b Papa Dog's Blog: Dispatch from Dapa Pog

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Dispatch from Dapa Pog

Dapa Pog writes:

“Here’s what a big dummy I am. Two years ago my immediate supervisor got laid off and I was left in a chain-of-command vacuum with nobody between me and the head of the whole office, the Kenny Rogers-looking guy, who generally had better things to do than solve my HR problems for me. In truth, I was happy enough with the situation. I’d always functioned more or less autonomously from my supervisor. As long as I kept the wheels running smoothly – which I always did, she had no reason to look my way. I viewed her pretty much solely as the person to call when I was going to be out sick.

“A year later, it finally dawned on me that she really had filled several important functions in my work universe, the most major one being that she conducted my annual performance review. I loathe performance reviews. Well, that’s not true. The performance review part’s fine, because it usually consists of something along the lines of “Sterling fellow, wot? Pip pip! Hurrah!” It’s the self-assessment part I despise. I hate being forced to tout myself, which is what one must do in order to get a raise. Raises being tied to the performance reviews, you must be on record as being of the opinion that you don’t suck. I can’t quite explain why I find this such an awful assault on my dignity. I find the whole process unseemly and, well, un-Canadian.

“And that, in a nutshell, is how I went two years without doing a performance review. Every time I thought I really should get the ball rolling, I’d find, without too much difficulty, something else to do instead, and then I’d forget about it for another month or two. I got a bit exercised about getting on with it last year, but then Daby Bog was born and I went on leave, and for three months I forgot about anything that had anything to do with the office.

“This week, though, there was a bit of an office shocker. The Kenny Rogers-looking guy announced that he was resigning and moving on to another company. He was gone in two weeks. It suddenly hit me that if I was ever to get my performance review done, this was the time. I knew he’d be in a charitable mood on his way out, and since there was no telling who would replace him, it didn’t make sense to take any chances. I sent him an email saying I hadn’t had a performance review or a raise in two years, and could he maybe do my review before he left.

“Today I went to the performance review meeting, and it was all pretty ducky. He actually gave me the best review I’ve ever had, which makes me feel kind of bad about calling him the Kenny Rogers-looking guy, but hey, that’s the chance you take when you grow a silver beard. When we were done the review part, he said, ‘Okay, let’s talk about salary. I assume you know what you’re making now?’ My brain kind of seized up. I don’t know why this is, but in all the time I’ve worked for YBW (formerly Gals Be We), I’ve never been able to retain the knowledge of my exact salary. Sometimes I think that’s cute, but in this case it was just embarrassing. ‘Uh, no, actually, I don’t,” I admitted. He said no problem, pulled out a file, and rattled off some numbers. Then he looked up and said, ‘This says you got a raise last December.’ He looked through some more and found I also got a raise the December before that. Both times they were pretty good raises, higher than the average for the office. I was dumfounded. ‘Nobody ever notified me,’ I said. He nodded. ‘That’s what happens when you don’t have a direct report.’

“So apparently you don’t need to endure the performance review to get the raise. Who knew? And how silly did I feel, not knowing that my salary had in fact been raised twice without my knowing? I finally figured out how it managed to escape my notice: both raises came right at a time when I switched in one direction or another from a 32-hour schedule to a 40-hour schedule. This January, I noticed my paycheques were bigger, but I assumed it was because I was working an extra day and a lot of overtime. It never occurred to me to look closely at them and notice that the base rate had gone up.

“Well, it was a productive meeting anyway, and I got a really good review for my personnel file. It should get me another decent raise this December. And maybe I won’t have to do another stupid self-evaluation to get it.”


Blogger Judy said...

The way I see it, you don't need to do a performance review for the next 5 years. If you went this long, got raises, and no one even noticed, then it should take a good 5 years before someone notices again. Unless, however, you get a Type A person to fill the KR dude's shoes, then you might be due for one in a few months again!

10:59 AM  

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