Sunday, February 01, 2009


So, it's annual review time at work, and we always have to do these dumb self-evaluations/self-reflections along with providing a list of our annual accomplishments, etc. (Don't you hate those?) The company has already announced that in an effort to reduce costs in 2009, merit increases will be limited to 3%. Thankfully, I have a terrific relationship with my boss. You all know that I work anywhere between 55-70 hours a week, depending on the project work being done at the time. I've been at this company for 10 years. I know they consider me to be a valuable employee. I'm not worried about losing my job over anything I may write. But still, it's not a good time for anyone to be stirring the pot. So here's how I answered the last question on the "self-evaluation" (bearing in mind this was number 8... sheesh, enough already):

Question: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself professionally related to 2008? If so, what?

Answer: This is as honest and self-reflective as I can be. I love the work that I do, and I enjoy the people I work with. But I feel overextended. I cannot possibly accomplish everything that my job requires in an 8 hour day, and I cannot continue to lead a healthy life and keep a healthy family life working the number of hours that I do. I'm concerned that the quality of my work may begin to suffer, or that simply by the nature of my work ethic and gratitude for having a job in this economy, that I will allow my family life to suffer. I remain hopeful that our company will consider some sort of flex scheduling or ability to work from home occasionally that may allow employees like me to juggle a demanding job with home life in order to feel less stressed, less overextended, less unable to cope. Because that is how I feel most days.

TMI to give to your boss at review time?

9 People Gabbed:

nath said...

Ugh, I hate, hate, hate those types of questions, because I never know what to write!!

However, I think your answer was perfect and it wasn't TMI. I mean, you have to tell them that sooner or later and you explained it really well how you felt. and seriously, 55-70hours, that's pretty insane!

Jennifer B. said...

I think it is perfect as is. Not at all TMI, and honestly stated. No hint of trying to be confrontational at all. Hard to stand up for yourself sometimes, isn't it? But necessary. Especially under the constant worry that our kids will grow up without us everywhere they need us along the way. We'll never get this time with them back...that thought is never far from my mind. Hugs my friend.

Dev said...

I think you gave an honest answer ~ not too much information at all! I hope they actually follow-up with you so that you can come to some sort of compromise. Being able to work from home even 1-2 days/week would be awesome!

Linda said...

I've never had to do an evaluation like this. Interesting.

I think that was a thoughtful answer which is offering your boss an idea he may not have considered before. Be prepared to tell him what you could do at home because there's a chance he'll ask. We'll hope so, anyway.

Lori said...

Well, Linda, the work at home thing isn't an issue for my boss. My job is all online anyway, so working from home, even almost fulltime, wouldn't be a problem (although I know that's an impossibility). It's the CEO who really is providing the pushback. I've actually worked at home a few times when the situation was unavoidable (plumbing problems, etc). The company is already toying with the idea, so I wouldn't have to "prove the idea" - they've been toying with it for almost a year now. Sigh.

Rosie said...

Your comments were extremely well put and articulate. You don't sound confrontational at all, just honest. Also, you lay out some concerns you have and aren't demanding anything. You are politely and directly asking your boss to seriously consider what you are saying by your forth right words. Bravo Lori! I'd be impressed and it should certainly spark constructive dialogue.

Gads, your review form sounds exactly like ours. It's not my favorite form of review. It isn't so much because I don't know what to say, but giving an honest appraisal of my work without either over or under estimating it's value or impact that's difficult for me.

Personally I think I'm more measured and honest than either one of the people (I get TWO reviews because I work in TWO departments) who review me. They are way more effusive with the praise and my capabilities than I am. To me it's just as disconcerting as being found lacking. I really don't know how to respond sometimes.

Bookwormom said...

First time commenting. I hope that by being honest your bosses will be able to help you avoid walking too far down burnout road. I'd think that keeping a valued, proven employee happy would be a better use of their resources than allowing the employee to fall off the deep end so to speak. We can all hope anyway. 55-70 hour weeks surely can't continue forever?! :0
Back to lurkdom.

Lori said...

Oh yeah, Rosie. The self-eval form is chock full of questions like "How was your communication this year? Better than last? Give specific examples. And How can it improve?" "Are you a good team player? Give specific examples." My biggest problem is I'm not good at saying no, and I'm a control freak, so I know it'll get done right if I do it, ya know?

And I also work for two separate bosses - one in the London office. I've gotten a lot better at doing these over the years, although I don't know of anyone that actually enjoys them.

Lori said...

Bookwormom, yeah, you'd think that, wouldn't you? I know I'm a valued employee, but they do a lot of this, "We don't want to start a precedent" stuff, so it's either company policy or it's not.

55-70 hour weeks surely can't continue forever?!
Well, it's been at least 2 years now; we'll see how much longer I can manage it, LOL.

And don't be a stranger :)