The Friday Funny: Performance evaluation translations

With apologies to our Northern Hemisphere colleagues who have been either working through the holiday season or back at their desks for some weeks now, the Southern Hemisphere has been in 100% summer holiday mode, so we’ve had a slow down in posts.

Patricia took a short break and is doing one of her whirlwind global tours, picking up more interesting ideas for comment and discussion. Jane is back on deck now, but struggling with ‘beach brain’ after more than three weeks with no landline, cell phone or Internet coverage (see pic).

We are refreshed (maybe a bit too refreshed!) and will be doing our best to bring you some stimulating material and food for thought over the next few weeks and months, and through our second year of blogging in 2011.

We most often focus on program and policy evaluation because that’s where many of our readers’ work is concentrated. But we often find great examples (humorous and otherwise) from product evaluation, personnel evaluation, and elsewhere that help illustrate useful points.

For some people, December or January are the season for performance appraisal, and some are in the position of having to appraise others’ work. Performance appraisals, like many program and policy evaluations, often contain ‘coded’ language to diplomatically convey evaluative feedback. It’s always helpful to have a translation guide for those not used to reading (or writing) such ‘code’ … and to ponder the more serious question of whether the ‘code’ might actually be so obscure that evaluation readers/users won’t actually get the subtleties (and may even infer the opposite from the truth) …

This gem comes from

Performance evaluation translations

A keen analyst: Thoroughly confused.

Accepts new job assignments willingly: Never finishes a job.

Active socially: Drinks heavily.

Alert to company developments: An office gossip.

Approaches difficult problems with logic: Finds someone else to do the job.

Average: Not too bright.

Bridge builder: Likes to compromise.

Character above reproach: Still one step ahead of the law.

Charismatic: No interest in any opinion but his own.

Competent: Is still able to get work done if supervisor helps.

Conscientious and careful: Scared.

Consults with co-workers often: Indecisive, confused, and clueless.

Consults with supervisor often: Very annoying.

Delegates responsibility effectively: Passes the buck well.

Demonstrates qualities of leadership: Has a loud voice.

Displays excellent intuitive judgement: Knows when to disappear.

Displays great dexterity and agility: Dodges and evades superiors well.

Enjoys job: Needs more to do.

Excels in sustaining concentration but avoids confrontations: Ignores everyone.

Excels in the effective application of skills: Makes a good cup of coffee.

Exceptionally well qualified: Has committed no major blunders to date.

Expresses self well: Can string two sentences together.

Gets along extremely well with superiors and subordinates alike: A coward.

Happy: Paid too much.

Hard worker: Usually does it the hard way.

Identifies major management problems: Complains a lot.

Indifferent to instruction: Knows more than superiors.

Internationally known: Likes to go to conferences and trade shows in Las Vegas.

Is well informed: Knows all office gossip and where all the skeletons are kept.

Inspires the cooperation of others: Gets everyone else to do the work.

Is unusually loyal: Wanted by no-one else.

Judgement is usually sound: Lucky.

Keen sense of humor: Knows lots of dirty jokes.

Keeps informed on business issues: Subscribes to Playboy and National Enquirer.

Listens well: Has no ideas of his own.

Maintains a high degree of participation: Comes to work on time.

Maintains professional attitude: A snob.

Meticulous in attention to detail: A nitpicker.

Mover and shaker: Favors steamroller tactics without regard for other opinions.

Not a desk person: Did not go to college.

Of great value to the organization: Turns in work on time.

Use all available resources: Takes office supplies home for personal use.

Quick thinking: Offers plausible excuses for errors.

Requires work-value attitudinal readjustment: Lazy and hard-headed.

Should go far: Please.

Slightly below average: Stupid.

Spends extra hours on the job: Miserable home life.

Stern disciplinarian: A real jerk.

Straightforward: Blunt and insensitive.

Strong adherence to principles: Stubborn.

Tactful in dealing with superiors: Knows when to keep mouth shut.

Takes advantage of every opportunity to progress: Buys drinks for superiors.

Takes pride in work: Conceited.

Unlimited potential: Will stick with us until retirement.

Uses resources well: Delegates everything.

Uses time effectively: Clock watcher.

Very creative: Finds 22 reasons to do anything except original work.

Visionary: Cannot handle paperwork or any project that lasts less than a week.

Well organized: Does too much busywork.

Will go far: Relative of management.

Willing to take calculated risks: Doesn’t mind spending someone else’s money.

Zealous attitude: Opinionated.

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