My first annual Performance Management teleconference was to have been with my Manager's Manager. That didn't work out apparently and my meeting was with my Manager instead. Before that, I was to review the actual performance document which had been produced back in January. Most of the fields were blank with no commentary from management. A few had minimal “meets expectations” notes. Only one field had anything of substance:
“Geis is a new addition to the team this year. Geis has demonstrated sound and proficient technical abilities. He has completed all tasks given him in a timely manner. I would suggest that Geis continue to learn the customer in his local area in order to device a way to better support the customer in the most efficient manner. Geis has met all goals for this year and as he learns his environment as well as the customer. With continued mentorship he will become a great asset to the team as well as The Corporation.”
Several things struck me. The first and most glaring was that horribly structured sentence in the middle (that I highlighted). The sentence after that one also appears to be missing an entire clause. “As he learns.” Comma. There's supposed to be more to that but it just hangs.
Oh, and there is also the double spacing after each sentence.
Neartly a year ago, I was asked to come up with objectives beyond “do my job” and “learn more stuff.” I came up with the idea of producing a training document. When I was visited on site by my Manager and my Manager's Manager (there were in town for all of ten minutes), neither of them seemed enthusiastic. My manager even specifically dismissed the idea of sharing the documentation she had because she felt new employees would “try to skip ahead.” And with that, I didn't pursue the matter.
In my Performance Management documents, there was no mention of my failure to meet this objective.
So, when I got on the phone with my Manager, she confirmed the generally positive assessment of the document with one caveat; our conflict of personalities. I know that she dislikes explanations but I could not let this go.
I started out by explaining that “I have history.” I'm not a young man anymore and I would guess that I have been doing this stuff for at least a decade longer than either of my managers. I have seen things. And my most recent experience had been with the loss of a contract, assurances that we were all going to keep our jobs, and subsequent loss of employment when those assurances turned out to be false. So, when I hear the same rhetoric coming from current managers about how, even though they lost the contract, we are needed and our continued employment is assured, I am understandably skeptical.
And I'm too old and too experienced to just keep my mouth shut and tow the company line.
Therein is our personality conflict.
Nevertheless, she accepted this explanation. The made additional assurances to which I responded with a shrug. “Ask me again after the contract is actually signed and we know what is going on. Before that, decisions cannot be made with zero evidence.”
I was also informed that I got a raise. Four percent. Those additional funds will be very useful. That is, if the job actually continues as promised beyond the contract expiration at the end of the month.