Congratulations! You are fully adequate


Nothing like a performance review to make a girl feel pretty and special.

Yesterday, I was summoned into my manager’s office for my mid-year performance review. With the rumor of impending layoffs, I was actually somewhat nervous. I’ve been pretty damn bored for the last few months, and my attitude and performance have suffered for it. Answer the phone? Nah, let it go to voice-mail. Get to work on time? Nah, I’ll just stay a little later . . . or not. Ever since one of my “team” members (where are our matching jerseys? Where is our mascot?) has gotten this almost manic enthusiasm for our project, I’ve stepped to the back since I don’t want to compete with her. Really, dear colleague, our project is not going to save lives, it’s just going to polish our corporate image. Please, gawd, stop acting like we’re curing cancer, HIV and acne. I’m glad you’ve found some meaning in your life by being so damn devoted to the project, really I am. But CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

Sorry . . . On our reviews, we are rated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 meaning you’re this close to being fired and 5 being you’re this close to nirvana/sainthood/top corporate lap dog. They expect the managers to divvy these scores out in a true bell curve. I pity the manager who has a well-performing team of 5 because 2 of them will get truly screwed. If you get a 2 on your review, you are essentially on probation and you are unable to transfer out of the department until you bring your performance up to a 3. Me, I’ve always been a 3 – Fully Adequate. On one review, I was verbally told I was actually a 4, but he had already given out all of his 4s to people who were more senior, so on paper I was a 3.

With some trepidation, I go into my manager’s office. I’ve never had the sense he particularly liked me, so with my current state of mind and performance, I thought I was going to get one of the dreaded 2s. “Congratulations, you got a 3. Here read this and sign.” Whew. When it was all over, I was in his office maybe 5 minutes. No complaints. I’m hoping not to add being without a job to the list of my woes. Let’s hope my fully adequaliciousness takes me off the layoff radar.


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