A corporate performance review, at least in my experience, after a two hour “This is Your Life”, usually consisted of my manager and me sparring back and forth about some developmental issues I needed work on. Whether or not they existed. These issues, real or imagined, were actually his or her job security. Otherwise, why would the company need them around if they weren’t developing me out of something? Save for faxing a spreadsheet or two and making sure we all got oil changes in our company cars.
When traveling with them it was a constant interrogation. Anything professional or personal was fair game. One manager said, ”Bob, you gotta give me something”. At dinner it was back and forth, back and forth. Then it would inevitably turn to how close certain members of my team were gaining on me in the sales numbers arena. Obviously right out the management playbook. Then came the inevitable mea culpa that as good a year as I had had, unfortunately, the district only had so much money allotted for raises and bonuses but things were looking up for next year.
My last five years with Big pharma was breath taking. With it’s mother ship in New Jersey and a revolving door management program with layers of titles and functions. (Cue strange music.) Marketing meetings use to look like the first day of jury duty.
By then I was a senior multimedia producer and had complete and total control of everything within my purview. I got the social media bug before it got so, uh, fashionable. Video, web design, e-marketing, the whole shooting match. Not that I was an expert or a visionary, it was that no one had any idea what I did or how I did it. And not one of my (many) managers was in a big hurry to find out. The good news for me was obvious. The bad news was obvious. Then my reviews went from emotional badminton to surreptitiously sliding an envelope under my door with a note saying “I’m not exactly sure what you do, but knowing you, I’m sure you’re good at it. True story.
Bottom line. I can’t think of a better way to squeeze the shit out of human potential than what I have just described. Thank God it’s almost over. Big Pharma will no longer take you from the “womb to the tomb” and that’s a good thing. Soon, we will all know the correct spelling of “entrepreneur.” and it won’t be just another entry on a company mission statement.
Well that little catharsis felt good. Guess I do have some issues after all.
Where’s my manager when I need him?