Performance appraisal


Recently the chief recipe tester was required to travel for work. My role for the week was to provide expert, and solo, care for the (at times seemingly innumerable) junior recipe testers. In undertaking one's role I feel it is important to pause from time to time and reflect on one's performance, with the express purpose of evaluating how one might hone one's skills or indeed develop new ones. It seemed to me that the end of this particular week was an opportune time for such reflection and performance appraisal. 

In broadest terms, the candidate completed all duties to a minimum acceptable standard: no one died or was seriously maimed in any way. The recipe testers were notably fed, bathed and appeared comfortable at all times. The one exception to this was a small mental breakdown at the swimming pool. The candidate exhorts that this was due to the commencement of a new swimming class and was therefore out of her control. Given that the situation was handled discretely, with only a few members of the general public being disturbed, the committee is satisfied that the incident requires no further follow up. 

Two concerns are raised for further skill development.

The first centres on health and safety. There was an incident involving a rope and the neck of a junior recipe tester playing in the backyard. Following the incident the candidate was observed to provide appropriate soothing, as well as counselling around the dangers of tug-o-war games and enlisting the help of one's neck to foil the opposition. While the committee is understandably concerned about the safety aspects of the incident, they commend the candidate's administration of turtlenecks for 48 hours so as not to alert health and safety authorities of a potential issue. 

The second relates to organisational skills. The ironing board jammed itself in the upright position in the middle of the kitchen floor, obstinately refusing to be folded down. While the ironing board is innordiately large, the kitchen floor area is not. This situation constituted a significant hazard to traffic flow through the kitchen. The committee notes that not all were impeded. One junior recipe tester was observed to walk directly under the ironing board, oblivious to its existence. The committee recommends the candidate attend an organisational skill refresher. Had the ironing been completed the night before, rather than immediately prior to the requirement of the uniforms, the disruption to the morning routine (and all routines forthwith) may have been avoided. The candidate may further benefit from a course in home maintenance and repairs. A suitable course: "Using paper clips and chewing gum to their full potential" is currently offered by the MacGyver Institute. 

If you have unforeseen skill development courses on your horizon next week and need to free up some time, may I suggest the Dinner on the Table menu.