A fact I have never disclosed in this blog is that I am a U.S. federal government employee. The agency that employs me requires us to produce employee reviews once a year. I think this is pretty standard practice in most businesses and other sorts of organizations that hire people and pay them a wage for doing some sort of work. In my agency, these reviews have evolved over the years to becoming very carefully worded works of art, accurate and factual to be sure, but highly stylized with essential words and perspectives and voices used just so, carefully constructed to put employees in an advantageous position for promotion. Not long ago I decided to write a review of my work from the perspective of a supervisor in verse. I wrote it to carefully cover all the professional goals (we call them precepts) toward which we are supposed to strive. This review includes a few references unique to my workplace, but I think most of it is universal to all mid-level officials, enough, at least, to make sense to anybody who has held a similar sort of job, public or private sector.
Employee Review in Verse
Argyle is a useful bloke,
does all his tasks, he ain’t no joke.
An officer from head to toe,
when I say jump he starts to go.
Completely fair in all his dealings,
but circumspect with his own feelings.
Surrounds himself with folk, diverse,
with anyone he will converse.
Leadership is his main theme,
all follow him as in a dream.
He manages well within his group,
turns folks into a well-oiled troop.
Evaluates, counsels, conducts some training,
among Argyle’s staff there’s no complaining.
Delegates a lot of work,
yet labors hard, he doesn’t shirk.
Develops insights, creates solutions,
his work deserves no diminution.
Makes reasoned, effective, timely decisions,
views hastiness with mild derision.
Finishes projects: timely and cheap.
Complaints from Argyle? Not a peep.
Communicates his expectations,
to his staff he’s Mr. Human Relations.
He writes with ease he is so clever,
the smoothest docs that you’ve seen, ever.
Attends to all security matters
and yet he’s deaf to idle flatter.
Rough and ready when trouble arises,
this guy is brilliant in a crisis.
Maintains a calm and cool façade,
doesn’t crumble (ain’t that odd?)
He will adapt, he manages change,
even when what’s new is strange.
He deals with others aspirations
and maintains useful, good relations.
Influences others, oh he’s so deft.
Hesitation? Doubt? Of these he’s bereft.
Cultivates contacts, a natural born host,
He piles it on high when it matters the most.
He speaks, he listens, proclaims the good news,
with USG policies, he’s so enthused.
He knows how to think, gather key information
and puts it together like the chief of the nation.
So really I’d like this idea to float,
Argyle’s so great, it’s time to promote.
His thinking is keen, his service, essential
he’s great, a big hunk of walking potential.