I am living this nightmare as we speak. I have always assumed I was being told the truth when interviewing for a position - but this time, it bit me square in the butt. So for the sake of unloading on strangers (and secretly hoping my boss sees this), here's my list!
1. Your vacation time is already scheduled for you during a specific week in July when the whole company closes for an off-site sales meeting. Those not going to the sales meeting (which includes the IT department - minus the manager of course)must take their vacation during this week. I didn't find out about this until I submitted my request to take my family vacation in August. I was told I had to take the week in July and flat out refused the week in August. To make things worse, since this was a family vacation, all my child care options will be out of town - thus leaving me with no one to watch my daughter. When I told my boss that I might not be able to come in whether or not I actually took said vacation, I was flat out told I would lose my job. This would have been good to know ahead of time.
2. I didn't ask and was never told how the department operated. Being a technical analyst for 16 years, I have never worked in a department where the manager schedules every minute of your day. I come in every morning to a calendar booked from 8AM-5PM without any scheduled room for bathroom breaks, paperwork, etc. Every day is a nightmare as you can hardly predict how long every job will take. Once you run over schedule on an appointment - it's all downhill for the rest of the day. I will ALWAYS ask this question in the future.
3. After I got chummy with my coworkers, I found that this job had literally driven them to seek professional treatment for stress and anxiety - if I could, I would ask future coworkers if they were being treated for such afflictions! (I know I can't - just wishful thinking).
4. My interview was conducted in a nice glass enclosed office in the front of the building. I ended up in the very back of a modified warehouse in a windowless, stuffy and dismal storage area. The general attitude around here is nothing but stress, hopelessness and resign....oh, to know then what I know now. Sigh.
5. I know during an interview, you don't want to ask about "perks" - but how do you confirm that they at least provide coffee? Yes, I'm not kidding - no coffee. No drinking water. The toilet water is an odd shade of greyish-brown. No picnics, no holiday parties, no birthday cakes - you know - the little things that boost morale and make work a little more pleasant...there's none of that here.
5. Now, I DID ask this question: What style of manager are you? The answer was: "Oh, I'm very hands off - as long as you get the job done, you won't hear from me." Meanwhile back at the farm, I've never been more micromanaged in my entire life. Not only do you not have the freedom to set and work your own schedule, but you must complete a paper trail longer than the Appalachian Trail and must check in after each completed task. After you check in and confirm the job's completion, the manager contacts the end user and asks if the job has been completed. It's exhausting and extremely irritating.
I'm sure I can come up with more, but I'll get off my soap box and thank you for tolerating this comment. I had to vent somewhere!
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