Got called in to the orifice today for my review meeting. Expected verdict; Yep, you know what you’re doing, more or less, now off you trot and keep up the good (ish) work. Mind you, Management never use one word where half a dozen ‘Manage-speak’ phrases will do.
Actual verdict; ‘Not a team player’ was the first mildly critical remark on my report. Say what?
Hold hard a cotton picking minute; I don’t work in a team most of the time. I cover the beat allocated to me and hunt down people who break the parking laws. I don’t generally see my oppo’s from one days end to the next, so how can we work as a team apart from performing our individual functions as best we can? Bloody hell. As for the rest, my averages are okay so no problem. Low cancellation rate which means the office doesn’t have to spend time firing off letters in response to lots of ‘challenges’. That keeps them happy. Supervisors generally leave me alone because I get out and get on with things. I’m not one of the ‘big hitters’ so I don’t have to worry about dropping out of the ‘top five’. So where’s the problem?
“Right.” Said I “This means I can get back out there and get on with it?” No? Huh? What in the name of Beelzebub’s right buttock are they on about? My attitude?
What’s wrong with being even handed, businesslike and efficient (ish). No, said Management, your attitude towards your colleagues is poor. According to them I am being criticised for not being a plaster saint and kissing the arses of each and every one of my workmates.
The story goes that I’ve said a few things about other people while in the mess room that they didn’t like and someone has gone crying to Management about it. Little Johnny has had his cage rattled and gone telling tales about that nasty Mr Sticker. I just sat there, jaw clamped firmly shut in case I let some very ugly cats out of some very noisome bags. In the end I put my hands up to all the charges (Because Management only believe the complainant, not the object of the complaint, and Bill Sticker is not well liked in certain circles.) and took my bollocking like a man. The complainant is well known as a brown nosed little slime ball and has been dropped off my Christmas card list. Mind you, I did have the cojones to say what I said to his face and not sniping behind his back, even if the little tattle tale did it to me. Sod it. I don’t have to like someone to work with them. They can all go boil their heads.
At the end of today, one of my oppo’s noticed my dark expression as I entered the mess and asked what was up. “Bad review.” I told them.
“You? You’re joking.”
“No. According to them I’ve got a bad attitude and I’m not a ‘team‘ player.”
“Bloody hell. Who told them that?”
“Guess.” Was my terse response. Everyone knew who I meant.
“Nasty little twat! What did he do that for?” “I told him what I thought about him.”
“No, Bill. It ain’t that – his averages are dropping and he’s trying to cover it up.” Another of the older guys chimed in.
“That doesn’t help me much though, does it?” I replied. “It’s almost as if they want me to leave.”
“Me too.” Said someone else.
“Have you had the instant coat peg treatment as well?” I asked.
“He stabbed me right in the back too. Same thing more or less.”
“He’s a right wanker.”
“Yeah Bill, we all know you’re a sarcastic sod, but you make most of us laugh, and you don’t knife anyone in the back.” My, my. That’s as high a compliment as I’ve ever had.
It turns out that out of six people in the mess room at that point, three had been ‘denounced’ to Management for similar reasons by the very same person, thus damaging our chances for promotion / pay rises. Methinks said person will find a certain English Midlands city a very cold and lonely place in the very near future. I know this sounds harsh, but if it’s the only weapon you’ve got and the grievance procedures have broken down, that’s what you have to do. Failing that, the rest of the ‘team’ suffers.
This South Park style self portrait was created using this cute little game