THE ANNUAL REVIEW
That's right, folks, it's my work-i-versary! I've been employed at a real-type job for exactly one year, and apparently that job has some things to say about it.
Naturally, I was petrified at the prospect of being reviewed, especially when my boss told me it was just, "So you'll be eligible for raises and things like that. It's just a formality, really." She was trying to put me at my ease; to lull me into a feeling of security. I knew I was doomed.
To make matters worse, I got to pass the time waiting for the axe to fall by filling out a horribly inane and passive-aggressive worksheet.
What went particularly well this year?
Well, all those times I wasn't being reviewed seem, in hindsight, to be wonderfully productive and successful times.
What could have gone better?
Oh, you mean in what ways did I suck? I know where you're going with this. I ain't talkin'.
How can your supervisor help you achieve your goals in the coming year?
Leave me alone, for the love of mercy, just stop with the third degree! Just tell me what you want me to say, and I'll say it.
And THEN . . . well, actually that was it. Three questions, each followed by three blank bullet points gently nudging me into saying a nice round three things in response to each prompt.
Three things . . . three things . . . when was the last time I said three things on a topic? Golly, I haven't said three things since that blog post where I talked about the three aspects of my job that were keeping me from being productive and . . .oh.
So I wrote those things down (not verbatim, naturally. They were safely cloaked in "office-speak"). And you know what? It worked. It was great. My boss listened to what I had to say, and I'm now going to have weekly meetings with her (Hey! Accountability! Urgency, also!) which will hopefully give me the direction and motivation I need to actually produce work.
As for the part of the review where my boss was supposed to tell me what crap I am at my job? It really was just a formality. She wasn't lying. She basically patted me on the head and said, "Good job." and then let me go back to my office and my google reader and my nice, safe knowledge that it would be another year before I'd have to worry about any of this nonsense.
I'm genuinely pleased with myself for making something out of this small opportunity to speak out about what I need to be successful in my job. I'm glad I took the time to (diplomatically. Oh, for heaven's sake, diplomacy above all else!) identify and express my thoughts about my job, and the ways in which it is and is not working for me. I'm equal parts surprised and delighted to find that, as a result of my asking for something, I'm going to get it. I've gained some control over what I do, and how I do it, and how others support me, and that feels really good.
I'm actually looking forward to going to work this week, and that, after all, is one of the goals of this blog. So, way to go, blog! Nice job! Keep it up, and next year, maybe I'll give you a new layout, or (gasp!) some actual, substantial content!