So here’s a basic outline of our first day (2 days) getting to/and/around Sri Lanka.
A 14-hour flight from D.C. to Seoul on Korean Air First Class.
A 6-hour layover at the Seoul Airport.
An 8-hour flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Land at 3:15 a.m. and meet our driver, Tillie.
Drive about 3.5 hours in the darkness (and occassional rain) to Dambulla Cave Temples, dodging school children, dogs, tuk tuks, roadside stalls with open fires, etc. all along the way.
Climb 350 very steep, very slippery and uneven stone stairs in oppressive heat and humidity to see said Cave Temples. (no air conditioning, obviously)
Spend $2 to recover in the small but well done (and, more importantly…air conditioned) Cave Temple Museum
Drive 15 minutes or so to Signature Amaya Kandalama and collapse.
Honestly, Signature Amaya Kandalama could have been a roach hotel and I would not have given a flying Fig Newton. I probably still would have declared it the most luxurious and wonderful accommodations ever known to man.
Luckily, it was not a roach hotel. Not at all. It’s pretty upscale for Sri Lanka. It actually reminded me of some of the resorts we’ve stayed at in other tropical locales. In fact, the Sri Lanka National Cricket team was staying there the same time as us (they apparently had a match in Dambulla).
Very good weekend. We were waaaay social. Like we actually talked to other people. And hung out with them! I’m sure they’ll never call us again.
We actually went out Friday night for dinner, Saturday afternoon for drinks and cornhole, and Sunday we went to a vineyard for the afternoon, just the two of us. We also battled squirrels and planted our THIRD tomato plant of the season. At this rate, we’ll have tomatoes by August. And, we now have the trashiest, most metally front yard ever.
It was fine. It actually was very good. Probably my best review to date. So when I type the next sentence, please don’t think I’m all living in the land of bitter grapes over here.
But can we please just talk for a minute about how much I hate reviews and the whole review process?
First off, I am an impossible person to review. I get so, so awkward. I refuse to make eye contact with people I normally feel quite comfortable around. I can feel myself looking down, looking sideways, looking above people’s heads.
Second, if you praise me too much, I get really embarrassed. If you praise me too little, I get huffy. And, generally, I’m completely convinced that there’s no way to encapsulate or adequately award my inherent greatness. It’s really an impossible situation for the person on the other side of the desk, and I admit it. Really, you should just slap me on the shoulder and say, “good job,” and end it there, but that’s not the way a review goes, now is it?
Then there’s the issue of what do I say about the not-so-great comments? Am I supposed to defend myself? Are these defendable traits? Should I promise to change? Or should I just shrug and say, “Yep! That sounds like me alrighty!”
Before my current job, I never really had to deal with a review process. I mostly worked for small companies with incredibly unprofessional environments. Places where everybody was always in each other’s business. Places where people routinely called you on your bullshit to your face–no need to wait for a review process. And any slacking on the job would have been blatantly obvious in a tiny room with no privacy and four other people. I’ve even worked in places where people yelled at you. Sooooo, you kinda knew where you stood without all this talk of achievements and goals. There was no talk about career paths. It was pure survival.
Thank the HR heavens that I only have to go through this once a year. For now, it’s over and I’m safe from embarrassment for another year.
But I’m already working on my review for next year. I thought I would help my bosses out by pointing out all the ways I’m an awesome employee:
1) I’m in a stable relationship so I’m not out on the town every night trying to hook up with the next loser and coming in to work hung over four days a week.
2) I don’t want to get married, so I won’t be wasting any time at work planning my upcoming nuptials, honeymoon, bachelorette party.
3) I’m not having kids, so I will be taking no time away from work for birthing, rearing, pediatrician appointments, etc.
4) I’m not close to my family, so no emergency trips home to help them through whatever familial-type issues that might come up.
5) I don’t have any high-maintenance pets.
That’s all I have so far, but I’ve got another year to think about some more stuff. I’m not sure HR would approve of these non-performance based attributes BUT THEY SHOULD.
Also: it was really awesome that I had this big chunk of black stuff caught on the side of my tooth the whole time I was discussing my review at lunch today with my bosses. Yes, I’m totally professional.