|Or arse, for that matter|
It's that time of year again: The time of the annual work appraisal. Many years ago this used to be a rather informal affair. A simple chat with the Boss and an opportunity to have a mutual moan about incompetent colleagues. The Personnel Department consisted of a dowdy, slightly dishevelled middle-aged spinster forever wandering the building with a bundle of files precariously tucked under her arm. Peggy (for it is she) always smelled slightly of ‘rubbing liniment’ and had an impressive wardrobe of long floral print skirts. Her distracted foray through the corridors of power could be followed by the paper chase of confidential folios carelessly lost. No one was sure what Peggy actually did, but what she didn't do was bother departments with staff appraisal templates.
Then something changed round about the time that 'Personnel' became 'Human Resources'. For some unaccountable reason Peggy disappeared in a cloud of shredded documents and edicts started to trickle down from HR and structured appraisal templates became foisted on harried managers and overworked employees alike. Strange jargon appeared in the dreaded document: Incentivise; holistic; pre-prepare and going forward. There was the initial shock of having to actually do some preparation for the ‘annual chat’. However, once mastered subsequent years simply involved cutting stock answers to stock questions and pasting them into the latest annual review document. Just had to make sure the year was changed at the head of the document. Everything settled down and the employment gods were appeased once again and they saw it was good. Thus we were all lulled into a fool’s paradise.......
Come hither to a few scant weeks ago when I received an email with an attached appraisal doc. I wasn't too bothered as I expected the same format that had been doled out for the past eight years. Characteristically I skipped through the email and missed two very important, but bone chilling words: 'New Format'.
As I opened the template my heart sank. Before I had even read any of the questions I noted that the document was ten pages long and composed in small font. Shit, this looked like I would have to do some serious work. As suspected, the document was well larded with barely comprehensible words and phrases. Here is just a few choice extracts together with my replies.
I could not help but inject a little commentary which doesn’t appear in my final appraisal document (in Italics).
- Relates well to all kinds of people – up, down, and sideways, inside and outside the organisation
- Builds appropriate rapport
- Builds constructive and effective relationships
- Uses diplomacy and tact
- Can diffuse high-tension situations comfortably
The relating to people, up, down and sideways, inside and outside the organsisation is one of my personal/personnel favourites. Reminds me of the ‘Hokey Cokey’. You can always count on HR for obscurification and verbiage.
Relate well with most people, irrespective of their position, up, down, sideways and around about and inside out. Treat people with respect and courtesy unless shown otherwise.
Always ready to dispense a modicum of my characteristically unique sense of humour to cement good working relationships unless I’ve forgot to take my medication.
Tact and diplomacy lie at the heart of any successful interpersonal relationship. Sadly as frail human beings we don’t always behave as we should.
- Is cool under pressure
- Does not become defensive or irritated when times are tough
- Is considered mature
- Can be counted on to hold things together during the tough times
Times are always tough. However, I can be relied upon not be defensive or irritated (who's the miserable bastard calling me defensive and irritable?) and indeed launch the offensive and take the fight to Dr Wilkins in the next office. Can I have a pointed pole to mount his head? I think it would make an attractive adornment next to the photocopier.
Always hold things together except when I don't; my maturity is self evident.
- Develops constructive working relationships with other team members
- Has a friendly manner and a positive sense of humour
Now this is more like it. My working relationship with my colleagues is exemplarly, Dr Wilkins excepted (and Dr Jones, he's a total twat). As for a sense of humour- I don't know what to say.
Always available to my colleagues for advice and sage wisdom meted out with style, humour and effortless aplomb.
The old adage comes to mind: ‘Bollocks in, bollocks out’
Needless to say, I didn’t get a pay rise but at least I wasn't suspended, which just as well as I've mortgage, wife and a mistress with expensive tastes.