Had my formal annual review today. Officially, all it’s for is to tell me the amount of my bonus and if it is low then in what way I failed to meet the standards and goals set for last year. The review itself was completely ordinary, and if you read it you might consider it just fine, or even good. I showed it to my union steward and he said that the comments and the final rating were even above average.
But then my boss and his boss said—okay, so now what we’re going to tell you is that this is all fine, but we don’t consider it good enough for someone at your level. And they pulled out a set of criticisms/goals/procedures and said that this is an informal process to give you 30 days to “wow” us by meeting these goals. If I fail to “wow” them, then they will get together and decide whether it’s time for “a more formal conversation,” which I understood to mean a formal H.R.-driven disciplinary policy, starting with a monitored 30-day performance improvement plan.
After the meeting, I had a one-on-one with just my boss and he basically said that his boss and her boss are behind this. He was very certain that I would be able to meet the requirements, but he also stressed that he wanted me to know that it was “serious,” and even if I did meet the 30-day “wow” standard, that I would be required to maintain that standard, and if I made it to the next year, to set an even higher standard.
I don’t know for sure whether he is being completely straight with me as to whether I can realistically meet the “wow” standard, because while in some ways the things he told me are very specific, in other ways, they are very slippery. And he said that the expectation here is that I would have to prove that I could do all these things independently with minimal ongoing assistance from him.
So I am pretty sure I’m fucked. And my wife is not happy and about to throw up her hands. And I haven’t yet found a counselor but I don’t think I can do counseling and also try to meet this 30-day “wow” standard. Plus do all this and look for another job—I’m pretty sure I won’t get paid at this level anywhere else, and as my original post says, I have a lot of concerns about my appeal to new employers.
So there’s that. And again I’m sorry to dump this on all of you.