"If You Can't Support The Team, Then You're Not The Right Person For The Job"

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 15, 2014 4:04 PM GMT
    I wrote this on my work IM inspirational quotes line. My supervisor saw this and confronted me about it. He feels that it's a slight against him and he says he's going to elevate this issue.

    (Bring it!)

    I knew that my previous supervisor was a good thing. When a realignment was announced last year and I saw that I was going to have a new supervisor, even with not knowing who was going to be my new supervisor, I knew that I was going to lose something good. I knew I was on the side of the fence where the grass was greenest.

    My new supervisor came on board on 1 Oct. He's not new. He moved over and up from another contracting team. Almost right away I knew he was going to be problematic. Weeks go by after sending him emails requesting his action on something. No answer. Not even an excuse. That's the worst.

    After about 6 weeks of this, he told me that he had been dealing with back-to-back Congressional complaints, so I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. A few more weeks went by to close out the year and things really didn't improve.

    At the beginning of the year, I leave for formal training for 2 months. I came back two weeks ago and I'm already being confronted by my supervisor. Before my return, a mutiny ensued and it came to fruition this week. Back in December, a new person transferred from another federal department and became a non-supervisor supervisor (kind of like an assistant to the supervisor). Our team was divided into small purchasing and regular contracting. I'm the latter she's the supervisor of the former. Basically, she didn't like some things he was doing (like assigning work that he's still working on from before his new supervisory position that has nothing to do with our team) so she lobbied for the "mutiny". She became the supervisor for our team's supplies requirements. The rest of us stuck with the same supervisor doing the services requirements. All the while, higher headquarters has their eyes on us due to negative consequences of other things, and one of them has been here on a return trip for 2 days this week. He stayed with the new supplies supervisor as she's in his ear (yay!) and he's taking copious notes of what's been going on. This is just a backdrop of things going on.

    So every Thursday afternoon, we do mandatory "metrics reports" in which you must do what is necessary to get your name off the reports. The reports are a QC method for making corrections in our contracting and finance systems. When I returned last week, my name showed up for minor stuff, but some actions required my supervisor's action in order to take me off the report. So I did what needed to be done to have things ready for him to act and notified him via three separate emails for three separate actions that his attention is needed on the matter. This Thursday, those same damn actions still show up with MY NAME on the report. And the Director doesn't like seeing names on the reports, especially if it's for repeat things.

    So I emailed my supervisor again: "This is still not done. This is still on the metrics reports. The amendments disappeared due to inaction (automatically after 7 days of no action). All work and no results makes Brad Mills an unhappy worker."

    Friday rolls around (yesterday) and nothing was done. So I made a spreadsheet that listed all the things that were outstanding and how many days old they were. I also went on to change my IM inspirational quote from "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way" to the quote in this thread's subject line.

    Things started happening after that spreadsheet email, but my boss confronted me about the IM quote.

    I sure wish he would respond to my workload requests as quickly as he did for that.
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    Mar 15, 2014 4:16 PM GMT
    There is no justice working for large employers. One's fate depends on the luck of the draw in who the managers are. Don't know what your possible prospective employment situation is, but generally, when you are in a large organization and you get an Ahole for a supervisor, the only remedies are either transfer to another part of the organization or get another employer. I would start looking if you are not already. Employers generally don't give a shiit about the employees who do the actual work, and rely upon the managers who are generally teflon until too many subordinates quit. Hope things work out for you.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 15, 2014 4:20 PM GMT
    My lord, why are you single? I know, that's hardly an appropriate response to your OP but, my god, you are handsome and have a head on your shoulders so I can't help but wonder what's up with that! icon_eek.gif

    I hate office politics which is why I've worked in a small, family owned business for over 35 years. I've paid the price in lower income BUT I'm part of a family where we actually *discuss* what is going on, what our business plans are, and etc.

    There is always a question about how to manage a team where, on one hand, the team leader has to be a team member but on the other hand, the team head *has* to assume a leadership position, which sometimes means dealing with insubordination. If team goals and objectives aren't clearly stated or ambiguous, this can lead to a world of hurt. Sorry you're having to deal with this but sounds like you have a good handle on it and are ready for a fight.

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    Mar 15, 2014 4:20 PM GMT
    I used to work as an office junior and I had to quit due to an incompetent and mean line manager so I feel for you. You sound more senior than I was though so stand your ground and add to the spreadsheet when ever necessary.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Mar 15, 2014 11:16 PM GMT
    You're new inspirational quote isn't inspirational.
    It's negative.

    There certainly seems to be a lot of politics in your workplace.

    I hate having to depend on anyone else.
    I hate being a part of a team because there are always people who won't do enough, and always people with impractical ideas, etc., etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2014 1:11 AM GMT
    Sounds like a shitty place to work. icon_sad.gif
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Mar 16, 2014 2:54 AM GMT
    I can empathize ... that's all I'll say icon_wink.gif
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1034

    Mar 16, 2014 6:05 PM GMT
    You need to save as much documentation as you can (emails, spreadsheets, whatever) that relates to everything you and your supervisor did or didn't do, and any other concrete evidence that illustrates your working relationship. Take notes of whatever verbal communications you have, and be sure to include the dates. If your supervisor actually does "elevate" this non-issue, he will likely be showing a carefully edited version of your communications to the director. You need to be able to tell the whole story, with evidence to back it up.

    I was blindsided a couple years ago by a guy who worked for me. I'd asked him for some data over and over again for a period of months (data that I knew he had), and got nothing. My several emails went from being polite, to annoyed, to finally sarcastic, at which point he reported me to management. He claimed I was a tyrant who regularly berated his staff.

    Luckily I was able to pull up the entire series of emails, and management saw what had happened. And I was doubly fortunate that another member of my staff, who he claimed could corroborate what a complete asshole I was, had invited me to her house for Thanksgiving!

    All ended well (from my perspective), but I learned my lesson. If you're having problems with someone, document it! You never know how far it will eventually go.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Mar 18, 2014 2:24 AM GMT
    Thank you all. I have a meeting tomorrow with the supervisor and the director. This has me so angry. It takes him no time flat to have me drive an hour for the meeting, but weeks for him to even respond to email. I'm curious to see how this goes and what he'll say. And what the director will say.