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Why appraisals are a waste of time

18th April 2013


No, I’m not enjoying the thought of the summer ahead, I hate the heat and now there is something else to push me over the edge. My appraisal!

What an utter waste of time and energy. My boss knows nothing about what I get up to, and that‘s largely because, true to stereotype, my boss is a man. This makes the appraisal experience rather embarrassing, as he gets shown up as being ignorant, while explaining just how little I actually do is excruciating for me.

So it goes like this. Come the first quarter of the calendar year and  I have to remind my boss that he has enjoyed another year of my fabulous company and so it is time for my annual review. Now the sensible thing would be to go for a coffee while he tells me what my pay rise is (well, this is a fantasy). Job done. But no, there are the dreaded forms: pages containing empty boxes that need to be filled with drivel.

I have to make up a lot of stuff about the goals I have achieved, invent some more goals for the future and think of some training I’d like.

And I have to rate my performance with a one, two, or three. It's asking for trouble to put too many ones, and it would be completely unprofessional to put any threes. So I have to make a nice pattern of ones and twos (and we all know what 'ones' and 'twos' are euphemisms for).

My boss has to fill in a piece of fiction about what he thinks I have achieved, while coming up with convincing business arguments as to why a) I can’t have a pay rise and b) I can’t have any training at company cost. These arguments are simply that we haven’t made any money in 2012. In fact, I’ll be lucky to have a job at all in 2013.

I reckon the time I spend filling in my appraisal form and then having the tedious appraisal adds up to at least a full day’s work (although I admit, I am talking about one of my day’s work, which is about half of a normal person’s). Then, of course, I have to do appraisals for my juniors. That takes up another day per person.

This leaves me with a serious dilemma. How am I going to get the money organised for the dropping gold prices? And why does the appraisal come just before the advance taxes are due? Deep dilemmas these.


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