at work today, they surprised me with my first (and hopefully final) 6-month performance review. I mostly “met expectations,” but i “need improvement” in my communication skills. By October 2013, my bosses expect me to have completed some sort of assertiveness training course.
i just sort of froze there, pretending to listen, trying to take in and unpack this information… before I finally responded with a question, of sorts. “Well, you knew what you were getting into when you hired me, did you not? I mean, I wasn’t hiding anything.” my bosses furrowed their brows and said, “we would just like you to show more confidence, especially when you’re speaking in front of groups.”
“What sort of groups are you referring to?,” I asked. “Groups of what? Because the group-think mentality here really frightens me… a lot. in a nightmarish way. Actually I think you frighten me, too.”
They somehow sidestepped my questions. “we should tell you that when we say you have “met expectations,” you should be really proud because we have very high standards here.”
“I guess I don’t understand what I should be proud of. I guess I don’t understand wha you mean by standards.”
And with that, they showed me to the door and I think they may have patted me on the back. But I didn’t feel it. I felt nothing.