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HONORING MY MOTHER | The Thing With Assessments

Many a time in the past, I have been privy to informal table discussions with former office friends over buckets of brew, mostly about some of projects they’ve just undergone. And surprisingly, in most of these powwows, what ends up being done, aside from a few token pleasantries of course and a few buffooneries, is the natural gravitation towards who’s presently blown it big time in the work space. In a sense, what transpires next technically ends in gossip and blaming.

Being no stranger to small talk like this after having worked in a couple of companies and some non-governmental organizations, I like to believe that not much has changed since the 24 years I was last employed. After all, office dynamics and “tsismis” (gossip), especially here, are as common as the colds. Still, once in a while, as I get lost in the latest jargon and their discussed topics, I simply listen amused because it’s really no use asking to be filled in, as you’re just an outsider allowed on for the ride.

However, with the night bearing on, there surely comes a time when my stalled ignorance eventually becomes on even par with their slurred thinking and as they say, when the brew gets in the way, the playing field is level at last. So, not content anymore with innocent (or dumb) remarks such as “really?” and “oh my”, I become, more often than not, emboldened enough to stir up the conversation, as one would stir a hornet’s nest.

Besides, playing the role of killjoy and taking the fun out of engaging in stress-relieving put-downs of others in favor of chest beating is really a fine art in itself. Someone had said, playing the devil doesn’t make you the devil because the operative word there is “playing” and that’s that. The results of this however, can be sobering, to say the least.

A late friend of mine from long ago always got us laughing when he would casually go in the middle of noisy party people and suddenly yell to the top of his voice, “STOP!”. When the shocked crowd looks in his direction, he would merely shift his stance and meekly follow it up with, “ok, proceed.”

In my case, during one time, I simply inquired in the midst of all the tsismis going on, ”with all the talk about continued failures and the usual whodunit, do they have in place, a built-in post-evaluation activity of all projects, where all steps and accountabilities could be assessed and checked?

Check, the shocked response is there alright. Check, that was the last time I heard from these guys.




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