Multiple parties and gatherings, a chance to catch up with mates not seen often enough an opportunity to have a break from work and relax.
If only it wasnâ€™t all spoilt by Christmas and the New Yearâ€¦
Iâ€™ve not got anything against saying happy birthday to the little baby Jesus or a chance to celebrate a new start the 1st of January represents. Itâ€™s all the crap that goes with it that gets in the way and spoils the fun.
Oh joy! Itâ€™s that time of year where I have to wade through teeming masses of other people similarly annoyed with everyone else doing the same as we hunt for gifts to satisfy our families and friends. I like the idea of giving gifts to people I care about, I like the thought of selecting something carefully that symbolises how much they mean to me. Iâ€™m even happy that we all do it at once in one big celebration. But FFS what a pain it is to go through! A checklist of torment that needs to be worked through as I cross off names of people that deserve presents. A torment caused by possibly a lack of ideaâ€™s for a particular person, the act of purchasing said gift from a teaming shopping centre or both.
I know there are alternatives, but buying everything online or telling people that you donâ€™t need to give them presents to show how much you love them doesnâ€™t always solve the problem. Iâ€™m not sure there is a solution. I just find it ironic that we fill this â€œtime of joyâ€ with so much hassle.
So here I sit, blogging away, prattling on. What should I really be doing?
Itâ€™s the end of the year and that can mean only one thing. New Yearâ€™s resolutions? Noâ€¦ Itâ€™s time to fill in my PDP. Performance and Development Plan to give it its posh name. Appraisal form to anyone else not working at the same place I do.
God I hate them. As I dredge through my memory, recounting all the great things I have done over the year, extolling my virtues and proving just how brilliant I am, in a language only ever used in this kind of forms. I â€œfocusâ€ on areas and â€œenableâ€ others to do things, as â€œappropriateâ€. I find myself â€œpartakingâ€ in â€œnovelâ€ â€œproceduresâ€ and all in the third person, just to make it sound nice. All to help justify how big a pay rise or bonus I deserve in a meeting that will happen between managers I doubt even read the things anyway.
Of course â€œI made compounds to discover new drugs and did it wellâ€ wonâ€™t cut the mustard, even though it would mean Iâ€™d not have to waste time writing out paragraphs of waffle and could get on with making more. In this age of â€œjustifying your existenceâ€ you need to show willing I suppose.
Guess I better get back to writing â€œIâ€™m great meâ€ in numerous slightly different ways.
At least then I can get on with shopping! :)
â€œA Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us!â€
â€œGod bless us every one!â€
Corporate bullshit can be really annoying. To add to your list of achievements, I find it annoying because I fill in a timesheet every week with what I have done and then they ask me what I've done. So, it begs the question, why fill in the timesheet?
Our bonuses/pay increases are decided on measurable things, so we don't have to fill in such forms for those things. We don't justify our existence but we do let people know what we want from the company in the way of training and development and then can complain if we don't get it.
I always hate doing the appraisal thing. They have all that "Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?" bullshit that I can never answer. Plus having to come up with all these self ratings for how I've done in all sorts of disparate areas with examples is a pain half the categories overlap anyway or are just not relevant. I mean how important is market awareness to a programmer who just codes things to a spec provided by the customer they are the ones that need to be market aware I just need to know how to follow the spec and how to bash out of them the details of how they actually want the thing to work. It always takes me back to the sort of reports I used to do at secondary school on this sort of thing where everyone wrote the same stock phrases "I've really learnt a lot this year on [blank] I especially enjoyed [blank] and I think I could improve in [blank]. Next year I hope to do [blank]" It's all a load of rubbish very few people read but we all have to go through the motions.
The worst thing about our appraisals is that while you are marked out of 5, you are not allowed to score 1 (after all, you can always do more), and a score or 4 or 5 suggests you shouldn't be working here...I'm aware that some people do get 4's, however its rare, and you have to be pretty bad. I suspect the only people who scored 5's leae pretty soon afterwards (pushed out probably).
So you either score 2 or 3. I once got a 1, in one section, when I was doing floor-walking (or, to put it another way, doing a job I wasn't supposed to be capable of doing). Thats a bit too chunky on the granularity scale to be useful.
For the text bit, I just list out projects I've been involved with in the last year. As my scores hardly change between reviews (as as explained above its virtually impossible for them to change, unless I one day decide to walk in, take a shit on the keyboard and sign it) I put no effort into making it sound nice. They are only used when you go for jobs external to your department anyway...