Posted by: kristabella | March 25, 2008


So Jen Lancaster updated the links on her blog and then told the loyal subjects of Jennsylvania to go read the blogs in her links. Which I am one of (there are no words to describe the excitement and pure, unadulterated joy and squeeeee-ness of it all!) And then they all came here and had to read about having sex with cartoon dogs and my sick, whiny ass.

I’m pretty sure those readers won’t be returning.

In case they do (oh hai new readers! I’m sometimes funny! And there’s Bacon here!), I shall attempt to write something better. Attempt being the key word. I’m still sick and my tooth is sore and Root Canal Day can’t get here fast enough. And I’d also like my nose to stop running so that I can re-grow the skin under my nose that the Kleenex has RUBBED OFF like sandpaper.

Anyway, so last week at work I had my review. It wasn’t my annual review since I’ve only been there 10 months, but it was my six-month review a few months late. Because right around the six-month mark, we decided to like fire almost everyone in the company. And then there was scrambling and more cuts and whatever, it’s four months too late.

It went really well. There were no surprises. They said a lot of good things. They mentioned things I should work on and issues I’ve had in the past that have been addressed and improved on. It was very nice for two people to sing my glorious praises for a good half hour. I mean, they are only human.

(Which is all a big damn lie because as big of an attention famewhore that I can be at times, it is very awkward to sit in a room with two people telling you all the good things you do and all I just did was sit there and let out a weak “thanks!” every now and then.)

I have had some very interesting reviews in my life. My boss at the Niners, who I am still friends with today, wasn’t always so good in that area of managing people. (His wife reads here (Hi Teri!) so I hope he doesn’t get offended. And just looks at it as constructive criticism. And when you send the mail bomb, please send it to my work address.)

So we had the yearly reviews at the Niners, like all companies. I haven’t mentioned it a lot on here, but I had some very difficult years at the Niners. I grew up working there. I spent most of my 20s working there. I had never worked in an office before (besides my father’s) so this was all new to me. And since I’m a little *ahem* outspoken, I had a lot to learn when it came to biting my tongue and playing the office politics game.

And let’s just say, I sucked at that game. I still kind of do. I might be better working from home where I have the lowest possibility of saying the wrong thing.

So a lot of my Niners reviews and one-on-one conversations with my boss were all about shutting my trap and learning from my erroneous ways and shedding a lot of tears. Mostly me. And guys don’t like it when girls cry in front of them. It’s too bad I cry when I burn my toast, so it doesn’t take much.

But the thing that happened every year when I would have my review is that I would get blindsided by something. There would be some thing, some issue that he would bring up that I wasn’t expecting. Some sort of fault or mistake I made that became a big deal. The problem was that most of these issues were OLD issues. Something I did months prior that wasn’t mentioned to me at the time, that became a weakness on my review. Written down and filed for ALL ETERNITY.

And it pissed me off. I know I’m not perfect. I’m pretty damn close, but I have my faults and things I have worked on. And if I ever worked for my old boss again, I think he’d be the first person to notice the changes I’ve made as I have grown up and matured in the workplace. So I never expect my review to be flawless. There is the “Things to Work On” section for a reason. No one is perfect.

But I prefer for issues to be addressed at the time they occur. So that I KNOW I did something wrong when I do it so that I can fix it and not do it again. Yes, it may take you a few times of telling me because I have very few brain cells left from all the alcohol I consume, but I will make all attempts to fix it. Again, attempt being the key word.

So when issues are brought up six months later, I get pissed because I’m not aware of this issue that more than likely I’ve completely forgotten about and also because I hate the unexpected. Julie Chen can kiss my ass because I will not expect the unexpected. No matter what her skinny, stupid ass says.

It has almost ruined me a bit. I go into every job review expecting something like this. I expect some issue to be brought up that I’m not expecting. I expect some problem to be brought up that I wasn’t even sure was a PROBLEM. And that is NOT NORMAL.

I actually mentioned this at my review last week because it was a refreshing change, this not being blindsided by something. And I wanted them to know that I appreciated them communicating issues with me as they arose. I am aware that I have things to work on and I’m better able to work on them when I know the problem when it happens. Again, the booze-related memory loss plays into this. And I appreciate that they have no problem telling me positive feedback when appropriate. They are good about handing out praise, so there really were NO shocks in my review. Everything said was something I had heard before. 

And really, it never hurts to have people tell you over and over just how awesome you are. I for one never get tired of it.


Also, remember to cast your vote today for my friend Jenny for Chicago Woman of the Year! Less than a week left!



  1. Good morning. You are awesome.

  2. I knew you’d be excited when you saw your name on jennsylvania! I was excited for you! 🙂

  3. Our HR director said there should never be any surprises at a review. Whether it’s good or bad it should be taken care of when it happens.

  4. That happened to me in my first ever annual review out of college. My boss sternly told me that it was “unprofessional” and “unacceptable” to be using Instant Messenger at work!

    I had no idea, I was just out of college, I thought that everyone IMed during the work day. Most of my friends did. No biggie.

    If it was so unacceptable at that company, WHY would my boss wait 12 months to tell me? I was just a little baby child, I didn’t know any better.

  5. Honey, I totally get this. I had the same thing at my first company. For the first 3 months, they LOVED me, talked about promotions and all my hard work (I was working 12+ hour days out of the need to escape traffic – which I communicated to them multiple times). The second I moved closer and went to a normal schedule of 8:30-6 (like everyone else in the office), they started questioning my commitment, and all of a sudden, things that were never problems before, started showing up on my 6-month review. Stuff they’d never brought to my attention or addressed with me, one-on-one.

    I felt so betrayed. Like I had been talked about behind my back, and they only chose to talk to me about it when I could get “ganged up on” in that kind of setting. And again, I was only 22 and fresh out of college.

    Since then, reviews have always stressed me out. Whether I’m shining at a company or not, I get nervous and stutter and am on the verge of tears 90% of the time I have to go and sit with the bosses for a review. People should not have to feel like that…

    @Laurel – Well, in some companies, they actually encourage IMing between office mates, and understand that there is an “acceptable level” of non-office chatting that’s going to occur. So I completely understand you being hit out of the blue.

  6. I had the same “problem” with my review, I always find them awkward because I never know how to respond to what they say are my strengths but it always stings when I hear my weaknesses. We have weekly meetings with our managers which is kind of cool, we discuss issues that have come up in the last week, performance improvement, anything on our minds.

  7. Oh yes, I LOVE the out-of-nowhere-it-happened-10-months-ago-issue-that-no-one-bothered-to-mention. It’s actually an HR/Boss tactic that they use to start keeping track of sh*t incase they need to pink-slip your @$$. Seriously! I had to do it to an employee and another co-worker. I almost changed my name to Judas when it happened.

    P.s who the hell doesn’t IM/E-mail/crackberry at work??

  8. There are some bosses in my office who are notorious for blindsiding people in reviews. It sucks.

    I had an evil boss who gave me a rating of excellent (the next-to-highest rating), but in the comments wrote that I lacked the mental capacity to do my job. It pissed me off, but I told my other (more senior) bosses about it, and we all agreed that evil boss was a tool.

  9. Oh babe. You are so The Popular One now. 😉 Rub me, okay? I mean, can I rub you? I mean, I should just shut the hell up.

    Anyway – I’ve had those reviews where I’ve left crying. Ended up? Learning so much and applying it in the future. Obviously, you have too, because, Dude? YOU are one of the ones they kept.

    I know there’s survivor’s guilt. I know that. But think about it, eh?

  10. ::raises an eyebrow at Ree’s rubbing of Kristin:: We’ll address this later.

    There are some people who just can’t let stuff go. I hate those kinds of reviews. I had a boss like that (who like you later kept her as a friend for 20 years) who to this day…and we haven’t worked together in 18 years) will bring up things I did at work that I “needed to improve upon.” I have changed SO MUCH in the work place, that she wouldn’t recognize me, but she doesn’t know that so I just nod and say yeah, really gotta work on that.

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