Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Performance Reviews

Ah, it's that time again. Performance Reviews. Don't ya just love 'em. I really look forward to mine. It's always great fun and very entertaining if a bit dicey.

And you know, if I were a kid just out of school, I know I'd take them more seriously. But I'm far too experienced to expect these things are intended to be helpful to me.

Mine started out with a bang. My Director said: "Let's start with the rearview mirror."

The rearview mirror? Did I miss something. Is this driving school? I thought I was getting a performance review.

But I said: "Rearview mirror?"

"That's what I like to call it since we are looking backward at what you've done."

Oh, I get it, rearview mirror. Cute. Sorry, you almost lost me there.

And so it went. All this Enterprise jargon. We talked about my 360 and my rearview mirror and my four-blocker.

Of course I've had eight bosses since joining the Enterprise just five years ago. That means each year one boss makes the recommendations for improvement but another boss gives the assessment of my progress. This year was no different. In fact, this year my new boss REVERSED what my previous boss said last year!

But of course the current boss is always required to say something good and then say what they want me to improve on. It's always a surprise. And that's my gripe. Why should it be a surprise? A really great boss would have been working with me all along.

This time I was told that I do great work, in fact, quick work, but it needs more quality. So I asked for an example. There was only one. In drawing a diagram for the VPs and Directors I missed a connecting line between two boxes representing computer systems.

And I had remembered that discussion so I asked: "You mean the time I drew the diagram but an hour later the strategy was changed in a meeting I wasn't in?"

"Yeah, that's the one."

"But I wasn't invited. I didn't even know it was happening."

"So, It's your fault for not getting invited."

You must be kidding? You can't be serious. Is this your only example of "lack of quality"?

Am I on Candid Camera?

It could be worse. One of my associates told me her husband (who works for another big Enterprise) was told that he'd never reach the next level until he cleaned off his desk and wore better clothes. Seems the CEO told everyone that because the next day the whole company was wearing slacks.

So that got me to thinking. Could I type better if my desk was cleaner? Could I type faster if I wore better clothes? Maybe I ought to wear a suit? (I already wear slacks and sport shirt.)

Maybe a cleaner desk could help me produce diagrams with straighter lines.

If I dressed in a suit, maybe I'd get invited to more meetings.

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius. -Fulton J. Sheen