Tag Archives: working

The Raise & Better Work Evaluations

I wonder some days if I just don’t have a problem accepting praise or perhaps I just lack the ability to give enough credit for my own work.  In either case I did better on my last year performance evaluation than I thought and got a nice 5% raise yesterday.

Yet perhaps what was most interesting part of the discussion on my work was the fact the company is starting to move past just evaluating results of people’s work (ie: what they did), but also the context on how they do their work.

I think everyone has run into someone who on the surface does great work, but is a pain in the ass to work with. Some people tend to put up with the attitude because of the great work.  Well apparently the new direction in our performance reviews going forward is going to assess both the what and how.  So in the future the ass to work with will get less of raise.

On the surface I like the idea, but I have to admit to being concerned on who evaluates this but I found out our performance rank last year was vetted on all the department managers and the director prior to approval.  So a person can’t just kiss up to one person and get a higher result, you actually need to be a generally good person to work with (or somehow kiss up to a hell of a lot of people).  Of course the group evaluation helps keep things in balance, but things can still go sideways for a person who doesn’t do much work with other groups.  Yet I suppose there is no perfect tool to judge performance of an individual.

In the end, part of the reason I did better than I thought on my performance evaluation was the fact I’m apparently a nice guy to work with.  The group was partly evaluating the ‘how people work’  prior to it becoming the official direction going forward.  Which to me is funny, since it isn’t like I try to be that nice, but rather respect people and be honest about things.  Last time I looked I looked I work with adults so the respect is fairly easy to give and perhaps it is my failing in life that avoid lying to people.  I tend to tell people what they need to hear not what they want to hear.   So while I expect my honesty to get me into trouble at times…and it does…overall it seems to balance out.

Oh for the record I’m not a saint to work with….I have my bad days just like everyone else and my problem areas.  I hate repetitive data entry and will avoid doing it, my first draft of anything is horrible, and my work after 3pm usually sucks.  Also when I have a really bad day I can be almost mean to people.

So what do you think about evaluating people for what they get done and how they do it?  Does it work or just cause even more problems?

Down, Then Up

So last night I lost my re-election bid for the Regina Public School Board and not just by a little, but rather the winner had double the votes I did.  I just got crushed.  How am I feeling?  Well like any person I’m a bit upset by the entire thing, you do put in some time, money and effort into running a campaign, so to see it was for nothing is disappointing.  That’s the down.

Yet at the same time I have to realize something important.  I only thought I wanted to do the job again.  My heart and full effort wasn’t into the campaign from the start.  I let myself lose this election, not really at a conscious level, but on subconscious level I certainly did.  Why the hell would I do that?  I’m tired.  It’s been three years now of me running around doing three jobs and I can’t do it anymore.  I enjoy all the work I do, so that is why I found it so hard to let go of any of it on a conscious level.

In the end I couldn’t decide what job I enjoyed more: writing or the board work.  So I let fate decide by running a minimal campaign.  If I had won, I would have likely stopped some of the writing I do.  Yet I did lose because in the end I think I had to let go of the board work.  I enjoyed the board work and learned so much about business, working with people, public service and politics.   Yet for sake of my family, not mention me, something had to give.  Four more years of this would have been a recipe for disaster.  I was stretched so thin I was becoming transparent.

So now I’m on the up as I realize I get to celebrate not a lose of an election, but rather gaining back 10 to 15 hours a  week of my time.  I no longer have the stress of making the big decisions about school closures, strategic student achievement targets, or lobbying the provincial government for funds.  I get to worry about the education of only 2 kids (my own) rather than 20,000 of them.

While I’m still mourning the loss of that part of my life I’m looking forward to other adventures.  I’m still paying off my mortgage next week and I’m still saving for early retirement.  Perhaps with a little time I’ll realize what I’m just starting to feel:  I’m happy I lost.

Have you every been in a situation where you thought you wanted something?  How did that turn out for you?

My Head Wants to Blow Up

Ugh, what a week….so far.  While there isn’t any single cause for this in the last week I feel like my head wants to blow up.  I’ve got a thousand thoughts pushing through my brain as I try to remember to keep up on everything that I’m supposed to be doing.  Then when I do have five minutes to sit down I start to recall everything that I haven’t even started yet.  In summary: I’m overwhelmed this week.

Yet despite all of this I do take comfort in a single thought: my life won’t always be this way.  Unlike a lot of people with vague goals of I’ll retire someday, I know my periods of being overwhelmed won’t last since I can actually see the light at the end of my tunnel.  These perfect storms of things to do which pile high on my desks will pass, as I will in the next decade leave one of my desks behind.

I sometimes enjoy a brief fantasy in my mind of never having to book a meeting with four different managers and 10 other staff again (since you never find a time for everyone).  Of never opening my inbox after vacation and spend an hour reading emails only to realize that majority of them were pointless in the first place.  Of never being forced to sit at my desk at the end of the day for another 15 minutes even if my work is done because somebody with a higher position that me thought this is somehow productive when in fact I can’t finish any of my next tasks in that time frame. Of keeping my mouth shut about something for office political reasons when it goes against my nature to shut up.

This isn’t to say that I don’t like work, but rather I could live without some aspects of my day job very easily.  I do enjoy working on challenging problems or finding new solutions or processes which are more effective and efficient.  I do enjoy helping people though the tangled mess of regulations to realize their problems isn’t a bad as it initially seems.

So this morning I site here with my coffee and I smile: I have a plan on getting out.  So what do you look forward to leaving behind when you retire?