0ne of the growing trends of work in the Nineties is that of performance evaluation. Here, your boss not only gets to critique your every move, but also gets to put it down on paper. This means that the day a bunch of VIP’s walk in on you having rice and curry in the boardroom, while trying to watch the cricket match against New Zealand, will now forever be on record. It is now a millstone to carry around your neck, for life. But some of you might have the kind of boss who is such a diplomat that he could have run for Boutros-Boutros Ghali’s job before Kofi Annan got his hands on it. These are the bosses who will consult their dictionaries for back- handed compliments and vague euphemisms to put into your performance evaluations, so that you will never actually figure out what they really think about you. For all those who are cursed with such bosses, here’s an invaluable source of tension relief – the Dictionary of Performance Evaluation Comments. Now you can finally know what your supervisor is really saying in all those glowing employee work performance evaluations she/ he keeps cranking out.
A keen analyst: Thoroughly confused.
Accepts new job assignments willingly: Never finishes a job.
Active socially: Drinks heavily.
Alert to company developments: An office gossip.
Approaches difficult problems with logic: Finds someone else to do the job.
Average: Not too bright.
Bridge builder: Likes to compromise.
Character above reproach: Still one step ahead of the law.
Charismatic: No interest in any opinion but his own.
Competent: Is still able to get work done if supervisor helps Conscientious and careful: Scared as hell.
Consults with co-workers of ten: Indecisive, confused, and clueless.
Consults with supervisor of ten: Pain in the rear.
Delegates responsibility effectively: Passes the buck well.
Demonstrates qualities of leadership: Has a loud voice.
Deserves promotion: Let’s create a new title to make them feel appreciated.
Displays excellent intuitive judgement: Knows when to disappear and what to do to get that extra weekend in the company bungalow in Digana.
Displays great dexterity and agility: Dodges and evades superiors well.
Doesn’t suffer fools gladly: Rude and abrasive.
Enjoys job: Needs more to do.
Excels in sustaining concentration but avoids confrontations: Ignores everyone.
Excels in the effective application of skills: Makes a good cup of Lipton Ceylonta.
Exceptionally well qualified: Has committed no major blunders to date.
Expresses self well: Can string two sentences together.
Gets along extremely well with superiors and subordinates alike: A coward.
Happy: Paid too much.
Hard worker: Usually does it the hard way.
Identifies major management problems: Complains a lot.
Indifferent to instruction: Knows more than superiors. Internationally known Likes to go to conferences and trade shows in Bangkok.
Is well informed: Knows all office gossip and where all the skeletons are kept.
Inspires the cooperation of others: Gets everyone else to do the work.
Is unusually loyal: Wanted by no one else.
Judgement is usually sound: Lucky.
Keen sense of humour: Knows lots of dirty jokes.
Keeps stress out of your life: Gives it to others instead.
Listens well: Has no ideas of his own.
Maintains a high degree of participation: Comes to work on time.
Maintains a professional attitude: A snob.
Meticulous in attention to detail: A nitpicker.
Mover and shaker: Favours steamroller tactics without regard for other’s opinions.
Not a desk person: Did not go to college.
Of great value to the organization: Turns in work on time.
Uses all available resources: Takes office supplies home for personal use.
Quick thinking: Offers plausible excuses for errors.
Requires work-value attitudinal readjustment: Lazy and hard-headed.
Slightly below average: Stupid.
Spends extra hours on the job: Miserable home life.
Stern disciplinarian: A real jerk.
Straightforward: Blunt and insensitive.
Strong adherence to principles: Stubborn.
Tactful in dealing with superiors: Knows when to keep mouth shut.
Takes advantage of every opportunity to progress: Buys drinks for superiors.
Takes pride in work: conceited.
Will go far: Relative of management (In Sri Lanka, this means Clock anyone from your mother’s sister- in-law’s first cousin from Ratnapura, to your father’s uncle’s step- father’s son from Pilimatalawa).
Unlimited potential: Will stick with us until retirement.
Uses time effectively: watcher.
Very creative: Finds 22 reasons to do anything except original work.
Visionary: Cannot handle paperwork or any project that lasts less than a week.
Willing to take calculated risks: Doesn’t mind spending someone else’s money.
Zealous attitude: Opinionated.
And finally for those secretaries out there who read this column, a little word of encouragement. Do not feel undervalued because you do not have a fancy title or a position on the Board of Directors. Even though you may be low on the corporate food chain, you still wield more power than you think. So to gain inspiration, here is a little cut out for you to stick on your desk, the next time somebody asks you to type forty-eight pages just as you are about to catch the office transport back home, or when someone wants you to come in on a weekend that Rupavahini decides to broadcast forty- eight hours of Julio Iglesias in concert.
Chairman of The Board:
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound, Is more powerful than a locomotive, Is faster than a speeding bullet, Walks on water, Gives policy to God.
Leaps short buildings a single bound, Is more powerful than a switch engine, Is just as fast as a speeding bullet, Walks on water if the sea is calm, Talks with God.
Executive Vice President
Leaps short buildings with a running start and favourable winds, Is almost as powerful as a switch engine, Is faster than a speeding BB, Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool, Talks with God if special request is approved.
Barely clears a quonset hut, Loses tug-of-war with a locomotive, Can fire a speeding bullet, Swims well, Is occasionally addressed by God.
Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap buildings, Is run over by locomotive, Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting self-injury, Dog paddles, Talks to animals.
Runs into buildings, Recognizes locomotive two out of three times, Is not issued ammunition, Can’t stay afloat with a life preserver, Talks to walls.
Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter building. Says “look at the choo-choo”, Wets himself with a water pistol, Plays in mud puddles, Mumbles to himself.
Lifts buildings and walks under them, Kicks locomotives off the tracks, Catches speeding bullets in her teeth, Freezes water with a single glance, She is God.