Bill – Matt’s boss
Matt – Lisa’s supervisor
Lisa – employee
Bill: Hi, Matt. Have you got a minute?
Matt: (Shuffling papers) Sure, Bill. I always have time for the boss!
Bill: I thought I might give you some pointers for these Performance Appraisals. I know this will be the first time you’ve presented them to anyone.
Matt: Sure. Some pointers would be great. Fire away.
Bill: First there’s Jerry and Randy. You have to be very direct with them. Don’t pull any punches. They want the straight scoop, and they’ll tell you if they don’t agree with you.
Matt: I know; they already have.
Bill: (Sympathetically) Well, at least you know where you stand with them.
Matt: If they leave you standing!
Bill: (Laughing) Yeah, they can be pretty tough. Then there’s Penny and Brian. You can be honest with them but you do need to use a bit of tact. They sometimes take things the wrong way.
Matt: Yeah, I found that out too.
Bill: OK, but the really tough one is Lisa. You need to be very gentle with her.
Matt: Gentle, OK, I can be gentle.
Bill: Good. I noticed a couple of things you had in her P.A.
Matt: Such as?
Bill: Such as the long lunch hour she took one day last month.
Matt: She was gone for over an hour on a ½ hour lunch.
Bill: Yes, I know, but for 6 months she hasn’t taken a lunch break because of Sherry being out on disability. If she takes an extra long lunch once in a while, she’s earned it.
Bill: And you also had down that she called in one day because of her mother.
Matt: She did.
Bill: I know, but her mother was scared about an operation she was going for the next day. I don’t think we want to hold that against Lisa.
Matt: No, I guess not.
Bill: One more thing – you had down that Lisa came to work dressed in jeans one day last week?
Matt: She did!
Bill: Yes, but she was cleaning out the storage room that day. I don’t suppose she wanted to dress up to do that.
Matt: No, I know that. I just thought I’d put it down for future reference.
Bill: I see. OK, well I’ll see you later; just remember – gently with Lisa.
Matt: No problem, Bill. I can be very gentle. See you later.
Lisa: Hi, Matt. Do you have time for me now?
Matt: (Stands & pulls chair out for Lisa while speaking gently) Sure, Lisa. Here, sit down. (Hovers over her) Is that chair comfortable? Would you like a cushion? Would you like my chair?
Lisa: No, no. I’m fine, Matt.
Matt: (Sits & picks up P.A.) OK. Well, Lisa, let’s take a look at this. Here’s a copy for you.
Matt: Now, Lisa, I have down here that you have been doing a great job as our Sales Department Manager.
Lisa: Thanks, Matt.
Matt: Yes, you’ve really kept the salespeople motivated, and all of your reports are well prepared and on time or early.
Lisa: Well, it’s nice to know you’ve noticed.
Matt: Yes, I certainly have, and Bill and I are agreed that your performance has been almost without fault.
Matt: Yes, Bill and I were just discussing a few things on your P.A.
Lisa: Like what?
Matt: Well, Lisa, (comes around desk and puts hand on her shoulder) Bill pointed out that long lunch hour you took last month.
Lisa: (Unbelieving) He did?
Matt: (Very gently) Yes, he did. (Takes her hand) He also mentioned the unscheduled day off you called in for.
Lisa: Do you mean the day before my mother’s operation?
Matt: Well, yes I think he did say that. And then he mentioned something about the day you wore jeans to work.
Lisa: (Lisa stands – she’s very agitated and on the verge of tears) Bill mentioned that? The day I cleaned out that filthy storage closet that no one else would even touch?
Matt: (Matt is oblivious to any problem.) Yes, and we’re very grateful for that. Overall we agreed your performance has been great and we think you deserve a raise.
(Lisa starts to cry and turns to run from room just as Bill re-enters.)
Bill: Lisa … (she wails even louder when she sees Bill and she keeps on going). Matt, what happened? I thought I told you to be gentle with Lisa.
Matt: Oh, I was.
Bill: Then why is she crying?
Matt: (Very smug) Oh you know women. I think she was just overwhelmed by my gentleness.
Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
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