I'm on a small team at a large company that's in charge of accounts- creation, deletion, & password resets. When I interviewed, I was like "That's it?" Well, as I soon found out, yeah, it is- with hundreds of UNIX and database servers, and dozens of internal applications- all of which require different setups & combinations of UNIX/db/share drive/etc., it turned out to be. When I started, though, it was very clear that my team was in WAY over its head. The scripts to create db accounts, for example, required editing a file w/ the account name to create, then running a shell script that generated a small SQL batch file which created the account (all users had the same static password) and maybe sent them an email w/ the password. Several other steps were also required, including any unix/wintel stuff, entering a log into the tracking system, etc. Oh, and also, our db "admin" user account/password was hard-coded in the script as well. And each app had its own separate scripts for creation, deletion & reset.
I went to work right away, creating a command-line menu-based tool that did all that at once- prompted for admin password, generated random user passwords, handled all the different application configurations, sent the emails, & even created the log entry automatically. It was also capable of parsing bulk revocation requests which we got daily in Excel format (don't even get me started)- when a single user has literally hundreds of accounts, trying to manually delete only the ones that were requested (and no more) is next to impossible, and a task that may have taken hours (or days) now took a few minutes, tops.
Did I get any recognition for this? Sure- my team loved it, and everyone on it (and a few managers from other teams who've seen what I've done) was generally quite impressed. Unfortunately, my team isn't very important in the grand scheme of things, especially when going up to a global level, at which point nobody gives a shit because their regions don't -have- such a team. It hasn't helped that our next-level-up manager has changed about 5 times. Also, as a contractor, I have pretty much zero rights (compared to a full-time employee), no bonuses, and in 5 years I have yet to get a single raise (my contracting company gave me a very tiny bump (less than 3%) out of their cut of what they make off of me, which I'm not counting). It's possible my work has saved me from several round of layoffs, but that's about it.
So yeah- sometimes you go way above & beyond what's expected of you, and you don't get jack shit for it.