Top 10 Comments Made in Federal Employee Performance Reviews

(humor courtesy of the Kansas Kit Kar Klub newsletter)

Have you ever seen (or wanted to write) one of these Top 10 comments in a performance review?

#10. “I would not permit this employee to breed.”

# 9. “Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.”

# 8. “When she opens her mouth, it’s only to swap whichever foot was previously inserted.”

# 7. “His men would follow him anywhere… but only out of morbid curiosity.”

# 6. “A gross ignoramus… 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.”

# 5. “She sets low personal standards, then consistently fails to achieve them.”

# 4. “If brains were taxed, he’d get a rebate.”

# 3. “This young lady has delusions of adequacy.”

# 2. “He’s so dense, light bends around him.”

And the #1 QUOTE from an employee performance evaluation:

# 1. “This employee is depriving a village somewhere of its idiot.”

Believable? What do you think?

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Of course, I laughed when I read some of these!! But, I am NOT too sure how I would feel if one of the above was made in reference to myself? Hmmm….

Deb Green

hahaha…. I saw this list as the “worst lines from officer performance reports.”

My favorite is #5 – sets low standards and consistently fails to achieve them.

Alan L. Greenberg

I was once asked why I rated an employee a “one” (out of ten). My answer was that I was not permitted to rate him zero.

Scott Span

Believable, most certainly yes…true…not so sure. In working with clients on retention and engagement issues and 360’s and team building, I’ve heard pretty close to some of those comments before, though don’t think anyone ever actually wrote them down. Joking aside, when statements like this do arise, the questions should be asked – what do you as an organization/agency (leadership and employee) intend to do about it? If the answer is nothing, or a shrug, that speaks volumes to the culture.

Michael Gale

This are hilarious. I hope they’re not real though because they’re really constructive. We also need to figure out a way to fire these people if they really are that awful.

Henry Brown

been years now but got an evaluation that said “He doesn’t always do things by the accepted way but they always get done

Spanky Frost

They are funny… but I agree with Scott Span… if the employee is that bad, what are you doing about it? What goals and strategies has management placed upon the employee to improve? Just fire them? I don’t think so. There is a thing called USC Title 5 Michael Gale… perhaps you should go read it and LEARN it! Or maybe perhaps this employee is being black balled and the management is worse than the write-up of the employee. With agencies that are built and bred through cronyism, nepotism and favortism… it’s no wonder the public hates us and sees us as a wate to taxpayer funds! Then you have a majority of Americans that see 700 billion wasted on the Pentagon, but it continues without any taxpayer say! And then within that 700 billion you have about 400 billion that is black fund (secret unaccountable to an elite few). Shall I go on?

Spanky Frost

Bottom line… when I hear about how bad an employee is… I’ll guarantee you a majority of the time it isn’t the employee, it is the supervisor and management that don’t know how to manage! A majority is not because poor performance. It is because there is sheer hatred between people! Possibly setting-up this employee to fail whatever they do! Supervisors that don’t know how to provide guidance, training or support. Supervisors that are unwilling to learn how to manage (because they were mommies best, and mommy is Director — this is a cancer in DoD). Or another one that is rife throughout agencies are the employee that are whistleblowers and attempt to expose abuse and corruption…

Douglas D. Smith

These are modestly amusing in conversation but disastrous if actually in writing on a performance evaluation. Let’s assume the manager has made every good faith effort to help the employee improve (not likely if he manager is foolish enough to commit such comments to writing in an appraisal; but let’s pretend for sake of argument), documented said efforts and employees’ continued poor performance. He or she has now blown any opportunity to discipline or fire the non-performing employee. These comments are at least grievable and probably legally actionable. No matter how poor the employee is as a performer, he or she would tie the manager and organization up in grievance procedures or law suits for months if not years. If the employee were still on-site, if you think they were a poor performer before, wait until you put these comments in writing. If the employee were on admin leave during the grievance or law suit, your organization would be saddled with a vacancy they could not fill.

The procedures to document poor performance, efforts to help the employee improve, and take action if that improvement is not forthcoming are onerous, but they are nothing compared to the self-inflicted @#$!-storm a manager would create by committing these or comparable remarks in an appraisal.

Monika Dlugopolski

very timely topic. Differentiating performance and managing and engaging low performers as well as high achievers is critical in the current environment. The following book was very recently recommended to me; although I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I am sharing it with you for your consideration.

Analyzing Performance Problems or ‘You Really Oughta Wanna” by F. Mager & Peter Pipe

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