Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pain of facing the Managitionary

Head bogging for nine hours daily on the uncreative and unvarnished stuff never reminds of the lack of creativity except for when the appraisal bell rings in the mid year. Many of us would have goose hairs by even the thought of appraisal discussions especially when you are aware how inexorable your manager is!
Whatever, I am not going into the much manifested part of the appraisals and performance evaluation but the comic yet peculiar side of the two hours spent blithering, all the insatiable words of your life. Unbelievable - but I find it the most creative and printable part of the year. It is an opportunity to add on yours as well your manager’s dictionary with anagram-med yet natal and brow-raising terms :P

I happened to have my discussion yesterday which was quite predictable but interesting as I could spot the intelligent vocabulary from my appraisal form, being brutally raped by my non-grammarian manager. I am a person who loves to explore and enhance my vocabulary but hardly get a chance to be an exhibitionist at my workplace. I had penned my work in the wittiest and ornamented way I could, for the reason that it would be a maiden over for my managers as most of it would bowl over their heads :)
With such a presentation – you can easily win a crown of Miss. /Mr. Best Communication skills for obvious reasons that we tend to appreciate things that are difficult for us to understand. I am happy that I added to my manager’s plain book but I am even proud to explore the variations of the terms used year over year in such annual appraisal discussions. I swear- it would have been a task for the managers to list down the words to be used with the employees and then confuse with the examples to explain what they mean. I shall give an instance on same lines – Say,
If in the last year's appraisal you were aimed at with paintball words like ‘Proactive’ , ‘Consultant’, ‘initiatives’ et al , this year you will not hear those words again- ideally. But, if you have to - your serious bad luck. You should get a hint the appraisal would be the same this year too. The assessor found no new words and the blame is on you-you and you – suffer now with the monotonous, uncreative and tortured lecture (would not call it discussion as you just have to contribute by saying ‘agreed’ at the end of it). Poor Managers couldn’t use their jargon - take the onus…phew!

The basic definitions of the ratings makes the introduction of the discussions even if you say you are aware – you can’t escape it because it forms 40% of the word bank for the assessor, so sympathize with them and accept an assumed self-obligation for wasting your time. ‘Expectation’ forms the conclusion of the discussion – means as a next step if you were staying in office for say 9 to 10 hours – now it is the right time to invest in an ultra light Korean polyester camping tent to set up a second home at your work station. Apart from the confusions among the terms ‘proactive’, ‘initiatives’ and ‘mentoring’ – the new words which found the place in the top list this year are ‘alert’ and ‘next level’.
The words are tricky and dangerous as there is a very thin line between being ‘alert’ and being ‘proactive’. I am not aware if some sensor is being launched to have a transition but the point is - words should not be repeated next year. ‘Next Level’ is a newbie you can take in any way you want - as it can be used in many ways from the other side. Mind it the word ‘promotion’ is outdated now- it is replaced by the newbie. It could be tricky too as what you interpret might have a hundred variations in your manager’s book.  
Well, this is the trend for current year – the ‘lessons learnt’ is:  it is important to spent appreciable time with your colleagues cum victims to mock at the discussions in a way to understand the difference and the variations of the terms used in the current year. Even though if you try and fail – there is another way out which is to use synonyms and new words in your appraisal form to help the managers grab some. I assure it would ultimately save your soul this time but shoot up a weird ‘expectation’ for the next year.  Ultimately these annual discussion ends up with a new expectation each time but a greater challenge to explore and update the ‘Managitionary’.  
All the best guys! Happy Reading!


  1. Very well researched and thought of 'managitionary'. There are more in air like "core competency", "engaging and inspiring", "leadership" etc. The bottomline is these terms are used as a garb to justify lower raise in paycheck after performance review. Well written.

  2. Must say a very refreshing take on appraisal discussions, pages have been written on this topic most of them being more or less on the similar lines, but your post is like a bright sunshine coming through by piercing the dark clouds of this appraisal season. (by the way I am experiencing bad weather this weekend hence the analogy :) )

    All in all, a must read for all who are yet to face the music from their managers.

    Noticed that you have coined a new term, which is a hallmark of a great writer. I tried searching the word in google, all results which came pointed to your blog, so be ready with definition as Oxford might want to add it to their new addition :). In the meanwhile keep updating your “Managitionary”, b’coz you are also going to be a manager one day.

    Looking forward to read more thoughts which hit but dont hurt you.
    Take Care.

  3. LOL ....Poor Girl..I can understand where you are coming from and I feel fortunate enough that I ran away well before I had to face this torture :D.

    Please do share this link with your 'non-grammarian manager'.
    You would be doing a favor to me by doing that ..:):):):):)

  4. Fine use of words...aptly put the situation in IT sector...
    the only motivation we have is the appraisals we get..Sit back and laugh at ourselves...sigh

  5. Hehehe.... made my day!
    Would have asked my manager to read, but then he does not understand English except for the cuss words.
    Thankfully I am out of the race for this year... so no discussions for me.


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