Monday, February 18, 2008

Ladders, Appraisals and funerals


On my way to work this morning there was a ladder leant across the pavement against a wall. Rather than walk under the ladder I walked into the road and around it.

I would not class myself as superstitious although my previous paragraph would contradict me. I believe I'm just not someone that risks looking for trouble. There is enough to worry about in life than going looking for something extra. After all maybe the superstition about ladders is due to the number of things that drop on peoples heads as they go under the ladder.

As far as I can see best to minimise the risks and not take the chance.


Yes, its that time of year again when I write the work of fiction entitled "What I did at work this year". The annual appraisal is upon me again. The workplace is alive with works of fiction that could outsell some of the latest paperback novels.

Appraisals the system that was bought in to replace favouritism by bosses, so now the good writers among us can make up rubbish have it signed off by the same boss, but not there couldn't possibly be any favouritism, performance is all evidenced in the appraisal.

If you believe that, can I interest the emperor in a new pair of trousers. Cloth so fine you can barely see it (OK you cant mainly because it doesn't exist).

The reason I loathe the appraisal system is because linking it to performance pay they give everyone the dream that they could get a better pay rise than everyone else. In reality 90% of us get exactly the same pay rise but to compound it all you get the same grade as someone who barely turns up to work and everyone complains about. Whilst you beaver away getting the job done and enjoy moderate success.

Even worse about the appraisal at our organisation is that it has been refined to such management speak terms that no normal person can understand it but if you dare criticise the system you are an enemy of the organisation and clearly not a team player.

I call it the more cheese system, I turn up to work, complete my appraisal and press the button for more cheese. The system sees that I have pressed the button and rewards me with a small piece of cheese. Lucky me I am a fully trained organisational rat.

I have only two ways of subverting the system:

1) make the whole process hell for my manager, whine, moan, complain and drop in quotes about more cheese. This works quite well, although clearly I have to forfeit any chance of getting a superb grading in my appraisal although to be fair the chances of getting anyway was non existent.

2) After the appraisal has been signed off and the rating signed off there is a final comments box where I am allowed to put anything I want. (insert evil laugh here)

This year I am thinking a quote, maybe something by Ray Bradbury:

"There was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves."

"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."

I will chose between the two although the second quote from Fahrenheit 451 appeals to my sense of humour.


The talk at work a while back was of funerals, the bit that stuck in my mind was about the choice of music. Its not something we like to think about but occasionally such talk leads us to wonder what we would like. These days pretty much anything goes from traditional hymns to rock ballads.

I would like a mixture of both. I would like to start with the hymn "For those in peril on the sea", I love the coast, never liked being on the sea, cant really swim much but its a good tune. Other hymns might include "Abide with me", "Guide me o though great redeemer" or if near Christmas I could quite go for an ironic sing along of "God rest ye merry gentleman".

If we are going modern I quite like rooftops by lost prophets preferably at architecture wobbling volume with massive bass bins.

"When our time is up,When our lives are done,
Will we say we've had our fun?

Will we make a mark,
This time.
Will we always say we tried. "
"All the love I've met,
I have no regrets,
If it all ends now,
I'm set."
"Standing on the rooftop,
Waiting till the bomb drops,
This is all we've got now,
Scream until your heart stops,
Never gonna regret,
Watching every sunset,
Listen to your heartbeat,
All the love that we've felt."
That would be a good sentiment to end on,

"When our time is up, When our lives are done, Will we say we've had our fun?"

No comments: