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My review: I'm great!
Self-evaluations are such an honest and valuable part of annual review season. Not.
February 17, 2005: 2:37 PM EST

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Dear Boss ... it's that time of year again, annual review time.

And as part of that, you asked for my self-evaluation. Well, here it is ...

I'm great. I'm fantastic. I am the be-all end-all of business journalism and newsroom management.

Everything that has gone right this year is due to me. And many bad things would have happened if it weren't for my presence. I am, in short, the ideal employee and the model professional.

As we both know, this review -- as in most annual reviews throughout Corporate America -- helps determine my raise.

It is, in fact, part of an economic contest, not unlike buying a car or haggling over an old desk at a garage sale.

Now in such situations, is it in the salesman's interest to be truthful? You know, admit the car has a knock in the engine or the desk drawers tend to stick in the winter? No, of course not.

So you may think that I, as the salesman of my time and services, may be using this self-evaluation to exaggerate my contributions and glorify my skills.

After all, if I admitted any faults, I'd just be giving you ammunition to deny me as big a raise as I'd like.

On the other hand, loading up my self-evaluation with such over-bearing claims would put you in the position of having to justify any stinky raise you may have been planning to give me.

But I'm too good for that. And you're too good a boss for it. We're above such economic games. We revel in this introspective ritual from the 1970s.

Human resources professionals demand this warm and fuzzy junk, and by golly, we're going to give it to them. So in the spirit of that kind of damn-the-economics-we'll-become-better-people honesty, I'm going to admit my faults ...

I'm too modest.

_________________________________________

Allen Wastler is Managing Editor of CNN/Money and appears on CNN's "In the Money." He can be emailed at Wastlerswanderings@cnn.com.  Top of page

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