Monday, December 20, 2010

Not Applicable

As of this morning it is officially Workplace Christmas, as indicated by the presence of a party tray of storebought Christmas cookies by the office coffee maker, and the fact that my government boss handed out presents to her dedicated staff. For my part, I’ve broken out the holiday neckties for the entire week, which means I can at least begin my mental vacation by increments, starting with pre-sunrise fashion decisions already laid out for the next few days. (Today, tiny Christmas trees! Tomorrow, snowflakes! Wednesday, larger but more abstract Christmas trees! Thursday, smiley-face ornaments!)

It's like looking into a mirror.
I was tempted to declare Workplace Christmas as officially starting late last week because all day long Thursday and Friday my Inbox notification was dinging and flashing more or less non-stop as various tiny sub-agencies kept sending out mass e-mails announcing that they were having their own holiday luncheons. These weren’t invitations, mind, they were heads-ups so that everyone else would know that if they needed any particular work done by the sub-agencies, they shouldn’t go looking for anyone from 1330 – 1430 because staffing would be minimal due to mandatory festivities. But I’d rather mark things from happy signs like free baked goods than annoying signs like rampant outlook abuse, so here we are.

I do want to touch on one other thing, work-related. Time flies and this past Friday was the due date for self-assessment for my annual review for my contracting boss. In all honesty I felt like the past twelve months on the contract were a little lighter on actual accomplishment than the six months before that had been, with no ludicrously major-impact-level server transfer event to call my own. I kept up with everything I was given to do (including my one major project that was immediately cancelled once I had finished enough of it to show to anyone who might’ve had a vested interest in it) but wasn’t given that much. I spun all of that as positively as I could, of course, but that’s not the point. I just had to laugh because either they changed the online evaluation form this year or perhaps I never read it super-closely before. There is a section of the self-assessment divided into categorical headings for different areas of responsibility, some of which are universal like core competencies and some of which are more specific to certain roles, like managers. So the instructions indicate you should only assess yourself for the areas of responsibility which have been assigned a positive overall percentage weight by your supervisor, and anything assigned 0% is not part of what you’ll be evaluated on because it doesn’t apply to you. Three of the areas on my form were at 0% - leadership, decision-making, and market focus. I’m far beyond okay with the last one, because I have less than 0% desire to work on the sales side of the contracting biz, thanks all the same. And the first one makes perfect sense, since I’m at the bottom of the org chart on this particular team.

It’s the middle one that doesn’t really bug me in any way, just kind of underscores every point I usually make about the vaguely ridiculous nature of my position as a single, solitary geartooth on one small cog in the machine. Decision-making is not something I am evaluated on in terms of my work performance. In other words I am expected to perform well at thinking for myself 0% of the time. Decision-making is not applicable. Yeah, that about sums it up.

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