My assistant has this clever little sentence written on a post-it note and attached to her monitor. During her last performance evaluation I brought her poor performance and rumour-spreading to light, and explained that both her work and her attitude had to improve before I would consider giving her any sort of wage increase.
She was upset at me, and stubbornly refused to see the correlation between poor performance and no wage increase. I explained it several different ways to her, trying to get her to understand that her wage will increase in direct proportion to how well she does her work and with a better attitude.
It was frustrating, and I don’t really think I got through to her. She left the meeting not recognizing how her behaviour affected the evaluation, but with an air of if that’s how it’s going to be then …
That was three months ago, and I committed to another review in mid-September; I thought three months was a very generous time-frame for her to improve herself. Perhaps a little too generous, but I don’t withhold wage increases very often so I wanted to be more-than-fair and not make her wait six months. I was hoping that she’d see a desire to work through a problem on my part, and not just lock into the punishment aspect of the thing.
Then, this afternoon, as I’m walking by her desk, I see her note.
No raise, no raise out of me
Well, then, if that’s how it’s going to be … !
I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed. And I’m frustrated. This woman is older than me by about fifteen years, and that puts her close-ish to my mom’s age, and I can’t help but expect a lot more out of someone that age. I realize it’s not realistic or fair to make judgments or have expectations about others based on their age but I do, dammit! I want people that age to act as mature as my mom. My mom would never do this sort of thing to me. My mom would set the best example ever, because she wouldn’t want to be scolded for performance issues by her own daughter. She would work twice as hard as everyone else to prove she was worthy of working for me, and I’d probably be twice as hard on her because I’d want her to give me the very best work.
Why can’t I expect that from others? Is that really too much to ask?
Now I have to make a decision: I don’t know exactly how I want to handle this. I fancy the idea of making her ask me about her wage increase so I can point at her note and explain how her negative attitude is exponentially reducing the chances of her getting a wage increase ever again.
But that’s just my angry little ego, if I’m honest with myself.
I suppose I’ll have to deal with it first thing Monday morning. I don’t like her damn note sitting on her monitor for everyone to see, and I don’t like the mentality it suggests. I think it’s childish and exactly the sort of poor attitude I warned her about. And I’m incensed that a person would think that it’s acceptable to exhibit such a bad attitude; it’s amusing that she believes she can force me to give her a wage increase if I want better performance out of her.