Just Give 70%

Just Give 70%

I had my 3-month performance review last Friday, and like my usual nerdy schoolgirl self, I was a little nervous. But I came out with flying colors. Hee, hee! Even scored several checkmarks in the “exceeds expectations” column. Ok, so to be honest, I was a bit disappointed there weren’t more ticks in that column, but whatever. Room to grow.

Speaking of which, on my weekly call to the fam, dad was happy to hear the news. But then he gave some weird-ass advice, particularly coming from a gung-ho workaholic himself. He said, “You know, first year, you don’t have to give full force. Because then you start off doing really well and when your performance plateaus, you don’t look as good. So maybe first year just give 70%. Then next year 80%, and increase from there.” Say what? I didn’t want to get into another tiff with Squabble Central, so I just “hmmed” my way through that part of the conversation. But wtf? I was offended. I mean, is he saying that just because this is a government job, and he disrespects government such that they don’t deserve to have hardcore workers? Has he just become jaded about the importance and value of work? I never saw him giving just 70%. I mean, Jesus Christ, that’s a C (if we’re putting it into grades that I understand more intimately). Whatever. I was irritated, because for one, I feel that advice isn’t very supportive of how much I love my job and of how much passion I feel for it. Plus, what’s wrong with giving something your all? I mean, as long as it’s not destroying me and turning me into a horrible person, why not give 100% to something I enjoy. Ugh. Anyway, I was annoyed.

And on that pleasant note, the conversation turned even better. “Oh, I wanted to ask you something…” Uh oh. “Johnny is doing much better now”… blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “Do you think you could spend just a few minutes to talk to him…” Isn’t it enough that I communicated with him during the holidays? At first, it sounded like maybe he was getting back on track, but as our stay progressed, it became extremely apparent to both John and me that in fact, nothing has changed. My family still props him up. The dude misplaced his passport, so who ends up researching how to contact the authorities and how to get it replaced? My mother. Seriously folks. A.B. Duke scholar. Full ride to Duke on merit scholarship. Has his mother researching how to get his passport replaced. Of course he’s to blame. And they are to blame. He’s 33 years old. Grow the fuck up.

Anyway, father asks me, and I respond that I’ll think about it. “You have to think about something that just takes a few minutes to do?” I was pissed. Look, I heard your request, and I’m going to think about it. I should have just said, “If you demand an immediate answer, the answer is no.” Either way, the answer now is no, because this isn’t something that takes just a few minutes. This is a lifetime of pain. This is a lifetime of Little Emperor syndrome, exacerbated by a lifetime of parenting gone wrong. Fuck that. My OCD isn’t so bad that I’d voluntarily subject myself to repeated disappointment. That’s not to say I don’t believe in change. I do, but again, he has no motivation to change when everyone around him feeds him with a silver spoon. And that practice will certainly continue after he moves to Taiwan and is surrounded by my babying family over there. Barren womb forever, I tell you.

One Response »

  1. I’m a little lost. Is johnny your brother or boyfriend. I read your blog for all of 2005 then stopped, this was the first blog entry I read since you return to the U.S. So I was concerned to read you and johnny are having problems, but then I remembered you have a brother.

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