Monday, April 10, 2006

Post-review depression

Our company is unusual in our local market because we have company-wide performance reviews every February. Or March…seems to me like when I first started working here ten years ago, reviews were in January and they’ve slipped a week or two further every year. Anyhow, instead of having a performance review on your employment anniversary, your review is held at the same time as everyone else’s in February. Or March. Whatever.

After reviews are over, there are usually two different moods that overtake the building – and it’s entirely dependent on what kind of year the company had the previous fiscal year. If it was a good year, raises will be primo and everyone will be happy and chipper and singing in sweet harmony. If the year wasn’t so hot, then the raises are either non-existent or they are just cost-of-living increases for the most part, and a dismal gloom sets in. Put it to you this way – they have someone at the front door confiscating all belts and shoelaces. It’s that bad.

This year was one of the Gloom and Doom years. It’s not like we had a horrible year in 2005, but we had a few insurance claims that had to be accounted for so we went ahead and wrote off the money on the books so that this fiscal year will (hopefully) be better.

Gloom and Doom years are not very fun. Doors start closing for hushed conversations, you find e-mails from headhunters printed out on the network printer, and slowly people start migrating to other companies in hopes of bigger paychecks. Everyone is pretty mopey for several weeks until either they find another job or they decide to stick it out. Or they get medication.

My lunch group was discussing the overall funk of the office on our way back from lunch, and as we pulled into the parking lot we noticed one of the mopiest of the project managers sitting in his car at the lower end of the parking lot, with the car running and he was leaning back in his seat with his eyes closed….

Lunch Buddy: Hey, what’s Dick doing sitting in his car?

Me: I don’t know, but I don’t see any hose leading from the tailpipe to the window.

Lunch Buddy: Good thing, because if he did there’d be a line forming to the right and they’d be banging on the window to see if he was done yet.

Yep, it’s been that kind of month. I hear that they’re replacing the M&M’s on the receptionist’s desk with Prozac, so hopefully things will be looking up soon.

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