Tuesday was a day of dread.
Monday saw the return of my glorious leader to work, after her summer holidays. This was bad enough. She’d no doubt be revivified. Full of vim and vigour, with a plethora of new tasks for me to perform. New hoops to jump through to prove my worth – not just as an employee, but as a human being. Although – of course – I am not a human being. I am a human doing. Or something.
What was far worse was the one-to-one meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday. This is a monthly meeting that is not for discussing the details of my job. This one is far more sinister. This one is to discuss my career plans, my performance to date, my areas for improvement, my opportunities.
It involves a copious volume of lies on my part. The truth would be unpalatable and unacceptable. It would be wildly inappropriate for me to state that while I want my job to be as interesting and painless as possible, it is really just a necessary evil in my life. I have rent to pay, bills to deal with, a social life to maintain. Which is why I am in paid employment. If I could eke out a living with my theatrical or writing shenanigans, I would do so in a heartbeat. I’d like to spend as little time as possible there, and I most certainly don’t want additional roles and responsibilities.
I am not the employee of the month. I realise this. On the other hand, when I am tasked with jobs I do not shirk my duty. I will execute my responsibilities as required. I just won’t travel that extra mile. I am not invested enough. Having worked for enough monster corporations, I know that there’s a certain requirement to blow hot air up people’s derrieres to advance oneself. You need to talk that corporate talk. You need to engage with the company’s values and culture. You have to be a walking embodiment of excellence, passionately committed to your customer.
Blah, blah, blah.
Unfortunately I can’t forget that I am working for a business whose existence is based entirely around making profit. I am too old and too ugly not to realise that the second it becomes convenient the axe will fall on your employment contract. There’s no loyalty in business.
Which makes these monthly one-to-ones utterly unbearable. I don’t think my alternative solution will be acceptable. Replacing these one-to-one meetings with a one-to-none meeting sort of defeats their whole purpose.
I was dreading being forced to face – yet again – my mediocrity as an employee and pretend to feel upset by it. Don’t these people realise that some people don’t want to be leaders? Many people are at work from a sense of financial obligation and no more. Career ambition can be an admirable quality if you are trying to cure cancer or save the whales. When you are working in the industrial wastelands for a capitalist behemoth then it less worthy of awe. Is it so wrong to perform one’s tasks as laid out in one’s contract, and to make it official personal policy never to engage in reckless behaviour like overtime?
So when I arrived on Tuesday morning to see that the meeting was postponed to Thursday my heart skipped a beat. What joy.
Today is Thursday. And again the meeting has been postponed. This time until tomorrow.
If I was a suspicious person I might think my boss is trying to avoid me.
I wonder why. Surely she enjoys haranguing me about why the improvement projects I committed to completing by September, have not yet begun.
You might think I still have time to achieve this goal – but sadly September 2016 was the deadline in question.
I will need to spend this evening practicing my sincere face in the mirror. I need to get through this. If I don’t then it might finally be the month I walk.
Buckle up buckaroo. This ain’t my first time at the rodeo.