I know, I know. I’m supposed to be a grown up and grateful and not need nominal tokens to recognise my compliance. But I didn’t want it done and I did comply against my will and I think I deserve something to say “Good citizen”. Whoever made the decision to save pennies by not acknowledging civil compliance in a national programme that is costing over £300 billion has missed a key component in the psychology of stakeholder management. I now totally resent having been subjected to the experience and having chosen to demonstrate civil obedience.
The change management purpose of such stickers (like charity wristbands and badges and poppies) is to demonstrate a social norm: make those without one feel they are not part of the crowd, are missing out, are being abnormal. It’s a positive, fun way to build a social standard of vaccination as the right thing to do because everyone else is doing it. (That was the view of Public Health England in December 2020 who provided the leaflets, cards, stickers and social media content as a combined package to promote compliance.)
I know it sounds pathetic, but not getting the sticker creates the reaction of “Oh, I’ve done as ordered, but don’t even get a thanks. Wish I hadn’t bothered. I won’t, next time.” and I can even feel it in myself.
Branding is extremely important in our society: the label on your clothes, bags, shoes, car says who you are and what you align with. Corporates give out pens and mousemats with the logo on as they are aspirational items, despite being of nominal value. A Ferrari keyfob for your old runabout is still a status item down the pub.
But my accepting an injection into my body that I did not want – in a programme that has made some people very rich – does not even warrant a sticker. I feel abused. And I don’t know who to tell but I need to let it out. And I probably need to be told I am totally over-reacting. But I won’t be alone.
I’ll get embarrassed and delete this later when I’ve calmed down.