Monday, November 26, 2007

It's Performance Review time! Just shoot me

The Corporation, always on the lookout for ways to ruin what little joy they've been unable to steal from our lives, has decided our Performance Reviews are due now instead of mid-January. I guess the thinking is in January we are already numb to the horrors of work after the holidays.

This evening, after having the previous six days off, I was faced with the soul-grinding task of updating my review. It largely consists of arbitrary goals, cascaded down from above, with little or no connection to what I actually do. Done six months ago and forgotten until each deadline, I once again turn my prodigious writing skills to describing my turd of a career in terms that make it sound like fertilizer.

So now my review will fester in my supervisor's in-box until he gets around to having to process these steaming piles, then we will have a one-on-one, where by he tells me how he likes me personally but finds my professional life a shade less than mediocre.

As I sat grinding out nonsense, I was sore tempted to be refreshingly honest when filling it out. But alas, until my youngest son is no longer a financial drain ("Ed, think: full scholarship") it looks like I'll continue to lie shamelessly.

The other day, I watched one of Akiru Kurosawa's early films: Ikiru (To Live) which hit painfully close to home. In it, the protagonist, a bureaucrat who's done nothing but shuffle paper for 30 years is forced to examine his life in the shadow of his death. An amazing film: funny and touching. By the way, this film can be downloaded from or watched as a stream from the link above.

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