Oh yes, Harm, just one more thing… don’t you agree that Jeroen deserves an excellent evaluation? There was clearly a cue hidden in this question from my manager.
Jeroen, my single greatest challenge as a manager up to that point. Even if I asked him ‘pretty please’ to do something, he genuinely produced nothing. And the worst thing was… he wasn’t bothered in the slightest. This is because Jeroen walked laps of the golf course with my manager. Jeroen was ‘untouchable’.
The day before the evaluation, I shared my professional woes with my partner. Her advice was crystal clear: ”Harm, you know what to do.”
“Right!” I shouted confidently, banging two balled fists on the kitchen table. The plates clanged and clinked.
The following day, looking at Jeroen’s work-shy eyes and scornful smile, I obediently ticked the ‘excellent’ box.
Because, well, we have a mortgage too. Besides, I couldn’t disappoint my boss, right?
However, this incident began to gnaw at me. My conscience made me realise that a life as a puppet offers little meaning. Eventually, I sought greener pastures elsewhere.