Did I Just Err With My Boss?
December 14, 2008 2:34 PM Subscribe
Did I just make a massive mistake during my staff evaluation meeting with my boss? Or not?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a guy. I just had a staff evaluation meeting with my male boss. Everyone in our office is doing one, so it wasn’t just me alone.
The questions were given to us ahead of time. They were the usual sorts of questions that get asked at these things. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses and where can you improve? What do you have to say about the management of the office? The usual.
My evaluation started off well enough. He asked me my strengths and I rattled off a few things, all of which he agreed with, and then offered a few perceptions of his own about what my strengths were. So far, so good.
And then came the weaknesses. My boss said that a couple of people in the office had made mention that I don’t work very hard and that I’m the sort of person who is the last to arrive and the first to leave. This shocked me; truly shocked me because I consider myself a very hard worker. It also shocked me because I’m usually the first (or second) person to arrive in the mornings (usually by 7:50am… well before our expected start time of 9am) and I usually work right through the day. I do accept that sometimes I have left right on 5pm (we are ‘expected’ to stay beyond that but not always) but I only do this about twice a week. Three at the most.
Now, before I tell you how I reacted to this, you need to know that there are two women in the office who dislike (possibly even hate) me. Truth be told, I don’t know why they dislike me, especially given the fact that I get on very well with everyone else in the office, men and women alike. All I know for sure is that they do. I also know that they get on very well with my boss.
As I said earlier, everyone in our office is doing one of these and I was third in line. The two people who went before me? That’s right; the two women who hate me. So it’s no stretch to say that the info no doubt came from them. Infact, my boss admitted it did come from them (more on that later).
So, how did I react when my boss told me that there were concerns over how hard I work? I was a bit flustered of course; I simply didn’t except that criticism to be one that could or would be levelled at me. So I calmly explained that I fully rejected the accusation that I show up late and that I regularly show up before 8am, and that while I sometimes leave at 5pm it’s not all that common an occurrence. I also explained that his two predecessors (I’ve had the same job now for three years with three different bosses) had never expressed dissatisfaction with how I worked.
And then this is possibly where I stuffed up.
My two previous bosses had never got on well with these two women who dislike me. However when my current boss showed up on the scene, the three of them instantly seemed to bond. It clicked in my head at this point that he must have got this information from them so I said that if he was getting his information from these two co-workers of mine, as I suspected, he should take it with a grain of salt because they don’t like me and never have, despite my attempts to try and get them to like me. He did then admit that the info had come “primarily” from them and he noted my comments. The rest of the meeting went pretty amicably.
The reason I feel I’ve erred is because I’ve directly criticised two of my co-workers, which was something I hadn’t intended to do going into the meeting because I didn’t think it would be professional to do so… and so of course I went ahead and did it (in self defence, your honour!). Worse still, I’ve criticised two people whom he gets along well with and he is therefore likely to believe over me. I also think it’s unlikely that anyone else will criticise these two women in their interviews with my boss because as far as I know, they seem to get on well with everyone else (barring maybe one other person) and again, it’s just not professional to do that. And since I'm usually here before everyone else, there's only a couple of people who could verify that I get here so early (should he ask anyone else to verify my claims).
I need some outside perspective. Do you think that this is going to come back and bite me on the ass? Or did I do the right thing? Do you think I at least handled it as well as I could have?
Do I need to start mitigation strategies? If so, what do you reccommend?