Woman Celebrates Another Successful Year of Downplaying Her Accomplishments

Year-end employee reviews can be intimidating for women in the workplace, who may find themselves questioning whether or not to negotiate for raises and expanded benefits. But 34-year-old Carolyn Weissman has found a perfect solution: Humbly decline praise and revel in career stagnation.


“My secret to success is simple,” says Weissman. “I just redefine ‘success’ as ‘quietly sliding by unnoticed.’”



Weissman developed her strategy in 2012, after experiencing a stress-related emotional breakdown. In anticipation of her annual employee evaluation, she found herself overcome with a paralyzing fear of seeming “uppity” by requesting a pay raise of 50 cents per hour, or approximately $960 per year. Her fees for the resulting seven-day stay at an inpatient psychiatric facility totaled nearly $5000.


“That year, I singlehandedly developed a new filing system that increased efficiency in our office by nearly 37 percent,” says Weissman, flawlessly organizing a stack of Post-Its into color-coded piles without breaking eye contact. “But asking to be compensated for my contribution to the company would be super bitchy and entitled, right? It’s not like I saved our company that much time, money, and manpower.”


Since her hospital stay, Weissman has refocused her energy, striving tirelessly to deflect attention away from her achievements.


“I make a conscious effort to ensure that I’m not called out for my success during meetings or complimented by a supervisor on my work ethic,” she says. “Probably not as much of an effort as I put into designing a self-sustaining intra-office recycling program this year, but—ugh, listen to me, I sound like such a brat.”



When asked to reflect on the success of her minimization strategy in 2015, Weissman commented, “I think I did a pretty good job undermining myself. I mean, I could have been more humble and submissive, but there’s always next year.”


At press time, Weissman could be found leaving homemade cookies in her office’s common room with a note implying that they were from someone else.