Performance review

The cup-a-soup burnt her tongue. She winced and tears filled her eyes. Not what she needed. Not after that awful employee evaluation session.

She had sat on a swiss ball in front of the three co-ceo-facilitators, who sat on beanbags. Andrew had addressed her.

“Maryann. We have noticed that you are, on average, forty-one seconds late back from every break and lunch shift.”

She tried to interrupt, but was given a death stare by Andrew. Next, Robert spoke.

“Maryann. We have noticed that you continue to wear open toed shoes despite several warnings.”

She looked at her shoes and tried to speak. Robert held up one finger. “Not today, obviously. But it has been reported on other occaisions.”

Finally, Catherine.

“Maryann. We had three complaints from customers about your pronunciation of the word ‘can’t’. At least, we are being generous in assuming that that is the word you are choosing to use in this fashion.”

The swiss ball was uncomfortable, and when she tried to shift, it nearly flew out from beneath her. She held her tongue, hoping for a chance to speak. Andrew spoke again.

“Do you have anything to say in relation to these statements?”

“I’m not Maryann.”

All three co-ceo-facilitators went through a series of facial expressions. Confusion. Disbelief. Disgust. Shock. They compared their notes. Miriam just sat there. They flung paper at each other, then composed themselves. Andrew spoke.

“According to your employee record, you are Maryann. Maryann Simmons.”

“My name is Miriam Patterson.” Miriam stood and walked to them. She took the lanyard with her ID badge and handed to Andrew. He looked at it, and then at his papers, then passed it to the others. After a moment, Catherine handed it back and gestured for her to sit on the swiss ball again. Miriam gently sat back down whilst they conferred. Finally, Andrew spoke again.

“Miriam, our apologies.” at the sound of the word ‘apologies’ the others’ heads snapped up and they looked alarmed. Apologies led to legal action. Everyone knew this. Andrew continued. “It seems our computer system has a glitch. I think at this time it would be best for you to return to your work and we’ll reschedule the correct review for later in the week, when the system will hopefully be fixed.”

Miriam stood. “Ok.” She left.

To calm herself, she had a second cup-a-soup – usually, one was enough for her. And this one burnt her tongue. She stared at her cubicle, sighed and put on her headset, ready to resume calls.


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