Round Two: Your Definition and My Definition Differ Greatly

Yesterday, early in the morning, I had my weekly one on one with the boss.

He’s in the US this week, so it was nice to have a face to face meeting. I have such respect and yes, I’ll say it, affection for my boss. He’s amazing.

I had a long list of items to discuss, and we jumped right into the fray.

It was a good meeting, much cussed, much discussed. Decisions made. Strategy set.

When I’d exhausted my list of items, I said to Boss Man, “so, do you have anything for me?”

He said he did. There were a couple small items. “No problem, boss, I’m on it.”

He continued,”Also, I wanted to let you know that I’m going to put you on a development plan.”

Then the world went molasses on me.

Oooooh. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

My hearing slowed down. My head swam.

I’ve been a manager for a long time. Development plan is a cute little Human Resources euphemism for “You suck, we’re trying to fire you, but we have to do a ‘development plan’ first to document what a toad you are.”

What had I done? In four months I already blew this gig?

Sure, I was a little blunt with that supplier, but damn, they suck at invoicing! And ok, I might have made a joke in a serious meeting, but that’s just my way. Everyone seemed to appreciate the moment of levity! And fine, I might have been late to work a few times this week, but that’s mainly because I was on seven in the morning calls with India, and I took them from home.

I’m not a perfect employee! But damnit! I work hard and my intentions are right!

While the edges of my eyes went wavy, and I tried to figure out where exactly I’d screwed the pooch, I noticed my boss was still talking.

“And so we’ll be working on this over the next month. Being new, you may not know that development plans are only offered to our top performers, so be aware that not all of your coworkers will be doing this same activity.”

Wait. What?

Oh. I see. “Development plan” as used at *this* company is a good thing.


My heart can now regain regular rhythmic activities.

(And then I almost cried….but I held it in. A girl crying at work is sooooo uncool.)

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  • Anonymous


    There's an old movie called Cry For Happy.

    I'm crying for happy for you now.


  • Karen Fayeth

    Thanks Ephraim!!

    As a long time reader of my blog, you know it's been miles on a long rough road to get here!

    A cry for happy is a nice thing!

  • Hazwani

    I found your blog on I think your writing style is really nice. Simple and cute. :)

    Anyway, congrats on that "development plan" :)

  • Natalie

    Oh, man-o-man, do I know how you feel. I'm not sure I could control that tearing up thing, though, and I hate when I cry at work.
    I've taken on a huge problem in Santa Fe and have been trying to fix all the crap that happened before I got there. It's messy and, while I'm not blaming and just trying to set things right, it's only going to get worse before it gets better. It doesn't always *look* good and I keep having to explain my actions.
    Not a good feeling.
    However, it's a path to good things and a *development plan* is exactly what I've set for myself.
    I wish MY boss was engaging as yours.
    Congrats on your *development plan* and I hope it leads to bigger and better things for you.
    Something else to be grateful for, eh?
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Hazwani – Thanks! Glad you stopped by!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Natalie – If you can build a reputation for taking on and fixing icky long time issues, they will love you forever. Proud of you!

  • Anji


  • Karen Fayeth

    Anji – Thanks!!

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