21 Aug 2003

If you can’t make it, Fake It!

It was my appraisal with Bernard today.

“How do you like your feedback? Do you like it on the chin, or wrapped up in cotton wool?” He asked. It sounded like something he had read in one of his management books.

“On the chin.” I replied.

He picked up a scrap of paper and began to read from it. Each word was delivered with dramatic emphasis. “The job’s mine. I can piss all over this task. A lot of lip service to keep BERNARDO happy.”

They were notes that I had made at the selection event for the office manager position. I assumed that they had been long forgotten. Instead they had been saved until they could inflict the maximum damage: my pay review.

The words still hung in the air. Brenda was there too, for some reason, she looked tight lipped and serious. Bernard dropped the paper dismissively.

“What can I do with you? Janice has drive, ambition, ability and delivery. Tony is sharp thinking, inspirational and, despite being rough round the edges, driven for success. I don’t know about you … capable … intelligent … but cynical, lacking drive and an aloofness.”

I could feel my head drooping with shame.

He continued, “You may think you are better than this. You may think “there must be more to life than this”. If I thought that you had drive and ability, I would say that you were wasted in The Call Centre. But, you haven’t, so get over it. You’ve got a job. Life ain’t that bad.”

I suppose it is too late to ask for the ‘wrapped in cotton wool’ version.