20 July 2009

Job Performance

Most employers have some sort of standard job expectations and an appropriate performance review/management system. For example, I started my current job one year ago next week. I was told upfront that the first few months are a gradual ramping up process—even even though I was familiar with my actual job responsibilities, learning the new company’s preferred methods and standard operating procedures would take some time. After that, there were to be regular performance reviews to assess my ongoing performance. Unless you are hired for a specific task in a specific timeframe (such as consultants, contractors, freelancers, or designated “fixers”) you are given a reasonable amount of time to reach reasonable goals. However, even some of the aforementioned short-term project employees are still monitored throughout the performance. I expect my landscaper to be making sufficient progress on our new patio within the reasonable time he has estimated. If not, I’m allowed to consult with him to figure out what’s wrong and how we’re going to address it—and only if it’s not addressed appropriately (per our contract) can I start thinking about monetary repercussions or firing him if the work isn’t satisfactory.

Where am I going with this? The White House, that’s where. Seven months in and I’ve already heard several people exclaim about Obama being the “worst president this nation has ever had.” One person, who I thought was actually a bit more moderate, even said about Obama, “I used to say this country wouldn't see a Prez worse than Clinton - wish I'd been right….” Now I get that opinions are going to be skewed by core beliefs, but if your boss came to you after only seven months on the job and told you that you were the worst person he’s ever seen doing your job ever? Especially if it’s a job you’ve never held before? Don’t you think you’d want a chance to say, “Hey, boss, I’m new at this, let’s talk about it and maybe give me some more time to figure it out?”

All that aside, wouldn’t you also want your performance to be based on what you were actually hired for? Whether or not you agree with the policies, Obama was elected to do a specific job based on his campaign. Based on actual job performance standards on accomplishing the task he was elected to do, he’s still above 50% in overall approval rating (and according to Dick Cheney in 2004, anything over 51% is a "mandate"). I absolutely loathe George W. Bush, but looking at his first 6 months in his first term, he did exactly what he was elected to do, I will never argue that. Do I hate that he was elected by people with diametrically opposite opinions and values than me, of course. But he at least followed through with his goals. Unlike, say, Arlen Specter.

So, ask yourselves, oh people pissed off at Obama… would you be happier if Obama turns out to lie to more than half the nation and begins acting on a more conservative agenda? Because when Clinton lied about the Lewinsky issue (an issue that had absolutely nothing to do with his responsibilities as president), conservatives felt that was an impeachable offense. After all, if he lied about this, what was to stop him from lying about important matters concerning The Country?!?! But, well, now, when liberals complained about how the Bush administration lied to the country about reasons for going to war—a matter actually affecting the entire country—the the conservatives figured that was OK because Saddam was bad anyway, so it didn’t matter that the nation’s leader lied. Maybe lying isn’t really that clear-cut an issue for the conservatives after all?

I wish they would admit it, what really pisses them off is not that Obama is “bad” president it’s that people who believe differently are now getting their way. Clearly they aren’t concerned with his actual performance as commander-in-chief, because 1) he’s doing what he was actually elected to do, and b) because he’s only been in office for seven months, not near long enough to see what his actual presidential legacy will be. He hasn’t even had time lie about anything, for crying out loud!

I remember when people complained about George Bush, they were told “love it or leave it!” Basically, if one couldn’t embrace the policies, then they should pack up and move to another country. My boyfriend responded once that he’d rather have Option C: Work within the system to affect a desired change. Of course, what the liberals didn’t realize back then was that “leave it” could refer to entire states. Though, we all know how that turns out. And because you can’t force anyone to love something, that only leaves my boyfriend’s Option C. How do you think that turned out?


  1. Hiya Peach;

    Since I'm quoted - albeit anonymously - in the atricle, I figured I'd respond.

    First off, I'm sorry if I ever misrepresented myself to you - not my intention at all. The truth is, I'm about as Bible-thumping right wing conservative as they come. (I took one of those Facebook quizzes, and it said I was 'Moderately Conservative'. I was surprised by the 'moderate' part.) I just make a conscious effort to not be as 'in-your-face' about it as some are. When I wasn't a Christian, that kind of confrontational, abrasive approach did more to irritate me than make me consider what they were saying. Now that I'm on the other side of the issue, I try to remember that.

    As for the Health Care debate - I will be the first to admit that some of the people at these town Hall meetings have gone too far. It's one thing to question someone's politics or intentions, it's another thing entirely to be disruptive to the point of almost endangering someone's safety. My problem is this: some of the people on CNN, MSNBC, and even Fox who are critical of these people are the same ones I heard defending Code Pink's 'free speech' when they were disrupting Congressional hearings, blocking the Golden Gate Bridge, trying to smear paint on Condi Rice, etc. To be frank, I think part of some the liberal's problems with this is they're seeing themselves in the mirror and not liking the view.

    As for Obama's job performance - My feelings are he spent several months - and millions of other people's dollars - convincing America, "YES I CAN" do this job. And although seven months may not be long enough to accomplish much, it is enough time to let people see what you HOPE to accomplish. The reason I say he's 'worse than Clinton' is he's spent his entire Presidency thus far showing his desire to have government control as much as possible. On more than one occasion, on more than one issue, I've heard him say something to the effect of, "Only government can solve this problem..." As someone who believes in smaller government, I find that difficult to listen to.

    As for "Would you be happier if Obama turns out to lie to more than half the nation and begins acting on a more conservative agenda?" Actually, no. There'a already enough lying in politics - on both sides of the aisle. I expect Liberals to act like Liberals, Conservatives to act like Conservatives, and Moderates to act whatever way the wind's blowing..... I expect people to act on their core values, and those who disagree to act within the confines of law to oppose them.

    Well, enough for now. My two typing fingers are tired :) I STILL miss you guys. You'll probably never fully appreciate how much I enjoyed your company at the games. You're good people.

  2. Hi Gobel!

    First to clarify, I didn't mean moderate politically or religiously, I just mean judgementally. I mean, you'd have to be moderate when it comes to judging people otherwise you'd never stay that friendly with us! :)

    Also, this post was up way before the current town hall/healthcare issues... because, shew, what a mess.

    Maybe you listen to Obama differently than I do, but in these first seven months (now eight) I have heard the same message from his campaign, that there is a huge problem in government and that only government can fix themselves. I, too, would prefer a smaller government than we have, but the fixes Obama is proposing are for huge problems that I think big governments in the past have actually created. In every speech I've seen of him directly (not the talking heads from either side) he seems very aware of being budget-minded and has admitted, as with the economic stimulus package, that it was a specific case that unfortunately was a spend bill rather than a save bill, but even then, it was done with multplie years forcasting to still alleviate some of the cost whenever possible.

    We didn't get to where we are in seven months, and I don't think Obama has done anything in these seven months even if you don't agree has made it any better (which I think it has) hasn't made it any worse.

    Bush Legacy: War in Iraq; War in Afganistan; Possible wars in Iran and Pakistan; Huge financial/economic meltdown. If any thing, at least Obama hasn't made any of those situations worse... yet.