Home > Crazy week, almost got fired. (long)

Crazy week, almost got fired. (long)

April 12th, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Hi all..

Crazy week. CRAZY! as most know I started this new job w a large bank etc etc.. project manager.. I used to be a program manager for a financial services company with this bank as the account. Anyway I now work for a program manager and just manage a 'project'. Work is easy and I can do 3-4 times the work in an 8 hour day and still be ok. I have very little to do and though it will pick up it will not be crazy like my last job when I was in charge.

Anyway I have felt tension brewing between me and the program manager (Laura, also a contractor) for the past 2 weeks.. significant micro managing (everything I do has to go thru here, I must cc her on EVERY email, every meeting, put things in email so she can be cced, no phone calls to others).. she setup an alert on 'Skype" (this work instant messenger system) so she gets notified hte instant my status changes from busy to available to away to out or whatever. I can not even use the washroom without an alert going off. I do not have much to do whereas she is 'swamped' but she spends quite a bit of time talking about how swamped she is and storytelling and drama. I have offered to help her with things several times and have been told the tasks she is doing are "program tasks", and she has to do them. I have offered to take on additional work, lead meetings only to be slammed down for overstepping and 'that is not my responsibility or scope'. I put together a schedule and she said it had to be redone on a certain template and to toss it and then I had to meet with the team for 2 hours to 'redo my work' even though the outcome was the same schedule. She is still reviewing thsi schedule weeks after it was done. Everything has to go through her for review and she becomes the bottleneck. She attends meetings and takes them over or cuts in on me. on and on and on. She visibly checks her watch in front of me when I walk in. Two weeks ago when I worked at home... she said 'Skype' showed me as 'away' a few times and that 'contractors have been fired for abusing work at home privileges' I said I was working and maybe I was on the phone and not touching my keyboard at the moment

Anyway it has made me VERY STRESSED and UNHAPPY.It has impacted my speech due to stress. I feel WATCHED all the time.

I have to wear a headset at work to talk on the phone which I HATE and to make it worse I got issued more like headphones which are soundproof and like stereo sound and give me a headache and make me not sure how loud I am. So for that reason I reserve conference rooms to do meetings so I can just use the speaker and so if a teammember wants to come they can do so. More fun.. team building.

Anyway Wednesday I had a 1:1 w the hiring manager who hired me (at the bank) This resource mgr had a 1:1 w this program manager (Laura) right before me and when I come in the hiring manager says we are revoking your work at home due to performance issues. I was shocked and asked what thsi was about. She said I had not turned in my schedule to Laura. I said I absolutely did and I can grab my laptop to show. I insisted (over HEAVY objection) that she call in Laura and Laura comes in and says 'maybe I missed it with all my unread emails" Laura later finds the schedule submitted on time. I then asked Laura if she had issues with my performance 3 times. I asked 3 times and two times she avoided it and then second she is like ' no but let me review the schedule'. Meanwhle the hiring manager is clearly REALLY pissed I put Laura on the spot. she asked Laura to leave and after Laura left the hiring manager said 'you work for me. I am telling you these concerns I am not going to let you drill Laura'. I said the concerns are from Laura (fyi I only see and talk to this hiring manager every 2 weeks for our 1:1 she has no visibility into my work except thru Laura) and I am not understanding what they are and if they are even there. This is appearing unfair and I am not understanding. The hiring manager then says the 'impression' is you are not keeping up and then asked me if I had completed several things.. all of which I had. I said I gave her time to talk and I was requesting the same.I said I ABSOLUTELY deny any performance issues and think I have the right to understand what performance issues are at issue. No response. And then making up stuff like I am not proactive, waiting around to be told what to do, not 'attentive' to work, not visible etc, not ahead of the project (the project has not started as we are waiting on funding which Laura says is a program task and I am not to help with.. everything else is done)

Meeting was very tense so it ended.
I asked if we could speak again after I had time to reflect.
Manager said no and she was going to contact my consultant company and handle it through them.

I had a work at home day set up for kitchen work today and the Manager said I should just take the day off and I would not be allowed to work at home.

I called my consultant firm and updated them.. they thought this was crazy and wondered if Laura was the issue. They had a preplanned lunch w this bank hiring manager today. I will hear tomorrow how that went. The hiring manager at the bank called the consultant company account manager to complain and sent them an email which they sent to me.. all vague crazy accusations.. I mean not even Laura would say these things they have so little bearing on the truth.

Meanwhile Wednesday I asked 4 times for a 1: 1 with Laura. All day Wed Laura avoided it .. then right before I left she came over trying to be all nicey nicey and said 'it was the hiring manager who revoked work at home not her'.

I came in today for 3 hours (at the suggestion of my consultant company) and again Laura avoided meeting w me and was trying to be all smiles.

I will go in for a full day tomorrow and again try to meet w Laura.

My guess is that Laura did not mean for it to blow up like this and the resource mgr ran with it and I probably got the hiring manager's hackles up with insisting on confronting Laura in front of her to see if it was really true that Laura said there were performance issue(which it sortof appeared there were not or Laura was not willing to admit it??). I DO think Laura must have said something though.

Anyway .. I will ask Laura if she has performance issues and then talk to the resource manager or have Laura do so to rectify this. It really bothers me to have my reputation sullied and this tension.

At this point I have been labeled w false performance issues and denied work at home and am being watched (though that was an issue before)

REALLY bad at work. and I am very angry

My consultant company believes in me and says if not resolved in the next few days they can try to find me something at this bank or somewhere else

I have made inquiries at my old company. I feel my job is at risk

two flat 1st floor rented!

17 Responses to “Crazy week, almost got fired. (long)”

  1. Butterscotch Says:

    Good for you for sticking up for yourself. I would be gone. I really hope your old company snatches you back up. They had said you could come back at any time, correct?

  2. Carol Says:

    Wow, this sounds so uncomfortable! I am so sorry and we all thought this would be a good job.
    Hang in there-- we are rooting for you.

  3. Smallsteps Says:

    I can so relate I used to work with a "Laura" too. Half her time was telling everyone how BUSY she is.
    In fact I tend to see them at any place I have worked since the original one. I avoid these People from the first glimpse of the ACT.
    Since you have control over your workload and she is probably over her head she is probably terrified of you because she cannot work on your level. There is NO winning with this type. She is probably suggesting any issue is yours but when called on the spot they act innocent or mistaken. Frankly leaving to something else is worth it. She did do this to you , no she never expected to be called out on it but at this point I would wonder WHAT she told the hiring MGR. The good news is without you she will most likely fall on her face.

  4. Jenn Says:

    Boy, I got upset just reading about your situation! I am in a similar line of work. Something is up obviously. It could just be that Laura feels threatened by you. Or it could be bigger, like a risk that the project funding will not materialize and you're being set up. If I were you, I'd document your conversations - very professionally - like meeting minutes with a response to each concern that was raised.

    Good luck!

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    Just reading about that made my pulse start racing. I would be furious.

  6. Laura S. Says:

    Wow! I am so sorry you are dealing with this. You have the right to be furious. What a toxic environment, I would be out of there.

  7. Carol Bullivant Says:

    Rachael, just to clarify, my " hang in there" pertained to your believing in yourself, not necessarily that job.

  8. Rachael777 Says:

    Thanks all. As it turns out I am SUPER SUPER DOWN..and upset.. my speech is dropping and hard to sleep.. Back to work this morning. I will again try to speak w Laura (who is avoiding it) and then to the consultant firm (they had lunch w the hiring manager) to get their feedback..After those i will speak or try to w the hiring manager.. Thank you to 'trying to get ahead' for the idea to have the hiring manager supervise and watch me a day. JUST SO UPSET. and DOWN. I have contacted my old consultant firm and they will contact me today (not sure they have current available contracts at the old company yet). I have also contacted the prior company direct and will contact the account manager there (my old company has this bank as their largest customer.. he really liked me and wanted me to lead the next bank contract but the bank never signed). I will update. VERY STRESSFUl having to run this kitchen cabinet repainting without work at home.

  9. CB in the City Says:

    This is a very toxic environment and it is being controlled by people who are not competent. Period. I don't think you will ever resolves "issues" with people like this, because they are creating the issues themselves, probably, as others have said, to cover up their own fear of failure or exposure. You are clearly the scapegoat. I suspect any discussion you manage to have with Laura will only result in more byzantine accusations.

    I worked in a toxic environment myself several times in my career. Looking back, I wish I had simply gotten out earlier than I did. Life is too short for this. Cut your losses and get out. And hard as it is, just try to be calm until you can manage your exit. You know you are doing a good job; you know what the truth is. Hold your head high and move on when you can.

  10. rob62521 Says:

    I am so sorry. This sounds very stressful. Big Brother is truly watching. Hope things work out for you and you don't get fired so you can find a better job without having the additional stress of unemployment.

  11. crazyliblady Says:

    I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It sounds awful. I would document every conversation in writing and keep all emails. I would keep detailed notes on when you receive notification on an assignment, everything entailed, and the due date for the assignment for future reference. How is it that anyone thinks you are behind on anything? Perhaps you could also cc the hiring manager on all emails so she knows what's really going on? Just an idea.

  12. rachael77 Says:

    Thanks all! another sortof bad day..again almost felt like I was going to be fired..very bad some nasty grams from the hiring mgr. Laura refused to meet w me and then the consultant firm said the hiring manager told them to tell ME to not meet with or talk to Laura until the hiring manager and I had a 1 on w which is set for Monday at 1pm. Consultant company went so far today as to tell me how it would work if I was fired. (ie the hiring mgr would tell THEM and then they call me and to decide if I want to work there or not)..Not a positive sign

    Old contractor company has no PM jobs at my old company right now

    have not heard from the one company contact I sent a note too

    weekend is here.

  13. Rachael777 Says:

    I sent the hiring mgr a note describing all the stuff I had done since starting today, and a link to all written docs but asking her if she wants to be cced on all emails may be a good thought.

    Thoughts for the 1: 1 Monday are welcome.. I am really struggling. had to go for a walk to the car and back to calm down and get less emotional after the call w the consultant firm... hiring mgr was off site today

  14. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I had a semi "Laura" where I work now - constantly going on about how busy she was, but always talking to people - never getting anything done. A perfectionist. Thankfully she was not my superior.

    I hope the meeting on Monday goes better than you are expecting.

  15. Wink Says:

    I have to agree with CB in the City on this. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this situation and I doubt that there will be a resolution that makes staying there long term workable for you. None of this is your fault. You stepped into an already toxic work environment. Focus on finding new employment, and while you are still there continue to document everything. Try to steer clear of Laura as much as possible and just communicate through email. As CB said, life is too short to be subjected to this kind of stress and abuse. Good luck on Monday and take care of yourself.

  16. Dido Says:

    I am so sorry to hear what you are going through.

    My mantras for trying times:
    -This too shall pass.
    -Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger.
    -It's not what happens to you, it's how you deal with it that counts.

    Hugs and good luck!

  17. PatientSaver Says:

    Does not sound like an ideal situation. Laura sounds like a crappy manager, to say the least. While you are still there, try to think of ways to "manage" her to minimize the tension. At the same time, I would exercise due caution to protect your job and document everything to cover yourself.

    You can't control how others behave, unfortunately, but you can control what you do in response. Be careful.

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