Appraisal- #Flash #Fiction

Hiten knew he was setting himself up for a bad day, but he steeled his mind and set about it. He summoned all his employees into the conference room, took a deep breath and said, ‘This quarter,the Appraisal will be a bit different. I want each of you to write an honest and open assessment of my flaws.’

The crowd exchanged skeptical glances. There’s more, continued Hiten, in a forced voice. I want the reviews to be anonymous. You can leave them on my desk by the end of the day. This time, the faces lit up with wicked glee. Hiten had never seen the conference room empty faster than it did that afternoon. Sighing, he went about the day, stocking himself up on coffee and fortifying his senses for the dreaded evening ahead.

This could not end well. I mean, asking employees to tell their boss what they really thought of him. That was corporate suicide! After his evening cuppa, he came to his desk and saw the looming pile of reviews on the table. With a resolute shake, he sat down and reached for the first one.

“…too particular about punctuality. Should understand that we battle traffic and don’t drive a flashy car like you…”

“… giving orders is easy. Try taking them for a change to see how it feels, ” said another one.

“… need to give us more time off to relax. Work won’t help us when we are ill and dyin’, ” reproached a third. There’s a ‘g’ missing, noted Hiten almost mechanically.

It got worse with each one. Some of them were downright rude in their assessment. ‘Dictator, taskmaster, overbearing buffoon, hapless clown’ were just some of the epithets which flung themselves at him from the typewritten sheets. Gosh, people could be really mean when they had the cloak of anonymity to protect them, huh? This was a wasted exercise, he muttered under his breath, almost ripping one of the papers to shreds. His therapist had recommended it. People will surprise you, he’d said, if only you’d let them. Time to look for a new one, mused Hiten ruefully.

Then, he saw it.

One sheet lay folded over at the bottom of the tray. It had these words scrawled on the top: Read me Last.

Curious and pretty confident that his self-esteem couldn’t sink any lower, he uncreased the sheet and settled to read it.

Dear Hiten, it began. At least they were kind enough to soften the blow with the ‘Dear’, he thought wryly.

Dear Hiten,

Today, you will read a lot of letters. Most of them will tell you how terrible you are or how you can do a better job as a boss. But, know this:

If you are hard on us, it is only because you want the best from us.

If you are firm on punctuality, it is because you expect discipline in the workplace.

If you give us orders, it is because you have earned the right to do so and not because you walked into the position.

If you stress on deadlines, it is because you value integrity and commitment above personal comfort.

If you get 54 negative reviews, don’t let them determine how good a person you can be. Just one kind word can go a long way in reaffirming faith in yourself and your abilities.

Asking people to list your flaws takes far more courage than it takes the rest of us to pen them down and leave them here for you to read.

In my book, you’re a good egg.

Signed,

An Employee.

Hiten felt a tear inch its way to the edge of his eyelid as he sent up a silent prayer of gratitude to his therapist.

Photo courtesy: Photo Bucket

I am a Write Tribe Pro Blogger– Trying to blog everyday for a year.

Today is Day 44

Also linking this to Day 15 of the Ultra Blog Challenge

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25 thoughts on “Appraisal- #Flash #Fiction

  1. Hi ,
    I have been reading your blog for quite some time and I think you are immensely talented. I love the way you write fiction and poetry. I wish one day I would be able to write as well as you do.

    All positives only 😉
    ~ Uma

  2. Wow, this was something different and interesting. Loved the post and the message it sent across to the readers.

    Came to your blog through Uma’s and have been hooked on it for a while. You have built something awesome here.

  3. Here’s my appraisal for you……………………………………

    This is wonderful, kept my interest all the way. A great read 🙂

    Ally

    How does the pro blogger thing work? Do you get a theme or a prompt every day?

    1. Hey Ally. Thank you for the warm praise 🙂

      The Pro Blogger thing is for the whole year. We don’t get daily prompts. We are free to write on any topic that catches our fancy. I typically rotate my posts around the weekly prompts that I write for on a regular basis.

  4. How difficult it is to look beyond all the negatives for that one positive ray. And often we need to summon it from within ourselves – that faith in ourselves, that we’re on the right path – that’s what takes us forward. Wonderfully written Shailaja.

  5. oh, how I loved that appraisal. It holds so true for each of us who look for outward approval and sink in lower self-esteem only because we only looked at the 54 negative ones. We need to look for that positive outlook; from within.

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