I've got a problem....

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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:49 am

Hawkwing74 wrote:The 2 IT jobs I've had also had pointless performance appraisals. Management didn't want to put in the time to properly do it. There weren't really any metrics. Just their perception of how hard and well you work.

I have mixed feelings about performance reviews. On one hand, land and titles should definitely be tied to one's value to the company but on the other, the formal review process reeks of politics and gotcha tactics on the part of both employees and managers. If I ever got the point where I felt that my position depended on spending more than an hour or two gathering some stuff to put in the boxes, I wouldn't want to work there anymore. I'm somewhat of a chevalier, albeit a self-aware one, so if my contributions aren't obvious to the whole world then I must be doing it wrong.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:55 am

JBI wrote:Point taken. But it has gotten to the point where I'm actually trying to figure out what I can leave *off* the resume to keep it to a reasonable length, versus looking for more stuff to put *on* it. I suppose I ought to keep a comprehensive list of bullet points that I can pick and choose from to tailor resumes to specific targets. I do keep all of the old versions, so I can go back and mine those as needed.


I always thought that was the key. If you can't keep it on a page or two, you either need to revisit why you added each piece or re-target what strengths & skills you are trying to advertise for that particular position.

I'm certainly not in management, but I've been asked more than once to assist in hiring interviews, tacitly because I can ask the right questions to quickly smoke out whether or not someone is at least competent. I can tell you right now that brevity and succinctness are far more impressive than laundry lists of accomplishments.

NovusBogus wrote:I have mixed feelings about performance reviews. On one hand, land and titles should definitely be tied to one's value to the company but on the other, the formal review process reeks of politics and gotcha tactics on the part of both employees and managers. If I ever got the point where I felt that my position depended on spending more than an hour or two gathering some stuff to put in the boxes, I wouldn't want to work there anymore. I'm somewhat of a chevalier, albeit a self-aware one, so if my contributions aren't obvious to the whole world then I must be doing it wrong.


My experience is like JBI's, my performance reviews are perfunctory.

Does anyone work anywhere where they are actually serious? I'm not sure if I am uneasy about such a concept or not, it's like a completely foreign country. :wink:
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:34 am

Glorious wrote:Does anyone work anywhere where they are actually serious? I'm not sure if I am uneasy about such a concept or not, it's like a completely foreign country. :wink:

I think ours are serious, but the company I work for has been in disaster mode for most of the time I've been with it. That means our performance evaluations have been revised more than once between reviews, and I don't think said reviews had any impact on the performance raises my boss fought for last year and the bonuses we got this year. We got them because the company can't afford to lose any more talent...
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:03 am

superjawes wrote:I think ours are serious, but the company I work for has been in disaster mode for most of the time I've been with it. That means our performance evaluations have been revised more than once between reviews, and I don't think said reviews had any impact on the performance raises my boss fought for last year and the bonuses we got this year. We got them because the company can't afford to lose any more talent...


That's kind of what I am getting it. If raises & promotions have no meaningful relationship with performance reviews (and where I work they demonstratively do not), are they serious?

I mean, to be more specific, in my case they compute a numeric metric that is supposed to reflect your performance & "core competency" but then everyone gets the exact same (as in percent of increase from current baseline) "merit" raise. Which means it is really just a cost of living raise, and that's roughly what the value reflects anyway.

Meaningful, *real* raises and promotions occur entirely outside of this process.

And I'm not even getting into how the performance goals are either outright nonsense or don't even remotely apply to us, or how mission-critical responsibilities complete with their own SLAs don't even factor in. In other words, literally ZERO PERCENT of my performance evaluation (and thus my merit) is based on whether or not I even bothered to respond to priority 1 tickets about how the facility is on fire or otherwise non-functional, let alone actually resolved the issue.

It is absurd that my division has an all-important SLA that evidently no one is individually and officially responsible for actually fulfilling. :o My performance could still be "excellent" or whatever even though I whistled right-on-by issues with life-threatening potential or million+ dollars liability. :o

Like I said, it's fundamentally unserious where I work. To the point of being a terrible joke.

NINJA: Oh, and they routinely don't publish the goals we're supposedly working under for that year until late summer at best. As in, we typically have a "mid-year" review 9 months in with goals that were just published! As in: "Here's how you well you did this year accomplishing goals that were ... just published two weeks ago... yeah."

The real irony is that every year they promise they'll get them done sooner, that they're making them better, etc... But yet they're always roughly the same, and they're always late the same amount. And, again, they are mostly nonsense anyway.

I don't know why Corporate America wastes so much money on useless executives and managers, who are so pointless they can't even pretend effectively.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:10 am

Glorious wrote:Does anyone work anywhere where they are actually serious?


I'd like to believe my company's are. However, having been through 12 cycles with at least 5 different mangers/supervisors and 2 or 3 VPs I know that some were perfunctory and that the 'score' I was given was directed by upper management. But at least I get my say in a self appraisal. While it may or may not be read and used for such things as pay increase or yearly bonus I do take it seriously and get my thoughts and actions on paper where it is documented.

I guess the real question would be,"Is your management willing to take the time and effort to make them serious?" I have had 2 managers that did. And they were easy to spot. I had weekly one on one's and even mid year reviews with them. The others not so much as a peep until it came time for yearly reviews around September.

I like feedback. If I am doing well you dont have to praise me in public but at least tell me. And if I am about to step on my crank then tell me that too. I will adjust accordingly.

I guess it retrospect most of that is because of my background and age.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:18 am

Glorious wrote:That's kind of what I am getting it. If raises & promotions have no meaningful relationship with performance reviews (and where I work they demonstratively do not), are they serious?

I mean, to be more specific, in my case they compute a numeric metric that is supposed to reflect your performance & "core competency" but then everyone gets the exact same (as in percent of increase from current baseline) "merit" raise. Which means it is really just a cost of living raise, and that's roughly what the value reflects anyway.

Meaningful, *real* raises and promotions occur entirely outside of this process.

And I'm not even getting into how the performance goals are either outright nonsense or don't even remotely apply to us, or how mission-critical responsibilities complete with their own SLAs don't even factor in. In other words, literally ZERO PERCENT of my performance evaluation (and thus my merit) is based on whether or not I even bothered to respond to priority 1 tickets about how the facility is on fire or otherwise non-functional, let alone actually resolved the issue.

It is absurd that my division has an all-important SLA that evidently no one is individually and officially responsible for actually fulfilling. :o My performance could still be "excellent" or whatever even though I whistled right-on-by issues with life-threatening potential or million+ dollars liability. :o

Like I said, it's fundamentally unserious where I work. To the point of being a terrible joke.

NINJA: Oh, and they routinely don't publish the goals we're supposedly working under for that year until late summer at best. As in, we typically have a "mid-year" review 9 months in with goals that were just published! As in: "Here's how you well you did this year accomplishing goals that were ... just published two weeks ago... yeah."

The real irony is that every year they promise they'll get them done sooner, that they're making them better, etc... But yet they're always roughly the same, and they're always late the same amount. And, again, they are mostly nonsense anyway.

I don't know why Corporate America wastes so much money on useless executives and managers, who are so pointless they can't even pretend effectively.


This is spot on. It even occurs here at my work. All of it. I would like to believe that it's different but it's not. /sigh

The only difference is like I said, I take the time and put effort into my self appraisal regardless if it is effective or not.

The only case have I seen this metric work was in the the reverse review called '360 Reviews'. Where you rate not only your manager but the VP and sometimes even the EVP. I have seen middle management and even a VP or two removed because of a bad 360 Review.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:34 am

tanker27 wrote:The only difference is like I said, I take the time and put effort into my self appraisal regardless if it is effective or not.


That's probably a worthwhile exercise independent of any actual formal review.

Then again, like JBI, I don't really document anything I do. :P

tanker27 wrote:The only case have I seen this metric work was in the the reverse review called '360 Reviews'. Where you rate not only your manager but the VP and sometimes even the EVP. I have seen middle management and even a VP or two removed because of a bad 360 Review.


I wish.

Too many people would be fired. :wink:
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:13 am

Glorious wrote:That's kind of what I am getting it. If raises & promotions have no meaningful relationship with performance reviews (and where I work they demonstratively do not), are they serious?

Try working for a state unionized system. Raises are strictly according to the pay schedule in the contract. Even vocalizing the concept of a raise based on merit makes you out to be one of those dangerous union-busters who must be fought against with all available weaponry. At least in my little slice, promotions are handled internally (no need to post for the next level) and everyone gets promoted on schedule. I've topped out and will be at my current paygrade until I retire (at least 12 years from now to max out the pension) unless I want to become the boss of the field staff. Not happening, as I know us and sure as hell don't want to be legally responsible for us.

On the flip side, once you've got 5 years in any RIFs are strictly by seniority as long as your last review was "satisfactory" or better. Since the criteria for "satisfactory" seem to be the ability to draw breath and wipe yourself without trailing TP out of the bathroom, it's meaningless. Reviews are supposed to be annual. I get one every 3-4 years or so. My last one was in June of 2010. I've never received a review from my current boss, though I know exactly where I stand with him.

Will someone please explain how a libertarian like me ended up working in the belly of the beast? The irony is not lost on me even today, though I must say my group is likely the nearest thing to laissez-faire market rules in State gov't. I never should have responded to that newspaper employment ad back in March 1996 even though I was then out of work and slumming in temp jobs.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:16 am

Ned,

I dont know how you do it. I could never see myself working for a Union. (see what I did there)
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:42 am

Glorious wrote:
superjawes wrote:I think ours are serious, but the company I work for has been in disaster mode for most of the time I've been with it. That means our performance evaluations have been revised more than once between reviews, and I don't think said reviews had any impact on the performance raises my boss fought for last year and the bonuses we got this year. We got them because the company can't afford to lose any more talent...


That's kind of what I am getting it. If raises & promotions have no meaningful relationship with performance reviews (and where I work they demonstratively do not), are they serious?

Well the point I was trying to make is that I can't confirm or deny that relationship until my company gets back to a "normal" operating procedure :P

From what I hear, there is a relationship between performance review scores and promotions, and most raises are tied to changes in job classification (promotions). Job path for the same work here is engineer > senior engineer > team lead > senior team lead. Again, same work. There's no change in responsibility going to a team lead, but it does mean more money.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:46 am

tanker27 wrote:Ned,

I dont know how you do it. I could never see myself working for a Union. (see what I did there)

I've worked for the same Deputy Commissioner (2 levels up from me) for my entire career here. That's a political-level job where one submits their resignation each time a new Governor is elected (every 2 years in VT) and hopes it won't be accepted. He's survived 9 elections and three changes in Party since I started and he's probably the longest-lived political appointee still in State gov't. The running joke among us field staff is that there's an old sticky note in the center drawer of the desk in the Gov's ceremonial office that says "Don't fire Candon". I've never had a better or more supportive boss and the stories of the battles he successfully fights with the true bureaucrats on behalf of us field staff are legendary. I've been lucky in that I've been insulated from the union BS. I fear for the future after his retirement.

EDIT: On the flip side, and filed under "other duties also assigned", he's an EMT. Here in VT a certified EMT has a positive duty to stop and assist if he/she sees a situation. All of us field crew have stories of how we've been instantly drafted to hold heads, help carry backboards, and generally do things that scare the bloody bejeezus out of us because he's in our car, he had the positive duty, and we happened to be there.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:33 am

tanker27 wrote:Ned,

I dont know how you do it. I could never see myself working for a Union. (see what I did there)

You have to learn to stop looking at the line in your pay stub where all the deductions are made and accept it as another 'tax' for the privilege of working in the shop. Kind of like scrubbing toilets: you do whatever is needed to pay the bills. :cry:
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:49 pm

BiffStroganoffsky wrote:You have to learn to stop looking at the line in your pay stub where all the deductions are made and accept it as another 'tax' for the privilege of working in the shop. Kind of like scrubbing toilets: you do whatever is needed to pay the bills. :cry:

Union dues are a piffle, $17 every 2 weeks. If you don't join you still have to pay 85% as an agency fee. I know myself and my proclivities for finding the exact wrong moment to say the exact wrong thing to the exact wrong person. The extra 15 % I consider but a retainer for the union-supplied attorney when I finally do screw the pooch. Yes, I voluntarily joined the union. I can hear the cognitive dissonance from here.

Things I do that seem to shock some people:

Wear tie-dye
Voluntarily pay full union dues
Listen to vinyl
Own a Zune
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:22 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Own a Zune


I'm sorry Ned but that is a transgression that cannot be forgiven. :P
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:34 pm

tanker27 wrote:I'm sorry Ned but that is a transgression that cannot be forgiven. :P

I'll get over it. It will be a very cold cold day in Hades before I voluntarily give money to that other company. I will gladly pay the inflated eBay prices.

EDIT: Daughter & I have 64GB Zune HDs, meaning LAME settings of -0, or 240 VBR. Wife's Zune is a 32GB and her music is squished down to 128kbps. Don't tell her.

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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:37 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
tanker27 wrote:I'm sorry Ned but that is a transgression that cannot be forgiven. :P

I'll get over it. It will be a very cold cold day in Hades before I voluntarily give money to that other company. I will gladly pay the inflated eBay prices.

Eh. If you buy from the other company 2nd hand, they're technically not getting any of your money. I bought from the other company due to compatibility with car stereos and such. I strongly resisted at first, but there really aren't any other options (without using lots of cellular data). Even those stereos which accept a wide variety of HDDs and such are generally limited to 10,000 files and/or some arbitrary number of subfolders.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:46 pm

Does anyone work anywhere where they are actually serious?

Does such a place exist? I've literally NEVER seen them matter.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:22 pm

My boss is now 2 months late with my performance review. I asked him about it because I just want feedback, and he gave me an overview on the spot. Good enough, I say, though one eventually has to be filed because raises are (supposedly) based on them.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:23 pm

paulWTAMU wrote:
Does anyone work anywhere where they are actually serious?

Does such a place exist? I've literally NEVER seen them matter.

Doesn't always happen, but when we get serious it is truly serious, mainly because the FBI is usually involved.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:37 pm

I guess I kind of figure if there's a criminal matter the issue's resolved then and there and they're shown the door so it doesn't show up in a WPR.
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Re: I've got a problem....

Postposted on Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:10 am

My review is today.

Show me the money!
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