Friday, September 28, 2007

Welcome New Turtles

Well, there hasn't been a flood of new people posting to the Guest Map (located on the right sidebar under the best of section). But..we do have a new addition.

Welcome Aboard:

Anonymous Annie of Birmingham Alabama

Annie joins:

XT Mapper of Canada
The Physical Worker of Canada
Jessica V of California
Tike from LA. California
JenEsh from Ohio
Steve from South Carolina
Robert Cenek of
Graham from Australia

Feel free to join these Turtles at Work by signing the guest map. As you can see, you don't have to post your real name and the map is completely anonymous. In fact, i'd be interested in seeing what catchy "turtle" type names you can come up with. Thanks again to all that visit Turtles at Work. Join the Turtle nation!!!

Turtle King

The Performance Review Myth

I'm sure many of you have the pleasure of receiving a performance review at the end of the year. Your company touts the performance review as being incredibly important. Your witty HR person will comment "the performance review ties directly to your pay increase" and your boss will mention "we pay for high performance". In some companies all of the above may very well be true, but in the incredibly horrid companies most of us work for this is ...well...complete bullshit. Let me address this in several bullet points to demonstrate for you all the myths relating to performance reviews:

  1. Myth 1: Performance Reviews are Important. Hmm... it's so important that every year I'm asked by my boss to submit to him a self evaluation. This is because my boss is too damn lazy to take the time to write my review himself. Instead he will take what I have written and just cut and past it into the review. To make himself feel better he will add one measly sentence that degrades me (see destructive criticism post) and rate me 2 levels below what my self evaluation grade was. The sentence he adds also has zero ounce of fact or truth in it and he cannot give me any examples of what he means. Gee thanks!
  2. Myth 2: Performance Reviews Reward (monetarily) High Performers. As a manager I have the pleasure of seeing what salary increases my people get as part of their reviews. I can tell you that high performance does not equal high monetary rewards. My company flat out rewards employees with the following % increases: 1% (meets expectations), 2% (exceeds expectations), 3% (far exceeds expectations). So based on these reward system, an employee making $40k a year will only get $13 more a paycheck for far exceeding expectations vs. just meeting expectations. Whoopdy do! That's why everyone in my company is mediocre. People came in, realized they would get shitty increases, and figured why try harder than I have to.
  3. Myth 3: Your Review is Based on the Entire Year. We all know the suckasses who do nothing for the first 8 months of the year, then turn it on the last 4 months and get a dandy review. Reviews are very rarely based on the entire year because bosses are too damn lazy to keep records and meet with their employees throughout the year to discuss progress, accomplishments and improvement points. If you did something great at the end of the year your boss will think of that when reviewing you. If you slipped up at the end of the year, even though you performed well overall, expect a crappy review. It's sad, but true.
  4. Myth 4: Your Review Can Be Changed. During your review your boss gives you a bum rating in a category or overall. You provide documentation and proof that clearly shows that the rating is not consistent to your performance. SOL my friend. Your boss took zero time on your review to begin with because they just want to get it over with. They certainly aren't going to allow more time to listen to a dispute of their rating. Furthermore, most bosses are egomaniacs and will flip out that you are even questioning the rating.

Most companies out there talk the talk about performance reviews, but don't walk the walk. Does your company conduct training on performance reviews to make sure management knows how to properly write and conduct a review? Probably Not! Does anyone at your company look at the reviews for consistency and accuracy? Probably Not! There are many myths about the performance review, but there is one truth; the performance review at most companies are a formality and have zero value or reward for employees! If you are a Turtle at Work, you are one because of this fact!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Destructive Criticism

I'm sure many of you out there have received "feedback" from your boss over the course of your career. Your boss calls you in to chat and opens up by saying "I have a little constructive criticism for you regarding...".

I've had some bosses that really wanted to help me and provided actual constructive criticism. They would give me real bonafide examples of something I've done incorrectly, then provide examples of the correct way and finish it off on a positive note.

Unfortunately though, more times than not what a boss will term as "constructive criticism" is actually more like "destructive criticism". Destructive criticism usually serves no other purpose than to wear you down and make you feel like an idiot, while making your boss feel ultra superior. If you've actually had real constructive criticism from a prior boss, you will enter your existing bosses office, expecting it. Then, whammo, you get smacked with complete negatives without detail, guidance or support. The feedback you receive is completely vague and usually is more perception than reality. When you ask your boss for detail, there isn't any because their purpose is not to help you, but to smack you around and show their power.

So how do you deal with destructive criticism? Anyone would probably tell you to address the issue with your Human Resources department. WRONG!! The one thing that most people forget is that the HR department is not really there for you, they are there to protect the company. If you think your boss is an ass before you go to HR, he or she will kick it up 100 notches after HR relays back what you said. I've been there, trust me on this. As a Turtle at Work I've dealt with destructive criticisers by sticking to the Turtle philosophy. Below are the Turtle tips for dealing with a boss that is a destructive criticiser:

  1. Lay low & Blend. You can't be criticized if your not noticed. Let an over-zealous co-worker take the heat.
  2. Remember the Shell. Even if you follow the first tip, you still will be open to destructive criticism. Don't try and debate it with your boss, just take your licks and play dead. You'll get out of the office sooner if you just let things roll off your shell.
  3. Develop Thick Skin. If your boss knows that his idiotic criticism is getting to you, he'll pile it on more. Turtles have thick skin, so should you. If you debate and show emotion your playing into the hands of your boss.
  4. Be Smarter. You know the criticism is bullshit, but act like it's the best thing you've ever heard. You'll stifle your boss, believe me. Remember, the idiot is criticising you harshly to fuel his own ego. If you stay positive and act overly thankful for the feedback, your boss will think he's actually smart. Turtles survive by being smarter than their predators, play the game!
Well, I'm a bit rusty. Haven't posted in some time. I'll have some new material coming up. I appreciate those of you that still visit the site. I also appreciate those emails I've gotten and comments asking for more posts. I'll try my best to pump out meaningful, quality content.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hiding in the Shell

Well, I'm sure many of you faithfull Turtles have been wondering were in the hell has the Turtle King gone. No posts in the last few weeks. You probably feel a bit abandoned and I don't blame you.

In short, I've been hiding within my shell. Nothing really new to write about, but I have some new material that I'll be posting soon. Thanks for all of you for hanging in there.

Turtle King

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