Over the past year, which consisted of an almost 9 month pregnancy; and now almost 3 months of dealing with/taking care of what resulted from that pregnancy, the Wife and I have received a lot of “parenting advice.” And I mean A LOT!!
To be completely honest, most of the advice sucked. The reason? Most of the advice was vague ramblings from people who clearly just wanted retell their experiences. The advice I loved the most (sarcasm) came from those wonderful sources of experience also known as people without kids. But, all joking aside we did get some pretty good advice too.
But even in the barren desert of bullshit parenting advice there have been an oasis or two of good advice providing that refreshing perspective we parents crave. One such nugget we received came from a friend the Wife and I met while attending a wedding this past summer. We’ll call this friend Heather. Being a mother of two crazy young one herself, coupled with her wicked-funny sense of humor we all bonded instantly.
Seeing that we had something cooking in the oven, Heather warned us about all the crap-advice we would hear from the moment Ferris was born, and how it will never stop. Over the weekend we heard many of Heather’s hilarious stories about her two boys and their view on things as both boys seem to be very bright for their young age, and very well traveled as the family has traveled to and lived in places most people will never experience in their lifetime, but those are stories for another time.
The one story that I found the funniest, as well as the most useful as a new parent was one about an event Heather’s family does each year. And that is, Annual Performance Evaluations. That’s right, each year the family, like any responsible leader organization, conducts annual performance reviews on each other, and yes, being let go is a possibility.
In the spirit of viewing the Preach family as an organization, our newest member is coming up on his 90 day review. As I am no dummy, I know I am not the head of this organization of ours; that would be the Wife. But, if I am not the CEO, I am definitely the VP of Operations. And like any good manager, I feel it only right that I address our newest employee about his strengths, and areas of opportunities if you will……enjoy:
With your 90 day evaluation approaching, and as your direct supervisor, I feel it only right that I sit down with you and discuss a few key points of interest before you meet with the CEO (aka your Mother) next week.
All areas are graded on a rating of 1-4, with the ratings such as follows:
4 – Exceeding Expectations
3 – Achieving Expectations
2 – Partially Achieving Expectations
1 – Not Acceptable
Customer Service: Rating: 3
Employee understands the importance of customer service and strives to achieve this standard.
Supervisor Comments: Your job is all customer service based. And those customers are the people you are around when your mother and I take you out in public. You are, most times, very well-behaved. It is very much appreciated.
Initiative: Rating: 2
Anticipates demands and performs tasks without request.
Supervisor Comments: Because we are aware that you are extremely new to not only this organization, but to life in general, we are aware that you may feel intimidated about doing “things” on your own. And while your mother and I are happy to help you learn, “not knowing something” is no excuse to lie around and do nothing. Please make sure you are being as productive as possible, at all times.
Teamwork and Working Relationships: Rating: 2
Employee regularly contributes to the efficient operation of the department/unit. Employee maintains a positive working relationship with co-workers and management. Accepts directions made by a group. Builds trust by respecting ideas from others. Works well with the team. As appropriate, seeks to understand norms and reasons for change.
Supervisor Comments: Again, we know that this is all new to you, and that, at times, your frustration gets the better of you. We believe that has resulted in a “fussy attitude.” Working well with your fellow employees (your mother and I) is the cornerstone of what makes this organization succeed. If we do not succeed together, then we are failing together. The motto around her, while corny, is “Teamwork makes the dream work”.
Attendance and Punctuality: Rating: 3
Employee reports to work on time and is ready to work as scheduled. Follows established procedures if delayed or unable to report.
Supervisor Comments: Your ability to be present and accounted for has been excellent to-date. The only item I would ask you focus some attention on is being more present for your scheduled “nap times.” It has been reported that you have been blowing off this part of your daily job function, resulting in an uneven sleep schedule, and an overall disruption of the night time process (i.e. mom and dad getting sleep).
Communication Ability: Rating: 2
Employee communicates problems and work-related needs to supervisor and co-workers as appropriate. Communicates honestly and accurately in an open, candid and respectful manner.
Supervisor Comments: There has been some concern with the communication between yourself and your fellow employees (again, your mom and dad). Employees have expressed concern that they cannot properly give you the tools you need to succeed because, well, all your cries sound the same. If you could please help communication by being as clear and concise as possible it would be a much better situation for all.
Appearance: Rating: 4
Employee dresses appropriately for work and follows the corporate dress code or as appropriate is in full uniform while at work.
Supervisor Comments: If I have said it once, then I have said it a hundred times; if you were any cuter it would be a crime.
Employees and supervisor will revisit goals on a semi-annual basis to assess achievement standards:
#1 – Continue to grow big and strong. Some suggested activities to achieve this goal would be increased tummy-time, learning to roll over from tummy to your back, and taking full advantage of feedings.
#2 – Develop strong sensory skills. Take advantage of story time with mom and dad, start reaching out for toys during play time, and continue taking notice of everything around you (except at nap/bed time of course).
#3 – Continue to stay as cute as you are. Management feels this should prove no problem for you, as you are already the cutest baby in the entire world.
Final Manager Comments:
Ferris, you have been with us for almost 3 months now, and while there are some obvious areas of improvement needed for future success (that goes for us too), your mom and I think you are doing a wonderful job. You have been a wonderful addition to the organization and a blessing to us, and although we may not always convey that emotion, we would never trade you for the world. We feel you have a bright future here at Preach Inc. and look forward to your rapid growth within the organization. But, don’t grow up too fast ok buddy; your mom and dad do not want to miss a thing.