Author Topic: Job trouble help :(  (Read 2822 times)

kasperle

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Job trouble help :(
« on: November 20, 2018, 11:39:40 AM »
Hi all,

I need some advice.

I've been fortunate that my job has been just fine for the past few years, but recently a series of bad things have come about that are making me want to leave.

This morning, I messaged the team to let them know that I'd be in late. Things are so bad that I'm dreading going into work each day. And although I have two holiday breaks coming up (Thanksgiving and Christmas), I get upset knowing that I'll have to come back afterwards. Just now, I reached out to every recruiter who has messaged me in the past few weeks.

Here's a list of some of the bad things (I apologize for the vagueness. I don't want to get into too many details for privacy reasons):

- the director of my department (my manager's manager) makes bad decisions that negatively affect my ability to do good work
- my new manager is very distant from the team, and seems more interested in making sure that the company's needs are met than our team's needs
- three of my closest friends on the team are leaving because they are also not happy with things (there are currently 10 people on my team)
- team morale is at an all-time low. I talk regularly with the individuals on the team, and nobody is happy with how things are going. Several others are considering leaving
- the team is not happy with the way that our projects are planned, so even the day-to-day work isn't enjoyable
- one of the people i have to work with on a daily basis is incredibly difficult to work with. This is a huge problem, so I'll elaborate more on this in a moment.

After my friends leave, there will effectively be zero good things about my job, aside from the huge, ridiculous, unreasonable salary, which is around $400K. I don't think that I could leave this company and get the same salary. I think the best that I could do would be like $150k and options, or something. Don't get me wrong, $150k with options is an objectively amazing salary, and I recognize how fortunate I am to have these opportunities. My concern is how many more years of work I'm signing up for by leaving. Were I to leave, my savings rate would drop by at least half (and probably more), even if I took steps to reduce my spending.

So that's where the tension comes in. I'd love to walk into work together and put in my 2 weeks, but...ugh. I feel chained here because of the salary.

I want to know your advice, but let's first go back to the last item that I mentioned on that list: the difficult coworker. Let's call him Greg.

Without going into too many details, Greg is incredibly hard to work with. I've worked with challenging people before, and usually I figure things out. Greg is different, though. He gets really upset by almost anything that I do.

I recognize that I have my faults, so I've spent a lot of time reflecting on what I can do to improve my communications with Greg. I've sincerely tried, but it hasn't helped at all. A few things have given me confidence that at least some of the problem is with Greg, though.

For one, Greg's friends have come to me and told me that they feel sorry for me because they recognize that Greg is really hard to work with. They sit nearby, so they hear all of my interactions with Greg, and they also read the emails that Greg and I send to one another, and they're frequently in meetings with us, too. They are constantly assuring me that I'm not doing anything wrong. A few of them have filed complaints against Greg to Greg's manager.

In addition, feedback that I receive regularly is that communication is one of my best strengths. Like everyone, I make mistakes, but they're usually the exception and not the rule.

When it comes to Greg, miscommunication seems to be the norm. Greg comes away from almost all of our interactions thinking that I've done something wrong. This has made me incredibly nervous to work with Greg, or to involve him in any conversations. It's gotten to the point where I do not want to work with him, ever, yet I have to work with him on a daily basis.

Shortly after Greg was hired, one of the first things he did was file complaints against me to 3 managers. This led to a "feedback meeting" with Greg, the managers, and myself, that went horribly. It didn't just go horribly from my perspective: Greg thought it went horribly, too, and told me he never wanted anything like that to happen again.

This is making it difficult for me to figure out how to give feedback. I definitely don't want one of those "feedback meetings" to happen again. Also, Greg already filed complaints against me, so I don't want it to come across like I'm retaliating. Separately from Greg, I've been giving feedback to management about many other things, so I'm worried that they have the perception of me being a negative person. Although many others on my team see the problems with how things are going, other members of the team are nervous about saying anything to management, because they care more about their job security than trying to change things.

I do have some "FU money," so I am able to leave and continue to pay the bills. But I am really worried about the impact that this would have on my FI goals.

I'm really stuck, and I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice that could help me out here? How do people make decisions like this?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through all of this!

mxt0133

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 12:11:29 PM »
I had to re-read your post a few times as there is a lot going on with your current situation, but I'll address two things for now.


1) You assume that you could not get another job that pays as much, go ahead and go on interviews and see what is your market value.  Ask your former colleagues on what the current market rate is for someone with your experience is , assuming they are moving on and not taking significant pay cuts and have similar experience to you.

2) As for dealing with a difficult person, sometimes you just have to accept that personality conflicts cannot be resolved.  If you truly have exhausted all options of trying to improve your working relationship with Greg, then it is your manager's job to fix it.  I know, I have have to fix them for people that report to me.  If you present the situation in a non-emotional, matter of fact way and make it clear that your goal is complete/work on the project as conflict free as possible, then it is up to your managers to come up with a solution to the situation, it's their job.  Have them come up with a protocol on how the interactions between you and Greg should be to ensure that what need from each other are meet, and that there should be a mediator to resolve conflict in an impartial matter that everyone will agree to.


I have to admit that hearing two individuals file complaints against each other that your salary level has not been resolved and has dragged on for this long.  That is a failure of management that needs to be called out.

leavesofgrass

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 12:52:56 PM »
You're feeling trapped by golden handcuffs. It's hard to stay at a job where you are completely, utterly unhappy. Your mental and physical well being are what's most important. If you quit and make $150K, it doesn't mean you'll never make more than that. Life if full of possibilities and opportunities.

I think reaching out to recruiters and exploring the market is a smart move regardless of whether you change jobs or not.

Having said that, $400K is a wonderful salary. How is the work/life balance? Do you work a more than 40 hours a week? If your new job pays a lot less but you work a lot more, would you be ok with that?

You say you already have some FU money. What are your financial goals (e.g. FIRE in the next few years or do you intend to keep working long-term?)?

Greg sounds like a terrible employee who likes to cause trouble. I would agree that this issue needs to be taken up with management. See what can be done. It's hard to imagine they're not already aware of this. In the meantime, keep interaction with Greg as short and professional as possible. Try not to stress. It's just a job. It will work out.

MayDay

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 12:53:43 PM »
Assuming you are pretty high level at that salary, I'd ask for an executive coach or mediator or something to come in and help you and Greg.


BrightFIRE

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2018, 01:13:34 PM »
"I've been giving feedback to management about many other things" - that's pretty vague. Have you and your management actually had a 2 way conversation? Have you been direct about what your problems are? I read https://www.askamanager.org/ all the time, and you'd be surprised how many people think they have been direct when they've only been hinting around. Maybe you have and just didn't itemize them here, but I'd bet you haven't. What would need to change for you to be happy? Does your manager know that? What do the steps look like for that to happen? Has she told you that change is possible or not?

Also, you can be a good communicator generally and yet not communicate with specific people well because you each communicate in different ways, so you end up talking past each other. And once things have gotten bad, it can be difficult to continue because both sides come in defensive, expecting things to go badly, which predictably leads to them going badly.

SunnyDays

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 05:29:00 PM »
If other employees are identifying issues as well, with Greg and other things, but afraid to go to management, why not do it as a group and no one gets singled out as a trouble maker?  If the Greg problem was solved, would work become bearable?  What are the top 2 things that would make your job enjoyable?  Focus on addressing those things.  And document the details of your interactions with Greg, perhaps in an email every time you have a conversation with him.  CC you manager on these.  What did you both say/do and what was the outcome?  This might help shed light on whether you just have different communication styles or he's purposely being difficult.  Writing it down can give you more insight than just recalling a verbal interaction.  You could also review this written record directly with Greg for "more clarification" which will let him reconsider the matter as well.
But if you're seriously dreading work days, get out before you start getting sick.  FIRE is worth nothing if you're worn down to a nub by the time you get there.

Sibley

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 06:46:41 PM »
You reference golden handcuffs. they're only handcuffs if you need/want the money.

What are your annual expenses? How big is your stash? the lower your expenses, the less a pay cut will hurt.

Jon Bon

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 07:44:55 PM »
You reference golden handcuffs. they're only handcuffs if you need/want the money.

What are your annual expenses? How big is your stash? the lower your expenses, the less a pay cut will hurt.


Yeah I mean I've never had a 400k job (lol) but I kind of expect it to be 1000% terrible?

Suck it up for a year save 200k, then you should be able to do whatever you want. If you can't afffod to quit you probably need to read this site more......

former player

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2018, 08:14:09 PM »
I'm sorry things are bad for you.  Take whatever self-care time you need.  It's the season for colds, and you don't want to spread those germs around at work.

- the director of my department (my manager's manager) makes bad decisions that negatively affect my ability to do good work

- my new manager is very distant from the team, and seems more interested in making sure that the company's needs are met than our team's needs

All you can do about these two is make suggestions to them about things which would help meet the company's needs which incidentally help your team.  Make your suggestions SMART.


In fact, you may be able to take on something useful from your new manager's attitude.  Become a person who is not emotionally invested in your job but is interested in meeting the company's needs (through meeting your team's needs) because meeting those needs is the best way to continue getting that lovely salary.

- three of my closest friends on the team are leaving because they are also not happy with things (there are currently 10 people on my team)
- team morale is at an all-time low. I talk regularly with the individuals on the team, and nobody is happy with how things are going. Several others are considering leaving
- the team is not happy with the way that our projects are planned, so even the day-to-day work isn't enjoyable
Where are they going and can you go too?

- one of the people i have to work with on a daily basis is incredibly difficult to work with. This is a huge problem, so I'll elaborate more on this in a moment.

The first advice re your co-worker is: try not to care about him, or about his problems, or what he thinks about you.  Tricky, I know, if you are the sort of person who gets emotionally involved with work, but this is the biggest part of your answer.  Think of him as a fly in the ointment: ignore him as much as possible, limit your interactions with him as much as possible, keep what interactions you do have to email, ignore any parts of any responses from him that you can.  He doesn't work directly for you, so forget about doing anything with him that isn't strictly required by your job.  It's not your job to fix him, or what he thinks of you (both sound completely futile).

To the extent that ignoring him doesn't work, try being direct.  You know a couple of things of use: he's already had complaints against him, and he doesn't want another feedback meeting.  If there is something he is doing that is going against company interests by stopping your team from getting its work done, tell him that what he is saying/doing is against company interests because [harming morale, or whatever else bullshit the company spouts about keeping employees happy].  (I've changed this from my original advice, because on reflection it sounds to me as though your co-worker is a bully. Your defence against him is to make it so that he is bullying the company rather than you personally.)

Other than that: you are young, you've got FU money you don't mention any financial or personal obligations.  You can walk out any time you want.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 08:43:07 PM by former player »

kasperle

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2020, 10:57:45 PM »
Update: all of your advice was super helpful, and I appreciate everyone who took the time to read my story and offer suggestions. I switched teams awhile back, and things have been wonderful. Everyone who was causing the problems in the first post has been fired.

Maenad

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2020, 06:54:56 AM »
Glad to hear things have gotten better for you! I've been in those awful work situations where you dread going in every day, and it just saps your will to live.

I hope the "troublemakers" are able to learn and grow and be better. That's all we can really hope for any of us!

mistymoney

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2020, 11:28:13 AM »
how certain of you that you would go to 150k? I agree with start interviewing and see what is offered.

400k is a lot to walk away from - if your 150 is accurate, than every day you work is >2 days elsewhere. maybe about 2 considering taxes.

What is you timeline to FI?

see what kind of offer you get elsewhere - then compare that to the current timeline and see what is your best move. Getting an offer doesn't mean you take it. It means you have an option and your determine if it is better to go or to stay.

efree

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Re: Job trouble help :(
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2020, 12:33:48 AM »
how certain of you that you would go to 150k? I agree with start interviewing and see what is offered.

400k is a lot to walk away from - if your 150 is accurate, than every day you work is >2 days elsewhere. maybe about 2 considering taxes.

What is you timeline to FI?

see what kind of offer you get elsewhere - then compare that to the current timeline and see what is your best move. Getting an offer doesn't mean you take it. It means you have an option and your determine if it is better to go or to stay.
This is an old thread and the problem has already been solved.

I'm happy to read about the happy ending!