View Full Version : Unfair treatment at Work?
05-21-2004, 02:51 PM
Whether or not in a corporate setting, have you ever been treated unfairly at work? If so, what happened and how did you deal with it? If you work in a corporate environment, what were issues you faced? Have you ever addressed these issues to Human Resources? If you are on a team or working independently, how are your coworkers and the way they treat you? Are they very professional to you when they provide feedback?
Ok, I'll start.
I am currently in a situation where I am scheduled to speak with human resources about the problems my team is facing. Problems we have:
1. not organized
2. high turnover, therefore constant organizational restructuring to get everyone up to speed
3. little room to improve processes because of lack of personnel on the team
4. "hatchet" on the team... in other words, there is a bitch on my team who is not a team player. Unfortunately, she also knows EVERYTHING but fails to share any information. She treats everyone else like a child, gets defensive when anyone tries to ask a question, fails to train newcomers effectively, gossips in the cube, delegates roles to the wrong people, and her attitude is predominantly negative.
5. As an employee in the field of IT, I found it insulting that one of my projects was to clean out an office.
6. I stayed overtime and on the weekends to finish tasks and meet an unrealistic set of goals. I had hardly any back up because everyone else on my team was too busy with their thing. That is dangerous if I were sick or in an accident. I am a Co-Op who has been given too much responsibility to handle on this team.
Those are some of the major ones I'm mentioning. Luckily, the guy who left my team to work at another company actually met with an HR personnel to blow the whistle about how his technical skills were not growing because of the work overload on his team-- the team i am currently in. Secondly, he also asked her to look carefully at the Co-Ops' performance evaluation more carefully because the manager is only going by the judgment of one person-- "the hatchet". That person will make a bad recommendation for her own benefit.
I also learned that another person on my team "blew the whistle" too after speaking with the HR Generalist too. I spoke with the HR Generalist briefly today when I bumped into her in the parking lot, and I am scheduled to meet with her as well to present my case.
It is really frustrating to work on a team (as a new graduate from college) and find myself in this kind of predicament at a corporate setting.
05-21-2004, 03:40 PM
Ehhh, office politics...the job scene is full of backstabbers, I learned that pretty early on. I never talk shit about co-workers or bosses to another employee because you never know if it'll get back to someone else. And being blamed for low productivity due to a low volume of incoming orders is at the top of my list.
05-21-2004, 04:15 PM
Bleh, your office sounds like mine, especially the "hatchet" person(s) part. We have managers who give us assignments, often five minutes before it's due to their bosses, but not explain how to do them or not give us enough information to do them. Whenever anyone asks for clarification, they get pissed off and have a hissy fit.
Other folks and I have stayed overtime to figure out problems and finish assignments, only to find out that the managers had changed the information in the file but did not communicate this to us, or that the managers have changed their minds on how to do an assignment. Of course, the managers can never be wrong.
Much of the other co-workers, particularly those under 30, have the maturity level of dung heaps, and like to gossip in the office, particularly about others' personal lives.
I haven't gone to HR because they won't do anything about it; since I work in government, the process would take forever. With the managers, I try to get as much in writing as possible, and I try to figure out myself how to get the information I need. I now limit my interactions with most people and only talk about work; I won't even say anything about weekend plans because people will find a way to spin it and draw untrue conclusions.
05-22-2004, 09:16 AM
Tough call. From my experience, whenever I step into a work environment that is unorganinzed and in disarray I would document everything up to the tee. It can be tedious and time-consuming but, for example, I would record when assignment is given to me whether it's in an informal or formal way, when I talked to anyone about any aspect of the project, or logging and saving my emails related to my work etc. etc. Also, I tend to ask for documents so I can refer to them in the future. If that person doesn't have any document I would create one based on my conversation with that person and send it to him or her and ask whether the information is accurate. Sometimes, I even create my own process for doing my own work and let others choose to follow. Basically, all these stuffs that I would do are for covering my ass. When shit hits the fan I can organize and present it to management and HR.
About bad project estimation, did you have any input on the estimation? If so, then there is nothing much you can do about it until the next project or reestimation of the same project. But most importantly, try to add your 2 cents on project schedule if possible. If you don't have any input, again, document how long it takes you to finish your task and other things along the way that keep you away from giving that task a full concentration then get input from your co-workers or look at past projects to figure out how long they take to finish the same thing. Once you feel you have all the info then wait for the right time to speak up and present your case. The amount of time you would spend on documentaion but it is worth keeping your weekend free. Life is too precious to work weekends unless you really feel passionate about your work.
05-22-2004, 12:51 PM
Janet, worst case scenario - if talking to HR does nothing and the problems continue despite your and other team members efforts, is it possible for you to transfer to another team? My experience in dysfunctional teams with high turnover and hatchets is that management is generally aware of the situation but unequipped or unwilling to make the necessary changes to improve it. Particularly the knowledge heavy hatchets that have been there forever. They're often very experienced and very good at making themselves appear indispensable to their direct management.
I like what tommy had to say. CYA. Be careful about hatchet lady. You'd think that management is able to discern the good productive workers from the bad, but if she's been at the company long enough (and my guess is she's been there for a while) she might well be willing to get nasty fast if she feels threatened.
05-23-2004, 03:46 PM
If I were you, I would speak with the HR personnel, document what took place.
Also, it you are having so many team problems, make sure you documents and save all correspondence, including e-mail. It may seem petty and childish, but unfortunately, in today's work environment it happens. And avoid office gossip like the plague.
I hope things improve.
05-23-2004, 10:14 PM
Yeah, I just have to document quickly before my meeting this Monday. The problem comes when the gossip and the criticism comes via word of mouth. That's hard to document. Good thing is that the HR personnel is the same person who thinks I would be a good temporary replacement for her while she is on maternity leave. Is it a matter of "humbleness" to clean someone's office without any overtime pay or any pay at all? Am I being too prissy? After all, I'm in the lowest totem pole, but then again, the company keeps feeding me "our company is not a hierarchical company gone dictator style."
05-24-2004, 08:54 AM
Is it a matter of "humbleness" to clean someone's office without any overtime pay or any pay at all? Am I being too prissy? After all, I'm in the lowest totem pole, but then again, the company keeps feeding me "our company is not a hierarchical company gone dictator style."
No I don't think you're being prissy at all, but I honestly wouldn't know how to advise on what to do about the office cleaning other than refuse because you have other work pressing that you were hired to do because of your educational background and work experience. I also would validate that it's a bunch of touchy-feely new-age corporate BS that they're feeding you about not having a real hierarchy. That doesn't equate a new IT team member doubling as a janitor, it should mean that the process for identifying problems and solving them should be transparent and streamlined so you don't have to go through 5 chains of command to get the office copier fixed.
If the office cleaning was part of an unpaid internship, I'm going to go with an unpopular yes and say that it isn't unheard of. I've seen offices salivate over the idea of when a new intern comes to stick them with the job that everyone else refuses to do. Though to be fair I've never heard of this happening to an RCG in IT.
05-24-2004, 12:49 PM
What is an RCG? I am a paid Co-Op, but I wasn't paid for overtime to do this office cleaning project. My meeting with HR went extremely well. I delivered a clear presentation and supported my claims with documentation. The only things I could not support were one-on-one conversations that were unprofessional...such as indirect criticism. I included the team's goals set in the beginning of my term, and month by month accomplishments that indicate my service and evidence that I have met and exceeded my goals. During the meeting, I learned that a manager wanted to hire me full time, but because I was not on the "highly recommended" list, he wasn't able to hire me. Now that my situation has come up and voiced by two other member of my team, the Continuous Recruiting Team is working to put me on this list. Unfortunately, because of the situation happening on my team, my "sabotaged" evaluation ruined my chances to be hired for one of the positions here in the company. The HR lead for IT as well as the CIO is aware of my situation. I don't know why the CIO should know, but right now, I'm just looking for jobs everywhere. Politics.....ugh
05-24-2004, 01:24 PM
I think RCG means 'Recent College Graduate.'
I am glad to hear that your meeting went well. Keep doing what you are doing. And more importantly, hang in there. It's a difficult time for IT as it is not as hot as it used to be, heck I have worked for 6 different companies since April of 2002 at almost half of the rate of my last long-term engagement prior to that time. Granted for the first 5 companies, I was an independent consultant. Now, I am settling down as Sr. Staff IT something for an investment firm.
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