Hi all! I recently received a 2nd poor performance review. Our reviews are given annually. I work in higher education in a very hierarchical structure where I am more at the bottom of the rung as a health educator for a large university in my county.
I went through a separation and divorce (which included moving house twice and dealing with a lot of upheaval including betrayal). This did affect my work performance. I let my immediate supervisor know what was happening at that time and that I would be at work and doing my best but may be down and or have been crying at times. She seemed supportive and I continued on with my work as best as I could. I also let my higher up director (who supervises a large area of in the state) and her assistant know via email (professionally written and to the point) that I was experiencing divorce and that it had/has been hard and I wanted them to know that so if my work seemed less than they would hopefully show some understanding. I never received any reply to this email and during that years evaluation I added a note in our online system about it as well and then spoke about it briefly during the evaluation and my supervisor was surprised and said she never got the email. I don't know if she really didn't or if she was not being honest about it because the email never bounced back-its certainly possible she overlooked it but her assistant received it as well. On a personal note during this time I had to take on a second job (with approval from my primary job) in order to make ends meet as my income had been reduced by half. I also immediately started once a week counseling sessions during my lunch hour. I felt this was unfair to not take into consideration especially while being evaluated. I did not miss work at all during this time period of the separation and divorce save for maybe 2 days.
Fast forward to this past review for the time period ending in May of 2020. And I get another negative review for not having done enough educational programs during the year in review. I also got in some hot water for having emailed the Dean of our College shortly after the pandemic began (actually responding to an update she had sent our widely and said if we had questions or concerns to contact her). I did so via email and inquired about the multiple avenues we were having to report our data (from our programs/who we served/when/what program/etc). and how it seemed inefficient and was confusing.
The Dean was quite nice about it and said she didn't know and she copied the Assistant Dean and other upper level management who were roundly very dissatisfied that I'd taken that measure. This incident showed up in my evaluation and had language along the lines of "you will not question our directives, you are not to email the Dean". This was the work culture part of the evaluation.
There is quite a bit more in terms of one supervisor in particular, at the level above my supervisor. She does not provide feedback save for the yearly evaluation. I have rarely received positive feedback from her and some of the items she listed in my evaluation (such as reports not being in on time) when in fact they were, I'd just put 3 of the 12 monthly reports in the wrong folder in Basecamp, another new platform we began using to more virtual work.
I'll try to wrap this up. I realize its very long. After this last evaluation I consulted HR about grieving the evaluation process. I was told that I did have some items to grieve-namely the evaluation process and I could and should write comments or a rebuttal. I did so and ran them by both HR and my direct supervisor who both gave the thumbs up.
I received an additional email from the supervisor who is in charge of my evaluation with a plan of performance which I was aware of but there is some language in that basically states if I don't deliver what she is looking for I risk being terminated.
I have started looking for other jobs as obviously this is not a work culture that is a good fit for me. I also do not want to be terminated and am eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness in May of 2021 so I don't want to leave non-profit until then, not that I couldn't find another non-profit job. I am very worried that I'll be fired during a pandemic and also lose the ability to apply for loan forgiveness on time.
What can I do to appease my director and improve my job performance (which is affected by the pandemic) while I apply for new jobs.
Thanks for reading all of this.