The only thing better than a free lunch is a free lunch with no strings attached. Unfortunately, this was not one of those lunches. Snickers, Selben, Focus, and HR were re-working the employee grading system as some people had been exploiting the current system. Focus kept track of their progress on a white-board, written in a typical bug bashing fashion complete with colorful diagrams and arrows. While effective, it was terribly boring and took long amounts of time. Munching on their free sub sandwiches, Snickers and Selben appeared content.
After a couple weeks of testing, they seemed to have a functioning system and put it in place. Scorecards seemed to better reflect how the techs and other employees performed on a normal basis.
Selben and Snickers returned to their normal duties, and once again had scorecards themselves. Snickers was one of the first to get his new review with Focus. He returned triumphantly and announced to Selben he was a “9.4 out of 10. I’m the best tech!” They both had a chuckle and Selben continued working with a troublesome user who just couldn’t remember the name of his cat.
“Okay…If you don’t remember your cat, what was your first car?”
“I don’t know!”
“What high school did you graduate from?”
“That doesn’t work. Did you perhaps write Meril High School? Or MHS?”
“I said that doesn’t…Okay. Let’s try this one. What is your eye color?
“Are you coming onto me?!”
Selben sighed and pondered for a moment.
“Can I confirm your employee number #1234?”
“No, my number is #5712.”
“Okay, no problem. Let’s try this again, my apologies.”
The user had given his name, which was the same as a different employee. With the employee number, Selben was able to ask the correct security questions and reset their password. Finished, Selben was about to ask Snickers if he was ready for lunch, when an immediate meeting summons invite with HR and Focus popped up on Selben’s screen.
“Lunch after my review? Burgers?”
“Burgers… The place on 3rd? Mmm…” Snickers leaned back in his chair, drooling, with his eyes glazed over.
Selben headed over to Focus’s office for his own scorecard review. Focus and a member of HR greeted him as he sat down. Focus looked vaguely confused as she handed Selben his scorecard. A 4.3 out of 10?!
“What the %&#?!”
“Language!” Focus and the HR employee both admonished him.
“Sorry. But… huh?”
Focus started digging through some folders while the HR employee just jabbed a finger at the scorecard.
“This is your scorecard. Please sign below to accept your score. Should you have any questions—”
“Something’s not right. Let me see the data.”
HR let out a shocked gasp at the suggestion.
“Absolutely not! That information is confidential.”
“He may have a point, HR. None of his old scorecards were below a 9.8,” Focus said.
“Just sign it for now and later we can—”
“No. I refuse to sign until we look at the data.”
Things were tense the rest of the day. HR had all their feathers ruffled. Apparently, they had created a magical deadline for getting the scorecards all updated and were now overdue, with Selben holding up everything.
The next day, Selben arrived to have a bleary eyed and bedraggled looking Focus hand him his updated scorecard with a 9.8, his normal score.
“There we go!”
“Looks like we’ll need to rebuild the whole project again, I figured out what went wrong.”
After several hours of hassling HR, Focus had finally gotten the data. She stayed up all night and dug through every review. Finding no issues, she ran the report again, but the same 4.3 kept coming up. She ended up waking HR up in the middle of the night to ask how they built the report. Once she learned HR had built the report with employee names rather than employee numbers, she quickly realized what had happened.
Coincidentally, the office also had a janitor named Selben. who always received poor reviews. If anyone had read the reviews, instead of just the averaged score, one particular review of “Selben yelled at me and threatened me with a mop” would have been a bit of a giveaway.
The scorecard report method they had developed gave HR the choice to use employee numbers *or* names. Focus, Selben, and Snickers ended up rebuilding it again requiring the use of employee numbers only.