Thursday, November 14, 2013

The latest

I have had a number of occasions lately where I have started blog posts - sometimes written them in full - and then never hit "publish". I haven't quite figured out why.

Life has been good lately. Really good. Sometimes too good to be true? Some concern I guess that as soon as I post something, the tide will turn? People will think I am bragging? I will think I am bragging?

I am not sure what it is really. Maybe if I get a post out of my system I will be able to move on. Not sure, but let's see if I can actually convince myself to hit publish this time.

So life is good. Work is good. For the most part.

I am in that phase after a successful project whereby I am receiving awards for receiving awards. I have management eyeing me with scrutiny... can she maintain the momentum? What can we nitpick so that she knows she isn't top of the hill? And politics. Egads politics. All the while I am trying to "Lean In", but actually feeling thwarted a fair bit... and by people who should know better.

So let's get the awards out of the way. I received a lab director's award for the national awards we received for the Navy work. I joked that I hoped it wouldn't confuse too many people that my award hanging in my office looks exactly like the one of the new lab fellows. Ok done. One award out of the way.

Next award. I received a Young Alumni award from my graduate university for my work. I have been planning a blog that goes more into this and about my visit back to Reno. My view for the first time of the state of things from my advisor's (now chair) perspective. My view of Reno after having been gone for 11.5 years (yes, I miss it). My view of being a "one woman dog and pony show" for an evening (gag). So second one, done.

See that wasn't too hard.

Next topic... Students. So part of the reason I got the award from the university is probably that my program wasn't high end. They turn out a good product. But I have laughed at times about how I occasionally have the opportunity to write letters of recommendation to institutions that I would have never even considered actually applying to! Well I have a new one. I have been receiving inquiries from students graduating from prestigious schools looking for jobs.

I had an entire post written about this and how it was driving me crazy. Not that I was getting my fragile ego stroked, but about how badly these students were doing this. It was a bit horrifying and the vast majority of students I have concluded that there is a reason that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel (i.e., me) in looking for a job. And you know what? They aren't getting one from me either.

Next topic... Annual Review. Not surprisingly my first year after promotion I managed to "achieve expectations". I don't care about the C rating. I heard you "always" get to achieve expectations after promotion. What killed me was some of the things that were written and then as the nature goes with privacy, everything is so vague. How am I supposed to change or improve if I can't have specifics on which team feels that I am not managing them... but only to find out after poking, prodding and digging that it is the team where I AM NOT EVEN THE PROJECT MANAGER.

Yes, makes sense. Or how about the one where I am taking over the technical side and not sticking on my side of the PM fence? UMM I AM CO-PI OF THAT PROJECT.

Every year I get more and more of an impression what a load of crap the annual reviews are. It honestly becomes hard to take them very seriously when they seem first, incredibly subjective and second, very ill informed. 99.5% of the year I love my job and know that I am doing a good job. But then that other 0.5% of the year is there to knock you down.

This year I made the decision that it is time for a change.

To be continued...

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