Friday, 27 May 2011

The house of mirth

It's performance appraisal time and social convention requires you re-acquaint yourself with the company mantra:
Those who shout the loudest have the most to gain.
Of course that's not entirely fair, but then neither is making you fill in this form. Luckily you stumbled into contract work for several years and were able to opt out of such torture, resisting attempts of well-meaning managers to drag you back in; now however you’re a permanent participant of this divine comedy. The problem being that once an organisation reaches a certain size, the forms start to cater for the lowest common denominator, bloat with unnecessary detail and punish those who already have a strong work ethic. It's difficult to maintain a sense of individuality; especially when you reach the page containing a table of verbs and adjectives "you might want to use".

OK, so they're not that bad, but I am ambivalent. A formal appraisal can feel an admission of failure when continuous informal is the aim, where a well-run company has the least to gain and an ill-run company the most. It is at best an aide memoir for good management, not a requirement.

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