Now that President Carter has decided to evaluate the skills and personal traits of his underlings, government peons are again circulating an old spoof that mocks all personnel evaluation forms.
Samuel S. Streb of the D.C. Department of Human Resources has forwarded copy that made the rounds in his agency. It is headed, "Guide to Employee Performance Appraisal." The ratings are listed under six categories.
Under "Performance Factors," the evaluator chooses among, "Far exceeds job requirements," "Meets job requirements," "Needs some improvement" and "Does not meet minimum requirements."
Under "Quality," the choices are, "Leaps tall buildings with a single bound," "Must take running start to lap over tall building," "Can only leap over tall buildings," "can only leap over a short or medium building with no spires," "Crashes into buildings when attempting to leap over them" and "Cannot recognize buildings at all, much less jump."
The $ timeliness" category offers, "Is faster than a speeding bullet," "Is as fast as a speeding bullet," "Not quite as fast as a speeding bullet," "Would you believe a slow bullet?" and "Wounds self with bullet when attempting to shoot gun."
"Initiative" gets right to the point, with a choice of, "Is stronger than a locomotive," "Is stronger than a bull elephant," "It stronger than a bull," "Shoots the bull" and "Smells like a bull.
The "Adaptability" category gives the evaluator a choice among. "Walks on water consistenly," "Walks on water," Drinks water" and "Passes water in emergencies."
"Communication" may give the best insight of all into the employee's inner qualites. "Talks with God," "Talks with angels," "Talks to himself," Argues with himself" and "Loses those arguments."
The taxpaper is left to wonder how the evaluators would score if there were anybody in the hierarchy qualified to evaluate evaluators.
THESE MODER TIMES
Inasmuch as we have been discussing energy conservation and banking in recent days, you may be interested in a comment from Willard A. DeLano of Fairfax.
Willard says that on many occasions he has gone to his bank and found a long line of cars waiting at its drive-in window although immediate service was available inside.
"The other day," he says, "I observed a commercial vehicle waiting in a long drive-in line. I was in and out of the bank while the commercial vehicle continued to wait its turn."
With labor costs so high and gasoline both scarce and expensive, wouldn't it have made more sense for the people in that line to park their cars and go inside the bank?
It is true that in some locations convenient parking is not available. But many branch banks are in, or adjacent to, suburban shopping centers. They have plenty of free parking nearby.
One woman who called me about this several weeks ago (my notes on her name and comments are missing when I need them, of course) told me of a drive-in bank line in a Prince George's County shopping mall. When she saw the long line, she parked her car a few feet away and went inside the bank, where she found three tellers waiting for business. Outside, she counted 19 vehicles waiting in the line -- all wasting time and gasoline.
Why? It's part of the Schizopheric Seventies Syndrome, I guess. When we're not jogging we live in our automobilies, and when we sit down anywhere except in an automobile we must have a telephone in hand to help us cope with withdrawal symptoms. In advance cases, the patient needs a car and a telephone simultaneously. These are strange and confusing times. NEWS NOTE
District Liners have often asked me why the Washington Gas Light Co. doesn't enclose return envelopes with its bills. The answer, obviously, was that the company didn't choose to. When you're the only gas company in town, you don't have to put issues of this kind to a popular referendum.
Those who think a preaddressed envelope is a great convenience will be happy to know that, starting in 1980, Washington Gas will supply us with return evelopes. Customers will pay their own postage, of course.
No, I don't know what caused the change of heart. It was just one of those weighty policy decisions that managers are paid to make. NO FILL-UPS
Trailways bus driver Bob Beard reports that restrictions on gasoline purchases seem to be infectious. A tavern along Route 40 in New Jersey displays a sign that says, "Beer -- $3 limit."