Alright, so, I’m not really employee of the month, mostly because my company doesn’t do that, but it turns out, I am an awesome employee.
Just before Male died, at the ass-end of February, I was written up for my unprofessional attitude:
“On a number of occasions Goldfish has communicated in an unprofessional manner with co-workers and management. It is expected that all dialogue will be respectful and in a number of instances you have been rude and defensive.”
I had what I saw as good reason for this. My former boss who is not my boss still insists on acting like my boss, even though the owner of the company specifically said he isn’t my boss in the first meeting we had. We are equals now, but he has an office and a parking spot (and I’d imagine, a larger salary), while I am stuck in a cubicle. His mother is my boss and also his.
Seriously, how many of you in your mid-forties could tolerate working for your mother? This isn’t a new thing either. As far as I know, former boss has never had a job where his mother wasn’t his boss. He’s worked at this same job, cranking out the same stale garbage design since the 1990s.
So, every time former boss got up in my business, where he has no right to be, I got defensive. I very much felt that former boss and his mom were trying to get rid of me, or at the very least, sabotage me, since my failure could only lead to his continued lackadaisical success. This suspicion was only confirmed when they wrote me up. A guy who is not my boss and his mommy wrote me up, so, yeah, defensive.
I didn’t want to get fired though, especially over bullshit like that, so I wrote up a two page response to their ridiculous accusations and asked that it be put in my personnel file. That was the last I heard of it. I’ve secretly been applying for jobs here and there with no success, but eventually something might come through. You never know unless you try.
After I was written up, I realized that it’s stupid to get defensive about a job I don’t even want in the first place. I still get a little grumpy when they pull their sabotagey bullshit, but I don’t let it bother me for long, because nothing at this job matters.
I have no intention of staying here any longer than I have to, so what difference does it make if a guy who is not my boss acts like he is while management lets him? What difference does it make that our actual boss is his mommy? None. When he’s fifty, he’ll still be pretending to hold on to power he doesn’t have and working for his mom, while I’ll be somewhere else. He’s a small man in a small world that I don’t want any part of anymore.
So, I chilled. I stopped being angry about a job I hate with people who treat my like shit. I am a zen master like my father, or at least, I’m trying to be. I’m not nearly as chill as my dad though.
Fast forward to this Monday, when a coworker told me the company had started employee evaluations. Apparently, they do them once a year in bulk, instead of the traditional practice of doing them on your hire date.
As soon as I heard this, I started getting a little sick to my stomach. I kept thinking I’m going to get fired this week. Monday passed with no review. Tuesday, Wednesday and half of Thursday passed the same. Thursday afternoon, the general manager came to my little slice of heaven called a cubicle and asked if he could see me for a minute. Ruh roh!
I followed him to the conference room and former boss and his mom were there. Why the hell is my former boss, who is definitely not my boss, in on my performance review?! But, like the apprentice zen master I am, I let it go. I sat on the end of the table farthest away from former boss and didn’t look at him.
The general manager said, “You haven’t been through this process before, have you?” In front of him sat two stapled together sheets of paper with my name on the top and a bunch of circled numbers. All of the circles were towards the left of the page. In English, we read from left to right, so most rating systems are oriented that way with one being the worst, like so:
1 2 3 4 5
Since the circled numbers were on the left, I logically assumed they had rated me poorly. Great. Then, he tilted the paper towards me and started going through it. Lo and behold, I’m not retarded; the company I work for is! Their rating system was printed backwards in descending order like so:
5 4 3 2 1
Why would they do that? I have no idea; perhaps to give new employees false expectations when they walk into a performance review. Whatever the reason, what that meant is that I had received all positive ratings! On two pages worth of metrics, there were only two 3s, and of course, they had to do with communication. The rest of my ratings in every category from management to performance were solid 4s and there were even a few 4+, which is almost like a 5, but not quite.
The general manager explained to me that 5s are nearly impossible to achieve, so don’t feel too badly. Almost entirely 4s is really quite excellent. And he even said, “So, yay you.” To which I stupidly replied, “Yay!”
Fortunately, the general manager did most of the talking instead of former boss and his mommy, “We’ve seen a marked improvement in your attitude since last we spoke.” He said “we” even though he wasn’t even in the meeting where I was written up. “And it’s obvious that you care about your work.”
BWAHAHAHA. If they only knew that the “marked improvement” in my attitude was because I just stopped caring. So, yeah, I got all positives and only a couple of neutrals; not a single negative mark at all. I have gone from almost getting fired to 3s and 4s in a couple of months. I am the best employee ever! Now, if only I could find a new job.