Employee Self-Evaluations--Could *Anything* be a Bigger WASTE OF TIME?!

So I get to work today only to be confronted with IT. More loathsome than one thousand pus-filled slugs, more dreaded than a battery-acid enema, more useless than a condom machine in a nunnery—the annual employee self-evaluation. So now I get to waste at least a couple hours of my already over-filled schedule justifying my position at the company by answering questions like:
“List quantitative and qualitative standards or performance objectives that apply to this position for the evaluation period and indicate to what extent they were achieved.”
“Where do you feel you stand, overall, in the areas of Attendance, Dependability, Personal Organization, Initiative, and Problem-Solving?”
“How many blowjobs are you willing to perform on the decrepit CEO in order to maintain your current position?”

Ok, so I made that last one up. Too bad, because it would be easier than filling out this ridiculous 6 pages of essay-style questions that have little if any relevance to my daily duties. Gahhhberdikkenfookerhawkers! I hate this shit!!!

Here’s an idea—Just note that I’m fully competent and insult me with another piddly $0.10 raise just like you do every fucking year and let’s save everyone the trouble involved with this farce, okie dokie?

How’d all those funky characters get in there?

I’ve never heard of Self-Evaluations. Wonder what would happened if you gave yourself really low scores. Would they fire you?

Think of this as an opportunity to express your “creative writing” talents and have a little fun with it. Use words that you know will make your boss scramble for a dictionary. Put in lots of double entrandres (sure, I know I spelled it wrong). Quote Cecil and maybe ZZ Top.

“Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”-- Hell if I know who said it!

Aw, crap. I cut and pasted from Word, and for some reason that makes it look all wonky. Grrrrrrr.

And every year I wonder the same thing about just completely lowballing myself. Either that or rating myself as “fantasmagorically wonderful” or somesuch and going on and on about how great I am. At least it might make the whole process slightly interesting.

The only bigger waste of time than filling out a self-evaluation is the meeting with your boss to review it.

Otto, who has his quarterly review Monday

The last four lines in my last self evaluation were poorly written arcane corporate-babble. Even my supervisor couldn’t make head nor tails of what was being said there. I just made some crap up to fill in, and she was fine with that. We both agreed the evaluation form was lacking.

On my last self evaluation I pretty much said that I was the greatest thing around. To read the evaluation would give somebody the impression that I was not quite a diety yet.

The boss said that he thought I was too optimistic about myself.

I told him that I no longer recognized direct conversation and that I expected him to pray to me.

He seemed to eventually catch my drift on my opinion of self evaluations.

Give it a try.

On my last self evaluation I pretty much said that I was the greatest thing around. To read the evaluation would give somebody the impression that I was not quite a diety yet.

The boss said that he thought I was too optimistic about myself.

I told him that I no longer recognized direct conversation and that I expected him to pray to me.

He seemed to eventually catch my drift on my opinion of self evaluations.

Give it a try.

Rip off Dilbert cartoons for good lines in a self-evaluation:

“I once walked on water to heal an injured swan.”

“I work so fast I’m frequently invisible. If I appear blurry while I’m talking to you, it’s because I’m multi-tasking.”

“My inventions will earn this company $100 billion, but I steal nearly that much in office supplies.”

And as for “Could anything be a bigger waste of time?” Yes. Work is.

I’m sure my boss woul rather have me wasting time on a self evaluation than wasting time on the SDMB.

And the difference to your company’s bottom line would be?

I Swear - The hamsters sent me a message saying the first attempt was denied

A friend of mine put the following in his self-evaluation “where do you expect to be in 5 years” section: “In a wooden box.”

I hate these things.

My boss is…shall we say…a bit on the negative side.

To rate yourself too highly would provoke her and your review would consist of her shredding you into pieces.

To rate yourself too low would be to invite people to then think you are bad at your job, get not even your piddly raise and maybe get you fired.

Do what I do…questions dealing with competence (the really important questions) give yourself highest marks on about a third and second highest (but still competent) ratings on 2/3.

On questions that are not about competence give yourself average or even below average marks on the really ‘safe’ questions. (non-messy work area and the like)

When you criticize yourself, do it only on safe questions.

For other competence like questions make ‘criticisms’ that are not really bad. My favorite is to pick some area that the company doesn’t normally do (I’m a statistician) but could come up and point out your weakness in that area. Advocate book learning and training classes to get you up to snuff because the company could need it in the future. You know, things you would like to do anyway :slight_smile: They will usually refuse to send you to training so when next year comes around and you are called on it, you can say you spent time studying but, without training classes, you might still be a bit weak.

Remember, people only look at these to try to find something with which to ‘get you’. They are looking for confessions to use against you. You have to ‘appear critical’ otherwise they will attack you for being too generous.

Remember, you are always competent though you may have benign quirks like a messy desk or communication with other employee skills (so long as they aren’t essential to your competence). You could always use more training (on things you want to learn anyway).

One more thing…keep a journal throughout the year where you do good. This way you can bring it up. Bosses and the like tend to remember just the short term past and not the wonderful job you did last November.


A self evaluation is the perfect opportunity to (diplomatically) put important information on the record. If there is a section to list “major accomplishments” be damed sure to write them down. You certainly cannot count upon your boss to remember how you dragged him out of a burning building while carrying his favorite grand piano under your arm.

Another bonus is the chance to make sure that your worries about any substandard issues are brought to light. If you have valid concerns about your productivity and are able to trace it back to something more significant that the long response times of the SDMB while you’re trying to post from work, then this is the place to mention them.

The usefulness of self-evaluations depends almost entirely on how seriously and objectively your management take them. Where I work they’re actually quite helpful - it gives you a clear view of where the people in your team think they’re doing well and where they’re not, which in comparison to your own views can be pretty enlightening.

I HaTE HATE HATE these things myself. Here in my office we all write the exact same thing every year. You can always tell the new employees by the “wordiness” of their self evaluations. Silly things, they think it makes a difference in their raise…

Oh, I feeeeel your pain. I just completed my annual evaluation process. I struggled to toot my own horn, but it is so contrary to my nature. Our evaluation process has a mandatory section where you have to put your work plan for the year ahead. My WORK PLAN? Hello? I’m a glorified secretary. My work plan is to continue answering the phone and making copies for the management track kids coming right out of college who already think their shit doesn’t stink. My long term ambition is to make enough money so that I can quit.

But, noooo, you can put THAT on your evaluation.

The aggravating thing about these is that I STILL don’t have any idea how good a job I am doing. I always thought the whole point of an evaluation was to communicate to me how my performance is and where it needs improvement.

Years at this job, and aside from still being employed, I’ve got no sense of how well my performance measures up. My own perception could be vastly skewed, and it would sure be nice to know what my manager thinks of me.

I don’t really care what I think.

Who came up with this idea, anyway?

Are you talking about giving yourself numerical ratings, or describing what you did the past year or quarter or whatever? The former, I agree is fairly useless. The latter is another matter. I was on the perf. rev. committee at a former job (I am not an HR person!) and we actually asked the employees what they cared about. The thing they hated most was for their boss to go into a ranking and rating session not knowing what they did, or misunderstanding what they did. They way we did it was that managers got a book of all the self-assessments from the department. That way no one could say “Joe didn’t do much” without another manager saying “what about Joe’s description of saving $500K?” It helped people who worked for feeble bosses who were not good at defending their people also.

You really think your boss knows everything you do? Maybe he’ll throw it away, but if he’s reasonable it can only help.