Friday, 19 February 2010

When two worlds collide

I had my half-yearly appraisal at work yesterday. It was as much of a waste of time as it ever is, except for one thing - preparing the appraisal forms made me realise that I've done a much better job than I thought I had at keeping on top of my work during this whole process. OK, I haven't pushed ahead with new projects as much as I had hoped to, but I've done everything that I promised to do and a little bit more besides.

The appraisal meeting was with my boss and his new boss. His old boss used to let him take the lead in these meetings, because after all, he was the one who saw me every day and knew my work inside out.

The new boss didn't let my boss get a word in edgeways. He didn't let me get many words in either - and I've never been in an appraisal meeting where less was said about me and my work.


The new boss had obviously read my forms. In my self-assessment, I had put a final paragraph which said something like, "From a personal point of view, this has been a very difficult six months for me, but I feel that I have maintained my focus well..." I knew that my own boss would know what I was talking about, and if it was brought up, I wanted to say in front of his boss that I appreciated the support that he had given me - without actually telling his boss what it was all about.

Anyway, the new boss kept banging on about how everybody was suffering a certain amount of uncertainty in the current business climate, and he appreciated that it made life difficult, but we just had to carry on and hope that the economy would pick up soon. And I suddenly realised - this guy thought that my "personal" issue was concern about my position in the firm and whether I was going to be made redundant!

It really made me realise what different planets he and I live on. DH and I have rapidly dwindling savings, but we have enough to cover our bills, we don't have expensive tastes, and we could definitely manage until I found another job if I was made redundant. But this guy earns at least three or four times what I do, and he lives, breathes and thinks nothing but work.

My own boss and I had a little chuckle about his perspective on the "personal point of view" afterwards, and I thanked my boss for his understanding and support. But the recognition he should have got from his boss for being such an outstanding mentor never came. And all because our world views don't coincide, and one of us doesn't know how to listen.

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