("Neon Genesis Evangelion," its characters and situations are copyright of their respective owners. Story copyright 2011 by George Pollock, Jr.)

Thirty-Day Review


George Pollock, Jr.

Date: May 8, 2016

Employee: Rei Ayanami

Position: Customer service

Review by: R.M. Donald, manager

Introduction/personal: Rei Ayanami's personal data, work history and references are on file. All have been confirmed by her previous supervisor, Gendo Ikari. Despite being in only high school, Miss Ayanami apparently held a prominent technical position in a world-security agency that categorized her work as "classified." Government budget cuts resulted in the closure of the agency, leaving her and two others performing the same work in need of new employment. As a side note, Miss Ayanami openly declared that she was a vegetarian, which is atypical in our company. Despite this, her lifestyle seems to have had no effect on her work. She stated she was interested only in employment. She also has red eyes and light-blue hair, both of which she says are natural. There is no evidence to the contrary, and her features don't appear to be distractions to her co-workers. In any event, labor laws strictly forbid discrimination based on any of the factors mentioned above.

Attitude: Miss Ayanami appears to be very intelligent but extremely introverted. It's as if she just waits to be ordered around. This doesn't appear to be the result of laziness or insubordination. It's closer to apathy. She seems detached, as it were, from the moment or the environment and people around her.

Skills:In general, Miss Ayanami's work skills are respectable. She seems quite adept at operating mechanical and electronic equipment with great efficiency. Her previous supervisor, Ikari, assured us that she performed "admirably" in operating "cutting-edge technology." However, he declined to elaborate on the nature of that technology, referring to it as "classified." In her current situation, Miss Ayanami operates calculation equipment competently but almost robotically. She excels at operating production equipment, especially those with a timer. Interestingly, she seems incredibly efficient at tasks – no matter how complex – that have a specific deadline of five minutes. She explains this by saying she often faced situations in her previous employment that had deadlines of five minutes. She declines to provide examples, saying they are "classified."

Communication:Her weakest point. In her interview and after employment, Miss Ayanami offered only minimal information to questions or about situations. Her reticence appears to be a function of her "detachment." When relaying information, she delivers it as if she were reading a list or reciting a lesson from rote. On the other hand, she never misunderstands a work request, and she relays information accurately. Regarding communication with co-workers and customers, see "Teamwork" and " Customer service" below.

Initiative:As noted above, Miss Ayanami tends to be passive. She shows little initiative regarding her duties or self-improvement. She never performs beyond her assigned duties –though she executes those thoroughly and flawlessly. Offering suggestions to co-workers or supervisors never occurs. And her lack of initiative causes her to miss opportunities to suggest products to customers that would complement their requests. This is called "upselling," and it's a significant portion of our revenue stream. Miss Ayanami, unfortunately, never does this, causing revenue opportunities to be missed. Frequent reminders to her on this point don't appear to be having an effect.

Teamwork:It would be unfair to say Miss Ayanami isn't a team player. In fact, her previous supervisor, Ikari, said she performed incredibly well in complex projects involving the two other co-workers who lost their jobs at the same time she did. Again, he declined to describe these, calling them "classified." In her current situation, her interaction with co-workers is efficient and non-confrontational, again reflecting her passivity. But the "warmer" qualities of camaraderie seem to elude her. Although never rude, she also never reaches out to connect with co-workers as people. For example, she never discusses her life outside work, never asks others about theirs and has never accepted an invitation to spend time with co-workers outside work. When I advised (playfully, I admit) that she should "lighten up," she assumed a blank expression and said, "If you tell me to." Clearly, she missed the point: It wasn't a work request, but she reacted to it as if it were. It appears that she prefers to remain "detached" – or is incapable of anything else.

Customer service: Miss Ayanami's weakness in communication, her "detachment" and her lack of initiative combine to hurt her seriously in this area. As when interacting with co-workers, she's efficient and professional with customers but never personable. She communicates minimally with them, though always respectfully. She treats customers as if they were "order forms" to registered, as it were. That comes across as perfunctory, as if she's merely following orders to interact with people as needed, and after that, she doesn't want to engage them any further.

Conclusion: Rei Ayanami is a very intelligent, highly skilled and remarkably efficient person but also has an almost doll-like introverted personality. In such an industry as ours, extrovertism – an outgoing personality –is essential. There is too much public interaction for anything else, and here, Miss Ayanami falls tragically short. Ikari, her previous supervisor at the former world-security agency (the nature of which I was never able to determine), commended her as a technically proficient and valuable employee. However, our needs are more than technical. We need people who are personable and engaging to make our customers feel welcome and happy to pay for our products. As stated above, Miss Ayanami, unfortunately, does not do that. I thus regretfully recommend that she be dismissed from employment with the Happy Clown Burger family of restaurants.

Submitted: May 8, 2016

By: R.M. Donald, manager