Waterblogged.info’s performance evaluation:improvement needed!

The Waterblogged.info team sat in stunned and uncharacteristic silence as our obviously exasperated editorial director went over our performance evaluation, point by point, explaining why we not only failed to get the overall Exceeds Expectations rating that we fully anticipated–leading to a raise and water-cooler bragging rights–but instead got spanked with an unexpected and embarrassing Improvement Needed–leading potentially to the door.

improvement-needed2.jpgAfter the ritual humiliation, the boss leaned back in his chair and put his fingertips together–in that condescending manner that he thinks signals authority and reason but only manages to piss us off–and said, “Look, you accepted this job. You’re the one who committed to taking on a blog about water, for god’s sake, and refused to focus on one manageable aspect of it like other focused blogs, and instead insisted on pwning water, whatever that’s supposed to mean. You’ve fallen short. You’re dropping the ball.”

“You bury the lead by starting almost every post with irrelevant fantasies, you post much too infrequently, you’re disrespectful to elected officials, religious beliefs, and other blogs, you blithely dismiss potentially life-saving innovations and take pointless potshots at journalists, you don’t live up to commitments, your posts are often way too long, you overuse italics for emphasis, your writing style is somewhat turgid, your general attitude is flip, you’re a bunch of grim, gloomy Gusses, and–he paused for what he imagined to be a dramatic effect–you don’t appear to have a value proposition.”

Oooh, so that’s where this is coming from, his constant missed opportunities to monetize the blog, we thought, stung mainly by the critique of our writing style. Turgid? Is that what we now call writing in complete sentences that are rich with clauses–dependent and independent–packed with punchy parenthetical asides, studded with adjectives and alliterations, and enhanced with erudite references to such historic luminaries as Aristotle? Turgid our collective asses.

britney-spears.jpgHow about if we just skip words and post pictures of Britney Spears wasting water by taking overly long showers? we thought defiantly, as he blathered on about blog stats. That should get us some hits!

Whatever. We didn’t demean ourselves by being defensive and pointing out the efforts we’ve made to chronicle and elaborate upon some of the biggest water-related issues of the day. And our attempts to be a repository of the best water-related resources, such as here, here, and here, and our success at writing accurate and thoughtful posts about global water problems, (and here and here) even though we have to go to a demanding day gig, thanks to the absurdly low compensation package at Waterblogged.info. We know we’ve only scratched the surface, but we’ve really just gotten started. Developing a comprehensive, worthwhile site about a complex topic takes time and patience, we told ourselves supportively.

So we accepted, lying down, the performance program that the editorial director has “suggested.” We committed ourselves to at least three posts weekly, and three new “Getting Serious with Waterblogged.info” specials in the next three weeks. And we will stop gratuitously dissing other sites, being a smart-ass, and begin pruning our prose and looking for ways to grab more eyeballs. And, as Jane says, we’re gonna start tomorrow.
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