I have been a software engineer for over 10 years. I like my profession, but I deeply hate performance review periods. There is a list of abstract goals and targets and you try to BS your way out by giving yourself a seemingly fair yet impressive review. And of course, you have to convince your boss that you deserve a good grade. (Btw, I mostly got 'meets' and a few 'exceeds' so far. I write that small detail to mention that I am not writing this post as an angry employee who got bad grade and post a message to curse the system.) Honestly, looking at the job description and the expectations at my leve, I don't really know what I deserve every single time. All is so abstract and flexible. So, I just write down the stuff that I did and highlight them to my manager and so far it all worked out somehow. But the review period always bugs me a lot no matter what I get at the end. Lifetime of being have to prove yourself to a manager sucks. At some point, I will perform below average due to evolutionary laws of nature and got kicked out of the system. Is that a meaningful work life?
Humans try to quantify everything and make meaning. GPA, grades, ratings, standardized tests, tags, labels and what not. The truth is everyone knows you cannot measure everything that a person bring to the table, but there has to be a way to do it. And the easiest way is to transform a chosen subset of data points (and miss out on a tonne of others) to extrapolate a graph and tell a story around it. I for one have other ways to measure my happiness and am done with looking at these fake scales provided by society, corporate etc.