Efendi: Mata Hari

Hello Efendi! Welcome to your performance review. We’ve got a lot to talk about this year.

First of all, congratulations on your bravura performance from last March.

It was a strong way to start the year! Even if that Japanese voice breakdown had absolutely nothing to do with a. ancient Egypt b. Azerbaijan c. secular pop music.

And then, the pandemic hit. It’s been a hard year, no? Really took a toll on the mental health of all of us.

And yes, there’s been a lot of different coping mechanisms people have had. Some people are day drinking. Some people are stress eating. Some people are baking loaf after loaf of sourdough bread.

But I’m a little concerned that you spent your pandemic doing this:

Yeah. Instead of spending too much time doomscrolling or drunk internet shopping, you decided to endorse an armed military conflict between Azerbaijan and one of its fellow Eurovision countries.

Now, I know that you’re shaky on your grasp of history – we’ll get onto that in a second – but the Eurovision Song Contest was founded as a project to promote peace and unity in the aftermath of the horrors of the Second World War. I mean, you’ve done the Petra and Mans Cliffs Notes version of Eurovison – it’s all about love love peace peace. And endorsing nationalist sentiment, land grabs, and war is PRETTY MUCH the antithesis of what we all stand for. I mean, this was covered in the first hour of our employee induction day!

To be honest, I’m concerned that in addition to this major breach of company values, we’ve also seen you – and I realise this might be awkward but I can’t think of a better way to term it – coasting a little. I mean, let’s take a look at what you’ve turned in recently:

You do see it, right? I realise that we all very much appreciated your stellar effort at the beginning of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that’s the baseline for all your future work. I mean, the whole reason we have performance reviews is to talk about growth and development milestones, and I’m concerned that you’ve spent the last year resting on your laurels. That’s not going to cut it in this company!

Especially when this is actually a bit below your performance last year.

Look, we appreciated the homage to a powerful woman, so were perhaps willing to overlook some of your creative liberties, but come on! Wikipedia exists.

Could you at least have taken the five minutes it would have taken to read the entry on Mata Hari before writing a song where you *checks notes* accuse her of being an arsonist and poisoner? Those are some pretty serious charges, especially when many scholars note that Mata Hari was unfairly executed. And you’re making these accusations in the country that Mata Hari is from? I’d like to refer you back to our mission statement of spreading peace and love!

So, to summarise:

  • Great start to the year
  • Major breach of company policy!
  • Subpar performance since that point

Before we discuss the need for a performance improvement plan, I’d like to give you some time to respond. Are there any mitigating circumstances we should know about, anything we can help you with?

Oh, you’ve got a statement to show us? And it’ll help explain everything?

Get out of my office now. NOW! And leave that employee credential with the receptionist, okay?

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