Quarterly performance review

I know that we told you we weren’t going to have any performance reviews this quarter, but here we are. What’s the deal, right? Well, upper management decided to trick the staff, to tell everyone that we’d skip the performance reviews this time around, to lull everyone into a false sense of security and comfort. We wanted you all to work and to perform as if you thought nobody was watching, or writing everything down, or timing your bathroom breaks, or keeping track of how many bathroom breaks you’re taking during the day. What we were really after, besides a comprehensive analysis of your bathroom activity, was to observe you all during these past few months closer than ever. What are your natural work habits like? How are you likely to perform we’re not watching?

So, yeah, another performance review. Surprise! One thing corporate has specifically mentioned that I should ask you is, why are you using so much hand soap during your bathroom breaks? Good personal hygiene is certainly of the utmost importance to management, no doubt about it, but do you really think that the amount of soap that you’re using is appropriate for the workplace? Before you object, I should let you know that we installed tracking devices into each soap dispenser, giving us an unprecedented look into the soap usage of all of our employees and, while we’re pleased to inform you that your time spent in the bathroom falls well within the acceptable parameters of daily use, we’re quite frankly alarmed at the disproportionate amount of soap that you seem to be using after each trip. Why are your hands so dirty anyway? In the future, let’s try to keep it down to one or two pumps on the soap dispenser, and even though I just said one or two pumps, giving you the option of one or two pumps, try to choose just one pump, OK?

Which brings me to my second point: microwave usage. Management might seem pretty lenient in regards to its office kitchen policy, but I’m afraid that some of you lower-level employees are abusing our complimentary appliances. We’ve noticed specifically that, every day, you bring in some sort of a Tupperware container filled with a homemade lunch. You come in every morning and drop off your food in the office refrigerator. Fine. But then at lunchtime we’ve noticed your habit of heating up your food for an inordinate amount of time in the microwave. If you wanted your food to be hot, why are you spending so much time keeping it cold in the fridge? Freon doesn’t grow on trees, you know. Maybe you wouldn’t have to use the microwave for a whole four minutes if you would just leave your pasta on your desk all day. Listen, the company isn’t made of kilowatt-hours. You’re going to have to be a little more conscientious with how you utilize corporate resources, not to mention corporate refrigerator space. You know what? Let’s just go ahead and say that, from now on, rule of thumb, no more than two minutes on the microwave. Let’s call it an unwritten rule. But in case you forget, I’ll have the temp post some signs in the kitchen.

Times are tough. We’re all concerned about the dire state of the economy and it’s effect on morale. That’s why we’ve decided to cut wages across the board. I know, I know it’ll be a lot harder to make ends meet now that you’ll be making a lot less money. Management empathizes with your situation. We’re like a family here. I personally have always thought that you would make an excellent second cousin. We’re not going to leave anybody behind. Which is why corporate is reaching out, providing each employee with the opportunity to work extra hours each day. I know, more work. Well it’s either that of we’re going to have to start letting people go. You don’t want that do you? You don’t want us to fire anybody all because you can’t deal with a little downsizing, do you?

By the way, we’re getting rid of the custodial team. Management feels that the staff takes for granted the time, money, and effort that we spend trying to keep your workspaces clean. Frankly, we’ve grown dissatisfied carrying the onus of responsibility, constantly picking up after all of you. The bathrooms, the closets, the hallways – why should we have to subsidize your own cleanliness by paying for a whole staff of janitors? From now on, you’re all going to have to pitch in at the end of the day to keep things up to a satisfactory level of sanitation. On each floor, next to the fire extinguishers, you’ll find vacuum cleaners, dust busters, and other cleaning supplies. Please be aware that cleaning up after yourselves is something that’s going to have to be done on your own time. Don’t think that just because you’ll be here for a few more hours every day that you can take care of your chores on the company dime, because you can’t.

Another surprise: this isn’t actually a performance review. Corporate designed these meetings to assess how our employees might react to a surprise performance review. Unfortunately, a team of evaluators has been reviewing this mock-performance review, and they’ve issued a report about your performance during this meeting. And they’ve just emailed it to me. And it’s just as I feared. The mock-performance performance reviewers feel like you haven’t grasped the severity of the issues I’ve presented you. We feel that you haven’t shown a genuine engagement or a personal investment in this fake performance review. You’ve barely said a word this entire meeting. Don’t you care about your job? It’s obvious that you don’t. Which is why, geez, I really hate to be doing this to you, but, we’re going to have to let you go, effective immediately.

I know, I know, it’s tough. In this economy. It’s tough. It’s a tough economy. We’re in a tough place. Jobs. Real tough. Numbers. Super, super tough. The private sector. Markets. It’s all so hard right now. Job creators. Europe. Bonds. Interest, obviously, data. America. Emerging markets. Retreating markets. The market is in retreat! Class warfare. Taxes. We’re getting choked here. Profits. Recession. Totally choked here. Depression. China. Libor. Numbers. Numbers! Supply-side economics! Can’t keep your eyes off of Red China for a second. Economy. Bust. Socialist social engineering. Bull. Sell. Trade. Derivative. I know. It’s tough. I know. I know. It’s tough. It’s a tough time. I know. It’s a really tough time.

I’ve got to tell you that, I’m just getting word here, I’m getting word that a team of severance reviewers is studying this meeting as we speak, and, well we’re all very impressed by how your taking this bad news. It shows real professionalism. You’re a real professional kid. You’ve a got a real future, you know that? You know what? I’m thinking we’ve got enough room in this company for someone like you. Someone who’s hungry. Are you hungry? Because we’ve got an opportunity for you. It’s an internship. It’s non-paying, but there’s a small stipend for travel. But it’s a very small stipend. Actually, we’ve lost it, nobody can find it. I told you, it was very small, very hard to lose small things, but if you can find it you’re more than welcome to have it. You’d have to notify corporate first, if you find it that is, because it’s company money. But what do say? It’s a real promising opportunity for someone like you, a motivated go-getting self-starting team player who also excels individually, like yourself. Who knows? If you play your cards right, well, I don’t want to make any promises here, but this could lead into a steady full-time temporary position. And those temporary positions always point right to where you just were, right back at your old job, with benefits. Did I tell you about our full-time employee kitchen benefits? Great benefits. What do you say? Go get ‘em champ. Welcome aboard.

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