Author Topic: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?  (Read 7218 times)

Slee_stack

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When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« on: January 25, 2017, 09:59:29 AM »
I find myself in a peculiar situation.

I've been stagnated in a particular role for multiple years.

I've voiced my goals, and worked on the items that have been suggested to work on.

I've taken initiative and have been very successful in my endeavors.

I've been given praise, raises, and promises for years.  I always ace my 360 reviews.  Peers enjoy working with me and I'm sought out regularly for advice and guidance from all levels of employees.

I've been included in prestigious events that a fraction of a % of employees get to attend.

My experience screams 'fast track', yet the results are exactly the opposite.

I remain un-promotable.

The latest straw was not even getting an interview to replace my boss (who is also the hiring manager) in spite of him suggesting all along that I was the one he wanted in the role.

As a 'consolation priz'e, I got to interview the (2) candidates 'they' chose, one of which will eventually be my boss.  Interesting.  Both of these candidates were of a particular...shall we say...demographic.

Just today I learned of another promotion in a different department.  There were (3) internal candidates who interviewed for it.  The one who is most recent (and IMHO, the least competent) got the position.  This person was also of a ...similar demographic.

I started to look around at both who has been hired recently and who has been promoted within the past few years and there is a very peculiar trend that has arisen.

I'm a data driven guy and don't want to jump to conclusions, but i have to admit, I'm a little nagged over it.  When is coincidence not coincidence?

I'll just come out and state that a traditional 'majority' demographic has been recently hired or promoted in a very small minority of situations.  When I say small, I mean numbers that are an order of magnitude lower than an expected population would tend to support.

In the few situations that I actually have inside info on, a 'majority' demographic was successful only when the applicant pool consisted entirely of a 'majority' demographic pool.

I don't doubt that there were more balanced pools in many other cases.

So anyway, I'm having a challenge accepting this information.  I don't want to be one of those who cries foul, but what should a rational person think and do if presented with highly abnormal data?

As of now, I'm moving forward presuming its all just tin foil hat musings.  I'm taking more direct ownership of my future and am actively looking to exit this environment, because at best, something is just... not right.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 10:04:25 AM by Slee_stack »

Kaspian

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 10:05:06 AM »
Question:  How old are you?  Just curious because so many studies have shown that Millenials bail on jobs because they're impatient about climbing the chain.  What's "years" and did the people promoted instead have seniority with the organization?

That said, sometimes organizations leave people stuck in a place because they know they'll have a hard time filling the position with someone else capable and/or willing to do it.  Sad, but true.  I found this out when I got stuck on a midnight to 7 AM shift working for a bank. 

chesebert

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 10:05:42 AM »
Paid enough? Save enough? On track to FIRE? Decent working environment? Don't absolutely hate your job?

If yes to all above, try to find a new hobby other than the getting a new title. In the grand scheme of things, you will retire to something worthwhile in the next few years and none of the things you mentioned will matter.

Good luck.

Laura33

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 10:13:08 AM »
If you are asking whether those other jobs were filled because the company has a diversity program in place and is specifically making an effort to fill managerial ranks with people who are not your demographic, then the data suggest yes.  So if this does not align with your career goals, look elsewhere for better opportunities.

If you are asking whether you should consult an employment lawyer or file a claim with HR, then hell no.  It's ridiculously hard to win those kinds of claims, and you will shoot your future employability in the foot, even though everyone knows it's not supposed to work that way.

I would also suggest a sit-down with your boss to specifically ask what you need to do to earn a promotion.  Partly because we are not always aware of how we are perceived and what we are measured by and how management determines who is "ready" for a promotion.  And partly because, if you have FU money, you want to put them on notice that they are not living up to their commitments to you (but in a nice, non-CLM way).  From your other post, IIRC, they basically promised you his job when he moved on, and now they are reneging.  So it is entirely fair for you to ask what happened, what gaps they see in your skills/box-checking, and what else you need to do to earn a promotion. 

mozar

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 10:14:19 AM »
There is an expression that racism makes one a little bit crazy. The reason is that no white person is going to say to anybody directly that they hired someone because they are white. There will always be another excuse, he doesn't "fit", I just don't  "see it", I like his mgmt "style" better. And this is how structural racism plays out. So what can you do? Parlay your experience into a better job. It happens to white people too sometimes that they can't get a promotion no matter what, so you don't have to take it personally. If your employer doesn't value you, gtfo.

Slee_stack

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 10:21:11 AM »
I've been in my current position 7 years.  There were not many obvious promotion tracks locally and I understood that.

With my current boss' departure and the personal encouragement leading up to it, it really almost seemed like a slam dunk...until it wasn't.

I'm mid 40s.  Admittedly, I do have skillset which is in fairly tight supply throughout our company.

Of course they could find somebody else outside the company, but no doubt it would be very, very inconvenient, and likely slow going.


I am on the cusp of FI and pay rate has never been my #1 motivator.  I've been very open to my boss about what makes me the most satisfied.  In turn, I've essentially been given the 'just hold on'...''be patient'...etc.'.

I suspect chesebert has the right advice.  I need to probably just let it go.  I had really hoped to enter a role that would bring about more satisfaction in my job  I'll still see if that can't be done for a good enough salary elsewhere.

Even if there is something ethically questionable occurring, I am probably not in a position to change anything.  Its obvious that the powers that be don't want me anywhere but where I am and it is up to me to accept it or change the situation myself.

little_brown_dog

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2017, 10:30:16 AM »
If your assessment of your performance is accurate, it sounds like classic superstar syndrome – you are a great worker, do good things for the company, and willingly work hard for promises and not actual promotions. Why would they promote you and pay you more? Demographics aside for a second - You are doing a bang up job for them where you are, and have proven to them that you can be strung along. I know this sounds harsh, but I used to be a manager and we did this to employees a lot. It really bothered me watching my upper management purposefully pull this on great employees, but it was the smart business decision in the short term. We could always tell when an employee was the conscientious, hard working type that would just keep chugging along for years based on promises and praise and not actual promotions/money increases. Many times it was just easier and cheaper to continue to let them do high level work at lower pay, and bring in new people for the higher level roles. You get the best of both worlds…all positions filled, and an inexpensive superstar in the lower level position who can easily handle higher level work if needed.

I would have a frank conversation with your boss about your career objectives/trajectory and keep secretly looking for new opportunities elsewhere. Frame the conversation positively, and don’t complain, but show all your great work and tell them you are concerned that you are not advancing in the company despite your performance level. Do not bring up demographics, that will just look like whining regardless of whether there is a kernel of truth to the situation. A good, smart boss will realize without you saying it that they have been put on notice. You are passively saying “hey I noticed some funny business going on here and that I am not being rewarded for my talent and dedication, and I’m not going to stand for it.” I have seen plenty of A+ employees work hard, hoping to be noticed, putting in 110%, and consistently get passed over...and I have been that employee too. If you deserve more, speak up (professionally/nicely).
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 10:36:15 AM by little_brown_dog »

Slee_stack

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2017, 10:33:31 AM »
If you are asking whether those other jobs were filled because the company has a diversity program in place and is specifically making an effort to fill managerial ranks with people who are not your demographic, then the data suggest yes.  So if this does not align with your career goals, look elsewhere for better opportunities.

If you are asking whether you should consult an employment lawyer or file a claim with HR, then hell no.  It's ridiculously hard to win those kinds of claims, and you will shoot your future employability in the foot, even though everyone knows it's not supposed to work that way.

I would also suggest a sit-down with your boss to specifically ask what you need to do to earn a promotion.  Partly because we are not always aware of how we are perceived and what we are measured by and how management determines who is "ready" for a promotion.  And partly because, if you have FU money, you want to put them on notice that they are not living up to their commitments to you (but in a nice, non-CLM way).  From your other post, IIRC, they basically promised you his job when he moved on, and now they are reneging.  So it is entirely fair for you to ask what happened, what gaps they see in your skills/box-checking, and what else you need to do to earn a promotion.
I've lost count of the sit-downs!  lol!  I was given an excuse that I wasn't considered because 'They' wanted someone with more direct managerial experience.  That's certainly plausible yet in conflict with the identical position at another of our facilities that was filled with a person that had zero managerial experience...and also happened to be of a particular demographic.

I was impressed that my boss kept a straight face.  He is the one who is always saying 'Give the person a chance!'...but is that just BS?

Anyway, you are exactly right and I realize I'm more venting and genuinely curious of opinion vs actually considering marching on the capitol.   

mm1970

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 10:45:25 AM »
little brown dog has some good advice there.

I'm really sorry you are going through this.  I am also mid-40s, and have to say that we have had a similar trend here off and on in my company.  (The demographic in question being people from the same foreign country of origin of the founders.)

I also have been on the receiving end the last few years of "just let that engineer keep chugging along at low pay" when I've literally hired people to work for me that made $20k-$30k more than me.  Surprisingly we are able to hire enough staff to increase our current # of people by 15%. Most new staff being senior and very high pay.  Yet, no raises for the work horses.

It's been a difficult road for me.  I've looked around a bit for new jobs.  But at some point, I had to decide whether to continue to fight the glass ceiling, or roll with it.  Temporarily anyway, I'm rolling with it and just taking flexibility instead.  Hey man, it's 2:30 on Tuesday, gotta take the kid to swim lessons.  C'ya bye.

Laura33

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 11:05:40 AM »
I've lost count of the sit-downs!  lol!  I was given an excuse that I wasn't considered because 'They' wanted someone with more direct managerial experience.  That's certainly plausible yet in conflict with the identical position at another of our facilities that was filled with a person that had zero managerial experience...and also happened to be of a particular demographic.

I was impressed that my boss kept a straight face.  He is the one who is always saying 'Give the person a chance!'...but is that just BS?

So you are having the superficial conversation, but you are not taking it to the level you need to to put them on notice.  What they did or didn't do in another position means literally nothing here -- companies are hypocritical all. the. time.  It usually means it's something that they don't want to say directly, like "gee, this guy works hard but he's kind of an introvert, and I can't really see him leading a team," or "if I put him in this role, his supervisor will be Jack, who is really an asshole, and I don't want to scare him into leaving," or "dang, X is a really good line employee, but his attention to detail sucks, so no way am I ever going to put him in charge of checking other employees' attention to detail." 

The key for you is, when they give you that line -- "we want someone with managerial experience" or "we want someone who has done XYZ" -- your next question must be "what do I need to do to get those qualifications?"  It's not about excuses for why you didn't get the last job, it's about removing excuses for why you won't get the next one.  If they are smart, they will recognize this as a direct signal that you are no longer willing just to keep your head down and churn out work no matter what they do to you. 

If you're good at subtlety, you can even say something like, "the impression I am getting is that I need to leave the company to get the experience I need to be considered to move up in the company [although of course I reallyreally don't want to have to resort to that, I like it here, etc.]"  Hint hint.  Although do that at your own risk -- some people can pull it off, some can't [I'm in the "can't" category].

Slee_stack

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 11:05:57 AM »
If your assessment of your performance is accurate, it sounds like classic superstar syndrome – you are a great worker, do good things for the company, and willingly work hard for promises and not actual promotions. Why would they promote you and pay you more? Demographics aside for a second - You are doing a bang up job for them where you are, and have proven to them that you can be strung along. I know this sounds harsh, but I used to be a manager and we did this to employees a lot. It really bothered me watching my upper management purposefully pull this on great employees, but it was the smart business decision in the short term. We could always tell when an employee was the conscientious, hard working type that would just keep chugging along for years based on promises and praise and not actual promotions/money increases. Many times it was just easier and cheaper to continue to let them do high level work at lower pay, and bring in new people for the higher level roles. You get the best of both worlds…all positions filled, and an inexpensive superstar in the lower level position who can easily handle higher level work if needed.

I would have a frank conversation with your boss about your career objectives/trajectory and keep secretly looking for new opportunities elsewhere. Frame the conversation positively, and don’t complain, but show all your great work and tell them you are concerned that you are not advancing in the company despite your performance level. Do not bring up demographics, that will just look like whining regardless of whether there is a kernel of truth to the situation. A good, smart boss will realize without you saying it that they have been put on notice. You are passively saying “hey I noticed some funny business going on here and that I am not being rewarded for my talent and dedication, and I’m not going to stand for it.” I have seen plenty of A+ employees work hard, hoping to be noticed, putting in 110%, and consistently get passed over...and I have been that employee too. If you deserve more, speak up (professionally/nicely).
I do honestly believe the frank discussion and justifications has played out.  It meets the definition of insanity now.

I realize I have to make my own progress.

I applied to a position at another facility in a different functional area.  I got browbeat by my current boss almost immediately after.  That's what initially set me off on posting...that he was some kind of sociopath.  Then I thought that perhaps he felt 'wronged' because his hands are tied for other reasons.  Yet he will never admit to any of these other reasons.  I'm still leaning towards the sociopath angle  :D

However, I am left with the same result though...no change.

Thanks for all the honest assessments given.  I'll try to look at the bright side that this will motivate me to finally bring about my own change on my own terms.

Slee_stack

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 11:17:06 AM »
I've lost count of the sit-downs!  lol!  I was given an excuse that I wasn't considered because 'They' wanted someone with more direct managerial experience.  That's certainly plausible yet in conflict with the identical position at another of our facilities that was filled with a person that had zero managerial experience...and also happened to be of a particular demographic.

I was impressed that my boss kept a straight face.  He is the one who is always saying 'Give the person a chance!'...but is that just BS?

So you are having the superficial conversation, but you are not taking it to the level you need to to put them on notice.  What they did or didn't do in another position means literally nothing here -- companies are hypocritical all. the. time.  It usually means it's something that they don't want to say directly, like "gee, this guy works hard but he's kind of an introvert, and I can't really see him leading a team," or "if I put him in this role, his supervisor will be Jack, who is really an asshole, and I don't want to scare him into leaving," or "dang, X is a really good line employee, but his attention to detail sucks, so no way am I ever going to put him in charge of checking other employees' attention to detail." 

The key for you is, when they give you that line -- "we want someone with managerial experience" or "we want someone who has done XYZ" -- your next question must be "what do I need to do to get those qualifications?"  It's not about excuses for why you didn't get the last job, it's about removing excuses for why you won't get the next one.  If they are smart, they will recognize this as a direct signal that you are no longer willing just to keep your head down and churn out work no matter what they do to you. 

If you're good at subtlety, you can even say something like, "the impression I am getting is that I need to leave the company to get the experience I need to be considered to move up in the company [although of course I reallyreally don't want to have to resort to that, I like it here, etc.]"  Hint hint.  Although do that at your own risk -- some people can pull it off, some can't [I'm in the "can't" category].
Absolutely good point.

I did pry further.  What do I need to do next to make progress?

(I felt like I was having deja vu when the response came...)

You know...you've been supervising a few folks for awhile now...I'm sure we can get you into a formal role of doing that.

So when?

Well you know how it goes...we have a lot of things going on now...blah blah blah...will speak with blah blah blah...I'm sure we'll get something worked out.


Yep.. The same old bullshit rickroll.

It seems my only play is to just leave.  I'm actually glad my boss is a little peeved I applied for another job in a different department.  Maybe it will finally force him to shit or get off the pot.  I'm not kidding myself about that though. 

scantee

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 11:33:50 AM »
Employment relationships have some similarities to romantic relationships. Ever know anyone in a long-term relationship or marriage, a giver who is always busting his/her ass to make the other person happy, and never really feeling like they get a fraction of that support in return? These people lament being taken for granted, yet they are often unwilling to set  boundaries that convey the level of treatment they are unwilling to put with, the actions or behaviors that will cause them to leave. They'll often set soft boundaries in their head, "if so-and-so does this thing I will NOT put up with it and I will threaten to leave", then so-and-so inevitably does that thing and nothing is said, thereby reinforcing that the thing is an a-ok thing to do.

Your years of experience, hard work, and so-so pay have  served to show your management that you are someone who will put up with lots of different things, without much pushback. Your management knows they can take advantage of you, so take advantage of you they will.

Employment relationships are unique in that they are structurally set up such that the employer has way more power than the employee. That doesn't leave you with a ton of options for setting boundaries when you're unhappy in your role, but one of the main ways you can exert your power is to leave.

You need to start looking for jobs elsewhere. In my experience, once the dynamic you're describing is set, it is really hard to break. Anecdotally, I don't think I've seen anyone do it staying with the same employer. Switching jobs is usually the only way to to reinvent yourself as someone who is worth the promotions, raises and accolades you want, but to do that you'll first need to develop the confidence to be willing to leave your next job if you don't get those things.

Another option, since you're approaching FIRE, is to kick back and stop busting your ass for an organization that clearly has no plans to reward you for it. Don't work long hours, or on weekends, do just the bare minimum to be seen as a decent employee. I think you will be surprised that if you do this, it really won't negatively impact your supervisors' assessments of the quality of your work. They will continue to think of you as a good employee even if you exert just half of the level of effort you currently are.

Retire-Canada

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 11:40:15 AM »
I am on the cusp of FI and pay rate has never been my #1 motivator.

How close are you?

If you are really close - like a year or less I'd do what Scantee suggests and just hold on until you are FI. Then either retire or look for another job at your leisure.

If you are years away from FI start looking for a new job change companies. It's unlikely anything you do now will change the situation.

Laura33

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2017, 11:43:19 AM »
I've lost count of the sit-downs!  lol!  I was given an excuse that I wasn't considered because 'They' wanted someone with more direct managerial experience.  That's certainly plausible yet in conflict with the identical position at another of our facilities that was filled with a person that had zero managerial experience...and also happened to be of a particular demographic.

I was impressed that my boss kept a straight face.  He is the one who is always saying 'Give the person a chance!'...but is that just BS?

So you are having the superficial conversation, but you are not taking it to the level you need to to put them on notice.  What they did or didn't do in another position means literally nothing here -- companies are hypocritical all. the. time.  It usually means it's something that they don't want to say directly, like "gee, this guy works hard but he's kind of an introvert, and I can't really see him leading a team," or "if I put him in this role, his supervisor will be Jack, who is really an asshole, and I don't want to scare him into leaving," or "dang, X is a really good line employee, but his attention to detail sucks, so no way am I ever going to put him in charge of checking other employees' attention to detail." 

The key for you is, when they give you that line -- "we want someone with managerial experience" or "we want someone who has done XYZ" -- your next question must be "what do I need to do to get those qualifications?"  It's not about excuses for why you didn't get the last job, it's about removing excuses for why you won't get the next one.  If they are smart, they will recognize this as a direct signal that you are no longer willing just to keep your head down and churn out work no matter what they do to you. 

If you're good at subtlety, you can even say something like, "the impression I am getting is that I need to leave the company to get the experience I need to be considered to move up in the company [although of course I reallyreally don't want to have to resort to that, I like it here, etc.]"  Hint hint.  Although do that at your own risk -- some people can pull it off, some can't [I'm in the "can't" category].
Absolutely good point.

I did pry further.  What do I need to do next to make progress?

(I felt like I was having deja vu when the response came...)

You know...you've been supervising a few folks for awhile now...I'm sure we can get you into a formal role of doing that.

So when?

Well you know how it goes...we have a lot of things going on now...blah blah blah...will speak with blah blah blah...I'm sure we'll get something worked out.


Yep.. The same old bullshit rickroll.

It seems my only play is to just leave.  I'm actually glad my boss is a little peeved I applied for another job in a different department.  Maybe it will finally force him to shit or get off the pot.  I'm not kidding myself about that though.

Sounds to me like you have asked the right questions, then, and are reading the situation correctly -- if they won't engage in a meaningful way on what you need to do to advance, they don't actually intend to promote you.  Why (whether your current boss is a sociopath or just a doink) doesn't really matter.  Good luck with the job hunt and/or accepting that this is good enough to meet your needs, whichever way you decide to go.

trollwithamustache

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2017, 11:52:10 AM »
Ahh demographic considerations... This may not be politically correct to say, but I've noticed affirmative action type stuff slows the white guys at first, but after you make it a couple rungs it can help speed your progress up. People in the organization know no one gave you a helping had the first couple times...

That being said, I changed jobs every 4 or 5 years for greener pastures and that seemed to be the best path for me to  move ahead. Regardless of if you boss is good or not, your boss is probably experiencing as much BS as you are.

Slee_stack

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2017, 11:56:13 AM »
Employment relationships have some similarities to romantic relationships. Ever know anyone in a long-term relationship or marriage, a giver who is always busting his/her ass to make the other person happy, and never really feeling like they get a fraction of that support in return? These people lament being taken for granted, yet they are often unwilling to set  boundaries that convey the level of treatment they are unwilling to put with, the actions or behaviors that will cause them to leave. They'll often set soft boundaries in their head, "if so-and-so does this thing I will NOT put up with it and I will threaten to leave", then so-and-so inevitably does that thing and nothing is said, thereby reinforcing that the thing is an a-ok thing to do.

Your years of experience, hard work, and so-so pay have  served to show your management that you are someone who will put up with lots of different things, without much pushback. Your management knows they can take advantage of you, so take advantage of you they will.

Employment relationships are unique in that they are structurally set up such that the employer has way more power than the employee. That doesn't leave you with a ton of options for setting boundaries when you're unhappy in your role, but one of the main ways you can exert your power is to leave.

You need to start looking for jobs elsewhere. In my experience, once the dynamic you're describing is set, it is really hard to break. Anecdotally, I don't think I've seen anyone do it staying with the same employer. Switching jobs is usually the only way to to reinvent yourself as someone who is worth the promotions, raises and accolades you want, but to do that you'll first need to develop the confidence to be willing to leave your next job if you don't get those things.

Another option, since you're approaching FIRE, is to kick back and stop busting your ass for an organization that clearly has no plans to reward you for it. Don't work long hours, or on weekends, do just the bare minimum to be seen as a decent employee. I think you will be surprised that if you do this, it really won't negatively impact your supervisors' assessments of the quality of your work. They will continue to think of you as a good employee even if you exert just half of the level of effort you currently are.

Are you saying I'm to blame?!

If so....I agree!   No one can take advantage of someone else without their permission.

I've tacitly given that permission for several years now.  Perhaps I was naive and/or optimistic?

Anyway my path is definitely get another position, then minimize effort.


Oh, another data point today...

Just learned of a new promotion.  This one's the craziest of all.  Matches the trending demographic and will now be the boss of the person who hired them (one of those terrible 'majority' people).   This person promoted is nice...I've had a lot of experience with them...but...WOW...competency and deliverables are definitely not a strong point..  I'd be even more irked if I was that guy that just got jumped.  Logic continues to be defied around here.

I could look on the brightside that its not just me being bent over, but now I'm just ticked more for this other person that's getting it too.


Plugging Along

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2017, 12:04:00 PM »


The latest straw was not even getting an interview to replace my boss (who is also the hiring manager) in spite of him suggesting all along that I was the one he wanted in the role.

As a 'consolation priz'e, I got to interview the (2) candidates 'they' chose, one of which will eventually be my boss.  Interesting.  Both of these candidates were of a particular...shall we say...demographic.

I'm a data driven guy and don't want to jump to conclusions, but i have to admit, I'm a little nagged over it.  When is coincidence not coincidence?

I don't doubt that there were more balanced pools in many other cases.

So anyway, I'm having a challenge accepting this information.  I don't want to be one of those who cries foul, but what should a rational person think and do if presented with highly abnormal data?


I took some 'interesting' statement you made.   

First question, did you have a discussion with your manager on what it was they were looking for that you did not have to get the interview?   That answer is probably the most important one.

THe other points you made were about being a data guy, which indicates you may be very analytically focused.   What about your people and management skills.  Often managers are selected not due to their technical skills but with their people and softer skills.   

Just some thoughts to ponder.   

scantee

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2017, 12:18:34 PM »
I urge you to drop your current line of thinking that this is all related to diversity initiatives. I mean, maybe it is, maybe it isn't, those kinds of things certainly do happen, but pursuing that kind of thinking will only lead to serious resentment that by its nature will never resolve. If you decide to stay at your current employer, you'll need to stop caring and learn to cultivate an attitude of not giving a fuck otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy by analyzing all of the ways that you're better than everyone else who gets promoted.

Plus I think you should look for a new job, even if you only keep it for a year or two before you retire.

Because here's the thing: you're current employer is really not all that special. They just aren't. So why are even putting up with this nonsense and creating this much emotional turmoil for yourself?! It is not worth it. Maybe this is just a temperamental difference, but if this were happening to me I would have blown out of there like four years ago without giving those chumps another thought. If you have at least some marketable skills, and it sounds like you do, get your butt out there and start applying for jobs at other companies!

trollwithamustache

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2017, 12:40:04 PM »
I urge you to drop your current line of thinking that this is all related to diversity initiatives. I mean, maybe it is, maybe it isn't, those kinds of things certainly do happen, but pursuing that kind of thinking will only lead to serious resentment that by its nature will never resolve. If you decide to stay at your current employer, you'll need to stop caring and learn to cultivate an attitude of not giving a fuck otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy by analyzing all of the ways that you're better than everyone else who gets promoted.

Plus I think you should look for a new job, even if you only keep it for a year or two before you retire.

Because here's the thing: you're current employer is really not all that special. They just aren't. So why are even putting up with this nonsense and creating this much emotional turmoil for yourself?! It is not worth it. Maybe this is just a temperamental difference, but if this were happening to me I would have blown out of there like four years ago without giving those chumps another thought. If you have at least some marketable skills, and it sounds like you do, get your butt out there and start applying for jobs at other companies!

This is very good advice. Despite my previous comment, fighting the diversity train will only get you run over bad.

SuperMex

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2017, 01:09:16 PM »
I'm sure I'll get a lot of blow back for this but I'm going to be honest. Most minorities in positions of power actively seek out, mentor, and promote others of their same race. They take care of their own; this goes for most women in leadership positions also. 

When you happen to be of the wrong race or sex in a workplace with a boss like this your only hope is to leave.

I worked at a certain major hospital that had 23 departments, each department had a group practice manager(GPM). When I arrived at this hospital about 2/3 of these GPM's were black and the head hospital administrator was black. Over the course of about three years he slowly but surly replaced every single non-black GPM with a black person. I was invited to the hiring action of his deputy who was white and the last non-black person in a leadership position in the hospital.

I walked straight into the meeting and before it started I loudly asked do we have any qualified white candidates. The whole room turned and looked at me and he said why would you ask that. I said I noticed we only have black GPMs' at this hospital why is that white people don't want to work here? He said I have never considered race when making hiring decisions, I responded I didn't say you did I'm just curious why we never get competitive white candidates.

I did this in an attempt to shame him into not hiring his own race again. Well guess what he hired another black person, I was talked to by my supervisor, and he said the director doesn't want you at anymore hiring actions. lol

It is happening right now in some areas of the field I am in. I already told my boss when I leave here I am going to try and go into another career field as it is obvious what is going on in this field.

People are terrified to point it out but it won't get better as long as the majority keep their mouth shut.


Retire-Canada

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2017, 01:15:07 PM »
People are terrified to point it out but it won't get better as long as the majority keep their mouth shut.

You know if that sort of shit keeps happening life outcomes for non-whites might end up being equal to the majority of white folks. We can't have that! Thanks for saying something.

prognastat

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2017, 01:19:43 PM »
People are terrified to point it out but it won't get better as long as the majority keep their mouth shut.

You know if that sort of shit keeps happening life outcomes for non-whites might end up being equal to the majority of white folks. We can't have that! Thanks for saying something.

Glad you are ok with discrimination based on race on an individual basis so long as the person being discriminated against is of the right "race". Not saying that this is what is happening to the OP, but your statement does say you are ok if that is the case. Two wrongs don't make a right.

As for the OP I would agree with the people saying if you are close to FI that it probably is not worth rocking the boat over. Either deal with it or find another job at another company either similar to what you are currently doing at similar pay or better yet the jobs you have been going for, but not even been getting interviews for.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 01:21:17 PM by prognastat »

mozar

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2017, 01:38:25 PM »
If its ageism, that's pretty hard to deal with. Potential employers can see the number of years on your resume. But that's why your going to FIRE right? So you don't have to deal with this bs anymore.

Retire-Canada

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2017, 01:43:12 PM »
Glad you are ok with discrimination based on race on an individual basis so long as the person being discriminated against is of the right "race".

The fact you were unhappy with the hiring practices at that organization doesn't mean anything was going on that was wrong. All we know is that you didn't like a lot of black people being hired by black people.  That's not data.

What we do know objectively is that across every category of outcome [income, education, health, legal, etc..] blacks and other people of colour have poorer results.

SuperMex

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2017, 01:52:21 PM »
It wasn't legally wrong that is part of my point. Affirmative action is a one way street you have to hire a minimum amount of minorities but their is no maximum amount.

I asked this question in my last annual Equal Employment Opportunity class.

I said I'm Hispanic and the average age of my workers is 55 they are all retiring in the next seven years, is it legal for me to hire only Hispanic people?

The answer was yes, my response was then why can't I hire all white people?

notactiveanymore

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2017, 02:14:24 PM »
I can't think of the exact phrase but it's something about how people tend to think the problems they face are due to things that happened to them while the problems others face are a result of their own bad actions.

I work in a male dominated field and I was hired as an administrative assistant 4 years ago. I have grown my position greatly and my job is now 85% communications/marketing and 15% administrative support of member services. I've been rewarded with a paycheck that is now 30% higher than when I started. But they won't change my title (and thus I am at the top of the pay range for my current title). I also have never had an annual review and get a constant refrain that things are happening and I should just sit tight.

It would be easy for me to feel like I am being pushed down because of my gender (there are very few women and only 3 outside admin/accounting). But I have also seen this organization handle inter-office conflict and seen the hiring process of about 8 new employees. And I've realized that their refusal to acknowledge me for the job I'm doing is most likely because 1) they do not want to cause issues with the other administrative personnel who were hired before me and will do literally anything to avoid having to address conflict or assert their authority and 2) their hiring/promotion decisions are not rational.

Seriously, when the curtain was lifted I realized that how they feel coming out of an interview has more to do with that candidates likelihood to be hired than any significant difference in qualifications.

Unless your organization has a formal affirmative action plan in place, then I would assume that things are just much more random and not quite as logical as you're expecting. Also, sometimes people just don't really like you even though you're doing a great job. Sometimes the only way to move up is to move out.

iowagirl

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2017, 02:23:56 PM »
If your assessment of your performance is accurate, it sounds like classic superstar syndrome – you are a great worker, do good things for the company, and willingly work hard for promises and not actual promotions. Why would they promote you and pay you more? Demographics aside for a second - You are doing a bang up job for them where you are, and have proven to them that you can be strung along. I know this sounds harsh, but I used to be a manager and we did this to employees a lot. It really bothered me watching my upper management purposefully pull this on great employees, but it was the smart business decision in the short term. We could always tell when an employee was the conscientious, hard working type that would just keep chugging along for years based on promises and praise and not actual promotions/money increases. Many times it was just easier and cheaper to continue to let them do high level work at lower pay, and bring in new people for the higher level roles. You get the best of both worlds…all positions filled, and an inexpensive superstar in the lower level position who can easily handle higher level work if needed.



This is exactly where I am. They hired me at a very low rate. I was fine with that because of travel time and benefits I was still better off than I was. I was told at my 1 yr review that if I took on more responsibility that I would get a raise, that didn't happen and I took on tons of new responsibilities. I've made several of the jobs more efficient and am working on training people to do their jobs correctly to make the accounting end a much better place. My second review was supposed to be done by Jan 12th to be on the next paycheck. Instead we had company meeting saying we were doing great and a head of budget and that they are going to push reviews and raises off until after the end of March to see how we are doing and then decide if we are getting raises. I've tried to move to a better position with in the department and well if you aren't friends with someone in high places you aren't getting the job. Our GM is retiring the end of March and we have someone filling in until they hire someone. I'm going to hold out and see what happens because good jobs in this area are hard to come by. I'm also looking outside the department at managers that haven't been here long enough to have that mentality. The whole learning advanced excel will not only make things better here but will make me more valuable somewhere else if need be. In the mean time I need a 3rd job just to make ends meet and get stuff paid off. I don't know if I can do it but I'm going to have to try. It's very frustrating to be in that position.

Some one here is retiring which would have been a huge raise for that job. They took the job and turned it into a low paying assistant job and moved it to our southern region. The other person down there that does the job will take on all of the other responsibilities from this position and I will continue to do the things I ended up with because he just didn't do them. Its been made very clear that I will never move up in this department so I will keep my eyes open. I've already reached out to logistics with a positive response for when he gets the ok to hire.

prognastat

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2017, 02:24:33 PM »
Glad you are ok with discrimination based on race on an individual basis so long as the person being discriminated against is of the right "race".

The fact you were unhappy with the hiring practices at that organization doesn't mean anything was going on that was wrong. All we know is that you didn't like a lot of black people being hired by black people.  That's not data.

What we do know objectively is that across every category of outcome [income, education, health, legal, etc..] blacks and other people of colour have poorer results.

You do realize I am not the person you originally responded to right?

That is why I mentioned that I had no clue as to whether this was actually happening to the OP. Nor did I say I didn't like a lot of black people being hired by black people. Only thing I said is that it seems based on your response to his comment that you are ok with people discriminating based on race. Something I am not ok with no matter which race the person doing the discriminating is. Nothing you say is going to get me to agree that discriminating based on any factor they have no control over in any way outside of some extremely specific cases is going to ever be acceptable. I am not ok with white people hiring white people because they are white, I'm not ok with black people hiring black people because they are black. I'm not ok with men hiring men because they are men. I'm not ok with women hiring women because they are women etc etc.

Slee_stack

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2017, 02:45:20 PM »
@theotherelise:  its called externalization and i don't want to identify with any part of it.  My problem can be fixed by myself.

I'm genuinely curious of when a coincidence is really just a coincidence. 

I can't accept that there is something wholly illogical (like discrimination) afoot in spite of the data.

With rare exceptions, discrimination can only hurt a company's bottom line.  I've never wrapped my head around why anyone would ever discriminate.  Its shooting yourself in the foot.

Companies that are run emotionally can't possibly do as well as if they weren't...can they?

Ha!  Perhaps it is me being naive I bet.  Possibly the root cause of my own problem...


SuperMex

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2017, 02:47:03 PM »
"What we do know objectively is that across every category of outcome [income, education, health, legal, etc..] blacks and other people of colour have poorer results."


Equal opportunity doesn't mean equal outcomes. Handicapping one group to try and guarantee equal outcomes doesn't solve anything.

Why don't we focus on trying to fix the problems that are causing this unequal outcome instead of trying to rig the system to produce equal outcome.


ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2017, 02:57:37 PM »
Now that we've established people make biased hiring decisions, can we get back to the OP's problem?

OP, you're not gonna get promoted for one reason or another. Start sending in applications if you aren't OK with that.

prognastat

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2017, 03:05:12 PM »
"What we do know objectively is that across every category of outcome [income, education, health, legal, etc..] blacks and other people of colour have poorer results."


Equal opportunity doesn't mean equal outcomes. Handicapping one group to try and guarantee equal outcomes doesn't solve anything.

Why don't we focus on trying to fix the problems that are causing this unequal outcome instead of trying to rig the system to produce equal outcome.

Because this would require asking some very uncomfortable questions.

arebelspy

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2017, 03:25:30 AM »
People are terrified to point it out but it won't get better as long as the majority keep their mouth shut.

You know if that sort of shit keeps happening life outcomes for non-whites might end up being equal to the majority of white folks. We can't have that! Thanks for saying something.

I lol'd.

You have FU money and valuable skills.  Start exploring other job options.

It's often the case that companies hire from outside, and the only way to move up is to switch companies. Start looking.

Good luck!  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

pbkmaine

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2017, 04:00:34 AM »
@theotherelise:  its called externalization and i don't want to identify with any part of it.  My problem can be fixed by myself.

I'm genuinely curious of when a coincidence is really just a coincidence. 

I can't accept that there is something wholly illogical (like discrimination) afoot in spite of the data.

With rare exceptions, discrimination can only hurt a company's bottom line.  I've never wrapped my head around why anyone would ever discriminate.  Its shooting yourself in the foot.

Companies that are run emotionally can't possibly do as well as if they weren't...can they?

Ha!  Perhaps it is me being naive I bet.  Possibly the root cause of my own problem...

You would think that, wouldn't you? In my experience though, much hiring is emotional. If the people hiring can reasonably justify it, they will look for people who remind them of themselves at a younger age. Or their son. Or their daughter. Or their neighbor, who is such a great guy, such a hard worker. People seem to want to create a family at work, and I think that does all kinds of weird things to the hiring process.

former player

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2017, 05:25:08 AM »
@theotherelise:  its called externalization and i don't want to identify with any part of it.  My problem can be fixed by myself.

I'm genuinely curious of when a coincidence is really just a coincidence. 

I can't accept that there is something wholly illogical (like discrimination) afoot in spite of the data.

With rare exceptions, discrimination can only hurt a company's bottom line.  I've never wrapped my head around why anyone would ever discriminate.  Its shooting yourself in the foot.

Companies that are run emotionally can't possibly do as well as if they weren't...can they?

Ha!  Perhaps it is me being naive I bet.  Possibly the root cause of my own problem...

You would think that, wouldn't you? In my experience though, much hiring is emotional. If the people hiring can reasonably justify it, they will look for people who remind them of themselves at a younger age. Or their son. Or their daughter. Or their neighbor, who is such a great guy, such a hard worker. People seem to want to create a family at work, and I think that does all kinds of weird things to the hiring process.
My last boss only hired or promoted people who were slim and fit, and actively "managed out" all the ones who weren't.  Desk jobs only.

EricL

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2017, 05:54:10 AM »
One of the foundational issues here, more than affirmative action, is the cultural myth that your job = self worth. And that self worth doesn't exist unless your employer validates it.

This is an obstacle to a happy FIRE'd life and probably of more pressing difficulty than your company's head games.

Lots of great advice here. But any way you play your cards don't let your company arbitrarily determine your self worth.

pigpen

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2017, 06:07:31 AM »
I'm sure there's some statistical model to address the coincidence/not a coincidence question, although based on your language, I think you've already answered that question for yourself. But this question and the question of the fairness/wisdom of affirmative action aside, you might think of it in these terms.

You can see yourself as the victim of short-sighted/unfair/stupid/prejudiced/illogical/whatever managers who don't recognize your talents and promote you accordingly, get mad/upset about this every day, and eventually either retire or leave for another job where there's a decent chance that the same thing could happen. Not an appealing scenario, I would guess. Or, to paraphrase somewhat from an old MMM post:

You can see yourself as one of the maybe 0.00000000000001% of the billions upon billions of people who have lived and died before you who have had the luxury of a very realistic chance to live for 50 or so years without having to do any work whatsoever to support him/her self. Unless things go to shit, during this time you'll have the freedom to do largely what you want, live in a house that you have all to yourself and your family, eat foods imported from around the world, have strangers serve you at restaurants, travel around the world with few restrictions, have a personal vehicle at your disposal 24 hours a day, be able to be "bored" if you want because you have minimal concern over meeting your basic needs and little in the way of external threats against you in the form of active persecution, war, etc.

But hey, if you want to make yourself miserable because what, like 5 or 6 people at one organization out of millions don't pat you on the back, knock yourself out.

yachi

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2017, 06:30:05 AM »

You can see yourself as one of the maybe 0.00000000000001% of the billions upon billions of people who have lived and died before you who have had the luxury of a very realistic chance to live for 50 or so years without having to do any work whatsoever to support him/her self. Unless things go to shit, during this time you'll have the freedom to do largely what you want, live in a house that you have all to yourself and your family, eat foods imported from around the world, have strangers serve you at restaurants, travel around the world with few restrictions, have a personal vehicle at your disposal 24 hours a day, be able to be "bored" if you want because you have minimal concern over meeting your basic needs and little in the way of external threats against you in the form of active persecution, war, etc.

But hey, if you want to make yourself miserable because what, like 5 or 6 people at one organization out of millions don't pat you on the back, knock yourself out.

Posting because this is awesome.

SuperMex

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2017, 07:58:11 AM »
I'm sure there's some statistical model to address the coincidence/not a coincidence question, although based on your language, I think you've already answered that question for yourself. But this question and the question of the fairness/wisdom of affirmative action aside, you might think of it in these terms.

You can see yourself as the victim of short-sighted/unfair/stupid/prejudiced/illogical/whatever managers who don't recognize your talents and promote you accordingly, get mad/upset about this every day, and eventually either retire or leave for another job where there's a decent chance that the same thing could happen. Not an appealing scenario, I would guess. Or, to paraphrase somewhat from an old MMM post:

You can see yourself as one of the maybe 0.00000000000001% of the billions upon billions of people who have lived and died before you who have had the luxury of a very realistic chance to live for 50 or so years without having to do any work whatsoever to support him/her self. Unless things go to shit, during this time you'll have the freedom to do largely what you want, live in a house that you have all to yourself and your family, eat foods imported from around the world, have strangers serve you at restaurants, travel around the world with few restrictions, have a personal vehicle at your disposal 24 hours a day, be able to be "bored" if you want because you have minimal concern over meeting your basic needs and little in the way of external threats against you in the form of active persecution, war, etc.

But hey, if you want to make yourself miserable because what, like 5 or 6 people at one organization out of millions don't pat you on the back, knock yourself out.

That is some serious wisdom pigpen.

Slee_stack

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2017, 09:20:25 AM »
Is this a why ask why situation?

Trust me, I'm thankful that I'm not being eaten alive by lions in a Colosseum for instance.  At the same time, if my clothes are too tight, I'll probably try to figure out why that is and address it rather than just accept it and be happy that I have any clothes at all.

I realize some people probably have little interest in asking 'why'.  That's not me though.  I'm sure I would be closer to being truly 'miserable' if I was no longer able to question anything.

So, no worries, my situation doesn't make me miserable by any stretch.  I may or may not have been 'wronged', but I'll try to learn what I can to be better prepared for something similar in the future.

On a positive note, recent moves have actually made it a more entertaining environment in the office.  I'm trying to focus on the humor in the absurdity.


notactiveanymore

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2017, 11:02:26 AM »
Is this a why ask why situation?

Trust me, I'm thankful that I'm not being eaten alive by lions in a Colosseum for instance.  At the same time, if my clothes are too tight, I'll probably try to figure out why that is and address it rather than just accept it and be happy that I have any clothes at all.

I realize some people probably have little interest in asking 'why'.  That's not me though.  I'm sure I would be closer to being truly 'miserable' if I was no longer able to question anything.

So, no worries, my situation doesn't make me miserable by any stretch.  I may or may not have been 'wronged', but I'll try to learn what I can to be better prepared for something similar in the future.

On a positive note, recent moves have actually made it a more entertaining environment in the office.  I'm trying to focus on the humor in the absurdity.

Well I don't have a problem asking why, but we here out on the internet have no way to help you answer this question other than what we've given you. We have no window into the implicit or explicit biases of your hiring team. My inclination is that there is about a 98% chance that it is just a coincidence. One time I got a job over many other applicants because I had experience digitizing files (scanning, just scanning) and I made the interviewer laugh. I think there is a 98% chance that you either are not as perfect for the jobs as you think OR your bosses are kind of crappy OR they randomly liked these candidates better for some innocuous reason OR they actually are more qualified and you just don't know it OR they want to keep you in that current role for some reason.

When is it a coincidence? Most of the time if you're a white man tbh. There is no systemic power imbalance against you and nothing you have said here indicates that your office has an affirmative action policy. What would the motivation be to hire these candidates because they are of a certain demographic?

You probably don't have a real insight to the selected candidates' full resumes or their ability to perform well in interviews, so your jump to assume this is based on race is naive at best and prejudiced at worst. So maybe there is a 2% chance the interviewers are implicitly or explicitly influenced by some desire they have to increase diversity in your office. But why would you worry so much that you take to the internet to air your grievances? Take the advice here and let it go.

ormaybemidgets

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Re: When is Coincidence not a Coincidence?
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2017, 11:24:39 AM »
@theotherelise:  its called externalization and i don't want to identify with any part of it.  My problem can be fixed by myself.

I'm genuinely curious of when a coincidence is really just a coincidence. 

I can't accept that there is something wholly illogical (like discrimination) afoot in spite of the data.

With rare exceptions, discrimination can only hurt a company's bottom line.  I've never wrapped my head around why anyone would ever discriminate.  Its shooting yourself in the foot.

Companies that are run emotionally can't possibly do as well as if they weren't...can they?

Ha!  Perhaps it is me being naive I bet.  Possibly the root cause of my own problem...

You would think that, wouldn't you? In my experience though, much hiring is emotional. If the people hiring can reasonably justify it, they will look for people who remind them of themselves at a younger age. Or their son. Or their daughter. Or their neighbor, who is such a great guy, such a hard worker. People seem to want to create a family at work, and I think that does all kinds of weird things to the hiring process.

There's actually a good book on this, Pedigree by Lauren Rivera. The book goes into how race/sex discrimination isn't so much "I don't like black people/women" or even "I like black people/women just fine but they don't make good engineers," it's that people hire people who are like them. So a hiring partner will say "you like lacrosse! I like lacrosse! We can talk about lacrosse all day!" and hire that person. Which of course flows down to race/sex discrimination anyway, because some groups may not have had the chance to develop those experiences and so are now non-alike to the hiring partner. A good example in the book was that members of some groups were more likely to work during high school, and members of other groups were more likely to play a sport. So if the hiring partner was a hockey player in high school, they've now found likeness with the one applicant that the other cannot compete with.

(Another fun aspect of the book was that this likeness was often based on things that the two parties would never actually share, eg, a love of playing frisbee in an office environment that requires 80 hour weeks; shared musical taste between two people who work in separate offices.)