Chapter 9: Appraisal

I pride myself on being an understanding wife. On most days, I get along just fine with my husband’s work schedule. But at the end of the day, I’m human and have this desire that that we spend time together as a family which of course is at odds with his work.
This morning was one of those days. My husband had been away for 15 days as is his routine and to make up for it, I had extracted a promise from him to work from home at least once a week, but this promise hadn’t been put into action for a while. “Yesterday I had an unmissable call with my boss’s boss from the client side in Spain, today I have back to back calls which I obviously can’t take from home and tomorrow is the weekly status meeting which I absolutely need to attend”, he explained. “But I’ll be home for lunch.”
Instead of having a discussion to try and make my husband see reason which almost always leads to him emotionally blackmailing me and me abandoning my pursuit , I decided to put him through an exercise that would do the job for me.
I’ve always thought of Self Appraisals to be very honest and introspective. I devised a small questionnaire that he could truthfully answer not to me but to himself. Below are a sample of questions I put forth:
  • How often do you come home early or take the day off, on your own volition, without being told to do so ?
  • On which occasions would you voluntarily ¬†work from home (if you had that option)?
  • Are you of the opinion that you are indispensable at work ? That if you need things to be done right you have to do them yourself ?
  • How often do you think about domestic matters at work vis-√†-vis bringing work related matters home ?
  • When was the last time you spent a weekend/day off without thinking or talking about work ?
  • Have you ever thought “Work can go on without me. Let me take some time off just for myself” ? If yes, how often have you actually taken time off for yourself?
  • In your opinion, do you think you have a healthy work-life balance? List out the things you do that actually make you forget about work and de-stress you. (Besides cricket, TV & gym)
  • Make a honest confession – how many times have you asked yourself and/or your family to adjust for the sake of your work ? Was it worth it?
  • Are you happy with your family life? What changes would you make to it?
  • Have you taken concrete steps to balance your work with your personal life ? Elaborate.
  • What interests do you actively pursue that nourishes body, mind & soul ? (Again, cricket and gym don’t count).
  • Question for all singletons – If you were to make a resume of your life complete with all your interests, likes, dislikes, achievements, goals and attitudes for a potential life partner, do you think you’d make the cut ?
  • Question for all the married ones – Compare yourself now to the person you were when you were on the cusp of marriage. Is there a difference? Have you changed for better or for worse ?
  • Would you consider yourself well accomplished all round and not just in your professional life?
  • Are you happy ?
I haven’t got the answers as yet and I’m not pushing for them. I’d rather that my better half introspect thoroughly in a non judgmental environment. What I ultimately want him to realize is that work is just a part of who we are. It does not define the type of person we are or can be. Like all things in life, work is also transient. And we’re all cogs in the great wheel of Capitalism. At the end of the day, there is nothing more valuable than yourself, your health, your peace of mind and your loved ones. Its a lesson best learnt early and learnt the easy way.

About The Author

Anuradha , a qualified teacher, is presently a full time mother to a rambunctious 3 year old boy. She enjoys reading, crosswords, sudoku and strong filter coffee. She was building a career in Consulting before she answered a greater calling – motherhood.

Here at zorsebolo, she plays the role of Corporate wife who is the Mirror-Mirror on the wall. Having sat on both sides of the corporate fence, she strips the typical high flying corporate job of its glamour and writes an unbiased and brutally honest view of the reality back home.