The Bobcats Performance Review

(Note: this probably won’t make sense unless you are familiar with www.theoatmeal.com)

Last Name: Bobbers

First Name:  Bob

Title:  Master of the Universe [Manager edit: This is not your title Bob. The proper title is “Meeting Presentation Specialist and Training Coach” but now I have to put this note here since our review system does not allow for changes]

Department: Presentation and Training

Each goal should be reviewed and rated by both manager and employee. The purpose of the rating is to objectively describe the employee’s achievements through the year and provide positive and constructive feedback.

Professional Development & Business Goals

Section 1 – Category:  Communication

Goal Description: Improve communication and collaboration with co-workers

Rating by Bob Bobbers:  5.0

Manager Rating: 2.0

Manager Comments: Bob has shown some improvement, however certain conduct including batting co-workers in the face, leaving dead birds under desks, and one unfortunate incident involving a comparison between the CEO Mr. Jimmers and a bodily orifice have all been setbacks. Will need to increase communication and collaboration in 2012.

Employee Comments: *yawn*

Additional Manager Comments: Bob that is not an appropriate response to a year end review

Additional Employee Comments: ddddddddddfffffffassssssssssssssjjjjj jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjkkjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

Section 2 – Category:  Learning and Growth

Goal Description: Add design and creative skills to suite of experience

Success Defined as: Design marketing strategies and logos for at least two prominent projects

Rating by Bob Bobbers:  5.0

Manager Rating: 1.0

Manager Comments: Technically Bob did come up with marketing strategies and logos, however they were completely off-base. For example, Bob designed a logo for our company. Unfortunately the logo consisted of a tiger with chainsaws for feet, which was completely unusable. When asked to revise to something more appropriate, Bob instead sent back a picture of a unicorn with chainsaws for feet and stated that he apologized for the first logo “but this second one should be much better since unicorns are the sexiest of god’s beasts.” The logo depicted a unicorn with excessive mammary glands.

Employee Comments: Your breath smells like toenail clippings.


Section 3 – Behaviors Employee Should Start/Stop/Continue      

What behaviors or actions should this individual START to ensure future success in his/her current position?    

Manager Comments: Probably everything you would expect from a normal employee.

Employee Comments: Manager McManagerson should start combing his toupee to the left instead of the right.

Additional Manager Comments: Bob this section is for things that you should start doing.

Additional Employee Comments: 

Additional Manager Comments: Bob how did you even paste a picture into the review system?

Additional Employee Comments: ZZZZZZZZZ

What behaviors or actions should this individual STOP to ensure future success in his/her current position?     

Manager Comments: Bob should stop eating ink cartridges, stealing pudding cups from the break room refrigerator, chugging Siracha sauce in the break room, firing long time employees, eating grass in front of the smoking break area, hiding under newspapers during team meetings, scratching my computer monitor, wearing a cheetah thong to work on casual Friday, chasing employees down the basement stairs that he has previously lubricated with butter.

Employee Comments: Once again the mighty Bob Bobbers has devastated the SkyDemon!!!%%%$$!@@@@@@

What behaviors or actions should this individual CONTINUE to ensure future success in his/her current position?  

Manager Comments: I can’t think of any right now.

Employee Comments: BOBRACHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Section 4 – General Comments / Development Opportunities      

Manager Comments: Bob may not be the right employee here, he constantly wreaks havoc, refuses to collaborate with teammates and largely contributes to an unproductive workplace.

Employee Comments: You’re fired.

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Everything falls apart

A friend asked my sister recently what it was like to lose a parent. She told me she couldn’t find a way to explain it. One of those things when you know you know, I guess. I’m not sure what it’s like for anyone else, but this is how it makes me feel.

In the band I sang for, the Scrams, I had a favorite song, titled “Magma,” (you can listen to it here) which only a couple of people know. Although it didn’t start that way it became a song that expressed how I felt about watching the highs and lows of my mom’s 4 year struggle with cancer, and largely influenced how I think about my life. Some people wonder aloud, blankly stare, or occasionally even gently criticize this perspective, implying that I am being needlessly negative, or that it will pass with time as all things do. They’re right but they’re usually also people who haven’t, can’t, or won’t admit something I think we all know deep down, that our ability to hope is deeply tied to our hopelessness.

Losing my mom is knowing the end is near for all of us. It’s acknowledging my life and it falling apart. I watched the darkest of storm clouds gather and still could not prepare. I know now that we haven’t got a chance, not a one of us, to get out of this thing unscathed, and that hope and joy will constantly trade places with tragedy in each of our lives.

Eleven years ago I was in a production of Waiting for Godot (bit part as the boy sent by Godot to inform he wouldn’t make it that day). The beginning of the play finds Estragon returning to hang out with his pal Vladimir, who asks “May one inquire where His Highness spent the night?” Estragon replies that he spent the night in a ditch and when Vladimir asks if  they beat him he says “Beat me? Certainly they beat me.”

The play has a simple plot, in part because like all good pieces of play-writing it’s structurally designed to communicate the same message as the dialogue: the characters aren’t going anywhere. At the time I was in high school, and a classmate, Manoa Alcantara Jojola, had recently died in a car accident. I still consider him one of the most grounded and passionate people I’ve met, even though I knew him only briefly. I experienced true hopelessness for the first time that year, watching his family and close friends struggle to understand the whys and hows of his leaving this earth. It quietly became a formative experience, and is still a foundation for how I see the world. Does this life beat us? Certainly it beats us. It will again, and we can only accept it patiently, as we also accept the joy when it comes, without questioning. We are not assured of anything…the moment after this one, what comes after we die, or anything in between.

I’ve noticed people often become overly materialistic or reject the world altogether by practicing asceticism. Rarely do we meet people who are fully present in their own lives and with the people around them. My mom was, as Manoa was, one of the few who embraced everything that comes with being human. John Truitt, who taught music at the Academy where Manoa and I were students, said “Manoa had mastered the quality of humanity. His life, so short, had still given him time to be the very best human being to everyone he met. The friendship and love he offered was timeless and perfect. Our memories of him should never become a lifeless shrine, but a beautiful song of the gifts of love and life.” I believe my mom also mastered the quality of humanity. Her gifts to the world are without end. I feel fortunate to have had a close friendship with her, and to give to the world even a fraction of what she provided me. One day at a time I am working towards mastering humanity as they have.

In memory of Tova K. Cardillo 1957-2011

With many thanks to Manoa Alcantara Jojola 1982 – 2000

From Mom: A dialogue in the underworld

One of my favorite pieces of writing by my mom…

Hayat (Mom’s Sufi name): Sister, I am afraid. My roots are weak.

Sister: Hayat you know what is needed for making strong roots. Courage to make that change is what you resist.

Hayat: I have invested so much time, energy and money in my education and it is hard to give up on the academic life. I need a product that honors all the effort.

Sister: Beware the extremes. It is not all or nothing. If there was value to the experience then it is in you and like a seed, will germinate and grow in its own time.

Hayat: I am tired of lectures and writing and my hands hurt.

Sister: You must finish

Hayat: Ok. But there has to be a reward at the end of it all.

Sister: Remember your roots. Water and feed them well and your branches will not crack and leaves wither. The soil is of utmost importance. Rich soil leads to rich soul. “As above so below.”