Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Performance reviews


It is time at my library, yet again, for our performance reviews. There is the part of these that are filled out by my manager(s) that are of no great interest to us today, and there is the part that I fill out. As I have begun to let fly on my self-evaluations on these forms, showering myself in love, I have also found them suitable for publication on clerkmanifesto, feeling they may be of interest, and possibly entertaining to, any stray denizen of the Internet who comes here seeking sustenance. 

You may think you are on the Internet, but this is merely the Internet as it once was. You are currently a refugee from the Internet.

I just wanted you to know.

Anyway, there were four questions on my Performance Appraisal that I was instructed to fill out. They are presented as follows:


Reminder: Refer to the County Competency Model for detailed description of values behavior expectations.  



Employee Self Rating  




Extraordinary. This year of library clerking will likely go down in County history as the greatest performance of clerking we’ve ever seen. Feldenstein has been flawless, inspirational, heroic, and utterly dedicated to the County, the library, and to the community of the world itself. On a technical jargon level, Feldenstein also “Consistently Meets Expectations”, but it is so much more than that, much like saying “The Beatles “Consistently Meet Expectations” in creating songs”. 



Employee Comments and Supporting Examples:   



 Here is a random example of the kind of thing Feldenstein does every day: 


Feldenstein is at the front desk of the library with a co-worker. The co-worker, having a hard time, cannot find a missing item for a library patron. The co-worker is getting curt with the patron, and the library patron is getting frustrated. Feldenstein, using years of knowledge, experience, and deductive reasoning swiftly tracks down the lost item in an unusual spot, all while also engagingly helping another library patron. He graciously hands the item to the unhappy patron, makes a charming joke to defuse the situation, forms a friendly bond with this once disgruntled library patron, deftly justifies and excuses his co-worker, redirects the library patron’s newly found wild enthusiasm to the virtues of the library and to the county itself, all while also weaving the patron he was originally helping into a sense of joyous library community. 


It is this kind of activity that perfectly exemplifies what an amazing asset Feldenstein is to every aspect of our organization and suggests that he should probably be vigorously promoted, paid far more than he is, and given major commendations and professional recognition, even if he is likely to be too humble to accept these well-deserved and, frankly, long overdue, accolades. 



Reminder: Refer to the County Competency Model for detailed description of competency behavior expectations.  



Results Achievement: Employee Self Rating  



Rating Feldenstein, as we have seen in the “Self Rating section, is difficult to do because Feldenstein sets such a high standard that he flies off of any chart and exceeds even the most exalted tribute. Whether we measure the results he achieved on a curve compared to others, or as an evaluation of what we might imagine as possible, Feldenstein is unquantifiable in the extraordinary contribution he makes to the library, the county, and the community. 



How would we rate this employee's Results Achievement? 


Probably the greatest ever seen on any evaluation form ever. Frankly miraculous.  


Also “Consistently Meets Expectations” in the same context of, for instance, “Shakespeare ‘Consistently Meets Expectations’ in playwriting”. 




Employee Comments and Supporting Examples:   









 It’s not just the nearly uncountable number of people Feldenstein has helped in this past year, whose days he brightened, and whose library experience he enriched. It’s not merely the sheer numbers of books shelved or processed, the problems solved, the co-workers supported, or the behind-the-scenes repairs of every kind, physical, spiritual, and analytical, that Feldenstein does every day. But it’s also the under the radar light of humanity Feldenstein brings to what is surely the most beloved library in the State. It is his tireless artistic and programming contributions to the library, his process insights to make things work better, and his ability to rise above any structural failings in the institution to relentlessly elevate the library experience for every single user every single day. Feldenstein’s humility, humor, knowledge, commitment, and competence, cannot be recognized enough, and I am thrilled to finally see even a tiny piece of it acknowledged and addressed in this document. 


Does this extraordinary library clerk have any shortcomings? 


In a word: No. 


Does this miraculous county employee have any room for improvement? 


In a word again: No.  


And yet, each year, like the very finest of vintages of wine, against the realm of what seems to be possible, he does continue to improve. 







Overall Employee Comments:   

Please provide a summary of your work during the stated review period. This can include your contributions, successes, areas where you learned through mistakes, etc. It should also include 1 – 3 values and/or competencies you would like to focus on for development in the coming year.   



This year has been yet another extraordinary achievement for Feldenstein, and he is an inspiration for everyone who meets or works with him whether they know it or not. Summarizing his work in this past year is difficult because his achievements are so sprawling and glorious. Let’s just say that he made one of the best libraries in the entire country better. His playful artwork peppering the building, his laser-like proficiency at getting the work of the library done, his personal charm and self-sacrifice, and his tireless efforts that vastly exceed any remuneration he could ever receive, are the guiding North Star of everything Ramsey County and its libraries could ever dream of being. 


In the year to come, Feldenstein hopes to find new ways to bring magic, wonder, and success to the library and to inspire others to strive for his level of wisdom, humility, humor, egalitarianism, justice, equity, and heart to create an even better working county community. 





  1. I'll bet that AI could have some fun with performance evaluations.

    1. OMG, you're right! I should have just had an AI write my performance review!!!!! Ah well, next year then.


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