One Bad Moment Results in 3 Months of Remedial EQ Training 1.5 Years Later
First, let me tell you about the incident in question. I had been at my new job for about 6 months. My colleague went out-of-state unexpectedly, during our department's first ever mock interview event, and I offered to cover for her. She had done all the work, I just needed to greet alumni employers and get them set up in rooms to meet with students.
The morning of the event, I came down with the flu and all but one volunteer disappeared. That one volunteer let me know that although we had signs on the reserved rooms, there was a group of people in one room and the alumni employer and student were outside waiting. Our mock interviews were only 30 minutes long, so every minute lost mattered. She asked if I could help. So, I took the reserved sign off the door and turned it so the folks inside could see it and tapped the glass.
Little did I know the firestorm this would cause. The group was holding a real professional interview. One of the women inside told her supervisor that I had been unprofessional and had given a terrible impression to the potential employee, who did not take the job. Her supervisor told my supervisor, who told me to write a formal apology. Which I did.
I find it curious that no one seemed concerned about the impression on the alumni employer or student who had been kept waiting and it didn't seem to matter that their interview had exceeded its time into another department's event.
Fast forward 1.5 years to my first formal evaluation. I had read an article just that morning about how men were evaluated on their work and women were evaluated on their personality.
For the record, out of 3 goals, I had nearly doubled one goal, over tripled another from 15% to 52%, but fell short on the third goal. In my first year, I only saw 42% of my assigned students, instead of 50% . Although I missed goal by 8%, I was still over 20% higher than the national four-year cumulative average, in my first year, with a caseload 20-40% heavier than the others in my department. In other words, it was a tough goal, I did my best, and I'm not ashamed of my performance.
Despite 2 of the 3 goals being significantly exceeded, they were listed as 'Met' and "Partially Met'. My supervisor stated, "I suppose I should put 'Exceeded,' instead of 'Met' on this one. You did nearly double it." I agreed, but then realized he wasn't actually offering to change it. Wait, and what about the one I over tripled? It wasn't even mentioned.
Then came the assignment of new goals: 3 months of emotional intelligence activities to improve professional relationships with colleagues and employers. (In fact, nearly every goal had relationship building as the rationale.) I specifically asked if this had to do with that ONE incident a year and a half ago? He said, "Yes." He didn't want me to be "defined by it in the future." I asked if he felt I had been defined by it? He repeated that he didn't want me to be. It's a small campus culture.
When I tell others they laugh and tell me this is completely ridiculous. One former director wrote me a letter of recommendation, without me asking, to help with my first EQ goal of gathering feedback. In it she stated, that when inevitable drama happens, I have always been part of the solution. She also offered to recommend me to her current company.
In all previous jobs, I have 'exceeded expectations' overall, earning promotions and a stellar reputation. Honestly, as a former manager and director, if my employee only had one complaint in nearly two years, I would celebrate the accomplishment.
So, was that article right? Was I being judged on my personality, rather than my work, because I'm a woman?
Also, I'm curious. If I had sexually harassed someone, would the punishment be less than window tapping?