Performance Review Time

21 Dec
Really? You want me to do what?

Really? You want me to do what?

The end of the year brings forth a ritual that is timeless in its age and vicious in its intent. Annual Job Performance Reviews. These four words strike fear into the hearts of most employed persons. Not only because the outcome of the review dictates annual insults raises, but the process itself has become painful. Sort of like, “I’d rather drag my naked body across a mile of broken glass as write my performance review.”

Okay, take a minute to get that picture out of your head…

Close enough. Let’s press on. In the “old days”, sometime before Christmas, the boss would call you into his office. You would sit down and wipe your sweaty palms on your knees praying that you would still have a job when you left. The boss would tell you what a great job you did for him over the past year. You would pick your mouth up off the floor. The boss would then say you were getting a raise at some percentage above the cost of living increase. He would then hand you an envelope and say Merry Christmas. you would open the envelope, see the size of the bonus check and praise god that you could now go buy gifts for the family. You would thank you boss, skip from his office, and quickly go to the garage and defuse the bomb you had attached to his car just in case… 🙂

My how things have changed thanks to some genius in Human Resources (HR).

Now most companies handle it this way. The week before Christmas, the boss sends you an email with multiple attachments. The email states that’ “You are required to complete the attached Performance Evaluation Form, the 2014 Developmental Goals template, and the Goal Tracking Sheet. All documents must be completed and returned to me no later than January 6th. The Executive Team has set the maximum increase allowed for an “Exceeds Expectation Rating” at 1.24%.”

You open the Performance Evaluation Form and see six pages. Each page has two sets of blanks. A large blank with the heading, “Employees comments” and a small blank with the heading, “Reviewer’s Comments”. Each page has a header with some obscure general term that leaves interpretation wide open. For example: Teamwork, Communication, Commitment, Functionality. If you’re lucky, there may be a handful of bullet points listed to help you understand what the Psychology Professors in HR think is important to you doing your job. If not, you are completely on your own to provide comments for your review. In addition to the Evaluation, you must come up with developmental goals that you must achieve over the next twelve months. Too easy and you will be asked to change them, too hard and you kill your review for next year. HR says you need at three or four goals but your boss wants seven or eight.

Those of you who have not been through this process are probably saying, “Great, I’ll just say that I am the greatest thing since sliced bread and I deserve a huge raise and a company car.” Foolish mortals! There is a rule that you have not considered. “He who wields the pen last, writes the truth.”

Now you provide this nightmare to your boss by the required date, having blown off Christmas and New Years to get it done. Now you wait…and wait…and wait.

Sometime in March you go into your ask your boss when the actual review meetings will be conducted. He responds that HR requires they be completed by 3/31. You say okay and go back to work.

At noon on 3/31 you receive a meeting request for 4:00 PM. You are handed a copy of your review with the bosses comments and asked if you have any questions. You are allowed five minutes to read through the Evaluation. You are then required to sign the Eval whether or not you agree with the boss. He then says that he’s not sure what your raise will be, if you qualify for one. He submitted it and it will show on your next pay stub. When you look at your next paycheck you realize that the half percent increase the company so graciously gave you bumped you into the next tax bracket and your check is 10% less than it was before your review. WhooHoo.

Maybe next year I can review my Boss and send the review his boss before their review is complete. *Sure, Cut back on the Wild Turkey, Dennis*

Headache medicine

Headache medicine

Aren’t performance evals fun?


Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Musings and Odd Thoughts


Tags: , , , ,

21 responses to “Performance Review Time

  1. Jade Reyner

    December 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Hilarious Dennis! I feel your pain.. and just to ease it a little, I am going to reblog..! Now, don’t tell me that your life isn’t complete. 😀

    • Dennis Langley

      December 22, 2013 at 9:30 am

      This is the season to spread ‘good cheer’! 🙂

      • Jade Reyner

        December 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

        I am always happy to spread good cheer your way Dennis! 🙂

      • Dennis Langley

        December 23, 2013 at 10:29 am

        You crack me up. 🙂

      • Jade Reyner

        December 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

        Now we’re back to ice skating and ballroom dancing. Thought we’d put that one to bed! 😀

      • Dennis Langley

        December 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

        Yes, dear. You’re right dear. That looks nice, I think you should buy it dear. 😉

      • Jade Reyner

        December 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Hahahahahaha….! Yep, still a gent that knows his place! 😀

      • Dennis Langley

        December 23, 2013 at 11:09 am

        A fool, I am not.

      • Jade Reyner

        December 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

        Sensible man. 😀

  2. Jade Reyner

    December 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Jade's Jungle and commented:
    This is so true and a really good giggle – for those of us that remember the ‘old’ days that is! A great read from a great blogger.

  3. change it up editing

    December 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Ahhh, Dennis, this reminds me why I left the corporate world. I’ve had jobs in several fields that required the Annual Performance Review, and each was more painful than the last. The only consolation is that once the company is struggling and pay CUTS begin, the reviews aren’t nearly as in-depth . . . which isn’t much consolation. Pass the Wild Turkey, please.

    • Dennis Langley

      December 22, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Retirement looks better this time every year. You do have a point about struggling companies. A bit of the “Turkey” coming your way. 🙂

  4. Matthew Wright

    December 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Good luck with the review!

    • Dennis Langley

      December 23, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Can I include my review in my word count for the day? It will be a combination of fantasy and non-fiction. 🙂

  5. shelleyhazen83

    December 23, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Holy cow – that whole process seems generated just to make you crazy. I had a couple evaluations when I worked for the local paper, and they were much more informal: handwritten, no participation from me. They were really half-assed, actually. My last job, I never had a review, not once. I learned my worth, though, when I put in my two weeks and my boss fired me the next day. If I can swing it, I will work for myself for the rest of my life. My 2013 evaluation for myself – Great job!!

    • Dennis Langley

      December 23, 2013 at 8:42 am

      Great review!

      There comes a time when you become numb to the process. You know what to expect and it is very mechanical. It’s too bad really.

  6. Nicolette

    December 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I had so little participation in my last review that I didn’t even see it! HR said to ask my boss, my boss said he was waiting from the “go” command from HR. I’m glad I left when I did. The way our corporate office malfunctioned really has soured me on working for corporations, but I’m young and still have lots of years left to work, so perhaps I’ll work for one again. 😛

    • Dennis Langley

      December 24, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Good luck to you. There are a few good ones to be found.

  7. 4amWriter

    December 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Eek. That’s definitely whiskey worthy stuff. I have been out of the workforce (aside from my freelancing gigs) for 10 years. I feel like I’m missing out. Not.

    • Dennis Langley

      December 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      I’m still trying to find my way out. I do need a way to pay the bills though. 😉


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