13 Mar 2004

Louis Cypher

It was my six month appraisal on Friday. Bernard has got a new suit and it distracted me during the meeting because it makes him look like a member of Showaddywaddy who has taken up undertaking.

Brenda, the office manager and my self-appointed life coach, was a silent presence at the meeting.

Usually Bernard ignores the standard format of appraisals, as determined by human resources, by following his own train of thought no matter how off the wall, but I think the powers that be have reached him and insisted that he follows the standard agenda. This time he has agreed to play by the rules, after a fashion, and he referred to the ‘Competency Wheel’.

The wheel is designed to invite discussion and a mutual exploration of your skills and knowledge, but Bernard has not quite grasped the concept of ‘dialogue’ and ended each statement with a demand to “prove it”.

I did my best to fend off his questions in the hope that he was ready to give me my button and make me a ‘made’ manager. Sure, I have given up putting in any effort over the past couple of months, but I hoped that I had done enough to get some recognition from the big Boss.

“I liked your memo about the toner cartridges and you have made a contribution to the sales stream.” He paused and grasped his chin. “But I’m not convinced.”

I knew what was coming.

“You need to play the game more. I think you need to work on the two Ps: Politics and profile. You need to lighten up more. Think less. Do more. Do you really want to be the a Call Centre Team Manager?”


“Yes of course I do.” I said.

I handed my soul to him on a platter.