank you when I had picked up shifts to help others from struggling on the floor, or helped anyone regardless of the task. I have always bitten my tongue when others were rude or mean to me. I never spoke out or made a scene. I have helped everyone regardless of how much work I still had to do, and never asked for help when I saw others were busy. I did everything I needed to do in the time that was allowed for me to finish my work. I never judged others who have never finished their work, but instead finished it for them. I have always picked up shifts and took the hardest tasks for myself so that those residents are not left neglected. I have not called in and have made in on time for every shift I had. I made sure all my residents were cared for, clean, but most importantly felt happy and safe.
I love my job, and I plan on staying in the nursing and medical field until my body can no longer work or move. I understand you cannot expect life to just award you for doing your job. Life is unfair, and as hard as we try to make it fair for everyone, I was the one that got the short end of the stick. Management picks a person every three months as an employee appreciation gesture. You receive a trophy and get bragging rights that you were picked. In reality, the company I work for refuses to give the employees anything else other than this trophy. Anyway, the guy that received it won only because his mom works there and put his name in for the running, or in other words because of nepotism.
It doesn't matter how perfect of an employee you may be. As long as you do everything they need you to they will give you no recognition. You may deserve it and you may just want a "good job," but it doesn't matter. I learned through this we sometimes do not get what we deserve.
We may believe we were the perfect candidate for the only thing employees can get recognition for, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that in your heart you know you are the perfect employee and that your residents and those that you do the work for are happy to have you. They are the ones that you put your effort in for, and they are the ones that will always thank you for your hard work. You may feel discouraged when something is given to others who may be less deserving, but there is always next time, and there are others who count on you and what you do for them.