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This is my four leaf clover

May 1, 2012

It’s performance review week at the Toy Factory, which means that many changes are afoot. Everyone’s feeling a little nervous. We were discussing this earlier today, how we’re all nervous and how we’ll all probably do just fine. It’s an office full of perfectionists in jobs that are completely impossible to do perfectly. There are so many outside variables to toymaking, particularly our particular brand of toymaking — there are so many departments and outside vendors involved in the very complicated processes we work through every day — that it’s very unlikely for anyone to actually meet all their goals from the previous year as originally described. Jobs are constantly morphing to meet ever-changing technology or staff structures. It’s a fluid process that can’t wait around for empty desks to be filled. As a result, it looks to me like a pretty efficient operation. If someone’s got a few spare minutes, someone else will always have something for them to do. So we are all nervous, but we all work hard and make mistakes sometimes but mostly do well. It’s hard to remind yourself of that when you feel like you’re being called before the judge and jury. Even when the judge and jury is someone you like a lot that you talk to all the time.

There are also changes afoot. Our department is hiring a lot of new people, thanks to a recent grant for a particular project. There have also been some people leaving to take jobs in other departments or elsewhere. There are, as far as I can tell, nothing but good things going on. But changes, even good ones, have a way of unsettling everyone a little as we shuffle around to figure out how to make things easy again.

This week I’m staying with Cranky and Toddler J, which has been lovely. I’m very much looking forward to some one-on-one time with J this evening while Cranky goes for a run. It’s edifying to have a toddler in the house. I’ve already read 8 books today. held several conversations conducted completely in chicken, and demonstrated how I can put my feet on my head (thank you, yoga class). and it’s only 7:30 a.m.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2012 8:56 am

    I could read you all day, Spymaster. I can’t even remember the last time I held a conversation entirely in chicken. Wouldn’t it be interesting if all your performance reviews had to be conducted in chicken? I’d pay to be a fly on the wall for that.

  2. May 1, 2012 9:35 am

    True story. Years ago, I directed a small choir. We were working on a performance of Debussy’s “Trois Chansons.” At rehearsal one night, I held my hands in the conductor’s universal “ready” sign and began conducting the third chanson, “Hiver, vous n’etes qu’un villain!” Whereupon, the choir clucked the entire movement in perfect chicken, while I doubled over with laughter. Possibly my best moment as a conductor.

  3. magpiemusing permalink
    May 1, 2012 12:50 pm

    Ooh, chicken. The Debussy in chicken would have cleaned up on YouTube.

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