I have an apartment!
It's a whole long story and I was all set to blog about it, but when I told the ladies at Bible Study last night all the sordid details, I realized it is interesting to exactly no one, including me. It's a lot of "she said this, then I said this, then she PROMISED this, then I was disappointed" and not a lot of interesting. But the bottom line is: after thinking I was going to have to abandon this rental company and fight with them to get my money back, they managed to get me into the floor plan I wanted for the price I wanted in the gated protion of the complex like I wanted. Now, I haven't actually signed any documents, so this is really no more secure then the LAST TIME I thought I had an apartment and is actually LESS secure because they have proven themselves UNTRUSTWORTHY since that time, but I'm throwing caution to the wind and getting my hopes aaaaall up. I have no one to blame but myself if I'm disappointed. Well, and them. I will definitely blame THEM. And probably myself not at all.
After the awfulness that was Friday and the recovery period that was Saturday and Sunday, I was not really expecting this week to be spectacular. Then my boss called me in for an impromptu performance review. I say impromptu only because I did not know it was happening that day or that minute, but I DID know it was coming. It was supposed to be last week, but she had to cancel for one reason or another. Anyway, I only really had 15 minutes to fret about it before I sat down at the table and got to it, so that was actually nice. I am, after all, a champion fretter.
I had completed a self-evaluation a few weeks before and knew that she would be adding to it and critiquing it, but I really had no idea what to expect. I've never had a performance review. When I worked for either of the Wonder Twins, they just yelled or sent passive-aggressive emails every few days and it was just kind of understood how my performance was rating (poorly. ALWAYS poorly). Then I worked for my church for a while, and they were mostly just pleased that I showed up at all. I mean, I basically created that job and asked if they wouldn't mind paying me gas money to do it, prettyprettyplease, so it's not like they really had performance metrics built in.
So I go into our newly-tiny meeting room (we recently put up a wall down the center of our conference room to make more offices and now we have a sad folding table and these four giant Executive Conference Left-Over Power Chairs that barely fit in the room) and my boss is late and I'm just fretting away. She comes in, hands me a copy of my self-evaluation and a copy of her edits to the same document. And then she tells me I have one of the highest scores she's ever given a new employee.
No, this is the part where you air all the grievances you've been storing up for the last five months. All the things you SHOULD have talked to me about, but didn't have the guts or the interest, so you just let it fester. This is when you really get to pull that bait-and-switch maneuver my other bosses were so fond of. This is where you yell and I cry and you pat yourself on the back for being a excellent molder the young minds of the future of tomorrow.
Instead, you say that you LIKE me? That you're very glad you hired me? That you're impressed by my abilities and you value my constructive DISAGREEMENT because it makes you better at YOUR job?
This must be black magic.
Seriously, guys. I have no idea. I went in with dread in the pit of my stomach. I expected some dark secret festering rage to smack me in the face. I had NO REASON to expect this (in fact, when she had announced that reviews were coming, I did a nervous chuckle and not-actually-jokingly asked, "Do I have anything to worry about?" and her answer was "No." But that's part of the tradecraft). Everything has been going relatively swimmingly, so I shouldn't expect the worst. But expect it, I did. I guess some of the old wounds still haven't healed, although I think this meeting went a long way to helping them.
She showed me places where I can improve and they were all things I agreed with--even though I totally had to bite my tongue to keep from getting defensive about them because that's ALSO what I'm used to in meetings like this. She showed me places where she was more confident in my abilities than I had been on my review. The overall score she gave me was higher than the score I gave myself. This is partly due to it being on a scale of 0-4 and I didn't know we were ALLOWED to use FRACTIONS, but I still would have probably given myself the same score because SCREW FRACTIONS.
Also, if you gave yourself a 1 or a 4, you were supposed to provide documentation to support it and the only thing I gave myself a 4 on was a statement that said something to the effect of "Is nice to others" and I AM nice to others. Really REALLY nice (at least out loud) and I go out of my way to BE nice, but how exactly do you document that? Anyway, she only gave me a 3 on that because while I AM nice to others and probably even nicer than many on staff, all of the ways I am nice are basically expected of all staff members and a 4 is designated "EXCEEDS expectations" and since we're all Christians and are EXPECTED to be like JESUS, ain't none of us getting fours on that one. Apparently.
Anyway, this is all to say that yesterday was a good day for me. I got an apartment and not only did my boss NOT yell at me (the opposite being a pretty standard Monday in my experience), but she said some very NICE and CONSTRUCTIVE and UPLIFTING things to me. So Monday totally kicked Friday's butt. And by kicked its butt, I mean Monday made a shank out of all the happy things that happened that day and STABBED Friday in its black little heart until it DIED. Wow, that, uh, got a little dark. Sorry. In my defense, Friday was a really awful day.
So I am going to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing* and leave the title as it is, even though the last time I used that phrase, I had an interview get cancelled and when we finally rescheduled it, I was LATE to it and did not get the job and also other bad things happened. And even though leaving the title as is kind of giving me the heebie-jeebies (which I want noted for the record, which can be used as a mitigating factor in case of an appearance said wrath of the whatever).