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Thursday, 12 July 2012

What a week

I seem to be having a lot of what-a-weeks at the moment, and this week is no exception.  I am at the point of almost not coping, but of course not coping is not really an option, so a stiff upper lip and plenty of fibre is the order of the day.

There are home things that are coming to fruition, and their passing will ease some of the home-based pain.  There is also a week left of term, so that will ease things further as Maggots and LO have "nothing to do" for six weeks.  While this increases the volume of noise in the house, it does also mean a break from the school routine for all three, and with that comes a general calm over the whole house.

Work, I am not so sure.  There are a lot of things on in the "day job", so many that we are overloaded as a team.  There is also an impending big project on the horizon.  I have been part of the initial stages of this, where we all agreed that this was not a project that could be done "on the side of the desk", a new phrase I learnt during these early meetings, and one I have abused mercilessly ever since.  However, there is many a slip twixt cup and lip, and so it will not surprise you to hear that as events unfold, there seems to be a view that I can contribute fairly considerably to the project.  Subsequently, it looks like I am gonna need an extension to the side of my desk.

One small ray of sunshine was that I had a good appraisal.  These are rather ritualistic in large organisations, and Starfleet is no exception.  They are all things to all men, depending on your angle; for some they are a useful way to develop their career, for others they are the devil's own work devised to humiliate the hard working and to provide reasons for your employer to not provide career development or pay rises.

There is also the real factor of luck.  If you the right person, in the right role, exposed to the right activities and in the sight of the right management, then you can do very well out of the process.  If not, then better luck next year.

The key thing about the appraisal is that doing your job well gets you a bog standard result.  Doing it very very well will ensure that the tick in the "bog standard" box is done with more pressure. i.e. only doing your job is not enough.  You need to expand your working life to give-back projects and other profile-raising activities, and even then, your appraisal is done by comparing you to every other person at the same level as you.  If you climb Mount Everest, but the other guy climbs it in a Gorilla suit, he is gonna beat you.

From a management perspective, this enables the process to be measurable, quantifiable and defendable. From an individual perspective, it can kind of the luck of the draw, albeit with you able to influence a number of aspects of the draw.

Be lucky, and speak tomorrow.

P.S. Got a day's fishing planned with Brad in September.  Can't wait.

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