Today was my first Annual Review (despite the fact that I’ve been in the Chief’s office for almost two years now). Actually, the Council refuses to call is an Annual Review, or even an Appraisal, instead it goes by the initials EDRS – Employee Development Review Scheme. Whatever it’s called, I’ve always lived in mortal dread of the things – they make me feel like a five-year-old who’s accidentally wet her pants the first day at Big School and knows that she’ll now have to go home wearing strange “spare knickers” and carrying her own damp panties in a plastic bag as she takes the Walk of Shame at home time.
The last few weeks has seen today looming in ever-increasing loomy-ness as the day got steadily closer. Not that I expected anything particularly negative at my EDRS – it’s just that my only experiences of this kind of thing have been quite negative, mostly due to the people who were giving them, not due to anything I had done wrong. In fact, my previous EDRS (in a different department before I returned to the Chief’s office) was a very informal chat which lasted all of twenty minutes, during which time I was told by my old boss (who would spend all day surfing the internet rather than working) that I was doing really well. I handed in my notice within a fortnight. Not as a result of the review – although the timing was pretty nifty – I just couldn’t stand working in that atmosphere and had been offered the position where I am now much happier.
Anyway, the time came and I trouped into the office with my boss (not the Chief – his PA is actually my line manager) and sat myself down. We then spent the next 75 minutes chatting about the things I do on a day-to-day basis and how I think I’m doing, what improvements I think there have been made over the last year (both my own improvements and those of the department) as well as what I think is wrong with the department (which is precious little, thankfully), followed by the training needs I consider I need or would like, even though they’re not essential. There was some great dialogue – both of us exchanging ideas all the way through, so I didn’t feel pressured to come up with anything out of the blue.
After a while, it transpired that my boss thinks I’m pretty great, actually, and that I do an excellent job. From what she says, I cope well under stress (or at least, give the appearance of it!), have a rapid turnaround in my work as well as a high level of accuracy, and some of the ideas I suggested and put into place over the past months have been mentioned by others as having made their jobs much easier and faster as well as they have mine. I also made a few other suggestions and some of them are to be implemented immediately (such as a new mail log system) while others are to be brought onto play over the next few months (like revamping the filing system).
So, it turns out my in-fun bragging that I am Super Secretary is true! I really am fabulous!