Root Canal Or Annual Performance Review

I hate the annual performance review. I hate it. I hate it the way I hate cleaning toilets and running in to work people outside of work.

Oh, yeah…hi! Soooo….out shopping? Awesome…wow, that is a LOT of lube, isn’t it? I didn’t know they sold gummi bears in 50 lb bags.  Okay then, I’ll see you on Monday. 

I dread getting my annual judgement handed down to me. I am instantly transported back to the age where naps were part of school and when my favorite activity was building walls and knocking them down with my boyfriend, Clarence.

I actually had two boyfriends in Kindergarten. Clarence and Greg. I didn’t see the point in wasting time when it came to driving my mother out of her head. 

Anyway, I hate the work performance review. First of all, if I am doing something wrong, then fucking tell me that I’m doing something wrong. Don’t hoard them throughout the year and dump them on me all at once. What the fuck?

That has only happened a few times, mostly my reviews are awesome. One boss, though, did ask if I could make an effort to not call him an asshole quite so often. My response was to tell him that was entirely up to him. If he didn’t act like an asshole, then I wouldn’t call him an asshole.

I also loathe the self evaluation forms. One place I worked had a form where they listed a fuck ton of either/or scenarios and you and to pick between them. But the either/or scenarios were ridiculous. I don’t remember what they specifically said, by they were kind of like this:

Would you say in the past year you have:

A) Saved the company thousands of dollars telepathically


B) Left goat entrails on your neighbors doorstep

The other thing I hate about performance reviews is that they are presented by the boss. I have had some good bosses. The boss I have now seems nice and reasonable. He is approachable and pleasant. I can’t complain. I’ve had some bad bosses as well. A few I would say were insane. And that is what we all want, isn’t it? To be evaluated by some fucked up grand poobah on a power trip.

My last boss called me by the wrong name for the first 4 years and loved to bring criticism to performance reviews. He didn’t even know my name, but felt confident he could evaluate my work.

I had a boss that smelled like boiled cabbage and licked the sores on his arms. He told me in a review that I needed to improve my appearance. He didn’t like the red streaks I had in my hair at the time. He licked his own sores yet felt qualified to judge my hair color choices.

I did have a boss that I got along with. We had a similar sense of humor and worked together well. That didn’t mean that I looked forward to the annual performance review, but did find the experience not quite as painful.

We had to write our own evaluation and turn it in before the actual review. I found one that I wrote for myself and turned in to my boss. This was from 2005.

I find it astounding that I’m expected to evaluate myself. The ways in which I am amazing are apparent and it seems a waste of my time and talent to have to write them down. 

Speaking of talent, that is how I want to be referred to from now on. ‘The talent’. Also, and this is something I should have addressed a long time ago, I would like for you to speak to all the other employees and tell them that they are no longer to address me directly. In fact, I would prefer that they avert their eyes when I am in the same room. 

As far as my actual talent and contributions go, it would take too long to list all of them and it really grates against my over-developed sense of humility to speak highly of myself. I will just hit the highlights:

Any gains for the company over the last year are entirely due to me. If not my actual effort, then the inspiration that oozes from me like glittery sweat infects those around me and makes them super employees. 

My very breath is a cleaning agent. When I exhale, I make the world a better place.

I will agree to continue my employment here, but I do require the following:

I am sure we can both agree that there is no real way to quantify my contribution here. The joy that my presence brings to everyone here cannot be valued. Fortunately, my life is all about helping my fellow humans and I don’t require much. In addition to increasing my paycheck as much as you fucking can, I would also like a helicopter pad built outside my office. I realize this will cut the parking lot down and not everyone will be able to park in front of the building anymore. This shouldn’t pose a problem though, as there is street parking just a few blocks down. I would also like a chocolate milkshake every Thursday afternoon.

Oddly enough, he made me write a second evaluation.

True genius is always under-appreciated.



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  • Mine is coming soon too. I could probably write it for them and save us both the bother. Although this year in particular was pretty bad, and at one point I do believe I told the owner, general manager, and my boss that if they wanted to fire me to do it now and quit fucking around about it. I’m pretty sure that’s gonna come up on my review.

  • Just FYI: “The talent” is the (usually derogatory) term film crews use for the subjects they are shooting.
    I had two girlfriends in kindergarten. Lori Nelson and Sandra Weik. During the movies, I always sat on the round rug with the girls instead of on the desks with the boys. The only other boy who did so was Dale Hancock, who was much better looking than I, and had far more girlfriends.
    I never had too many performance evaluations. I had three of four of them in a two year period at Tumbleweed that all amounted to “Here’s a fifty cent raise and please continue to bust your ass in our warehouse.”

  • Argh, never got the anal, I mean annual reviews but we use to get a “Back to work” interview, whether we had been off sick for a day or a week. “Is there anything we could of done to prevent your absence?!”
    “Ooh, can you invent a vaccine for a malfunctioning Uterus?!”

    I hated having a boss and if I don’t sort my act out in the next couple of years, I shall soon have another.

    My word of choice would probably be “You Dick” over Asshole.

  • The ones I love are the exit interviews. “Please ignite all your bridges before exiting. Thank you!” Because I’m so likely to tell you the truth about your profoundly fucked-up organization on my way out the door knowing it won’t change anything but will come back and bite me on the ass the next time I submit a job application and have to list you as a former employer.

    I’ve never had a performance review that was helpful. Either your reviewers are too passive-aggressive to tell you the truth or want to blame you for their failings or project their issues onto you. (He actually licked his sores? Gah, that’s . . . I’m not sure how to spell the sound I’m uttering as I think about that–it’s a cross between gah and ew and bleh with a drawn out uhhhhhh followed by a shudder.)

  • This is hilarious and I’m going to steal your evaluation for next year just for the Hell of it. A couple of years ago I asked my (then) boss if “not shooting the medical director” or “will only show up drunk 1/3 of the time” were appropriate goals. Without missing a beat her response: “Those are very reasonable goals but unfortunately they aren’t geared to clinical standards.” Best. Boss. Ever.

  • I freaking hate annual reviews! And I was stressing so hard about the last one (just before Christmas), because it was with my newish boss (the Homunculus), who I was certain either hated my guts or didn’t even realize I was an actual employee and not just some random person who showed up for 40 hours a week. I thought he would rip me a new one, but I very quickly realized that all he wanted to do was talk about himself for 45 minutes. I let him, I signed the form, I went home, I collected my crappy raise. I have finally come to the realization that the correct answer to the question “What are your career goals?” is: None. Can I go now?

  • I had a manager that could not do her job. She would have me sit next to her while she was on the phone with customers (Think Amazon only smaller). The thing is she couldn’t work her fucking computer or find product. The calls would take 20 times longer with her then if I took the call. I could find something get the ok from another manager and make the customer happy in about 5 minutes her calls would take over an hour. Then she would tell me in my review that I needed to resolve issues quicker. I wanted to beat her with her ergo keyboard. She would also tell me I needed to write longer reviews for my reps. I had to write 20 or more at a time she had to write 5. I could go on but I think you get the idea. I still wonder who she was blackmailing to keep her job.

  • haha. I remember one performance review where I was applauded for improving my attendance record and he took the credit because he had reprimanded me for my many absences in the previous year.
    I was pregnant the previous year and had severe morning sickness, and I was not pregnant for this next evaluation.
    I don’t think his credit was justified.

    I told him so.

    hmmmmm…..I left their employ soon after.

  • Last time I had to fill in one of those by the time I got to the question of where I saw myself in five years I was so fucking done I drew a picture of myself riding a unicorn.
    The best thing is that’s in my HR file now.

  • Not only do you have the most hilarious posts, but you also have the most hilarious commenters. I really have to stop reading these at 5:30 a.m. I’m killing myself trying to stifle the guffaws. I’m sending this to my sister-in-law, who, no doubt, will want to copy it verbatim.

  • Best self-evaluation ever.

    I have been lucky enough to work for a 3 person consultancy for the past 8 years, so evaluations are long in my past. But I do remember despising them, finding them useless and irritating. So my thoughts are with you.

  • hahaha! Love it! Sounds like something I’d submit. Don’t know which is worse – self evaluation or peer reviews. Seriously? you want the cubemate that relies on velcro shoes to write my review?

  • So glad I don’t have to submit to such things any more. I now work for myself, and have discovered that I am the worst boss I have ever had, overly critical, pedantic and tyrannical. Fortunately I don’t have to support a HR department which creates such things as IPR’s and APR’s to justify its existence and to have something to put in the files.
    I hope you survive this review with your sense of humour intact and without a charge of actual bodily harm against your boss!

  • Well, obviously your boss should have moved you to upper management immediately. I’d never have the balls to write something like that. You go, Michelle. 🙂

    • Hahah..well, we had that kind of relationship. I don’t know if I’d get away with that anywhere else..but I could always see how it works out.

  • Some people shouldn’t be bosses. I had one I despised. After my performance review I was sure I wasn’t getting a contract renewal despite how much the employees under me liked working with me. When I did get a new contract I was conflicted and actually met with said boss to straight up ask if he was sure he still wanted me there. His response, “Somebody does. ” Wrong answer dude. I quit.

  • I had a review that said my work was superlative, exceeded expectations, blah blah then listed a 4 out of 5. When I asked what it took to get a 5, my reviewer said she never gave 5s; she didn’t believe in them. Uh, so why have them?

    • You were in my spam folder! WHAT WERE YOU DOING THERE??? haha…now you are here with the cool kids.

      Yeah, when I was a manager, I was told to NEVER give the highest score…uhhhh…that’s dumb.

  • I was shocked the first time I had to write a self-evaluation. Shouldn’t they know what I do? And whether I am good at it?

    I figured that I should present myself as the best thing since sliced bread and let them tell me I’m not. And I get a pretty decent evaluations. A co-worker played the modesty card, expecting them to tell him he was better than that. Didn’t work. If you don’t think you are doing great, they will think you could have tried harder.

    I wouldn’t have the nerve to submit an eval like yours. But my boss would think it was funny.

  • Last night I sent this to a friend of mine because I know she works for a fucked up grand poobah on a power trip. Turns out she is having a review today. I think this brilliant post might be very helpful to her!

  • That’s brilliant, Michelle. I had to sit through two performance readings by the same nice boss. You’d think she was nominating me for sainthood. I openly scoffed at every compliment. It was a manual labour job – no brain power necessary. The first time I earned a ten cent raise; the second time, twenty-five cents. That’s like giving someone a warm, friendly hug, then punching him. Can we please skip all the fucking paperwork? A decent raise or no raise. ‘Nuff said. I can’t get through forms at all. I’m not sure why. I couldn’t even write my height on a dental health form. My dentist still laughs at whatever shit I replaced 5’2″ with. I hate my lousy memory, but I wish I could forget that 27 years ago I included my 3 cats on a federal census form (as my triplets – who names a kid P.Rex?) which I’m pretty sure is illegal. Trillie should market a rubber stamp of herself on the unicorn (maybe giving the finger). It would be so handy for all of us who encounter that stupid “Where do you see yourself in __ years?” question. PLEASE never ever ever write about sore-licking again. Thank you!

  • I am an engineer and the site manager at my office. I hate, I despise, I LOATHE giving performance reviews. I whine, I whimper, I gnash my teeth. I’m an ENGINEER. My employees (with the exception of my admin) are ENGINEERS. We have horrible social skills. We don’t like confrontations or much interaction. Plus? The evals are practically meaningless. I’d be surprized if anyone beyond me even reads the things. And they give me such stupid parameters….you should only give 10% of your people a “5”, 30% of your people “4” and the rest “3s” unless you have someone fucking up, then they get a “2” and a get well plan. A “3” means “did your job well and consistently”. But to me…and I guarantee you, to the rest of my Poindexter bretheren, a “3” is a “C”. AND most of my folks have been with me 10+ years. I spent years and years getting the right team together. None of them are average. Sorry if most groups only have 40% that excell…every one of mine do. I fight this fight every damn year. And it has ZERO to do with pay increase anyway. That’s been determined a month before we even do performance reviews and has to do with some algorithm about market value for our area, years experience and current pay in grade. Ugh! Ugh, ugh, ugh!
    Anyway, maybe it will make you feel better to know that the guy giving you the review is probably hating it as much as you are.

    • I used to run an IT department, so I had to write reviews as well. I hated it. I would just do what I had to to get them as much money as I could.

  • I used to hate these damn things too, I wish I would have known you then I would have gotten you to write it for me. I always used to start vomiting words like some idiot and probably lost God only knows how many raises because of my stupid nervous babbling!

  • Where I work our annual reviews are used to determine our raises. It’s one of the joys of working at a non-profit educational institution. One year a very-high-up decided our raises should instead be linked to inflation, which he’d read was just a fraction over 1%, and the remaining raise money would go to special bonuses for people whose supervisors deemed them worthy. So if your supervisor was an asshole or just didn’t know what you did (which was more common and happened to people with very specialized jobs) you were out of luck. If his intention was to wreck morale he succeeded admirably. Everybody’s spirits were lifted by his retirement.

    Needless to say I couldn’t get away with a review like yours, although my boss would love it. (She’ll never see this, but she really is awesome.)

    By the way, how’s the book coming? I’m going to slip this question in once in a while to remind you some of us haven’t forgotten it, but don’t think of it like an annual review. Think of it more as a flaming bag of dog shit left on your porch.

    • I will never understand the decisions that people make in business…it’s like they’ve been hit on the head repeatedly or something.

      I sent the proposal off..we will see. In the mean time, I am writing my little fingers to the bone. 🙂

  • Oh, holy HELL! Now you’re giving me ideas… Wait, did you REALLY turn that in?? If so, that is so off-the-wall hilarious that I must bow to you, oh magnanimous and comedically brilliant one (I swear “comedic” IS a word!) . 🙂

  • Bloody brilliant, My boss is a total bitch and hey guess what – I have a review next week!
    I’m gonna think about this when she’s slagging me off.
    Thank you !!!

  • I’m not super into performance reviews, but I feel like there should be some metric in place, depending on staff size? I dunno. My coworker and I today just discussed we hadn’t had a review since we received New Boss.

  • Oh my dear Michelle, I truly needed more time with you! You are a delight and a powerful lady. Taxes and review in the same month? No review ever brought a raise, so just put everything out in the open! Oh yes… helicopter for you….you are more the private jet type. Thank you Thank you!

  • Hilarious! How interesting if all our thought bubbles were visible during performance evaluations? And I wonder if bosses actually enjoy giving it. I bet the really good ones hate it too and see how ridiculous it could be.

  • You are a FUCKING GENIUS!
    I also hate performance reviews and agree that if my two hour long lunches, personal phone calls, and snarky comments to other employees or customers are frowned upon, just let me know now, not every year in March.

    I also loved being reviewed by a boss who didn’t know shit from Shinola. Her professionalism shined through on conference calls during which we could all hear her chomping down her lunch. She sure did like the crunchy stuff. I’m really surprised I didn’t let “Pot, Kettle” slip out of my mouth during one of the many reviews I suffered through with her.

    If I ever get another job (please God, I’m poor) I will consider a self review just like yours, it really is brilliant.

  • I would love to have a boss that I was friendly/comfortable enough with that I could drop the f-bomb or call her an asshole. It’s unfortunate, because my current boss IS an asshole – but she would not appreciate me pointing this out.

  • I’m still new at my job and I’m being evaluated every three months! I find this terrifying, even though my supervisor is great and likes my work.

    I’m still traumatized by my last work place, where they felt they had to put at least one really negative thing in your evaluation, whether it was true or not.

    It was always like “I heard about this negative action, I’m not going to talk to you about what happened first, I’m just to save it up for your annual review so I can make sweeping generalizations about your attitude problem based on one incident that I don’t really know anything about.” Grumps.

  • Since I liked my old boss, I always wrote a completely un-PC self review for his entertainment – of course I always had to rewrite it, but I think he liked getting the snarky one first. The last year he was my reviewer, I wrote that my major accomplishment for the past year was that I did not strangle any of my fellow employees and I managed to remain out of jail and employed by this fine company.

    My new boss is a dick so for last year’s self review I wrote that I am a fucking saint for putting up with his narcissistic bullshit and that he best be giving me a huge raise and bonus if he wants me to stick around. I didn’t actually send that one…..the one I did send stated that I am an ace employee who always shows up for work and gets more work done than 75% of our employees. Dickhead agreed and gave me a huge raise and bonus – bingo! He’s still a dick, but at least he knows how to retain good employees!

By Michelle