My new boss must be coming up on his 5 year anniversary. I got an email inviting me to:

“Make this milestone memorable – and contribute today!”

By contribute, I’m encouraged to click a link that takes me to a website (authenticated: I’m greeted by name) where I can do …  performative things.

“Don’t know what to write? Share a photo, a quick story or favorite memory about [manager]. Or just write a few words that best describe them. It doesn’t have to be long—thoughtfulness is what counts.”

Thank goodness length isn’t required but how thoughtful I am is.

My new boss came into being for me about 14 days ago. While we traveled in some of the same work circles we did not meet until recently – when he became my boss. Thus I have zero to submit to his anniversary fete. He seems like a good guy, but seems is the operative word. I don’t know, and he was told I might not be working for him very long.

Interesting that this is the first time in over 6 years with this employer that I’ve been asked to provide glowing words for the person in whose hands my future with the company resides. Apparently, I should not worry about it:

Your colleague’s network (manager, peers and direct
reports) have already been invited to contribute. But you can invite
other [employees] who are close to the honoree and non-[employees] (clients,
former colleagues, family and friends) to contribute—the more the
merrier! Just send them an invite from the contribution page. (Please do
not forward this personalized e-mail to them because it is linked to
your contribution.)

Wait … what?!?!?! If I understand this dynamic properly, I can:

  1. Submit something nice so my manager sees I submitted something nice; or
  2. Submit something not nice so my manager sees I submitted something not nice; or
  3. I don’t submit anything and my manager gets to deduce that I submitted nothing.

HR can’t be this …  stupid (I don’t know how else to describe it), can they?

p.s. – I will not submit anything.

p.p.s. – I have a whole rant about corporate anniversary celebrations like this one. Tl;dr: I’m not a fan.

p.p.p.s. – I tried to raise this with corporate HR and their internal website is down. Coincidence? Ehh, probably totally unrelated.

p.p.p.p.s. – This stuff is managed by an outside firm. It’s been outsourced. Got a problem with it? Go talk with the outsourcer.

Be nice with what you write.