it’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? i think it has.
at work, they made me go through this ritual of giving this co-worker, who i am supposed to supervise, her annual performance review. i wasn’t quite sure how to handle it. they gave me an evaluation form to fill out, sort of like a grade school report card. Rating different “criteria” as “meets expectations,” “exceeds expectations,” “needs improvement,” and “not applicable.” i actually had to go through this once before with her 6 month review, and even though there’s something about her personality that is distressing to me, I graded her with “exceeds expectations,” with just about everything–partly because the company pays so little and if i can somehow sway even a minuscule raise for an underpaid co-worker, that may empower me. and partly because i hoped that all of the high ratings i had given her might inspire her to be nicer to me… which might be considered self-serving in certain cultures.
But Human Resources would have none of it. they rejected my evaluation because i am required to say at least one thing that is critical. They do not accept straight A’s. So this time, I decided to say the most innocuously critical thing–something along the lines that she sometimes neglects to return books to the shelves.
And then a few days before the official review meeting, I told her that I thought she was great, but that HR required me to find something critical to say–so she should not take anything personally. She seemed to get it.
And then immediately following the review meeting, something compelled me to tell her that I knew that she had applied for my job when it was open. And even though she had been actually doing that job in an interim capacity, and even though she had worked there for 2 years, they rejected her. And then they hired me. And then she was responsible for training me.
i told her that i had been in similar circumstances in other jobs and i told her how degrading that could feel. i said something about “the swallowed humiliations of the workday” and that i felt bad for her. and she told me that it was quite difficult. and she couldn’t understand why they didn’t at least involve her in the hiring process. And that, since she was not hired, she would have liked for one of her friends to get the job.
i guess we cleared the air. at the same time as sullying it.