Tuesday 21 July 2020

what a waste, what a waste, what a waste of time...

As the great email clear-up continues, I find myself in 2011 and with the first draft of a blog post. Just reading through it is a reminder of why I never want to find myself working for this sort of company ever again. Just look at this nonsense. It's surely a form of low-level psychological abuse. For some reason, I put up with this for more than 20 years!

"Intellectually intimidating"? Imagine giving someone that feeback, ffs.


As the financial year ends, I'm finding that the usually serene progress of my working day (**ahem**) is being somewhat interrupted by the sour inevitability of year-end performance reviews. A particular favourite of mine is the 'consistency forum', where the senior people in my department try to objectively compare the populations of each grade to decide who has exceeded expectations, who has met expectations and who has fallen short based upon a combination of what people have achieved over the year and their "behaviours".

Unfortunately, the outcome of this forum is important because it determines the size of any pay rise or slice of bonus that we get. Objectivity is, of course, impossible. I'm not even sure they really even aim for it, to be honest, as each manager tries to get their own people into the top right hand "exceed" box at the expense of everyone else. When it comes to the "behaviours" score, in particular, perception is king. Your customers might all think that you are the best thing since sliced bread, but that's not as important as the impression you've made on the colleagues who are judging you. You are supposedly only being ranked on your performance in the last twelve months, but in practice, this is cobblers: there's no time limit on the judgement these people have made on you and there's certainly no measure

Take me as an example: coming out of my consistency forum, I was told that although my behaviours had improved markedly over the last six months, I was still scoring slightly lower there because of the time before that.

Um. But I've only been back at work for six months after taking most of last year off. So, what am I being judged on, exactly?

I actually did quite well in my forum, and yet they've still managed to find a way to piss me off.

One other piece of feedback I got out of my session was that I am apparently "intellectually intimidating". I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with that, to be honest. Is that something I should be actioning? Is it even a criticism?

We waste our lives, we really do.

Speaking of the sort of nonsense people waster their time and money on in a work environment.... I saw someone on an MS charity's Facebook page today kick off a poll to see what myers-briggs personality types we all had to try to assess if there's a link between personality type (specifically the way we handle stress) and multiple sclerosis.


It's all made up, pseudo-scientific nonsense where people use confirmation bias to try and pick out how much their profile really reflects their true personality. There's no link between a myers-briggs personality type and your personality, so there's hardly likely to be a link with the severity of your MS, is there?


  1. I was once on a "leadership in action" type course (residential in the Mendips for a week) where we did all this personality typing shit. The 'quieter' personality types actually ganged up (in a very passive-aggressive sort of way) on the more assertive personality types. Years of resentment, I suppose. But that's another story. It's how I got together with my wife, actually.... but that's another story too!

  2. you can't dangle that sort of titbit in front of us! beans MUST be spilt!