Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Sunday, March 12, 2023

When You Write Her Up – It Never Stops

Web Headline: His Wife Is A Stay-At-Home Mom, And After He Gave Her A Written Performance Review, She Lost It

When I read this headline, I winced, thinking what might happen if I did the same thing. I wondered what the mourners would say at my subsequent funeral –

Yeh, Don was sure an intelligent man, but that performance appraisal thing, well ….

Now, in the guy’s defense, his complicated, unusually blended family had formed internal factions and became highly dysfunctional. Which coincidentally describes the office environment at every large company I have ever worked for. Thus, the contrived idea of a written performance appraisal for his wife, I guess.

His family needed counseling, but he went for the easiest, cheapest alternative, which in this case, was far from the best. If he had asked just one guy, any guy, about this idea beforehand, he could have been saved a lot of grief.

Because if you have the insidious balls (and they better be inside you to prevent them from being ripped off) to present a written list of grievances to your wife (a marital Festivus, if you will), prepare to be presented with your wife’s unwritten list of your indiscretions, which could go back many years.

Yes, you will have opened a Pandora’s Box – appropriately named after a woman – which includes that comment you allegedly made five years ago, at some alleged dinner, that you don’t even remember, to her cousin, which was (select one):

A.     Offensive

B.     Suggestive

C.     Embarrassing

D.    Weird

E.     Stupid

F.      All off the above

To which you will probably reply: Is she the one with the enormous breasts?

And the discussion will all go downhill from there.

Rest assured that your wife’s unwritten list will dwarf your written one. And you will have totally forgotten about all your alleged transgressions, including the ones you committed yesterday, and thus, will not be able to put up even a token defense.

And in this case, the guy’s wife reacted harshly, as expected, and then yacked about it to all her girlfriends, resulting in a huge estrogen-fueled pity party, as always happens when a guy does something stupid. In this case, it was so absurd that it made its way onto the Internet, which caused a national pity party, and got the guy ridiculed as a colossal jerk. Let’s hope he didn’t “write her up” because of it.

So guys, a written performance is not recommended if your wife is not performing up to acceptable standards. What is recommended? I don’t know – maybe ask Dr. Phil.

But maybe my opinion of the performance appraisal process itself is somewhat biased ….

Performance Appraisals

During my business career, I hated the disgusting, humiliating concept of yearly performance appraisals. I wouldn’t even have agreed to do these, except you had to submit to this tortuous abuse to get a salary increase. In effect, you become a prostitute, getting screwed for money. Oh, and they do enjoy boinking you.

I’m convinced that the large companies I worked for predetermined what raise they could afford to give to you, and then wrote the performance appraisal to match the percentage increase. So:

If you were doing a great job – The company had to rip you apart to justify not giving you a higher raise.

If you were doing a poor job – The company ripped into you in hopes that you might quit.

If you were doing a fair job, well-matched to your raise amount – The company still ripped into you just because it was fun.

They asked you to rate yourself to make it appear fair, but they don’t even look at your drivel most of the time. When I was young and na├»ve, I spent over an hour writing my first self-appraisal. At the end, it was pencil-whipped in five minutes.

At one of my former employers, where the appraisals were the worst, I was skewered for the type of neckties I wore, who I ate lunch with, and other trivial matters. Instead of being at home with my wife the week after my second daughter was born, I came in to work to launch a new product I was responsible for (the project ran two weeks late, and my daughter arrived three weeks early, creating the conflict). Still, I received a grade of “needs improvement” on the “Is Committed to the Job” metric on my performance appraisal just two months later. The former company president is buried at the same cemetery as my parents. I hope I never happen upon his gravestone after drinking a couple of liters of Dr. Pepper.

One of the jokes I planned to use in this post is to ask what I would rather do:

A.   Go through a performance appraisal at work?

B.   Have a vigorous prostate exam?

Funny joke, I reasoned, but then I truly pondered it. Both examinations are intrusive, highly disgusting, painful, and degrading. And surprisingly, my preference, provided I still received the same raise after either option, is the prostate exam. Something is going up my @$$ anyway, it may as well be only a finger and corporations eschew rubber gloves! 

I reason that the prostate exam is shorter in duration, and once your sphincter returns to its original size, you are all fine and normal. And I have also passed all my prostrate exams and have never been criticized by my doctor during the procedure. Whereas I could be upset and sore for a whole month after getting my @$$ ripped apart in a performance appraisal. Maybe you guys who are still working can suggest this alternative next time you are due for a performance appraisal.

Final Words of Wisdom

So guys, never give your wife or woman a written performance appraisal. And at work, don’t spend much time doing your self-appraisal, and remember to always keep your sphincter tight during the actual performance review.




Friday, January 27, 2023

We Couldn’t Care Any Less – Except for the beer thing

When you are a toddler, you basically live a carefree existence. You literally can make it through the entire day without a care in the world. People actually make you sammiches without you even having to ask! How terrific is that?

You only start to care about things when you start school. Learn something! Or else you could die penniless in the street. Of course, you are too young to realize they are manipulating you.  

You need to care about school! That is why they never teach about, let alone mention, “living on welfare” anytime between kindergarten and 12th grade. If you knew you could exist without ever working, you would have kids dropping out of school in fifth grade. “Long division? Screw you; I’m going home – to play video games. They never mention “living on welfare” in college either, because if you drop out, you deprive the school of revenue. No, it is important to “join the workforce,” where your soul will be sucked out of you.

But some kids figure out you don’t need an education to survive. At the time, we viewed these as the dumb kids. But who are the real dummies? Remember that Ralph kid who was always cutting class? Well, you ended up paying for his Cheetos and lottery tickets for his entire life, not to mention beer.  

Ralph thanks you!

Everything Matters

Once you graduate from high school, you suddenly become aware of the whole world, and you care about everything. Your mind is young, wild and adventurous, and so idealistic. You want to save the whales, feed the world, explore the supernatural, and attempt to fix things that have worked just fine for the last few hundred years. 

But then you enter your 30s and must start adulting. You may still care about many things, but life forces you to prioritize. You may still want to save the whales, but saving 15% on that big-screen tv becomes so much more rewarding. And it basically stays that way throughout your adult life. Your caring is spread throughout multiple concerns as you juggle those balls and spin those plates, hoping only to drop a few along the way.

Becoming Care-Less

A significant change occurs when you join the MOACA (Men of a Certain Age) tribe. (And please, no crap about offending Indians because tribes have existed for over 30,000 years. So I apologize to all of you remaining Neanderthals out there.) MOACAs have retired from most of their adult responsibilities and now have time once again to care about everything. However, now they care about very little.

Random Someone On Facebook: Hey! Who can solve this equation?

35 / 54 + 6 x 3 – 8

MOACA: Tell me the real-life problem this represents, and I will tell you the answer.

RSOF: Ha, ha. It doesn’t represent anything! I just made it up.

MOACA: WTHC (Who the Heck Cares) – Note: you can substitute a stronger H-word if so inclined. You might even prefer to go full MOACA with the WTFC version.

RSOF: By the way, the answer is 4!

MOACA: 4 what

RSOF: Uh, 4 nothings. Just 4.

MOACA: Then what difference does it make? STHU (Shut the Heck Up) or of course, STFU if you prefer.

Is That Your Final Answer?

MOACAs signature answer to many things is WTHC. The question can be irrelevant, irreverent, or too difficult. Often, when the MOACA should know the answer but can’t remember it, the WTHC answer is still the same. It is that wisdom, blended with experience, coupled with all that crankiness, which gives the MOACA his charm.

MOACAs are terrible at trivia since they either can’t remember the answers they should know, and don’t care about the rest of them. And they are never chosen to be contestants on Jeopardy!

Jeopardy Host: She became Queen of France in 1422.


Jeopardy Host: Yes, Mr. MOACA, you buzzed in first. Your answer?

Mr. MOACA: Who the hell cares?

Jeopardy Host: I’m sorry, that is incorrect. Your total is now negative $12,000. The correct answer is Marie of Anjou.

Mr. MOACA: Who the hell is she? And can we leave her mother’s religion out of it?

There Are No Social Cares Either

MOACAs also lose their interest in social causes also. The whales have been just fine looking out for themselves all these years and will continue to do so.

And the cranky MOACAs have no tolerance for social protests:

“Git you’re a$$es out of the street and git yourselves a jerb! I had to work in $h!+holes my entire life, so find yourself a $h!+hole, get your soul sucked out of you, and make something of your life! You will be much less likely to burn down that building when you helped pay for it.

Full Circle

You came into this life without any cares, and for the MOACA, the task is to leave it with as few as possible.