The Back-Handed Compliments of an Annual Review

Among the infinite inanities of cube life, perhaps the greatest is that thing they call the annual review. It is the time, so they say, when your progress is meant to be highlighted and your future at the company discussed in a way that makes you actually believe you’ve got a shot at climbing the corporate ladder when really, you’re going to be nothing more than a stagnant desk sitter if you don’t get out.

In truth, of course, it’s for the employer’s benefit, who secretly gets off on belittling their slave in the most undercutting ways they can. And what better way to provide encouragement than complimenting the subject of its receipt with an ever so slightly underhanded dig. It is done in just such a manner as to make the employee not quite sure what exactly happened, while still highly aware that she was being ultimately condemned for being too “abstract” in her talents.