Complicated and Opaque

Last week, I got my yearly performance review. Although the words in the review seemed pretty positive, the number ended up being a positively small 3%.

Don’t get me wrong! — a 3% raise is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (don’t try that at home). But I think my company makes it hard to get the big raises on purpose. The performance review is all online, and a big part of it is a self-assessment. Check out the instructions:

1. At least one objective should be set for each scorecard category.
2. No more than three objectives should be set for any one category.
3. The weights for all objectives should total 100%.
4. The total weight of objectives for any one scorecard category should not exceed 50%.
5. An objective should not be weighed less than 10% nor more than 30%.

This definitely favors people who aced the math and logic problems on the SATs. Two trains leave the station traveling at least 30 mph but no more than 55 mph. When do they get to Baltimore? I think if you can fill out the forms correctly, they automatically make you a VP of Operations.

The final insult, in the boss part of the performance review, was this:

Particularly, please document what the employee has done to achieve results by demonstrating the [My Company’s] values: Simple and Open.

Simple and open aren’t the first two words I thought of to describe the online forms, I admit. I can only hope, then, that the employee who designed the performance review had to fire himself afterwards.

7 Responses to Complicated and Opaque

  1. dbay says:

    Flee. Flee that place very quickly.

    Then again, that would make your hilarious, prize-winning ‘workplace humor’ book a little harder to write.

    I’m impressed you and your sanity are both still working there.

  2. ats says:

    I actually found the instructions to your review more absurd, when read aloud, than these classic directions:

    “Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.”

  3. Anirban says:

    Gotta agree with dbay there. Look at it as a 3% pay increase on your part time vocation while your bestseller is right around the corner.

    The real money is in pay-per-view blogs I tell you…

  4. Kris says:

    The raises may not keep up with inflation, and the bureaucracy may be Monty-Pythonesque, but three little words will keep me here a long, long time, friends: work in pajamas.

  5. anonanon says:

    An RPG/ D&D Workthrough – PART 1:

    It seems to me that a big part of this game is about the basic ability, or lack thereof, to determine the number of Categories (NOC). Are these pre-set by the masters? Or do you get to choose how many you have and what they are?

    Working through the rules given above, I might be able to figure this out. Since rule 1 and rule 2 are instructions about placing Objectives, I’m assuming you determine those.

    The “Objectives”:

    Your max possible total number of Objectives will be NOC * 3 (MAXOB=3NOC)

    If you get to choose, how many you choose should depend on how many things your character gets to/ is required to do in the course of the job. If you do a lot of different things at all different kinds of times, you’ll want to have a lot of Categories (and therefore Objectives). If you rather stick to two or three big tasks or projects when you work, you go as low with your NOC as you can.

    You have to put one Objective under each Category, so the minimum number of Objectives would be NOC * 1, or, the same as your NOC. If you got to choose and went with a low NOC, now you see if each of those few projects/ tasks have a lot of side- and mini- wrinkles (like multiple timelines or getting information from one point to another). If so, and you want to be evaluated for hitting all the marks, go for the MAXOB – three per Category.

    Here, you could mix and match between your categories. You could go for one Category with a lot of moving parts (maxed with 3 Objectives) and another Category depending on just one Objective (a deadline, say).

    The “Weight”
    (even though this follows the section on the Objectives, the two of them really need to be worked out in parallel):

    If you want to specialize in one Category, you load it up to the Category maximum weight, which is 50 (but not everyone may want to be a specialist). The remaining 50 is to be distributed according to where the secondary specialization is desired. So, if you only had two categories, you would theoretically have a double classer (50-50 split), and if one of them is a single-Objective Category (like the deadline-Objective), you would just have set yourself up with a 50-powered Objective.

    BUT since an Objective can’t weigh more than 30, a 50-powered Objective is impossible.

    This leads to a couple of new restrictions/ definitions:
    1. The maximum number of Objectives one can have in a single category is 5 (minimum of 10 weight, maxing out the weight of a 50-powered specialization).
    2. If you chose to weigh a Category as a specialization, you’ll need to have at least two Objectives (30-20 split of the 50-weight).

    Am I completely off?

  6. Kris says:

    No, that’s about it.

    I ended up being a half-manager (marketing class), and put way too much weight on my communications ability (I”m a sucker for communications!) but didn’t give myself enough strength for project completions, so I ended up getting killed every time I encountered a halfway-tough e-mail.

    Also, a hobgoblin rogue totally stole my gloves of dominion so, you know.

  7. Aakaash says:

    Well, as you said – could have been blinded; sharp poke eye stick. Gloves of Dominion remind me of Heroes Of Might and Magic and Seagram’s Gin. I think Anirban would agree with me that nerds can totally rock the corporate establishment, in unexpected ways.
    Bonus calculation parameters essentially came down to choosing between 1d6 and 2d3.

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