Friday, June 15, 2007

Sitting in Judgement

This picture has nothing to do with anything.

I've been retired for nigh on to 3 years now. It's such a relief not to have to get up and go to work every day.

The Mister still works, but that is his choice. The past few weeks he has come home talking about "the review process," wherein groups of people get together and rank the folks who work for them. And then those people's bosses get together and rank them, and so on. He came home yesterday and i could tell right away that he was anxious, even though he attempted to hide it. He finally told me that he was anxious because he knew that today was the day that his bosses are sitting around ranking him.

How i hated doing reviews and getting reviewed when i worked. I was afraid of the judgement of people i respected, and i was disgusted by being judged by people i didn't respect. I never had a bad review, but i certainly worried about them beforehand.

I developed a method for reviewing the people who worked for me to help reduce the anxiety. I told them that NOTHING bad on any review should ever come as a surprise. If there is a problem, the first time to let someone know about it is not during their annual review. That's just mean and a way to throw power around.

I also would give each person their written review about an hour before we met, so they had time to read it and think about it without me breathing down their necks.

But what i really thought about last night as i was listening to the Mister, was that one of the BEST things about being retired is that i don't have to sit in judgement, or be judged EVER AGAIN.

Of course people still judge, but i don't have to listen to it and my career doesn't depend on it.

I feel so free.


Anonymous said...


shara said...

Oh just imagine the anxiety you spared people, being so thoughtful. I wish any of the supervisors I had during my years of paid employment had shown half as much consideration. And I must say, I never spared a thought for what they must have gone through. Might have helped if they had let on how difficult it could be.

sari said...

Before I quit to stay home with my boys, my old job made us REVIEW OURSELVES, and then our bosses would just agree or not.

That always bothered me. They're the ones that are supposed to be telling me what's good or what I should be changing.

I hope your hubby's day gets less stress free!

Mrs. Chili said...

I'm having this conversation at teacherseducation - grading is a constant question, particularly when we're talking about evaluating performance (which English teachers tend to do - we don't always have the right/wrong dichotomy that math and science teachers tend to have). Mr. Chili is also under review at the moment - funny how it's all happening at once.

ms chica said...

I've had six formal jobs in my life (those which involved fica)., and none involved a review process. I don't know if that says more about y poor taste in choosing employers or, my lack upward mobility when I was employed.

It is nice to know I don't have worry about that flavor of judgment for now, there seems to be more than enough judgement to go around in other areas.

Hopefully the Mister can just have a nice weekend.

Lynn said...

I'm envious of your retirement.

Scott from Oregon said...

I think this post lacks a bit of motivation and concern for the well-being of the whole. Too much time is spent wallowing in personal issues and feelings, and not enought time considering th wants and needs of the entirety.

I think, fo rthe next year, you should concentrate more on what's best for everyone who depends on you for their processs to function.

You need to come in earlier, as well, and heat up the coffee...

meno said...

de, that's the truth baby!

shara. yeah, it's hard from both sides, but harder to be the reviewed one.

sari, i tried that once. It was almost impossible for me to do. What if i wrote good stuff and they disagreed? What if i didn't write enough good stuff and didn't get as big a raise as i should. Ugh!

mrs.chili, 'tis the season, i guess. I don't miss it.

ms.chica, that is odd, but really, you didn't miss much. I'll try to do what i can to help the Mister relax!

lynn, it it ever so great. You'll get there.

scott. ha ha ha ha ha *snort* you are a funny man. I love a smart ass. And that would be a big NO on the coffee.

Tink said...

*Sigh* Am I too young to be looking forward to retirement?

egan said...

I'm so so tempted to judge you on this post, but Scott beat me to the punch.

Reviews are tough and never fun. I like how you operated when you conducted reviews Meno. If you come out of retirement like a wrinkled boxer, I want to be your protegé.

Dick said...

We had a similar situation to what Sari talked about at Metro. I never really found anything useful came from those reviews. But I guess they have to do them in order to ever be able to fire someone. Of course, if the reviews are all good it doesn't seem that it would support firing.

As you say, that is another of the advantages of being retired! And I am in my 42nd month of it.

LazyLazyMe said...

When you go to work
You check your soul at the door
And collect it on the way out
The last time you leave
Must feel like being reborn

Lynnea said...

I hated reviews too. It always felt that they needed to find something for people to work on so they would just come up with something. And I was often the employee who would ask, why wasn't I told this before? I could have worked on it.

Though I don't consider myself retired yet, I am so happy I am also free of this ass-pect.

Hubby hates review time too.

Interestingly though, I hate weekends. They feel like weekly reviews for me. Hmmm.

urban-urchin said...

I so envy you. Right now I hate hate hate working.

Anonymous said...

I hated reviews. I hated giving reviews. Thankfully I dont have them at this time. Once my husband did complain when I was at home with two babies about the house. I told him to replace me or shut up. He shut up. It's good to be the king.

QT said...

Ugh. I worked at a place that did "360 reviews" - as an employee, five people would review you. You could pick two of the people, the company picked the other three, and at least one of the five was a person who had directly supervised you.

All the results were tabulated. It was fair, in a way, but, you never really know what a co-worker will say to keep you from making more money than they do, right?

BTW, that raise I was asking for earlier? I got it. I was so shocked, b/c my partner was all "I read this, and I'm all for it - get the paperwork ready" - I hadn't prepared an acceptance speech.

Always prepare an acceptance speech!

flutter said...

Retirement. Oh how I covet thee

thailandchani said...

Oh, amen! That is one of the things I couldn't stand.. absolutely couldn't stand!

And one of the worse things was the supervisor who would come around and ask me to rank myself and "review" myself.


I don't do that.


For anyone or any reason.

The whole system is twisted and sick! So, yes, I am very glad to be retired, too. I was in constant trouble for my unwillingness to go along with those things. Truthfully, I got canned for it a few times.



Liv said...

I know. It's a dreadful feeling just to know that there are people watching and judging. I'm thankful to be free and able to work for myself---although, come to think of it, I'm a pretty harsh judge of myself!

meno said...

tink, no, but you probably have a ways to go. You young thing you!

egan, yeah, scott did, but he forgot the words synergy and empowerment so he gets marked down. Why are you calling me wrinkled, sonny boy?

dick, i like that, the 42nd month. Let's see, i am in the 30th month.

lazy, the day i left for good, i felt a little funny driving away. That lasted anout 30 seconds, and then i began to grin.

maggie, tell me more about what you mean about the weekends.

u-u, i am sorry. I thought you kind of liked your job. Although liking your job and hating work are not incompatible.

reflecting pool, hi! Awesome response to the hubby! Bet that scared him. HA!

qt, oh my god, that review system sounds awful. And congratulations on the raise. You can buy me a drink. :)

flutter, yes, it's all you think it will be, and much more relaxed. At least for this personality type.

chani, i've been dinged a few times about my attitude too. I salute you my fellow "bad attituder."

liv, it does sucketh, so sayeth we all. You may be a harsh judge of yourself, but at least you know all the facts.

SUEB0B said...

That MUST be a good feeling.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm happy for you. You earned it, and hopefully, the people you reviewed so humanely emulated you when they became the ones doing the reviewing.

It was always my worst thing. The decks were usually stacked and it was so cruelly political. I'm deeply grateful to be out of it, even with the financial sacrifices.

Peace of mind is more important.

Girlplustwo said...

god, i love non profits - or at least mine - we have some paltry review system but it's SO NOT like any of this. so not.

another reason to be thankful i am not a corporate wonk. although retiring in belize would be vastly better. dude.

Marshamlow said...

I gave up working outside the home about five years ago to stay home with the kiddies and make it easier for my husband to pursue his career while not totally trashing the family. I love it and hate it at the same time. I have been during this whole time working toward a degree which will allow me to re-enter the paid work force, I count the days. I am really looking forward to that sense of accomplishment which comes from getting a good review, getting a paycheck, completing a project...Maybe I spend too much time looking for affirmation outside of myself?

I am glad you have found a way, a place that suits. Maybe it is a case of the grass is always greener, but in five years my hubby retires from his military career and I get the opportunity to go for my dreams while he keeps the home fires burning and I cannot wait.

meno said...

suebob, it is a great feeling. Also coming home from a vacation and knowing that i don't have to haul my ass out of bed the next morning and drag it to work.

hearts, it is political. And you have to spend time finding evidence for things that you instinctively know are true.

jen, dude, retiring in Belize would be pretty damned awesome.

marsha, i actually did like my job, and i liked working, but i have had all that, and for the most part, it was good. But now i am done, and that's good too. :) I hope that you will be able to enjoy working someday soon.

Anonymous said...

I am powerfully envious of you, dear.

Andrea Frazer said...

My husband is going through the same thing. I'll show him this post.

Lynnea said...

Well Meno, for a while now I've noticed that my husband have this sort of dance. I work at home all week. I notice things about the kids. I work on them. And the house. But I don't always get all of the things done that I think I should or want. I think this is probably typical. After reading other blogs. :-).

Then hubby comes home. And without trying to be critical, he starts pointing out things he thinks need work. Like the fact that my daughter isn't speaking well yet inspite of the fact that our youngest son is speaking entire sentences. I for myself feel this is two-fold. She has difficulty with speaking, whether because G tends to do the speaking for her or because she seems to really struggle to get her tongue and mouth to do what her brains says. Not really all that uncommon in a house speaking two languages as I've heard. The second reason being G is an uncommonly fast learner. So his accelerated learning curve makes her seem even more behind than it probably is. Anyways, the main point here is that I feel attacked for things not having been done.

Its not as though I can walk into his job every Friday and start pointing out things I think he should improve on. But my job, being something that affects him is able to come under fire. Well meaning or not, it still hurts. And he is well meaning. He wants to help. He, like so many men, is a fixer. He wants to fix it for me. So he starts to tell me what he thinks will solve the problem which pisses me off because what the hell does he think I do with my time? Of course I think about these things and try to find solutions. Anyways, this happens nearly every weekend.

Until this weekend. I have to say this was one of the best I've had so far in a very long time. No pressure. No expectations. Just relaxed. (No construction either, maybe that helps.) Sorry to go on and on.

meno said...

irrelephant, i recognize that i am a lucky woman, make no mistake about that!

mamap, i don't know anyone who likes it. poor man, he has my empathy.

maggie, thank you for that explanation. i see what you mean. Maybe show what you wrote here to your husband? I so know what you mean, as i have been there.

Mother of Invention said...

Nice to have the pressure off so you can relax and enjoy other, perhaps more important aspects of life...maybe with friends who don't review you!

I do not miss the "evaluations", more like "inspections" that teachers go through. It's all up to the principal and if they don't like you, they can pick you apart and make your life miserable. Some of the process is completely meaningless. Our principals up here are in a different union than teachers and it can create a "them-us" feeling. Not good.

Anonymous said...

That, truly, is freedom. Not to have to be judged again.

Anonymous said...

I work at a small company. There's 6 employees. My boss asked us to review ourselves last year. I had no idea what to say. My husband helpfully provided a lot of corporate bullspeak that he got from his company's unbelievably time-wasting review process. My boss knows what I do and how well I do it. I wrote, "I am fun to work with. I made the filing system work better." He hasn't asked us to do that again.

The thing I like about my job is that I am not asked to behave or talk in a corporate way. I don't mean to be purposely disdainful, but sometimes I am driven to it.

Retirement? Shiite. I will be working until I am in the grave. How do you do that? Maybe I should self-review more.