I got a pretty good job offer from a company which is very well known in local and also in the industry. I did not have specific experience in that industry, but I had enough relative experience which can be applied easily if given appropriate resource and some guidance (which was asked in the interview and I answered accordingly). I also asked some specifics about the daily task, and their answer was like “yeah, don’t worry, most of the tasks can be finished in the same day and we don’t expect more than the job posting.” Let me add that the job posting was pretty simple: it was less than 10 lines. The money was pretty good, so I joined.
I really wasn’t given that much guidance or reference materials. My predecessor was there for a bit less than a month, and whenever I asked for his review, he said I’m doing well. Then, because our office is crowded, I had to move to a different floor in 2 months of my employment there. I was the only person in my team who works at a different floor. Didn’t think it would be a problem because there are messengers and emails. So for more than 1 year, I had to hack the tasks on my own. No one told me anything, so obviously I thought there isn’t a problem (mind you, I frequently asked/emailed ‘please let me know if you have any questions or find something that needs to be re-checked’).
Then, well after 1 year, all of sudden, my boss called me for a meeting. She said there have been complaints about my work. Ok, fine. I’m not a person who automatically gets upset when others point out my mistakes or shortcoming. It’s better to hear what the complaints are because then you get a chance to improve. Right?
Me: Oh, ok. What are the complaints about?
Boss: Oh um I don’t know how to phrase this.
Me: Ok…could you be more specific? Like is it more from task A? B?
Boss: Oh it’s like everywhere.
Me: (even more confused) Well…I don’t understand, what do you suggest me to do in this situation?
Boss: I don’t know.
I was like WTF. I mean…if you have a complaint about someone, and even called up that person for a meeting, shouldn’t you be ready? Say what it’s about, present examples, ask what the person needs, etc? So I scratched my head and just did what I did.
Then my boss called me up again for another meeting. Then she said, if the complaints are not addressed, they will have to let go of me. I was flabbergasted.
Me: Look, boss, I asked you several times what the complaints are, and you didn’t really give me any solid answer.
Me: I wasn’t given any references from the beginning. I don’t even know what the complaints are about. How do I fix a problem if I don’t know what’s it about? At least I need a chance to think whether it’s something I can fix or not.
Boss: yeah you are right…ok I’ll try to get the complaints, but I don’t know. I don’t know whether it’s something that can be fixed.
Like WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK.
A few months later, there was news that our office got a ton of new works. Because it was a relatively new type of work and a few employees were on maternity leave, it was crazy. As a result, I was told to do a whole new task which I’ve never done before on the top of my usual work DURING THE BUSIEST SEASON. I was concerned because, in my life, I saw plenty of people ending up doing double works with little or no compensation, then getting all the blames for the mistakes they made. Moreover, it seems like another manager in charge of the new task and my boss aren’t exactly on the same page. So I emailed my boss and addressed my concerns, noting that “as an employee, I know employees are there to do what the employer directs to do and I understand it. I just want to address some concerns…xyz.” Her answer? “Oh but it will be a good learning opportunity. Good luck!”
The added new task obviously did not go well, and my computer kept crashing. Because of the new task, I had to work a lot with another manager who is judgmental, impolite, and totally unorganized: if you ask “what’s in that soup?” this manager answers “Oh, yeah, I think Panera made this first but someone I know made this soup in a similar style. I don’t like this,” instead of “chicken” or “veggie.”
This manager was crazy. It has been only three days since I first got to use a particular program, and I had to fit the work product in a certain format which I’ve never seen before. As I said, it was the busiest time of the year and my computer kept crashing. So I told her multiple times (with an apology and an explanation) I can’t fit my work to her requested format due to my PC crashing, and I have a lot of works coming in. Well, she simply ignored all this and blamed me for being irresponsible, incapable, whatever. I actually counter-argued all of her blames, then she became silent…and unhappy.
What made me even crazier was my boss and this manager was not talking!!! So I often ended up hearing two totally different stories on an issue, or what I said to my boss not conveyed to the manager, or them asking me “so what did the other manager say?”
So, after witnessing what I said in my concern email, things rolled back to normal. Then, a colleague of mine asked me whether I’m ok, out of blue. Turns out, the company uploaded the exact job posting for my position without telling me. Then my boss called me up for another meeting. She finally presented what the complaints were. Guess what. Those were less than a letter-size paper. No examples, just vague things like “I don’t like how kumasim changes my work,” “I want kumasim to make my work more classy and sophisticated,” etc. My boss then said my replacement is coming at the end of January, and I will be given a different assignment with less payment.
As you can guess, by this point, I just don’t care anymore. But for some reason, I thought I at least have to listen to what their new offer is.
A few weeks later, the chief wanted to meet with me. I thought like “What? Why?” but then, he’s the chief (new). So I went in. Not to my surprise, my work evaluation wasn’t great (the evaluation is done by six. Six, in the company consisting of more than 100 employees).
Chief: Well, I don’t know the details, but from what I heard, I suggest you communicate more with your managers and colleagues.
Me: since you brought that up, ever since I was employed and started working here, I wasn’t given any resources or references to start with. Also, I wasn’t told any specifics about my work complaints. I actually asked my boss what the complaints are, her suggestions, but she was like ‘oh I don’t know…’ How the heck I’m gonna do something about it?
Chief: What? That’s…that’s not right. (to his assistant) write that down, we need to tell this to the related departments.
Assistant: I think people were just busy and thought they’d rather keep it themselves, rather than addressing it.
Yeah that’s some good work communication right there. Besides, that was the first time I got to know that my title was a bit higher than the regular staffs and perhaps they expected so so much more than what they put on the job posting. I mean, ok, but shouldn’t you tell these to your employee early on? Oh, and why didn’t my boss tell me that I can find references in a program that I didn’t know what it’s about for more than 1 year?
Then the chief went on so he can appear as a fair boss.
Chief: Oh you know, your work isn’t something that can be taught by someone sitting with you and teach you one by one.
Me: No, I don’t expect that. But at least I should have been told where are the resources and what are they, so I can take a look at them and learn myself.
Chief: …and one of the work complaints was that your final work product looks too easy. Now I understand subjectivity gets in, but blah blah
I mean, really? Generally, if the work product looks easy, that’s good. Besides, if someone didn’t want that style, then they should have told me, “hey I don’t like this, I want the work product to be like this.” Never told such.
So, because the rule is rule, I’m not getting a holiday bonus, and my payment is likely to freeze or cut a bit all because of my low work evaluation. For something, I wasn’t even told about or given a chance to amend. Fuck it, I’m leaving. Also, it’s pretty amazing that a company of this reputation is still managing their business like this.
Oh yeah, it has been three weeks since the new work assignment was mentioned. I haven’t been told what is being discussed, what’s it gonna be like, or my thoughts on it.
Fuck you, I’m leaving.