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Meeting and Failing Expectations

There are certain standards we all have to follow, certain written and unwritten rules that make us acceptable to be within a crowd, in a circle of friends, or in a working place. It can be a tough time dealing with work and at the same time keeping up with what others want you to be, how others want you to perform. How would you rate yourself in an evaluation? Would you give yourself a few good points and even fewer outstanding ones because you know it’s really where you are right now? Or would you highlight all the outstanding marks and put on a show for others to criticize because your salary increase depends on all the outstanding points you have?

I will try to be honest with myself—when I answered that appraisal sheet, it was mostly satisfactory answers and just a few outstanding ones. It was after all how I felt about my work for the past three months, but then again, an officemate of mine told me to change my answers because my salary increase would depend on how well I am doing, plus the TLs wouldn’t rate me with outstanding if I rate myself as high as good or satisfactory. Okay, okay, so I’m guilty. I did it. I edited my appraisal sheet and rated myself with a lot of outstanding marks.

Only to be slapped in the face when my TL scored me with a lot of good/satisfactory marks.

It was only then that I realized that I shouldn’t have changed my answers. I felt as if I was thinking so highly of myself even though I knew, and my TL knew, the real score on how I am doing. I’m bad—very, very bad. In defense to my TL, he was kind enough to explain why I got this score on this area and so on and so forth. I knew he was trying not to make me feel bad or anything negative because of it; he was just stating observations based on my performance, and I actually agree with him. It’s just part of his job, and I did score fairly good overall. I just somehow feel that the TL expects too much when I am really working on my toes now, with everything started when I arrived; the TL expects much, much more. I felt bad that I wasn’t surpassing nor meeting his expectations. I really shouldn’t have to feel bad.

But then again I do feel bad, even up to now, to some extent.

Next time my appraisal period comes again, I will stick to my answers, even if it would mean a not-so-high salary increase or a not-so-high remark from my officemates. I would really feel better if I answer honestly and even though I won’t have a perfect appraisal, at least my conscience won’t be killing me.

Even if I am working my brains out every time, even if I have a hard time doing the reports and making sure the screens are bug free, I shouldn’t be happy with my performance, or should I say I shouldn’t be content with how I am performing at the moment. I’m doing QA and technical writing for Japanese clients, after all. I’ll try to be more of a perfectionist in my way, in a positive way. I’ll figure a way out, and I’ll be better. Next appraisal period I won’t feel this way; I need not to feel this way. Confessions of a conscience-disturbed girl.