Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Another kind of ratings

I can't believe I didn't post at all this weekend. I basically hibernated, only coming up for Tylenol for my tooth pain, and for a couple of movies. ("Knocked Up" and "Crazy Love" - more later when my mind is in a better place.)

Last week in a meeting our new department leader said, just after I'd said something funny, that he'd heard what I was like, but was glad to see it for himself. He said this in front of the entire group which freaked me out a bit: who was talking about me to him and when? Today I figured it out.

At my job the performance review process has a quota system. Only a set % of people can receive top ratings. This is good and bad: good because as a manager, you have to fight for your people and present real reasons that they deserve the higher rating. It's not enough that they are "great." It's bad, of course, because you have to fight for your people and you're competing with other managers who don't know your staff but feel just as strongly about their own. I don't get to participate in this battle, but arm my own supervisor with "evidence" to get our team the ratings they deserve.

Anyway, I finally got it out of someone who was at the last ratings meeting. When my name came up, they talked about how I may come across as this quiet professional but I can be a smart mouth sometimes. (Not the phrase they used.) The new boss was surprised and this was what he was referring to.

It's still strange to think of a whole room full of people, some of whom you barely know, dissecting your behavior to make a decision that will have real ramifications in your life. (Salary increases and promotions are based on ratings.) It brings back memories of black-ball sessions in the sorority. Having participated in them when I became a sister, and seen how vicious they could be, I always wondered what the discussion had been like when I was up for the vote. But do you ever really want to know those things?


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