Employee name: Madeline
Job title: Toddler
Department: Homeland destruction
Period of evaluation: 24 months
Thank you for coming to this meeting, Madeline. I must admit, I'm a little surprised to see you here after I found your copy of the memo in the recycling bin, covered with Hello Kitty stickers.
We'll get to that later, though. So, according to my records, you've been with the Hollow Tree Ventures establishment for slightly over two years now. I apologise for being a bit late with your two-year annual evaluation, but as you know I've been pretty busy typing memos and preparing food which you subsequently refuse to eat.
Hmm, never mind that - I see you're trying to take off your nappy and run around naked already, so let's go ahead and get started with your review, shall we?
PART 1: PERFORMANCE
Knowledge, skills and abilities: You're coming along nicely - you can feed yourself, you put on your own shoes, and you redo everything right after I've already done it, which is suuuuper helpful. However, there's always room for improvement. For example, you still just stare at me blankly when I ask you to bring me a beer. As I'm sure I don't need to remind you, upper management finds this unacceptable.
Quality of work: Be honest, you're not even really trying to learn how to use the potty, am I right? And while the quantity of your Crayola masterpieces is impressive, I'd really prefer it if your portraits of me didn't consist of huge, vigorously drawn circles followed by a declaration of, "BIIIIIIGGGG Mummy!"
Work habits: I'll consider this a win if you ever let me rinse the "no tears" shampoo out of your hair without having a screaming hissy fit.
Communication: I'm impressed with your increased use of multi-syllable words, and it was a nice touch last week when you said "Yuv you, Mummy" for the first time – that really brightened an otherwise ordinary Wednesday.
But please, I'd like you to consider how much more effective our communication could be if you didn't start 95 per cent of your sentences with "No." Also, I think we can agree that when I ask if your tummy is full, throwing pizza at my face probably isn't the most professional response.
PART 2: BEHAVIOUR
Dependability: Well, I can depend on you to kick me in the spleen just as I fall asleep, and you consistently refuse to eat any food that isn't triangular. That's a start.
Initiative: I'm going to rate you as ‘Excellent’ here. If I so much as think the word o-u-t-s-i-d-e, you're already crying because it's taking me too long to open the door. You also frequently climb halfway up the stairs without having any reason to go up there, and you bring me pieces of dry food from the cat's dish when I hadn't even asked you to. Well done.
Cooperation/Adaptability: No. I'm sorry, just ... no.
Punctuality/Attendance: This is one area in which you perform a little too well. You're always here at the office, even when I want to take a day off, and although you were born with the ability to recognise me by scent alone, you still haven't learned enough about me to know that I hate starting the work day before 7am. Dial it down a little.
PART 3: REVIEW OF GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Well, Maddie, we've come a long way in these past two years together. It's true, you rarely sit still or follow instructions, and you do really push the limits of the dress code (note: underwear over your nappy is not the same thing as pants). Still, I'd like to keep you on with us in a permanent position. If you decide to stick around, you'll soon be promoted to Big Kid, then Schoolager, then demoted to Teenager, and before you know it you'll be ready to move on and maybe even start your own franchise!
I think you have a lot of potential and I have to say, screaming hissy fits aside, I really enjoy having you around. I hope you feel the same way about me.
What? What's that you say?
Ahh yes. BIIIIIIGGGG Mummy, indeed.
For more of Robyn's writing, check out her blog, Hollow Tree Ventures, where she shares the usually ridiculous, often sarcastic, and occasionally even touching tales of being a parent of five.