Job Descriptions, Evaluation Criteria, and... God?

I had the misfortune, while working at the Chicago Public Library Bibliographic & Interlibrary Loan Center [CPL BILC], to work there while they changed job descriptions and evaluation criteria such that there was no way to score higher than 'satisfactory' on an evaluation.

Where formerly job descriptions had phrases such as 'process x number of requests per day,' which allowed for being more efficient than the norm, and also reflected that the workload in that department varied from day to day in a manner outside the control of the staff or administration, the new descriptions included phrases such as 'complete all requests within 48 hours of receipt,' which would be fine if the same number of requests were received each day, but was clearly insane when requests received varied between 200 and 400+, gave no allowance for staff shortages due to illness or vacation, and because of changes in processing implemented at the same time made it such that while one person was held accountable for seeing that all requests were completed in 48 hours, 2/3 of the support staff now assigned to handle those requests in an assembly-line manner were supervised by someone else, making them responsible for the results of people over whom they had no authority.

And if they succeeded in making it all work out properly, they would receive a 'satisfactory' evaluation.

Not only did merit-based pay increases become an impossibility, doing what had previously been acknowledged as 'satisfactory' could result in no step-increase in pay at all.

About that time is when I started having IBS, amongst other stress-derived ailments. My friends in after years commented that it distressed them to see me slowly falling apart, edging toward a full breakdown only avoided by transferring to a branch library, literally in the nick of time given the partial collapse I had at the end of a vacation just prior to the offer being made, where the very thought of going back into the hell-hole that department had become was more than I could deal with and I broke down crying. Considering that two years previously my perspective was that I could see myself retiring from that department in 40 years, things had changed drastically.

Any wonder that at that time I commenced one of my several ventures into Christianity, where the idea of a loving, compassionate god who cared about each of us was most welcome? Someone, who knowing it was inevitable that we would fall short of the mark, would forgive us this and hold us close and comfort us?

Hold that thought. Inevitable that we would fall short of the mark?

Um, yes. God's criteria is perfection, you cannot do any better than that, so nothing can offset any areas where it just didn't work out right.

So the best you can ever get from God, in an evaluation, is 'satisfactory' if you actually lived a perfect life according to the rules that He, as Creator of All, established. And anything less that an overall ranking of 'satisfactory' damns one eternally, unless we beg His Mercy for failing to meet his impossible standards.

Well, at least He allows groveling to set aside an 'unsatisfactory' evaluation, more than was possible at CPL.

Remember, God made all the rules. He set it up so no one could ever be under par in any area, and par for the course is the only winning score, anything over par puts you in the sand box or water trap or the trees for all eternity, unless we 'humble' ourselves and cast ourselves on His infinite Mercy. As I don't play golf, my apologies if I've reversed the definitions of 'under' and 'over' par.

Um, so I should be worshiping a tyrant who is even more petty than the ones I dealt with at Chicago Public, who at least had the justification that the standards were being handed down from the State and significant State funding of library operations were on the line? They weren't ultimately responsible for the impossible situation I had been in, the Library Administration that didn't have the guts to try to explain why the criteria was impossible and that better guidelines for evaluation needed to be developed were at fault; when you're a special case you have to document this and argue for dispensations, I'd produced, as a new hire straight out of library school, most of what they needed to make the argument, but the fact that the ILL management tried to stand up for their staff got the department labeled a 'problem' department, and replacement by hatchet-persons was the result. Um, yes, 18 years later I'm still bitter when I think about it.

Anyway, God doesn't work with standards set by someone else, at least according to the Christian Scriptures; He created everything, determined how it would all work, and set the criteria for evaluation, and knew, up front, that everyone would fail.

Yes, I've again departed Christianity, and this time I doubt I'll ever be back.

I'm not shut on religion as a whole, mind, I'm not comfortable with thinking everything in this world is a result of chance, that there is no underlying basis for judging right/wrong, good/evil, but I have a new criteria for anyone I'll be willing to follow.

At some level it has to be possible to get better than 'satisfactory' on your evaluation, anyone who sets it up otherwise isn't worth working for.

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