Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thank heavens for small favors

So I finally had my review. Sven was present, as well as Howie (which I didn't understand--I really hadn't worked with him a lot in the past two years). I explained to them how worn out I was, and that one of my goals for 2011 is to learn to ration my energy a little better, set some limits, and get better at either turning down some requests and delegating others. At first it was almost like I had to defend myself--there was the inevitable attempt at an analogy by Howie: "well, I look at management as like being in a boat, and I can kinda steer the boat, but the other people in the boat can move it as well, and I can't always stop the boat from hitting the banks--"

"Fair enough," I replied, "but on my four projects, I'm the only one in the boat, and I'm dragging three more boats behind me, and I have to keep getting into those boats to steer them, too. I'm not 'managing' four projects; I'm working on them--I am those four projects."

Sven got my drift (no pun intended) instantly, but it took a little more for Howie to concede my point, ever begrudgingly. We talked about the nature of management and leadership and the internal changes it demands of people, and we talked about how my job has and will be changing, and then Howie said the most extraordinary thing. He had in front of him the Design Associates, Inc. Company Checklist of Traits and Behaviors That We Think Are Valuable In Our Employees, and he had checked "Excellent" on all of them on the checklis with my name on it, but I noticed that one of them had two checks by it. "I gave you double-checks for 'Promotes a positive work environment'," he said. "Your conduct with everyone and the way you treat people is so supportive and helpful, and you really make work a fun place to be."

So, after a lengthy discussion and a few pats on the back, I got a 3% raise. Which sounds sucky until you remember that not everyone got raises this year, only those who had either gotten licensed or done something really cool or whose job description had changed significantly. It was nice to be recognized, even a little bit, and I appreciated the kind words for sure. As we left the conference room, Sven suggested that he and I go to lunch in the next couple of weeks at some point to just talk. Well, how about that.


tnrkitect said...

Congrats! It is always nice to be complimented on job performance.

(from a long time lurker on your blog, also stricken with this disease known as architecture ;-)

Scarlett said...

I was about to say that Howie was a douche and then got to the "double excellent" and thought, "perhaps not."

Then I thought about it - Nope - as a manager, Howie is a douche. He basically gave you a high five for being a good cheerleader. And frankly, as a woman - you only have two options on that question: Bitch or OMGMOSTAWESOME! There never seems to be a middle ground. Then again, I might be projecting - your mileage may vary, tax tag and title not included.

ANYWAY at the least, he exibits douche-y behavior. But in the world of management, you ARE your behavior. Good for you on dealing with Douchey (pronounced "Doo-SHAY") in your super hero professionalism. No wonder you're tired as fuck.



amr said...

Maybe you got the raise because you can drive a boat no matter who is trying to steer you off course...Maybe get your boat licence next year for another raise...
Either way, well done!

St. Blogwen said...

Yaaaaayyyyy!! For the chance to do some evaluating in your evaluation, and for Howie saying something reasonable about you and your work. Well, yeah!

In this economy, 3% sure is better than nothing. And God willing, it'll be more when things start picking up.

Here's to good things coming out of your lunch with Sven.

Miss Kitty said...

LOL @ Scarlett's "your mileage may vary, tax tag and title not included!"

Fank Bastet for a little raise. YAYZ! And Howie needs it spelled out for him. As Flannery O'Connor said: "When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it. [But when it doesn't,] you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures." Bless his heart, he's both hard of hearing and almost-blind...interpersonally speaking.