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Joker in trouble - Help!

By dgettere ·
I hope someone can help me out a bit here. I have a quick wit and a dry sense of humor. About a year ago I made a comment that was a joke, but some took seriously. Since that point, I believe that I am viewed as a "risk" and "not trustable." I have been treated as if I am a 3 year old, and my opinions are not valued even though I have been at my job for seven years, in my industry for ten, and have been in the IT industry for fourteen. I have tried to fix the problem, but there is a lot politics and LOTS of misinformation that is also involved. The biggest problem is that I am well liked, respected, and admired by all of the other employees, but there are three IT department employees that are the problem (one is my new boss.)
It?s been everything from not inviting me to important meetings to piling work on me to out and out intimidation. I don't know what to do, I feel like the more I do to improve my image, the more I am ignored.

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Well to be frank

by JamesRL In reply to Joker in trouble - Help!

If you have truly made an effort and had a heart to heart with your boss, I would call it a life lesson learned and move on. Get that resume polished.

It is very difficult to overcome a bad impression.

James

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Communication, Communication, Communication

by tainted.pastry In reply to Well to be frank

I'm kind of amazed some of the people posting replies here still have jobs.

Anywho, communication is key. In the IT field where the knowledge base is relatively static (i.e. there is a limit to what can be known, unlike, say, art or marketing) your reputation is half of your performance.

You MUST talk to them...if they wont listen..go above their heads. You have a right ot feel comfortable and be treated fairly at yoru place of work.

However, as I said before, talk to them first...starting with your new boss.

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The Best Defense is often not the Best Defense

I agree - "Communication, Communication, Communication". What is also important here is your own preparation. If you go in wanting to communicate with your boss (or the other two) and attempt to defend yourself at every turn, you will be perceived as not being sorry at all, but instead, to be attempting to defend your original "sin" (sorry - I dear say that word will get some religion focused posts as a result of using that word).

LISTEN. Listening doesn't involve any form of defence. Ask questions to ensure you understand what they are saying but be cautious not to defend or attempt to explain your previous actions/errors. Allow them to get all of their issues out on the table (and I'd suggest doing it individually - there is nothing worse than a gang bashing as each individual feeds off the others as they build their case against you).

At the end of the meeting, thank them for their candour and their time. Take their issues away and think them through. Think them through tomorrow (often an immediate response is tainted by a hot head and emotion because no one likes being attacked), and then maybe the day after. Work out what you are going to do to remedy their concerns. Write down your plan and then with a cool and level head go back and again thank them for their comments and spell out what you intend to do to allay their concerns. Look for the their feedback and comments on your "action plan". Remain positive through each meeting. Now the most important bit: Do what you told them you were going to do. Stick to your action plan and don't be frightened to seek feedback regularly on how they think your are going (be reasonable; daily is probably severe overkill).

Some people will read this and post suggestions that this is sucking up ? Give their posts some consideration because I am not advocating sucking up.

1. Listen to the issues.
2. Prioritise the issues based on what?s important to them.
3. Work out an action plan.
4. Confirm they concur with, and are aware of your action plan.
5. Carry out your plan. Stick to it and seek regular feedback.

I am a manager and have and have had many staff report to me. The above approach would at least get my attention and would have a reasonable chance of success, but unfortunately nothing is guaranteed. If this doesn?t work, then it may be time to get the resume out and start looking for your next opportunity.

As a final note; I have a little anecdote pasted on my wall in my office. It say?s; ?The truth, whilst amusing and interesting, is totally irrelevant. Perception is the only thing that counts?. As a younger manager I used to tell my staff that ?perception is nine tenths of a persons reality?. One of my bosses pointed out to me that this was not quite correct ? in fact ?perception is nine and three quarter tenths of a persons reality?. The point is that if their perception is that you are a risk ? in their eye?s you are. You need to change their perception otherwise, the truth is actually quite immaterial.

Hope this helps.

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Ignoring the elephant doesn't make it disappear

by PMercer In reply to The Best Defense is often ...

I totally agree with Brent . . . others are saying ignore the fact that you believe others perceive you as a problem, which is dead on wrong. Yes, you do need to continue doing good work, and proving to them that you are not a problem, but going directly to them and asking for their feedback is the way that you will change the perception.

Until they see from you that you recognize your mistake, and are interested in doing well, they will assume that you cannot be trusted to work independently, or that you deserve to be treated as a team member.

It is time to acknowledge the elephant in the room, and make it disappear.

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From someone who's been there

by cln In reply to The Best Defense is often ...

I totally agree with Brent. I once naively took an action that got me in a lot of hot water with the President of the company. Right away I went to him and explained what happened without making excuses. Basically he told me he "now questioned my judgement." Fact is, that is his perception. 25+ years in the business and an unblemished record didn't matter. I think I gained some ground by at least going to him directly and right away to try to clear up the "misunderstanding". I went to him with documentation to make my point and this went over well. Two years have passed. I doubt that he ever will totally change his opinion. One more lesson learned in a long career.

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From an MIS Director....

by kris In reply to Communication, Communicat ...

I agree with the posting entitled, "All of this advice is crap". Leave it alone and get to work. Let your work ethic demonstrate your true value as a team member. As it sounds, you've already conditioned your peers and superiors to perceive you in a less than desirable light. Change that. Keep your humor to yourself, you already know that it's unappreciated. Keep the chit-chat down to a minimum, stay focused on work assignments. In time, your coworkers will come around. You didn't condition them overnight and you'll not recondition them any faster. Keep one thing in mind: A wise bird avoids crapping in his own nest.

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Got to agree with this one!

by davesims2 In reply to From an MIS Director....

I would come to work and go heads down, make yourself the go to guy. Take the hard jobs, the "beneath me" jobs improve the process demonstrate your value daily and the rest will take care of itself. If it doesn't then you tried, you developed skills for your next job and you can move on.

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Communication or silence?

by fjeanbart In reply to Communication, Communicat ...

Not knowing anything about your work environment, my personal advise would be to just play low-profile. I mean, do not try too much to change some image that YOU are perceiving others think about yourself. Instead, keep on doing what you were doing since it does not seem to be the problem, and STOP referring to something that happened to be a joke, a year ago.

The message on your part was there, but still, whenever you insinuate a doubt in the minds of people who don't personally know you, that's where you got to: distrust. Which is NORMAL. Live with it, and just hope that your work, results and time will change that prejudiced attitude from your peers. Good luck, but keep that resume of yours updated, you never know...

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communication or silence

by j.williamsjr In reply to Communication or silence?

Do not bring up joke again. if someone mentions that, say it was a mistakr that will not be repeated. I agree that you may want to look at other oppurtunties. But, i would give it 3 to 6 months for you to be included in meetings. I would ask the new boss why i was not included in meetings.

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I agree with this strand of replies

by lacox In reply to Communication, Communicat ...

I got distracted by the on-going discussion that branched off into Religion below, or I would have replied sooner! Whew!

Not that you need me to weigh in, but the IT and management talent in this group of replies have it right; in that, your work ethic will shine through. So, get back to work, do the high level of work that holds you in high esteem with the other folks, and your boss will come around. It won't be tomorrow, by the by, but your consistent good behaviors will get you out of daycare.

How do I know? I also have a witty, and sometimes ascerbic, style that has taught me to know the whole crowd before launching the one-liners - but there will always be "one". And for that "one" don't sweat it, go on, and do the best job for which you are paid. If you really do have all that experience (and I have no doubt) THAT is what is the most important and it is THAT reputation that needs to be repaired. If you continue to worry and feel like Out Of The Loop Gal, your rep will become one of a paranoid and non-productive person.

Oh! And if you were offensive? Apologies won't fix it so, again, just go back to doing your job with excellence.

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