Yes, it is that time of year at my job.
Despite the fact that our Human Resources department rolled out a new “talent architecture” in August, and despite the fact that we did have our annual individual development plans on the books until September, we’re supposed to be writing our self-evaluations. These evaluations will, in theory, help our bosses remember what we did and why we deserve raises.
I haven’t started mine yet, partly because I have so many meetings I’m lucky if I have time to get up to use the bathroom much less focus on telling a slightly sales pitchy, accurate story that still highlights my achievements while owning my mistakes and focusing on what I learned from them.
I’m also dragging my feet a big because I’m having trouble resisting the impulse to write:
I’ve had three bosses this year, each of whom had vastly different management and communication styles, and expectations for me as a senior individual contributor.
My schedule is exactly what I’ve said multiple times I don’t want it to be – back to back meetings with no time to process information.
Despite these conditions, plus the pandemic and the uncertainty that has been our Federal leadership, not once have I completely lost my shit in a meeting.
This alone merits a bonus and a raise.
As for my achievements this year…
I’ve been thinking a lot about job performance lately, and not just because it’s that time of year at work.
Unless you’ve been under a rock for all of 2020, you’ve probably heard about The Mandalorian. Set about about five years after the end of Return of the Jedi, according to series creator Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian follows the adventures of a lone bounty hunter on the outskirts of settled space. He’s not just any bounty hunter, though. He’s an orphan raised by a members of a warrior sect. Their beliefs hinge on the ideas of:
- loyalty to a code and each other
- knowledge of their history
- a collective conscious known as the manda
In the finest spaghetti Western tradition, this Mandalorian doesn’t have a name. One of the brokers he works with just calls him “Mando” which is the equivalent of calling that dude at the office, the one whose name you can’t remember because you only see him once a year yet he still greats you like a long-lost sibling, buddy.
Lured in by the promise of payment in Beskar steel, the metal traditionally used to make Mandalorian armor, the Mandalorian takes an impossible job in the series first season: retrieve a heavily guarded prisoner and deliver him to the client.
Turns out the prisoner is a child with powers wanted by the remnants of the Empire skulking around the outskirts of settled space out of reach of the governing and rules of the New Republic.
He delivers the Child and second thoughts lead him to steal the Child back from the Empire and take on the quest of delivering the Child to the Jedi.
Set out on this quest he does. Unfortunately, he gets continually sidetracked by people who offer to help him if only he will kill this beast, or help them fight off invaders, or join their raiding party to steal those weapons from Imperial soldiers.
We’re 11 chapters into this story and the Mandalorian has been betrayed by almost everyone he’s allied with to get information to further him on his main quest.
The Mandalorian is really bad at his job.
We’ll keep watching though because The Mandalorian has something going for it that almost no other entertainment has right now: it’s a strange combination of familiarity and novelty. That’s exactly what we need in a year when everything has simultaneously been massive problems that need solving and absolutely no ability to solve any one of them.
Oh, and based on his behavior in Chapter 10, “Baby Yoda,” who isn’t Yoda at all based on the official timeline placement of this story, is a bit of an asshole.