It’s appraisal time now for people at many companies, so it’s also better to be nice rather than naughty. Don’t get your hands caught in the cookie jar, especially now!

However, sometimes the appraisal process may be given too much credit than its worth (hmm… sounds like subprime borrowers…) From many anecdotes that I have heard, the appraisal process is just a paper-play process to appease HR that a proper appraisal is being done. Too many people have complained that appraisals were conducted AFTER the employee ranking exercise was already done. This greatly devalues the appraisal and increases distrust in management.

Appraisal is not a one-time event but it should be a continuous process. Managers should not wait for a certain date on the calendar to give feedback and inform their subordinates that they are not satisfied with their work and progress. Problems should be arrested as early as possible to benefit all parties: the company, the manager and the subordinate. The appraisee should not be caught by surprise and thinking “WTF?” during the appraisal exercise. Ideally, it should instead be a review of the comments and feedback that were exchanged between appraisals. I’m sure the ideal cannot always be achieved, but it should be something that we all strive for.

Know your red light

One of the skills that we need to learn is “when NOT to take action.” In present times when almost everything is driven by benchmarks and deadlines, sometimes it may be prudent to take a broad overview of the various factors involved in a project and know when you should stop doing some things instead of forging ahead and finding yourself stuck between a rock and the very hard place.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best way to move forward is to either standstill or take a step back.

The BBQ Party@Josh’s

There was once when there was a class party held at Josh’s home. Think the parents probably made a big mistake because they probably didn’t expect how we would behave.

It was a BBQ at the balcony, and we all really enjoyed ourselves. So far in my life, I think that was probably one of the most fun BBQs I’ve had. I can still remember how yummy the beef strips were. It was probably the first time that I had moderately rare beef, but the seasoning was excellent!

We never ever got a party at Josh’s place again. Probably because we created a super big mess in the hall when we left footprints all over the place whenever we walked from the balcony to the kitchen or the toilet…

Haven’t been to Raffles City for a long time

Found that the place has changed quite a lot. The iconic fountains in front of the bubble lifts are gone, and the place seems to have restructured somewhat. The Topshop/Topman was quite noticeable as it was at a prime location.

It was a good day. Esh found a dress that she could wear for her sister’s wedding dinner and we also finally got to try out the Japanese “Marche style” food court at the basement that we had been hearing about.

Bugis Bugis

Been a really long time since we last went to Bugis. Came here this time because Esh was looking for a dress to wear for her sister’s wedding. As we came straight from work, we didn’t have L-A with us. Kinda miss her… 🙂

We tried a few clothes shops but Esh couldn’t find anything suitable. In the end, she didn’t get anything and we settled for a hotpot dinner at Parklane (recommended by SIL). The prawns were outstandingly fresh!

Replying Quickly

As professionals, we should not need to remind our colleagues to follow-up on requests that we have sent to them either via email or otherwise. As much as possible, we should reply to emails as soon as possible and if a quick reply is not possible, then the least we can do is to send an email reply stating that it may take a while to fulfil the request.

I heard of a really sad anecdote from a friend: there was this Government/Temasek-Linked Company (which will remain unnamed) where Person A actually sent an email praising Person B for constantly harassing Person A’s team members to get things done. What takes the cake is that this email was actually copied to everyone involved in the project (total of about 20-30 people)! I think that was a seriously disturbing case of organisational dysfunction and nothing to be proud about. My personal opinion is that Person A requires self-reflection…

In short, the Bible puts it succintly: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.