Sunday, February 28, 2016

'Aappu' raisal


The biggest eyewaas amongst all the others in Corporate life is this thing called Appraisals. Come Feb-March, one's inbox is inundated with reminders to fill the damn form and meet the superior where they can alasi aaranjify your work in half hour and give you a rating which would determine the salli kaasu you get as bonus.

I never understood why people took it so seriously, practising, rehearsing for days on their discussion/s with their superior/s only because everything right from their feedback for you to the damn rating is pre decided and any amount of argument, cajoling, pleading from your end is never going to change their mind/s.

In one of the reputed companies I worked for, the sloth bears who worked there for 12 years were content with a below average rating year after year since their main dubbu came from freelancing and playing for concerts as musicians. The hardworking lot who were the opposites of these sloth bears, the ones who were always enthusiastic & who went out of their way to get the jobs done, were always given an above average rating.  And 'Bell curve' was the standard nonsensical bulls**t given to justify the latter's ratings.

Yesji. We belonged to the stone age of filling up the form manually. Year after year, I'd always fill up the damn form(ality) at the last minute and was always the last one to be appraised in the team because I was never keen on meeting the 'Thillu mullu' Thengai Srinivasan / Srinivasi a.k.a boss(es) however nice they were, to listen to their arachamaavu. If year 1 was "You need to think of more out-of-the-box ideas" (ok!), year 2 was "you need to manage the team better, go easy on them" (okkk!), year 3 was "you are too easy with the team... be a little more stern" (really?) . Despite being in the top 3 rated in the team, my response to every feedback was Ok, ok and more ok simply because I wanted to get out of the room fast and have a cup of strong tea without any thollai. Why argue / reason out with someone who is not there to listen to you but just put forth their POW and write the rating on the paper, sign and move on?

Mudhalvan Arjun

If being appraised was a thollai, being the supervisor / appraiser is a bigger one. You get clear instructions from the top with the appraisee's rating and many a times the final rating is not in your hands. At one point of time, I wanted to give all my team members (but one) a score of 3.5 to 4 out of the maximum of 4 because except for that one somberi the rest were extremely creative, focussed, committed and went out of their way to get things done. But then I was clearly told by Thengai Srinivasi to distribute the 2.5s, 3s and 3.5s (out of the max 4 points).  So now the task was to keep a straight face and give the ondrai-anaa feedback, something that I was sharing all thru' the year. 

Was all set to take the early morning flight to the following morning with mine and the team's forms and meet Thengai Srinivasi for the all important final signature. The entire afternoon of the previous day went prepping like Mudhalvan Arjun interviewing Raghuvaran. My response, reportees' responses, my lies, their response, my anda pulugus, aagasa pulugus in the name of feedback and on how to seal the conversation and get their signature on the form. Yabba dei. The entire appraisal for the team took about 4 hours with the last guy's alone going for 2 hours+. He insisted on a 4 and I was giving him a 3. The most terrible 2 1/2 hours I tell you. Finally I called Thengai Srinivasi (my boss) and made him speak to her at around 11 in the night. In their conversation, argument etc. the rating came down to less than 3 upon 4 since she was not convinced with his argument.  

Not long ago I felt all y00th filling up the form online after several reminders from the superior/boss ji. Infact I had ottukettufyed him on a con-call with another appraisee of his demanding a 5 upon 5 and Boss giving him a 3 or something. So the #HumbleHurricane me filled the form in a hurry and met Boss. He was in for a shock going through my form. According to him I had severely underrated myself and if HR were to go by my judgement I was #fail. One severe Sowcar Janaki mode I went into as to what the hell happened with the sweat beginning to pour down my face (well, others may call it tears which it was ;-) The Karna parambarai he was, Boss ji gave me more than what I thought I had deserved. Ofcourse not to forget the usual feedback on "out of the box thinking" "Team management" and the works.

Time and again, one keeps reading articles on 'XYZ organisation doing away with the process of appraisals / ratings' and so on. Always wondered when a practice like this would be adopted in Indian companies. I'd love to work in a company that does away with ratings and 'Aappu'raisals and that'd be the day when I'd be open to the idea of leading a team without any reservations.

Happy 'Aappu'raisals folks!


'Aaappu' raisals - The one in which you get a backlash
Thollai - A friggin' pain
Thillu Mullu - Famous Tameel flim, an adaptation of your Indhi flim Gol maal
Mudhalvan - That film which got remade as Nayak with Anil Kapoor
Anda Pulugu Aagasa Pulugu - Lies, Damned lies
Ondrai-anaa feedback - Feedback that's not even worth a penny
Katthal Koochal - Cacophony
Y00th - The one that you no longer is
Ottukettufyed  - Eavesdrop
#HumbleHurricane - The one that I am, always
Karna - That character in Mahabharatha who gave everything to Krisna and cried lyk Sivaji Ganesan in the end
Parambarai - Not the Prabhu film you country fellow, it means hereditary
Yabba Dei - Abeyaar