everything old is new again

Duck Season! Performance Management Season!

April 30, 2015
Duck Season! Performance Management Season!

Every year here at The Firm, staff are required to give themselves a self-evaluation. It’s a laborious process for many, since by nature, many of us aren’t wired to be our own, best champions.

One thing I started doing about five years ago was keeping a log of all the things I do outside of my day-to-day training duties, so when I get to that part of my self-evaluation, I can copy-and-paste it in, and edit it to make it nice and shiny. Still, this leaves me having to come up with reasons why I rate myself so highly in the various parts of the self-evaluation, including things like “Problem Solving” and “Drive for Results.” After a decade, it’s hard to come up with new ways of saying the same old thing. Even HR has basically said you should pull up your previous self-evals in PeopleSoft and copy-and-paste over the contents into the current year’s and edit accordingly.

There’s also this lovely addition for most staff of a learning plan. What’s on the learning plan is a list of courses selected for you by your manager that you need to complete by the end of April. You usually get the list by the end of August the prior year (although I recall it being December one year), and there’s usually about four hours of videos that need to be watched. Many of them are HR things like, “How to be an effective communicator” and “How to manage your manager.” Part of my job is that I’m one of the administrators for the site we use to host all of our eLearning and documentation. Invariably, people wait until three days before the end of the performance management cycle to start, and then their computers don’t cooperate (usually a Java issue…) which spawns a slew of help desk tickets that need to be addressed.

Naturally, the person in question is often in a foul mood, since they waited until the very last second and things aren’t going smoothly. This is one of those times of the year that finds me being stretched to my thinnest and having to keep a smile on my face instead of slapping people up’side the head.

One example is a secretary in my office. Her attorneys had submitted their resignation from the Firm about six weeks ago and then took it back when some conflicts came up. She had given her notice as well, and then had to take it back (they accepted that, given the nature of the situation). She hadn’t done one item on her learning plan until the other day, and naturally she ran into problems since Murphy is the Patron Saint of Computers*. She got testy with me in the early afternoon, and then with a colleague from another office later in the day.

I have little sympathy for people who have done this to themselves. You had months to do this, and your procrastination isn’t my problem. Don’t be that person.

Oh, and hello. Been a while.

*My axiom for Murphy’s Law: At the worst possible time, your computer will go down. I have a second one, too, which substitutes Training for the word Computers.

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