What the… ?!
Dear ice cream manufacturers,
What the heck is up with this 1.5-quart container nonsense? In my day we had half gallons and we liked it. We’re expecting, like, 20 people at our house this afternoon and I’ve made two pies. That calls for at least a third more vanilla bean slow-churned than you’re apparently willing to sell me, but I’m not cramming two tubs into my freezer. Nuh uh.
Get off my lawn, ya jerks. You’re not fooling anyone.
Old Lady Julandran
“How much do you suck?” “A lot, apparently.”
It’s annual review time at work, and I really, really hate this process. I understand why it’s a good and necessary thing to do as a concept, but the reality of it just blows. The core of the process is a self-evaluation, which the higher-ups discuss among themselves, followed by a meeting with each employee to discuss specific points.
Sounds perfectly reasonable, right? Right. Except that in my brain it turns into a big game of “Wow, I Suck!”. The questions and answers pretty much boil down to this:
- What did you do this year?
…Stuff. You can’t really tell, because a lot of digital stuff is ephemeral, so most of the stuff I started with isn’t there anymore. Also, it involved a lot of reading, which isn’t tangible at all.
- Did you do new / extra stuff?
a) Kinda, and b) No, you won’t let me.
- In what ways do you suck?
Oh, so very many. Let me count the ways. Mostly, I goof off more than I should and avoid doing things I don’t want to do. Oh, and I don’t have the necessary skills to do everything you want me to, because I was promoted internally against my will rather than being hired for the job you want done.
- Could you try to suck less?
Maybe, but I’m kinda doing the best I can here. The things you want me to give up are the parts of my job I actually find satisfying, and the parts you want me to do more of I find dull and/or incomprehensible. Plus, I have this constant dread that if I tell you I can’t do everything you want you’ll fire me, because this “promotion” you gave me last year was presented in such a way that it seems like an ultimatum.
- On a scale of 1 (a lot) to 4 (I’m awesome), how much do you suck at each of the following?
Mostly “a lot” or “some”. I’m doing a job I didn’t actually apply for. It’s just that my job description keeps changing every year or two based on the needs of the organization and I happen to be the least unqualified for this stuff at the moment. You could certainly get someone better at this than me, but not for the pittance you’re paying me for it.
Add to all this the fact that the uber-boss clearly resents having to know anything about what my job actually entails, and dislikes the fact that I’m the pragmatist of the group who points out all of the potential tricky bits in stuff she wants to do, and my annual review becomes a big pile of no-fun.
A big part of my mindset during this process probably comes from the fact that I grew up in a household where humility was one of the core virtues. It’s a rare day when I can sincerely tell someone, “I’m awesome!” Such sentiments are far more likely to be expressed as, “I did a thing, and I’m quite pleased with the results.” So when my employers say, “Tell us how awesome you are,” my brain responds with “Not very, I’m afraid.” And when 75% of the questionnaire can be read as “How much do you suck?”, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will.