In my last appraisal my manager said he was concerned about my attitude. I asked if there was a problem with my work. He said no, my performance was uniformly excellent, there was no performance issue. I asked what the issue was if this was the case. He looked uncomfortable and then he said: "I feel you aren't emotionally involved. You don't really care. You aren't a team player."
He's absolutely right.
Work is a transaction: I need money to live, eat, and buy clothes with. I have made a deal with the company. They give me money, and in return I will be at my desk obeying orders to the best of my ability between nine and five on week days. I understand this bargain and I uphold my end of it.
But it puzzles me why I'm not only expected to do my job, but also expected to feel deep emotional involvement. The report's delivered on time, the report's delivered a week late. It's better if it is delivered on time, because people get unreasonably excited about things like that and I hate being bothered with boring disciplinaries and so on, but the reality is I don't give one shit.
To return to my appraisal: we spent the next 20 minutes discussing How He Could Help Me, although personally I think he would have been better off accepting that I do my job and leaving me alone with my bad attitude. It's bad enough having to work every day without people coming around insisting you should enjoy it.
I excuse myself from the meeting and go for a short stroll around the building. On the way back to the room I bump into Jena, who works in the Vague Department.
"My soup looks like man juice," she blares. She is holding out a polystyrene cup. I can't imagine why she thinks I'd be interested in this observation. Sometimes Jena distinctly reminds me of Ralph Wiggum from the Simpsons, if Ralph was 25, female, orange and had a barely-contained 36G chest.
She's still holding out the polystyrene cup. I look into it. It is filled with something that, if I'm honest, does look like semen.
"Yes, it does," I agree.
Jena squints into the cup.
"The guy in the canteen said it was cream of mushroom, but I reckon he just had a couple of wanks and thought he could make a profit on it," she says.