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What’s your Work Love/Appreciation Test?

I heard through the human resources grapevine about the Love Test, in which Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages” theory has been adapted to workplace “appreciation” training. This is, naturally, HR’s fault. After many decades in the human resources trenches, I know that everyone hates HR because…well, because they’re HR. Sadly, many human resources executives cling to the cherished illusion that employees can be trained to appreciate each other (by which they mean, of course, appreciate HR). In fact, however, employees reserve all their appreciation for only two things—money, and being left alone. (Or three things if your company has Donut Day.)

Still, never let it be said that I was unwilling to do my part to further scientific research. After careful preparation, I was ready to take the Love Test. The only free version was for couples, but their literature points out that the same theory applies to couples relationships (“love”) and to the workplace (“appreciation”).

Apparently, there are five areas of Love/Appreciation Languages:

  • A: receiving gifts
  • B: quality time
  • C: words of affirmation
  • D: acts of service
  • E: physical touch

The test itself was…bad. Have you ever taken one of those would-you-rather scenario quizzes? (“Would you rather be stranded forever alone on a desert island with no internet, or in a Bergdorf’s dressing room with Donald Trump?”) Well, this was worse.

Question: It’s more meaningful to me when…

A: I receive a loving note/text/email for no special reason from my loved one.
E: my partner and I hug.

It goes on and on like that. And on. The only ones I could answer definitively were the ones that mentioned presents, or the ones where somebody does stuff for me.

Question: It’s more meaningful to me when…

E: my partner puts his/her arm around me when we’re in public.
C: my partner surprises me with a gift.

My Results: According to the results, the love languages I speak fluently are Receiving Gifts and Acts of Service. Apparently, I’m really, really good at getting presents and getting other people to do stuff for me, but I suck at providing quality time, and physical touch is a complete no-go. On the plus side, for 99% of workplaces, that pretty much keeps me out of trouble and out of jail. Apparently, I rock the Work Love/Appreciation Test. Who knew?

[Image credit: War and Peas ]

If I was rewriting the test, of course, I might channel different love/appreciation languages. Some that come to mind are:

☕️ Coffee. It’s more meaningful to me when…

  • A: Receiving Gifts. He brings me coffee the way I like it, and tiptoes away making absolutely no noise whatsoever.
  • B: Quality Time. He does not expect interaction or even speech before that first coffee.
  • C: Words of Affirmation. He agrees it’s really more cost effective to make my coffee from specially imported beans which cost more per ounce than some illegal drugs.
  • D: Acts of Service. He empties the coffee grounds into my special container for feeding my roses.
  • E: Physical Touch. He would never, ever consider touching me when I’m drinking coffee.

😷 Medical Conditions. It’s more meaningful to me when…

  • A: Receiving Gifts. He goes out and buys me the extra-absorbent sanitary pads after my surgery.
  • B: Quality Time. He looks up all my symptoms on Google and spends hours discussing the ways they might kill me.
  • C: Words of Affirmation. He says he never noticed any stretch marks from my (4) pregnancies.
  • D: Acts of Service. He puts the sock on my foot when my knee doesn’t want to bend.
  • E: Physical Touch. He brings me the cat.

👩🏻‍💻 Social Media. It’s more meaningful to me when…

  • A: Receiving Gifts. He never forwards anything he finds on Facebook–not a meme, not a kitten video, not even a birthday announcement.
  • B: Quality Time. He doesn’t stalk old girlfriends on social media. (I’m not sure he would know how.)
  • C: Words of Affirmation. He pretends to believe I thought up the jokes I heard on Facebook, and he even laughs.
  • D: Acts of Service. (see C: above, except he laughs really hard)
  • E: Physical Touch. He’s boycotting Facebook until they add a WTF button.

How about it? What would your love language be?

Obviously, every set of lovers makes their own. I’ve read some successful examples lately, including Making Waves by Thorne Moore, a science fiction tale where the love language is family.

👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👦‍👦👩‍👩‍👧‍👧 Family as Love Language. (I couldn’t resist.) 

  • A: Receiving Gifts. I smile because they are my family. I laugh because there’s nothing they can do about it.
  • B: Quality Time. A mother proves she’s indispensable when she tries to spend five minutes alone in the bathroom.
  • C: Words of Affirmation. “If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you’ll be going, ‘you know, we’re alright. We are dang near royalty.’” ~ Jeff Foxworthy
  • D: Acts of Service.“There are only two things a child will share willingly; communicable diseases and its mother’s age.” — Benjamin Spock
  • E: Physical Touch. No vacation where family members ever have to sit next to each other could possibly end well.


Two hundred years in the future, with the Solar System in the hands of mega-corporations…
Tod Fox, commander of the Heloise, has delivered six rash volunteers to Triton, control centre of Ragnox Inc. But then he took one away again.
Now volunteers and crew face a new chapter in their lives, as human resources at the mercy of Ragnox Director, Jordan Pascal, or as allies of Pan, under Benedict Darke, the relentless enemy of the Triton regime.
Where will their allegiance lie? There is no middle ground in Arkadia. It is war. No mercy. Victory at any price.

Volume II of Salvage. Sequel to Inside Out

“Thorne Moore’s writing has three great qualities: the variety of genres, an exceptional sense of place, and characters that come alive on the page.” —Judith Barrow

My Review:  5 out of 5 Stars for Making Waves (Salvage, Book 2) by Thorne Moore

I started my review of the first book in this series with, “I can make this a very short review by saying you really should just go buy Inside Out. You’ll thank me.” This time, I would say you really should just go buy both books in Thorne Moore’s Salvage series. You’ll thank me even more.

Still reading? Okay, here goes.

Once upon a time, there was a family. Like most families, it was pretty dysfunctional. Okay, it was a WAY dysfunctional collection of criminals and losers who boarded the Heloise, a spaceship bound for a year-long trip to deliver them to seven years service on Titan, a nightmare planet at the edge of the universe. If they survive the unsurvivable, they will be rich.

But on the voyage out to Titan, a strange thing happens. The group of antisocial liars, thieves, and deviants are taken under the wing of Heloise’s enigmatic captain, Tod Foxe. By the time he leaves them on Titan, Foxe’s cubs have become two things. Survivors, and family.

Against all odds, when Captain Fox gathers his cubs seven years later, each carries mental, emotional, and physical scars. But their family by choice survives, and returns to the Heloise. 

Abigail got up, smiling. ‘It’s like old times. A journey on the Heloise teaching us to confront ourselves.’

‘That is always a useful lesson,’ said Gabriel.

Of course, the universe has been going to hell around them, and the little family discovers they hold some of the keys to saving the world(s). They know who the bad guys are, and what they want.

But they have each been through the crucible, seen nightmares made reality, and emerged ready to kick evil capitalist butt. And sure, the villains are paper-thin, simplistic greedy suits: 

Where would our profits be, if all production had to observe Inner Circle constraints – health and safety, labour regulations, tax inspections, accident enquiries, monopoly limitations?

But the point of the plot, the characters, and the world-building is not the villains or even the triumph of good over evil. At its core, I think this is a book about what makes a family.

There are plenty of beloved science fiction tropes that find their way into this tale, although the action races through at such breakneck speed that it’s hard to stop and track them all. There are also nods to familiar shorthands for evil, from Nazi echoes of genocide against space-induced mutations, to Star Wars-style stormtroopers.

And of course, there are what I’m starting to see as author Thorne Moore’s trademark little pokes of humor. The ship’s cat is named Macavity, a nod perhaps to T.S.Eliot’s 1939 Old Possum’s book of Practical Cats, to the long-running Broadway musical, to the Macavity Awards for mystery writers, or to all of the above. I also loved the ‘death’ scene that one character is overacting for all he’s worth, even though it’s unlikely any of his audience will get his reference to Mrs. Lincoln.

‘He’s trying to say something,’ said Major Addo, leaning over them. ‘What is it, son?’

Mica looked up. ‘He’s saying “Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play?”’

My point is that this is a group of unrelated people who would not, in the general course of events, even meet. But they do meet, become family by choice, and save the universe — all the while snarking, teasing, and bickering as only siblings can.

If you enjoy a masterfully-created world, a lightning-fast character-driven plot, and — another Thorne Moore trademark— the Afterward that illuminates the main motivator of the story, then I highly recommend Making Waves. (But only if you’ve read the first book in the series, Inside Out, first, of course.)


I reviewed Making Waves for Rosie’s Book Review Team