January 15, 1822

Performance Review:
Mike Fink, Keelboat Operator II


Since you joined the Mountain Fur Company last year, we have had a number of discussions about your personal behavior. You have consistently denied any problems, pointing to your work record and to the number of scalps strung in your cabin. We at MFC are justifiably proud of your accomplishments, which is why you were voted “King of the River Rats” at last year’s Employee Appreciation Day. However, you have made no progress in correcting your unprofessional conduct. This employee evaluation will serve as your final written warning. Please review the following areas in which you must show improvement to continue working with MFC:

Alligator wrestling. As an independent contractor, Mike, you had plenty of time to engage in horseplay. However, the MFC runs on a tight schedule. We’re competing against steamboats now, Mike. We simply cannot afford the luxury of anchoring for an hour while you indulge your need to fight reptiles.

Gouging/Biting. At MFC, we pride ourselves on employee retention. Every time you get in an altercation and bite off a co-worker’s ear or gouge out his eyes, you force us to hire and train a new employee. That hurts our image, it hurts our bottom line, and ultimately, Mike, it hurts you. Because we’re paying your check.

Shooting. That goes double for shooting people. Also, I would like to remind you about the time we brought in Davy Crockett to give a motivational speech at our annual Passenger Pigeon Charity Shoot-Off. You were drunk on hooch and challenged him to a shooting contest. For the next two hours, you two shot everything in sight, and, frankly, you ruined an afternoon’s fun for everyone else.

Bizarre remarks. Your constant assertion that you are “half horse and half alligator” was charming at first. After a few repetitions in your angry monotone, however, it quickly got creepy. Why do you think people constantly request transfers to new keelboats? It’s because they aren’t comfortable around you. Maybe if you occasionally tried to see things from the other person’s point of view, you wouldn’t need to fight so much. Or drink so much.

Bragging. MFC is a team, Mike. Every one of our employees has an important role to play in getting rum and cotton up and down the river. You simply cannot go around taking credit for everything that goes right and then gouge out someone’s eyes every time something goes wrong. You need to own your mistakes and work with others to accomplish our goals.

Mike, I’m disappointed. Your reputation in the field was legendary when you came on board. You are a highly motivated and extremely dedicated worker, and I know that, with some effort, you could be a real asset to our organization.

I’m scheduling a follow-up meeting two weeks from now. I want to see the bragging toned down, I want to see a significant reduction in eye-gouging, and I do not want to see a single report that you’ve held up the boat to go wrestle an alligator, or a moose, or a Swede, or anything else, on the river or off it. You’re a good river rat, Mike, but I’m afraid I’m going to hear, one fine day, that you’ve gone and got yourself shot or stabbed or bear-mauled. Let’s work together to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Maj. A. Henry
Sr. V.P.
Trans-Allegheny Division