3pm. Jack had to sit at his desk dreading his performance review until 3 fricken pm. Derek, his manager had already wandered past his desk twice today, once remarking, “I hope you’re ready for this afternoon.”

“Ready?” Jack had asked.

“Yeah, you need to complete the standard review form.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s the form where you review your performance.”

Jack had shrugged. “But isn’t that what you do?”

Derek had grasped the bridge of his nose. “Just do it Jack, you’ll see how it works this afternoon.”

So Jack had looked in the company drive, found the form and filled it in and as the clock finally made it to 3pm, he walked down the hallway to the small meeting room that had been designated in his calendar. Derek was already waiting, as well as Jessie from HR.

“I thought Jessie could join us,’ said Derek. “I want to make sure it’s all above board and documented, you understand.”

Jack didn’t understand but he nodded enthusiastically anyway. “The more the merrier.”

“Very good,’ said Derek, opening his folder onto the white desk that served to separate the three. The desk was probably originally designed to look chic and clean but now thanks to chips and pen marks it looked like an old school desk. “Shall we work through the review form?”

Derek didn’t have a folder but he’d printed off his form and folded it in half and so took it out and Derek and Jessie stared at him.

Jack stared back.

“Well?” asked Derek.

“Well what?”

“Do you want to talk us through the form?”

“Oh, sorry. Yeah so I rated myself a ten on teamwork and a nine on administration and…”

“Hold on,” Jessie held up her hand. “We need to hear why you chose to score yourself as you did for each area Jack.”

“Oh, okay,” said Jack. “I scored myself a ten on teamwork because I’m such a team player and a nine on administration because I love paperwork and..”

“Jack, I’m going to stop you there,” said Derek.

“But I’m on a roll.”

“With regards to your administration,” Jason continued. “You never hand in your report on time and once I finally get them, they’re never correct. From a teamwork standpoint your sales are way down which lets the team down.”

“That’s why I only gave myself an eight for sales.”

“Jack is it safe to say you marked yourself an eight or above for everything?”

Yep, I even gave myself bonus marks for extra things I’ve done.”

“Like?” asked Jessie.

“I stay late every Friday.”

“And drink beer.”

Jack nodded. “To be fair Jeremy stays late most nights drinking beer.”

Jessie looked at Derek who shook his head.

“Jack I don’t feel like you’ve done this correctly,” said Jessie.

“But I thought I was supposed to evaluate myself.”

“Correct.”

Jack shrugged. “I did that.”

“Yes,” said Jessie. “But not in the way we expect. You see our views of you are quite different.”

“That’s fine Jessie,” said Jack. “And I accept your views, just as I expect you to accept mine. That’s what makes us human isn’t it? All different views but a mutual acceptance.”

“It’s not right Jack,” said Derek. “You filled in the form wrong.”

“An opinion can’t be wrong Derek,” said Jack. “That’s why it’s an opinion.”

Derek looked to Jessie for support. “Sorry Derek, technically he’s right. Perhaps you could go through your form on Jack?”

“My pleasure.” Derek worked his way through the form in front of him, citing examples and reports and figures that showed why Jack’s evaluation of himself was far too generous. After he’d finished he leaned back in his chair and looked so satisfied Jack thought he might be about to light a cigarette.

“Your form was way better than mine,” said Jack.

“So where to from here?” asked Derek rhetorically. “I’m going to have this typed and and returned to you once we decide on some action points for the next three months.”

“I’m going to have to learn to fill in this form better for one,” said Jack. “I’ll make a note of that.”

“I also need you to sell more,” said Derek.

“How do I do that?”

“Make more calls on prospects, be more aggressive with clients, send out more emails.”

“Yeah but I’ve tried those things, anything else?”

“Just do it Jack.”

“Isn’t that like the coach telling the team to ‘score more goals,’ instead of offering practical advice?”

Derek turned a strange shade of red.

“I think we’re done here,” said Jessie hurriedly. “Jack thank you for your time, we’ll have a copy of a review to you by the end of the week.”

“No rush,” said Jack, standing up. “Great meeting, thank you for all the practical input. Rest assured, I’ll get better and filling in review forms in the future.” And with that, Jack’s review was over.