Thursday, December 31, 2009

Four Month Review

I just had my four-month review this morning. Can you believe I have been working here for four months? I guess that is what happens when you have nearly three months of training.

Overall, it went well. My supervisor gave me lots of compliments. She said I am on pace or ahead of pace in the learning curve for the job, that I draft very well for four months with only minor adjustments needed, that I have closed the most cases in my unit, that I am good at catching all of the little technical things that tend to mess up cases for inexperienced adjudicators, and most importantly, that I seem to understand the correct approach to cases and think through to their conclusions from the get-go. I would hope I was able to write well, solve problems, and think things through to their conclusions after 3 years in graduate school :-)

Of course there was also the negative, only one actually. In these evaluations you either meet expectations on each item, or fail to meet expectations. I failed to meet expectations on one item only, "response to feedback." LOL. My supervisor said she was torn on whether or not to mark this against me, since she sees most of my "poor" response to feedback as the "why?" questioning that is necessary for learning. However, she said that there was one particular incedent that made her need to mark me off on it. I know exactly what incedent that was. It was very early in being in this unit and there is one helper in my unit that I have struggled to learn to communicate well in written form with. Here is how the event went (not exact words, but the same tone)

Me: I cannot get ahold of the clmt, I have spoke with her grandmother and she is out of state for Thanksgiving. How should I proceed?
Her: Send her a call in letter, and send her third party a call in letter.
Me: I sent her a call in letter. I did not send the third party letter because her grandmother is the third party, and I can reach her on the phone easily, and she is clearly reading the clmts mail.
Her: Its policy to send a third party letter, we must ask her to assist in this matter and it must include closeout language. It does not matter if she is reading the clmts mail because we cannot assume that is true. Send the third party call in letter. Note, we have to do a lot of things as a matter of procedure that you may not feel to be productive or that you may feel to be overkill and believe me, I wouldn't suggest that you do something extra that doesn't need to be done. Nobody likes extra work.
Me: I input a third party call in letter, please review.

Apparently this was bad. To me, it was part of the learning curve. What I learned from this interaction was the following:
(1) Send third party call in letters when you cannot get a hold of the clmt.
(2) Be careful in wording things.

The end. If I had worded this differently, for example, "is the third party letter necessary? I have had contact with her previously and she is reading the claimants mail" it would not even have been an issue. The question would have been answered (hopefully with less bolding and less underlining and less personal offense), and I would not be seen as "non responsive to feedback. Lesson taken.

But, as I said, overall, I am exceeding my supervisors expectations.

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