Saturday, October 14, 2006

Personal Review

I hate personnel reviews, especially my own. It's always so disconcerting to me. Nebulous requirements, subjective assessments, and secret qualifications. Is this what corporate personal reviews are all about? Who really knows? It's all so strange.

In our Enterprise we have several categories and various ratings. Ratings from exceptional to "needs improvement." Trouble is, no one knows how to use them. My boss told me that the Human Resource Department will not allow him to show me the codes and ratings. So I'm to be assessed on secret codes? Cool. Secret codes and secret societies. Wow.

So he says: "Think you could do my job?"

"Yeah, sure. I was doing your job before they hired you. I suppose I could do it now."

"Yeah, I guess you were."

"Will you put this job first?"

"Huh? First before what? What are you talking about?"

"Well," he said to me "before I got married I told my wife that if I had to choose between her or my job, she would loose. She was fine for the first year or so but then...she left. So, what about you?"

"Ah, no, that wouldn't be me. I've been married for 26 years and I plan to be married for another 26 years -- to the same woman. 'Cause, I kind of like her you know. You see, the reason I'm working is to support my family, not replace them. No, unlike you my family is first and my job is second. That's worked out for me my entire career these 22 years. I see no reason why it shouldn't for the future."

This reminds me of the time I worked for a pre-IPO. My boss at the time told me that if I just worked 80 hours a week for the next two years I'd be a millionare. So I said:

"Who will I cuddle up to at the end of the two years after my wife has left me? My money?"

He wasn't too happy with me. I worked hard but not 80 hours a week worth.

When 9/11 hit he was the first one to be laid off. The company never went public and I moved on.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. -Epicurus