... for most of today I experienced rising panic as I stared at the Neat & Tidy Piano Movers' On-line Appraisal Tool. What on earth should I write? What have I done over the past twelve months to justify my continued employment as a Junior Shifter? I bloody hate this self-justification exercise and am absolutely certain that much of the angst comes from my twelve years of servitude at Dante's Nine Circles of Hell. I'm not going to start a rant about the perverse aspects of their staff appraisal system. I am sure there is a Journal Entry from a couple of years ago where I moan about it and a recent blog post by an ex-colleague suggests that things are probably worse there rather than any better. What I do know is that I am somewhat scarred by Dante's appraisal system and consequently have the same expectations here at the Piano Movers. 30% is far more relaxed about it and tells me that I shouldn't worry. My Boss loves me and the grading decisions have been made already. Apparently all I need to do is enter a few concise notes that simply say that I succeeded in or delivered my various objectives. I'm not so sure ... what if I miss out a critical piece of evidence and my career dissipates like mist in the early morning sun or, likely more accurately, like a small antelope with a bad limp wandering past a starving lion. I guess I should relax but it is hard when it is my livelihood that is at stake.
I approached the day on a task and reward basis. Each time I fancied a cup of coffee or food I made myself enter the evidence for one of my dozen objectives before I allowed myself the luxury of getting up to seek sustenance. By the end of the day I had entered results against all but one of my objectives and I have until Monday to complete the exercise. I still find it surprising how relieved I feel when I can finally press the submit button and get this crappy task completed.
In the late afternoon TP and I took the dogs for a walk around the Three Miler and we then had an early dinner before heading over to the NEC ... A colleague at work had tickets for Lee Mack's Hit the road Mack tour but was not able to attend. As a result TP and I found ourselves in pretty good Block A seats to enjoy the spectacle. The warm-up act was an appalling misogynistic throwback to the seventies and I was relieved when his half hour finally drew to a close. Mack, on the other hand, was a delight and his set was filled with laugh out loud moments. A definite 8/10. This would have been a higher score but there was no free tin of Spam.*
* a running gag coming out of some audience interaction.