Annual Review Season! [NOT 23/11/21]

Hi, friends!

It’s annual review season at my work. Most years it feels like eh, throw some jargon on there and hope for the cost of living pay increase (which won’t be enough to cover inflation this year, but I digress).

This year feels especially like that line from Whose Line is it Anyway? — “The rules are made up and the points don’t matter.”

My boss quit in July. I haven’t had a direct supervisor since then. I don’t even know what is going to be on my review.

A coworker and I have been guessing at what will be on my review. Here are some options —

  • “She seems to show up to work”
  • “I haven’t heard complaints”
  • “Not sure how she spends her time, but we’ve had worse employees”
  • “Eh.”
  • “Her? I don’t know her.”
  • “She doesn’t even go here!”
  • “She deals with the god damn customers so the engineers don’t have to. She has people skills; she is good at dealing with people. Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?”

Actually knowing my VP, seems like the last option could realistically happen.

What about you? Any fun review stories?



  1. Since one of my jobs is being self employed I think I’ll give myself a good review this year.  I may even give myself a bonus & take myself out for a morale event.  My other job boss is a real hardass & she will give me a shitty review but she still may sleep with me so that’s a good bonus.

  2. Have you ever heard of something called a “360 Review”? That’s where you review your boss, your coworkers, and the people who work for you. A friend of mine worked at a company that did this. Quarterly. She lasted about 18 months and then moved on to a company that actually produced and did not waste a lot of time navel-gazing and score-settling.

    • Haven’t had to do 360s for myself, but I had to make sure they were done with the Fellows as part of the Graduate Medical Education work I used to do.  Everybody hated them and I hated reminding them to get them done.

    • Years ago I knew a dude who was a mid-level manager at Edward Jones. He told me they had to do QUARTERLY reviews. I asked how he got work done outside of that. He replied that he changed jobs instead.

    • Yikes.  I don’t mind the 360 review because it gives the manager/supervisor an idea where your approach needs improvement as well as the landscape of the team you are running (and who your enemies are.) Also you can find out who kisses your ass but is really shitty to everyone else (I don’t like that.) I have a strong bias for well functioning teams so I tended to deal with those who ruined it/upset the balance.

      I did well on the 4 reviews (we had them every 6 months) I had.  I always got negative comments from one person who turned out to be the design engineer I had to work with. Not hard detective work when he wrote like he spoke. He was one of the reasons I left the job but not the biggest one (more opportunity, more $, fewer spiteful coworkers.)


  3. Last fiscal year, the hospital put a freeze on all review-based raises (promotions would still get raises).  They’ve lifted the freeze for this fiscal year, but obviously they didn’t say anything about retro raises because why the fuck would they?  Anyway, my review for last fiscal year should have been done in June, but both my boss and I are of the same mind on this one:  it doesn’t matter, it’s a giant fucking waste of time and it truly means nothing.  So, he’s been taking his own sweet time about it and I’m perfectly happy to let him keep doing that.  I think, when I actually have to sit down for the review, the whole exercise will just piss me off so much I might pass out so it’s best to let it slide for as long as possible.

  4. OMG so appropriate for today’s NOT, which I put together last night.

    I couldn’t figure out why over the last few weeks I’ve been feeling like the team has been pushing me out of my role. Finally got an answer. Apparently some leadership decided that I didn’t need to be doing the stuff that is like 85% of my time at work, that it was no longer my role. Just…no one got around to telling me this important information.

  5. I was all scheduled for my annual review a few months ago, and I entered the Zoom meeting with the team leader only to find that her files had just frozen. So, basically, we just ended up shooting the shit for the allotted amount of time. I happened to tell her that I was planning to take a week-long interpreting workshop in Spain (where I’ll attempt to sample at least one or two of the dishes that Dear Cousin has posted here), and it turned out that the thing was being taught by one of her old professors from college. So, that was cool, I guess. . . .

    Oh, and when we had it for real a few weeks later, it was noted that I’d had several tardies (no mean feat if you’re working from home, I suppose) , but I generally did well to get a 95. And the important thing was that a couple of weeks later I was deemed in good enough standing to get a $250 bonus stipend — and on my damn birthday, no less.

  6. So I am curious. For those who work for companies that do COLA raises, is your company going to spring for the 5.9% in 2022?  (It has been 1-2% in recent history.)

    • ha.


      that’s what my union was striking over a couple years back (prior to me getting hired…), no COLA raises for nearly a decade, in one of the most expensive places in the U.S. to live, that has been getting more expensive at a ridiculous rate…

  7. No reviews now, but had one back in the summer or something.  I guess they skipped a couple, due to COVID upending things.

    I think it was something like a five-point scale (except they were all descriptive terms, not numbers, but I think there was five of them…)

    I was pretty concerned, I had recently had a conflict with a coworker that was more serious than I thought, and a few other minor things.  But, it went pretty well, mostly 4s and 5s across the board, with one 3, on something like “communicating with supervisors” or something.  I asked about it afterwords, worrying I was being too disrespectful or flippant or something, and was just told that they felt I was intimidated, and not speaking up as much as I should be.  Fair enough, my last job went off the rails and quite toxic out of (seemingly) nowhere, with me getting a couple dressing downs from my previous supervisor for… asking for a raise?  asking to have a predictable schedule?  So, yeah, I’m pretty cautious/guarded when talking to a supervisor now…

  8. i had my review a couple weeks ago…and somehow aced it…really…only neg was that im too quiet…but as i say what i need to and ask what i need to they will let that slide

    as a reward im getting sent back to school next year to go learn electrical

    (this probably means i will end up feeling qualified to play with the wiring in my death trap of a house and get myself killed…but it will be cool while it lasts)

    sides from that they commended me for fixing my turning up just a little late issue i got warned for last time..never more than a minute or so…but hey these things matter

    (i havent fixed it…just got better at slinking into the building un noticed….figured id keep that to myself)

  9. I have had two supervisors who asked me to guess what my review was.  I freaked them out because I predicted my review score (out of 5, 4 ducks, whatever the meter) to within 5% of my actual score,

    It’s not like I don’t pay attention to what people are doing.

    FYI, most of my reviews tend to be slightly above average, but nowadays sit firmly in the middle for reasons.

    I’ve had three really shitty reviews in my life.  Two of the three were my fault (one was because of my bad decisions stemming from getting really sick and then stupidly trying to work too soon after surgery.)

    The worst review was done during the worst period of my life (stuck with the Cokehead Narcissist) and at my current employer. That one blew up in management’s face especially when I pulled out notes I kept when I realized that my supervisor was fucking me over. HR and my manager (his boss) were not impressed. It was the beginning of what I call my Michael Corleone Week where I also paid back my supervisor’s buddies who followed me around (claiming it was some kind of project when it was just to collect info on me) by going to their managers and complaining (with notes) about how these fellows were playing some twisted political game (again the notes).  I left both in career oblivion (one was stuck for several years in the same job and the other quit).  The week ended in spectacular fashion with the eviction of Cokehead Narcissist from both my house and life.

    I pulled what some would call a suicide maneuver where I work and demanded a Performance Improvement Plan as per our HR policy. One of the PIP’s side affects is no overtime for the duration of the PIP which really did hurt (overtime is the blood of the place.) It meant that the supervisor had to justify my review on paper (he really couldn’t).  It also meant no side projects like training new staff or helping the project leads do their projects. Considering I was the only person training new staff on my shift and helping finish small projects… well. My PIP would affect my supervisor’s metrics hence his review.

    The extent of my fuckery on him was not realized for a few weeks till the manager asked him when the new trainees were ready and they wouldn’t be because some asshole had put the (lousy on paper) trainer on PIP. He kept trying to push me to train and I told him “No, I won’t and can’t because I’m on PIP” with a sly grin. I enjoyed watching him burn. We later came to a non aggression pact after he realized that I hurt him and his little social group badly. Started my rep as a thorn in management’s side.

    That supervisor was moved off my shift several months later due to the near mutiny we had (I was not involved with this.)



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