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  • #2182274

    What to do??

    Locked

    by obiwaynekenobi ·

    *WARNING: Slight rant ahead*

    I have a dilemma and want the advice of successful IT professionals… I’m current “Web and Network Analyst” for a small company, which is a fancy way of saying I do some network administration and (unfortunatly) a lot of web development.

    The problem is that my boss (IT Manager) has this very strange belief about “our” profession. In our weekely Monday meeting he told us (myself and two others) basically that this isn’t a “regular” job and if we have to work 24 hours thinking to meet a company deadline, so be it (not literally 24 hours). He’s said on more than one occasion that we aren’t ALLOWED to have lives, despite my co-worker having an 8-year old daughter to take care of.

    Wait, it gets better. He also imposes ridiculous project deadlines, such as 2-3 WEEKS to develop software and web applications, and then gets disappointed when we can’t do it in that time (nevermind the fact that he’s a yes-man to any other manager, who gets to add whatever they want to the application whether its really helpful or no). He specifically said yesterday that he “spoils” the execs by doing just that in 2-3 DAYS, and they rationalize why not get someone like him who can do that instead of paying three relatively inexperienced IT people. Would not listen to my rationalization that good software/whatever takes TIME to develop.

    But WAIT, theres MORE! He also has FORBIDDEN us to socialize with anyone else in the company. My co-worker has gotten yelled at for going to lunch with another employee and for hanging out AFTER HOURS with the OWNER OF THE COMPANY’S DAUGHTER. But he turns it around by saying that THEY (never says who exactly THEY are) think we’re unprofessional and he’s just “looking out for us”. Nobody else in the company is allowed to go to our section of the building, and we have to document practically every time we leave the area so “[he] [doesn’t] form thoughts in [his] head”.

    But it gets even better! Now this I won’t go into, but lets just say that in regards to my co-worker there is a lot of… a word beginning with har and ending in -ment. But we can’t say anything because he twists it around to make it look like WE say that we can’t get work done because everyone else “takes advantage of [us]” by coming to us for help.

    Is this REALLY what I can expect from IT? If it is, I guess in this guy’s words, this career isn’t for me and I should be working at McDonalds (he said exactly that. If you want a regular 8-5 job, go work at McDonalds.)

    I apologize for this being pretty much a rant, but I came *this* close yesterday to walking out yesterday. I don’t need to be threatened that if I don’t “bring [my] skills to the next level” and crank out fully functioning software in 3 days that I may be fired.

    Help me, Techrepublic. You’re my only hope.

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    • #3175702

      Dealing with Morons

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to What to do??

      The next time he has a meeting with you, take a tape recorder. Advise him that your legal counsel desires his comments on your “not being allowed to have a life” to be properly recorded for submission into evidence at the trial.

      Frankly, if you live in the United States, telling an employee they are not allowed to have a life outside of work could get you into a mass of trouble with the Justice and Labor. In fact, why don’t you call them, locate a local office and have a nice chat with an enforcement officer.

      My observataion is that he is attempting to control your lives at work to the point he has created a hostile work environment, not to mention his “no life outside of worka” comment borders very close to the legal definition of slavery.

      Get a lawyer.

      Get a new job.

      Slap some wake the hell up management law suits on him and on upper management at the company.

      Settle for at least 250K.

      Buy me a drink in Las Vegas sometime.

      You’ll be well served.

      • #3179010

        you don’t get a life

        by mjd420nova ·

        In reply to Dealing with Morons

        Gads, sounds like you’re over a barrel.
        I used to think I did a good job of keeping
        trouble at work AT WORK, and my problems at
        home AT HOME, but it really came to a head
        when my youngest started flunking in school.
        When I asked my boss if we could adjust my hours so I could get home as soon after the child got
        out of class. All I heard was “We need this and that and then we want to do this and that.
        He wouldn’t address my question so I asked again,
        again a statement of what he wanted. I actually
        threatened to quit before he actually listened to me. Then he had no help. I told him I needed
        to see to my families needs first, that the
        company was second from now on. He hit the roof
        and actually accused me of slaking off. By that
        time I’d heard enough and I did tender my
        resignation. The child passed, and graduated, so mission accomplished. They might look like they are listening but their responses should
        indicate what they really think, even if they don’t say it in so many words.

        • #3178901

          Business attitudes toward employees …

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to you don’t get a life

          … haven’t changed in a thousand years. Many businesses support a culture where managers are allowed to treat employees like property. Many managers have exactly the opposite attitudes and personality that they should have. Some are obsessed with control. Others thrive on exercising their “power” by denying people of basic courtesies and fair treatment. Some are just sociopaths that enjoy making other people miserable. Many have no discernable management skills. Few have any leadership skills. Then, in very small companies where you may report directly to the business founder you may find that you are expected to have the same enthusiasm and dedication to the business as the founder. Of course as the business grows the business owners gain net worth to show for their investment of time and effort. The employees only have a paycheck to show for the sacrifice of their personal lives.

          I’ve heard that things are different in some countries like Germany. I don’t know. I’ve just heard rumors and insinuations but nothing specific or particularly credible.

          It’s long past time that American culture evolved past the attitude that employees are slaves of their employers. We’ve incorrectly equated the “can do” spirit that makes America great with personal sacrifice of employees for their employer. The two things are not the same. We can maintain the same cultural strengths that allowed us to turn our industrial base around on a dime in order to fight World War II and add humanity, fairness, and justice to the workplace environment.

          This isn’t likely to happen any time soon. The people who would have to implement this are the ones that thrive on the current state of affairs. What we really need is a new civil rights movement akin to the one in the 1960s. We need to change the attitudes of young people and then wait for the a$$holes that are currently in power to die off. And we need to change the laws about unemployment insurance qualification. We need to find a way to qualify for unemployment insurance if you are unfairly terminated by a sociopathic manager. The current system assumes that the reasons stated by the business for an employee termination are always correct. That doesn’t make any sense and is completely unfair. We should turn the situation around. Just as in our criminal system, we should assume that the employee is innocent until proven guilty. We should make the employer prove that the employee deserved to be fired. The unemployment office should hold a hearing where the parties are able to present their side of the case and have the situation decided by a fair arbitrator. This would be the equivalent of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. It would create the structure for reform with the backing of the state’s authority to censure the decisions of the employer. When the state arbitrator decided in favor of the employee then the former employer would have to pay for the employee’s unemployment benefits PLUS a penalty which would be given to the agrieved employee.

          We won’t see any improvement in employment injustices until our society rejects the current attitudes about employer/employee relationships and the qualifications for managers, and creates a legal structure to promote fairness in the workplace.

          LSMFT

        • #3176420

          the A$$holes don’t die

          by givemejava ·

          In reply to Business attitudes toward employees …

          Or perhaps the better way to put it is that they die but are replaced by new a$$holes.

          I have worked in Europe and would trade my working conditions in the USA for conditions in the Netherlands in a heartbeat. You are treated with respect. You have balance with your family life. There are no great disparities – at least by US standards – between what the bosses make and what the workers make. You get to take a lunch break! You can be home for dinner with your family!

          I think that we need to use the model of the early 1920’s through the 1950’s – the only way an indivdual worker gets a fair shake is to organize and join a union. We do not have the money or the power to do it alone, but together we can get back to the days when a worker could earn enough for a decent middle class life with time for family and some reasonable expectation of a decent retirement and pension. Have a look at techsunite.org

          My $.02

        • #3177189

          Working in Europe

          by jtakiwi ·

          In reply to the A$$holes don’t die

          There is an economic price to pay for those 34 hour work weeks and 30 days of vacation, it is called .25 % annual growth in the economy, 45% tax rates and little incentive to work beyond what you need to live within your means. Now, this doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy a 34 hour work week and 30 days vacation, beleive you me. But, I think what we need here in the US is an IT union, enforcing 40 hour work weeks, 2 weeks vacation initially, and overtime for hours worked beyond 40. Of course that would only work if there were no scabs, and as mercenary as the IT workforce has been over the past decade, there would be tons of people willing to work for less and put up w/ much more crap.

        • #3177096

          That’s why the legal course would work better

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Working in Europe

          If IT workers were NOT exempt from the Fair Labor Standards and Practices Act of 1938 then we would have the 40 hour work week and overtime without resorting to unions.

        • #3178190

          Fair Labor Standards

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to That’s why the legal course would work better

          Not all IT workers are exempt from the Fair Labor Act. My company just settled a multi-million dollar law suit with the employees because they mis-applied that Act. Potential employees need to do a better job of researching the position they are considering/being considered for before they accept employment.

          The other thing that I’ve seen mentioned in the last few post, is unions. As much as I am opposed to unions, employees have the right to form one whether the employer likes it or not. The employer has no say in whether a union is formed or not and it is unlawful for the employer to use coercive tactics to try to prevent the employees from forming a union. If enough of the employees want to form a union… poof… it is so. On the same token if those same employees want to disband a union, it is their right to do so. All it takes is a vote.

        • #3177488

          Work In Europe

          by mombasadog ·

          In reply to Working in Europe

          OK, 0.25% growth is still growth. In the UK we laugh heartily when we hear about two weeks holiday in the US, whats the point having growth and dollars when you haven’t got the time to spend it or spend any time with your family. One thing about Americans is that they constantly jabber on about money and dollars and cars and so on but they are mostly miserable. Another point about tax I went to New York last month and stayed at the Sheraton Manhattan just up from time square. The face value of the room was $189 but with state tax, bedroom tax!*?!, and some other tax it came to $400 or so. In England you pay the price as advertised… who’s being conned!

        • #3172554

          Europe’s way is better.

          by conquistador ·

          In reply to Working in Europe

          I’ve worked in several European countries over the span of my career and I have to admit they know a lot more about how to work effectively and efficiently than we do here in the US, even if they work less hours than we do. Has anybody noticed that Europe is beating our socks off in just about every industry now, while the workers in the US are so tired we can’t even think?

        • #3178197

          don’t die

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to the A$$holes don’t die

          The things you mention can be had right here in the U.S. Some seem to forget that there is a relationship between and employer and an employee. No one if forced to take the job that doesn’t fit their lifestyle. We tend to view jobs based on the employee’s perspective. What about the employer? I don’t support a socialist style of living where everyone is essentially at the same level. All work is not equal and those that make decisions that affect the fiscal health of an organization should receive better compensation. If all were the same what would motivate anyone to do better than what they’re compensated for? There was a time when unions had a useful purpose, but it seems that in these days they’re more motivated about lining their own pockets then they are in ensuring equality and fair treatment of employees. Of course they’ve also managed to convince many of the people they represent that’s not true, but take a strike for instance. The striking workers are out receiving a stipend from the union while union big wigs are still living in relative comfort.

        • #3176378

          Welcome to the real world

          by mitchlr ·

          In reply to Business attitudes toward employees …

          Being in IT isn’t the problem. No matter what kind of work you do, your quality of life is going to depend to a large degree on the personality of your immediate supervisor, no matter what level of a company you work in. If you’re in IT, that means you have some esoteric skills that not everyone learns. This means that:

          1. You’re probably smarter than your boss (and this will likely be the case for the rest of your life.)
          2. The boss knows this.

          How the boss reacts to the juxtaposition of items 1 and 2 creates your work environment. If your boss has an ethical clue and is reasonably comfortable in his or her skin and has no hidden agendas, you’re probably okay. But if your boss is uncomfortable with the idea that you’re actually smarter than he or she is, and is motivated by a combination of insecurity and personal ambition untempered by an overriding ethic, then you’re in trouble.

          Next, if you work for a company, there’s another fact of life you need to be aware of: Your employer’s goal is to give you salary and working conditions that are just good enough to keep you from quitting. Anything more than that comes off of his bottom line. How complex your environment is and how steep the learning curve would be for a new person to pick up your job plays into the equation, of course, but you’re just a cog in the employer’s profit machine. Get used to it or get up your gumption and become an independent consultant.

          I could not disagree more with those who think that the solution lies in more government and regulatory controls. Sarbanes-Oxley is a good example of the bad consequences of good intentions, and our culture is rife with such. Government isn’t the answer.

          In your place, be calm and tender your resignation to your boss’s boss, in writing. State clearly your reasons for leaving — that your boss is unreasonable, an otherwise sane person who makes insane demands that create an untenable work environment and constitute an egregious breach of professional behavior that is unacceptable. Tell the big boss that you’re not quitting the company, but you have no choice but to fire your supervisor for unprofessionalism and incompetence — his job includes people skills, and the behavior you describe is way under par for professional management.

          And always be prepared for the consequences. You’re tendering your resignation, so be prepared to hit the pavement. The big boss may try to keep you, but let him know that you will not stay under this supervisor. If that means you’re out of a job, let him know that you have no prejudice against the company, just this one poltroon of a supervisor. Smile, shake the big boss’s hand, and let him know you’re sorry it didn’t work out. This is a great company to work for, but one unprofessional and incompetent jerk creates an environment that doesn’t meet the professional standards set by the company.

          By the way, if the big boss is also a jerk, nix the speech. Just get out the door as fast as you can and let the next sacrificial IT lamb come in to take the next set of abuse. Sometimes you can outlast jerks, but sometimes there are other factors involved (e.g. the jerk is a relative of the company’s owner, the jerk is blackmailing an officer of the company, etc.)

          You can always leave. Unemployment is never a good thing, but it’s not always the worst thing, and it doesn’t last forever.

          One more thing — if your resume has a lot of short term engagements where you’ve worked for a lot of jerks, look in the mirror. There are a lot of jerks out there in the world, to be sure. But if you always seem to be working for one, YOU may be the problem: It may be that you’re taking jobs you ought not to take and need to improve your interview skills so you can detect a bad work environment ahead of time (pay attention to those alarm bells that start ringing during the interview process) or perhaps you have one or more character flaws that lead you to sabotage your own work environment. It’s not an either/or thing, but if you have a long string of bad work environments, YOU play some role in the equation somewhere, if inadvertently.

          Take charge of your own future.

          — Mitch

        • #3176320

          Well said!

          by dlidge ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          I was in a “I hate my job” state of mind when I read your response to “What to Do?” I am in complete awe of you. This is a well thought out response and my perspective has improved 100% because of it. Thank you again. I’m passing this along. You don’t come across this level of insight often.

        • #3176285

          I disagree with one point

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          I appreciate the reasonable approach that you have taken in your response. It makes having a discussion much easier. I like a lot of what you have to say. The one statement with which I disagree is the following:

          “…I could not disagree more with those who think that the solution lies in more government and regulatory controls. Sarbanes-Oxley is a good example of the bad consequences of good intentions, and our culture is rife with such. Government isn’t the answer.”

          This is the reason that I disagree.

          One reason that I compared this situation to the civil rights movement in the U.S. in the 1960s is that it can serve as a model of what to expect in the way of progress. The first steps were taken to create a legal structure of enforcing civil rights. People who were adults at that time were being told that everything that they believed was wrong. They were not inclined to believe the new ideas being championed at that time and they never fully accepted these new ideas.

          However during the 1970s there was a lot of educational material to promote the ideals of the civil rights movement. Children were exposed to ideas of equality in school, on television, and other sources. In some cases as the children became teenagers they considered the merit of these ideas even if their parents didn’t agree. Over time and several generations the ideas of equality for all people have become predominant and the racists are dwindling in number. Racism will always exist but as the older people who were the primary supporters of Jim Crowe in the south die off the racists become the outsiders.

          This is how legal structure can pave the way for a cultural revolution. Education is also a big part of the solution. It may be that education can handle the job alone but leaving the job entirely to education is like expecting the people in the south to reform themselves. Certainly there were always good people in the south who did not believe in racism but they were not having much impact until the civil rights movement of the 1960s began. The Civil Rights Act gave the good people a mechanism to begin restructuring society until the educational component could reshape the prevailing attitudes in society. It also provided a guiding light toward the new societal values which needed to be adopted.

          So the law was instrumental in overcoming the deeply entrenched mores of society which had implemented and supported the Jim Crowe environment. The law provided a legal basis to fight Jim Crowe. The law provided a guide toward the reformed society. Education actually implemented the reform by shaping the values of children. The Jim Crowe injustices continued until those children grew up and replaced the bad people who were in power.

          Social reform is a long and uncertain process. It is not going to totally eliminate the problems that it addresses. It can only hope to make the problems go from mainstream values to fringe ideas.

          This is exactly the kind of reform that we need in society to improve conditions in the workplace. Currently most people of all economic classes would say that an employer has the right to be a sociopath. If you don’t like it you can leave. That would be like telling black people in Alabama in 1950 that if they didn’t like their society then they could leave. That isn’t addressing the basic problem of unacceptable treatment of people. Telling people that they can leave if they don’t like their work situation is legitimatizing the bad work environment. By saying that we don’t need to address the sociopaths in business management we ARE saying that they are within their rights. When a person’s employemnt is unfairly terminated and the former employer is assumed by the unemployment department to be within their rights the unemployment department is saying that their actions toward the former employee are acceptable. We need to change that attitude. We need to establish humane rules of conduct for employers. We need to be able to say that if a sociopath has caused harm to an employee then that employee does is not required to stay in that environment. If a sociopathic manager unfairly terminates the employment of a good worker then that worker should have available a reasonable procedure to seek redress. The place for that to happen is in the unemployment office.

          We need to reform the procedures and qualifications for seeking unemployment insurance benefits. We need to hold the former employer more accountable to humane and otherwise fair behavior both in establishing the work environment and in terminating employees. This can form the legal structure for the social reform that I am advocating. The unemployment office of each state is currently in the position to perform this function. All that is required is to legislate the changes.

          Then we need to get away from pathological models of work as portrayed by The Jetsons cartoon and other television shows. Just as in the 1970s All in the Family portrayed racism as ignorant we need to have new models of the work environment portrayed on television and in magazines and in newspapers. We need to point out unjust situations and identify them as being unacceptable. We need to identify situations where a CEO is paid millions of dollars in bonuses while the janitor is only paid minimum wage. When we can make these CEOs social outcasts then there will be an incentive for them to act more equitably toward all of their employees. When we can override the decisions of line managers to humiliate and degrade employees until they either quit or are fired for unjust causes then we will give teeth to this social reform. When corporations face social and financial penalties that are too big to absorb then we will provide the impetus to force corporations to reform their behavior. This is the role that education can provide.

          So legal structure and education can, over the period of thirty or forty years, provide the groundwork to implement social change. But this social change will only become effective when the average person believes that employers must behave humanely and do not have the right to act in any way that they please.

        • #3177282

          I sense a bit of misunderstanding

          by josh ·

          In reply to I disagree with one point

          It seems that IT really isn’t the place for race issues to come out. Maybe I’m just old school, (read that to mean that I’ve been in this field for a long time…) but race was never an issue in this field. It was all about who was able to best do the job; we all helped each other figure out a problem. Maybe I just look at things differently, since I have been an employee, manager and the business owner.
          Social change doesn’t come from the government. All of the forms you fill out for anything within government is blatantly racist. Sure it is couched in currently accepted language, but it still classifies a person according to skin color.
          Your statement about CEOs and janitors making different amounts of money is preposterous. That you can think that way just shows that you have never talked to anyone who lived with the horrors of a communist system. Even there, some people were more equal than others. It is sad that people are still being told how wonderful communism is in our colleges and on tv. Go ask someone who was there, not some college professor who thinks it looks good on paper.
          Some managers have always behaved in the way described by the original poster. It is an unfortunate fact of life. Is it right? No. It’s called a bureaucracy. It has to go. The only way to do that is through the legal system. If enough employees figure out that the only way to stop this behavior is to document it, go to upper management, document that and give them a time frame for change before legal action will begin (they don’t dare fire you at this point, it would be a death knell for them) and you might get somewhere. If not, then take legal action. Then the management will see you are serious.
          Look, the bottom line is there aren’t that many managers that are like this. Most of them work for the government. Get the rest of them out of the private sector and we’ll all be happy.

        • #3177208

          Analogy

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to I sense a bit of misunderstanding

          I was making a link between the social reform of the 1960s and the social reform that I am advocating for employment reform. I never said that race was an issue in IT.

          And I’m not advocating communism either. I think that you are reading a statement in my post and then extrapolating an interpretation that isn’t supported by my statement. If you follow financial news you will after a while realize that CEOs do not add value to a business. Professional CEOs are generally a liability to a business. Look at examples like “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap and Bob Palmer. Chainsaw Al destroyed several corporations in the guise of reorganizing them. The last business that I know that he destroyed was Sunbeam. Bob Palmer destroyed Digital Equipment Corporation using a method that maximised his bonuses while destroying jobs and ultimately destroying the company. Digital Equipment Corp. employed about 125,000 people directly and employed an equal if not greater number of temps. When Bob Palmer was done selling off DEC’s various businesses and assets it there was little more than a service business left which he sold to Compaq.

          On the other hand the janitors provide a critical service to the business. I’m not aware of any business being destroyed, willfully or otherwise, by its janitorial staff. Businesses would have a difficult time operating unless someone performed the janitorial function, though. In general I would say that janitors provide a greater benefit to corporations than CEOs.

          This isn’t advocating communism. I think that you don’t really understand communism. What I am advocating is treating people humanely. I am also speculating about how that can be accomplished. I am saying that management should not be able to treat employees any way that they feel like doing. I am saying that there are inequities in our job system that could be addressed by a change in attitude. That isn’t communism. There might be some merit in saying that there is a touch of socialist philosophy behind it. Or you could say that it is closely tied to some ideas in Christian philosophy, but in a limited sense.

          All that I’m really saying is that we should find a way to limit the unrestrained scope of behavior among management. We should find a way to protect employees from sociopaths.

        • #3177176

          No pure ‘ism’ is perfect.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to I sense a bit of misunderstanding

          For the simple fact that you are dealing with people, each having their own seperate mix of fear, ethics, selfishness, and greed.

        • #3177135

          Agree

          by dlidge ·

          In reply to I sense a bit of misunderstanding

          That’s right. Class action suits are much more effective than one on one. One person has to keep a paper trail. Several people…they can’t all be wrong.

        • #3177000

          Re: misunderstanding

          by dean7710 ·

          In reply to I sense a bit of misunderstanding

          Josh,

          It seems the misunderstanding is on your side. I read through stress junkie?s post.

          It’s clear that the post is NOT declaring that race is or is not an issue in the IT workplace. The civil rights movement is being used as a possible conceptual template to apply to the plight of employees (with the implied understanding of course, that those who suffered from the racism of the 50s and 60s suffered far more than any IT professional).

          CEO?s are given far too much company monies. Their contribution to the company and the funds that they receive are way out of proportion. I find that some of the folks who hold this view are from various ideological backgrounds ? liberals, libertarians and conservatives (usually traditional conservatives ? not neo conservatives).

          The post was also clearly not advocating communism. The theme throughout seemed to be that there could be laws that would allow a means (legal actions) to combat poor employment conditions, and to compliment these laws, education in various forms to bring the issue to the forefront. Admittedly there are laws in place, but they don?t seem to be as fair and protective to the employee as they could be.

          I seriously doubt your comment that ?our colleges? are telling people that communism is ?wonderful? is accurate. Do you have any notable research to backup this statement? I attended a LIBERAL ARTS college. There, professors did not sing the praises of communism. On the contrary. For instance, my history professor detailed the failure and tyranny produced by attempts at communism throughout history.

          I haven?t seen communism praised as wonderful on the Cable and satellite channels that I have either, but then I haven?t seen every channel out there.

          I think junkie, you, I, and everyone on this thread have the same goal in mind, and I am encouraged to see so many comments about the subject.

          Regards,
          Dean

        • #3177238

          Utopian Socialism Doesn’t Exist

          by darinhamer ·

          In reply to I disagree with one point

          mitchlr’s reply was fantastic. You need to study it. In fact, it would be good for people to compare his/her reply to yours. It is the difference between market-driven capitalism and the utopian socialistic view of economics. mitchlr is showing you what power the individual has. stress junkie is claiming that none of us have any power–we must rely on the government to bring about change. And stress junkie seems to believe in a utopian society that can still be achieved if we would all just get along. Look at history. Nothing stress junkie has said is new, and yet it really has never worked.

          There is a difference between racism and employment. You cannot legitimately compare working in the U.S. to slavery or the civil rights movement. That’s offensive. It’s ludicrous. And by the way, the people of the 60’s who were all trying to create that utopian society are now the bosses of today. So if the work environment is not utopian enough for you, that’s proof that it is not achievable.

          I don’t want the government and lawyers trying to do all of this for us. And, as much as I respect and value janitors, they shouldn’t make as much as CEO’s. The fact that the market places a higher value on some position over others gives people motivation to strive for something greater. In socialist economies, there is no such motivation, and the economy fails to thrive.

          mitchlr’s advice is much more positive and optimistic. It recognizes the individual’s ability, within certain realistic boudaries, to determine his or her own destiny. I’ll stick with that, thank you very much, and fight the socialists at every turn. I hope others will do the same.

        • #3177190

          Utopian Socialism Doesn’t Exist

          by der tommissar ·

          In reply to Utopian Socialism Doesn’t Exist

          It is the difference between market-driven capitalism and the utopian socialistic view of economics. mitchlr is showing you what power the individual has.

          Actually, I considered mitchlr’s post to be somewhat Distributive. That is, however, way off the topic at hand.

        • #3178358

          Re: Utopian Socialism?

          by dean7710 ·

          In reply to Utopian Socialism Doesn’t Exist

          darinhamer,

          You know our economy is not a PURE capitalist market driven economy. It has checks and balances (though sometimes it may not seem like it) that are supposed to offset the effects of excess greed and abusive corporate power and influence. Those checks and balances come from the government (supposedly us ?We the people?). This setup was an evolutionary construction, and over the past hundred years our economy has grown and at times even purred along.

          I do not see anyone talking about Utopian Socialism ? let alone run of the mill socialism (except those that I think are mistakenly attributing it to others? ideas). The American Heritage dictionary defines Socialism as ?A social system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned collectively and political power is exercised by the whole community.”

          I don?t believe that this is something that anyone has proposed. For example, Mr. Dell would still own his goods and the distribution of them, and employees would not have ownership of them (unless they purchased some shares I suppose :-)).

          Rather than labeling something that it isn?t, and then devoting your energies to ?fighting? it – which if I may respectfully suggest is energy wasted, why not address specific ideas or thoughts expressed in postings stating why it?s a bad (or good) idea?

          I do like and agree with the idea of self-reliance and self-empowerment. Absolutely. BUT, there are times and situations when even this is not enough. I don?t know whether or not the topic at hand demonstrates one of those times, but I like the discussion and exchange of ideas taking place.

          Regards,
          Dean

        • #3178153

          Utopia

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Utopian Socialism Doesn’t Exist

          You can count me in!

        • #3178122

          Reply to Dean 7710

          by darinhamer ·

          In reply to Utopian Socialism Doesn’t Exist

          Dean,

          I appreciate your point of view, and I can’t argue with most of what you said. I also like the ability to have discussions and after re-reading my post, I don’t see it as attacking something that I have given an inaccurate label to. I was replying to many of the points in stress junkie’s e-mail. Some of the things that he was proposing are socialistic in nature.

          But, now we are having a discussion about the discussion. Again, I like Mitch’s post and think it is the right course of action.

        • #3177042

          It sounds to me…

          by hammaren9 ·

          In reply to I disagree with one point

          …like you’re more worried about making sure everyone is unemployed and compensated for that unemployment than educating and assisting people in seeking employment that suits them. I own a small company with 5 employees that are compensated very well and have full free health-care, days off, 401K, and bonuses. And I don’t sit down with a spreadsheet when I (and my partner) are ready to dole out dough. We know who works very hard and who doesn’t (although all do produce). And the last thing samll businesses need is more laws and government regualtions. Want to create a country with 12% unemployment? Let’s become more like France and Germany. For people who think unemployment benefits are a good thing, why not go there?

          Sure, the goal of the company is to produce profit, and since I started it, why should I not reap the benefit after 15 years? At the same time, I take pride in how we compensate our people. Strangley enough, I am a conservative Republican who has learned that money isn’t everything, but an employee who works hard and thinks the same way about work deserves to benefit. On the other hand, I know many LIBERAL business owners who claim like this responder, that government can help you, and are the first ones to screw their employees, because acquisition of wealth is their only objective and satisfaction in life. They would sell their mother for an increase in ROI.

          Oh, and BTW, I am an agnostic, so don’t serve up any fundamentalist crap. It’s about values and nothing more. I feel for the person posting this thread. There is probably no hope at the job, although I would take pleasure in hearing about how he screwed them in court, as I would be afraid in the state of NJ to treat any employee that way for fear of losing a great deal. There is no excuse for management letting that happen. Reminds me of my days in large corporate America where 80% of the people survived by political gamesmanship, and the other 20% did the work. I wish him well.

        • #3177021

          I understand what you are saying …

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to It sounds to me…

          … and I agree. I was simply saying that the unemployment system could be used as a tool to provide the structure to implement the change in attitudes that I actually am advocating.

          Oh, and BTW, I’m an atheist so there isn’t any fundamentalist crap. I simply put that reference to my philosophy having some comparison to various other established schools of philosophy such as, but not completely aligning with, nor limited to, Christian thought. I did that because people incorrectly identified my opinion as being aligned with communism.

          And I’m self employed. And one day I may employ people in my own business. My point is that everybody has a right to humane treatment. That idea is exactly the opposite of our society’s view.

        • #3178156

          disagreement

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to I disagree with one point

          All too often some use the relative success of the civil rights movement as an analogy to whatever their cause is at the moment when clearly there is no connection. Using the civil rights movement tends to hit people at an emotional level which is not where their thinking should be coming from. Their thinking should be based on sound, rational, and well thought out reasoning devoid of emotion.

          Racism is still very prevalent in our society. Those that are racist have just found more clever ways of practicing it. All people in our society are still not equal and are not treated equally. Look at the left wing of our government for instance. They create these social programs under the guise of helping the less fortunate when in reality they’re only trying build a voter base. Those same programs they create don’t do anything to make their recipients more capable of achieving long term prosperity. They only succeed in developing a mentality of dependency and entitlement. Now we have a system where you can get in and have no desire to get out.

          The tone of your post sounds as if you’re advocating a classless society (read as communism) which I don’t think has a place in a free society. With all of our imperfections I wish to remain free. To make a comparison between the CEO and the Janitor is absurd in my opinion. The very nature of their respective job descriptions doesn’t allow for that comparison. I don’t think that an employer needs to have very many reasons for terminating someone outside of what the law currently limits. To implement your idea means infringing upon the rights of the employer to have work for them whomever they choose to the advantage of the employee.

          The education we need is to teach employees about real world work environment, ethics, job search tactics, researching a position, rights in the workplace, interviewing, etc.

        • #3177581

          CEO vs. janitor is an extreme example, I agree

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to disagreement

          I’ve said this before. The thing about these discussions is that they are made up of posts that are written in a few minutes. I expect that if I had taken a week to write a paper on this subject I might have used different examples or different phrases. Unfortunately many of the responses are reactions to those ideas which may have been expressed poorly or which may appear to incorporate ideas which are not intended or which are not directly related to the discussion. In the case of the CEO vs. the janitor I expressed a view about management which I still hold to be true but which is not directly related to the discussion. This view serves only to confuse my point. I could go back and rewrite the post but I think that it is unfair to do so after people have started to comment on a post.

          I advocate capitalism. I absolutely do not believe in communism or socialism.

          —–

          I mentioned the civil rights movement of the 1960s in the US because the example is exactly comparable to what I am proposing. My proposal is intended to address the civil rights of employees. My proposal is intended to change the grass roots beliefs that employer/employee relationships are currently acceptable. Both of these issues were integral to the 1960s civil rights movement. That effort had to address both the injustices based on race and the perception that those injustices were acceptable. In those two respects my proposal is exactly the same as the original civil rights movement. Also, the degree of success of my proposal and the path of progress would also be highly comparable because the same sort of methods would be employed to address the same sorts of issues. So, older people would never accept the new ideas and we would have to wait for them to die off before their malevolence would be removed from society. Young people could be educated to see the merits of the new ideas and some would adopt those new ideas. So this whole proposal is highly comparable to the 1960s civil rights movement because first it is about civil rights of employees, second we are facing the same challenges of changing attitudes, third older people would not be expected to accept the new ideas, and lastly because we cannot expect to achieve complete success even after a generation of striving toward this goal. So while some people may think that I am treading on their territory when I make the comparison between my idea and the 1960s civil rights movement I would respond by saying that civil rights and civil injustices are not the exclusive realm of one group or another. I think that I am completely justified in claiming similarity between my idea and the civil rights movement because my idea is a new civil rights movement.

          —–

          In any case I thank you for presenting your ideas in a way that encourages discussion. I am delighted that all of the people responding to my posts have apparently maintained a demeanor that has made this discussion very enjoyable to me. I hope that people reading my posts also percieve a calm demeanor in my own posts. I think it’s great when we can talk reasonably whether we ultimately agree or not.

        • #3177618

          Ran out of levels, again…

          by hammaren9 ·

          In reply to I disagree with one point

          Just to respond to your last post, I totally agree about treating everyone fairly, and I live by that.

          Now, and just something to tuck away for the future. When you do, and I hope you do employ people, just remember one thing. They too have the moral responsibility to treat you the same way. I hope you can retain your ideal, as rarely do employees measure up long term – they get bored. Large companies have the luxury of sending people in 40 different places. We do not have that option, but we pay more and don’t offer the benefit of meetings, and meetings and politics.

          And therefore, one does develop an altered attitude about things. It hasn’t changed how we treat our employees, but hardened my attitudes when I hear gripes about things.

          In any case, we do agree on something. Cheers.

        • #3187783

          I agree to disagree

          by jackuvalltrades ·

          In reply to I disagree with one point

          Stress Junkie, I appreciate your well thought arguments and logic; however, if you truly feel this way, join a union. Unions were formed to perform precisely the functions you desire.
          Other than that, and please don’t take this the wrong way, take responsibility for yourself. Don’t expect a nameless, faceless bureaucrat to care enough about you (or anyone else) to actually solve your problems. Legislating anything is usually the road to perdition. Read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” to see what I mean.

        • #3177274

          Document, document, document …

          by jlindsay ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          Your response is very, very accurate – and professional. In particular, you have outlined your advice on three variants of the basic scenario presented and allowed for a bit of a decision tree algorithm to follow. You also seem to have more than a little management potential – not to mention leadership ability.

          At the risk of paraphrasing … here are your general ideas as i understand them:

          1. Scenario A: good company / good manager / poor supervisor. Tender your resignation but be hopeful (i.e. try and get your immediate supervisor fired, or at least disciplined). Be prepared to leave, but don’t burn any bridges.

          2. Scenario B: good company / poor manager / poor supervisor. Get the heck out of there, you’re outnumbered and outgunned. Save your breath, they won’t listen. There may be regrets, but ultimately you must vote with your feet. Look for an equally good company, which you know how to do. Remember that you got into one good company, so you can get into another. As a lesson learned, if possible, try to refine your “manager / supervisor search” skill set.

          3. Scenario C: bad company – period. As per scenario B but consider why you allowed yourself to be trapped into a poor company to begin with.

          The point I would like to add is documentation. Typically this only helps in scenario A, but it is also “required” in scenario A as well. If I was the CIO, I would be asking fror facts as well as opinion. Where are the meeting notes for the dates in question/ Where are the e-mails between employee and supervisor setting meetings to resolve the issue? What follow up was conducted (… etc / etc …).

          In short … document, document, document.
          Yes, I do this myself, and it has an impact.

          I keep two written journals – one covers the “typical” 8×5 and focuses on the when, what and where of managing the company. I consider this the property of the company as it contains technical details of my job and the matter-of-fact decision regarding the companies everyday business. I would surrender it to my replacement / relief without question.

          However I also have a second written journal. This journal is always with me and I consider it my personal property. This journal is much smaller and, in gerenal, details the who and why of the weird decisions, off-track discussions and harassment-like behaviour. It is literally there as a personal defence mechanism. If things get hot and a he said / she said arguement erupts … i pull out journal #2.

          Hope this helps. Best of luck.

        • #3177272

          Read this again

          by mross01 ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          I couldn’t have said this better. But read the whole thing, don’t just take pieces of go with it. The last paragraph may be the most important part of this whole post.

        • #3177265

          Good Advice

          by tnsilvertip ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          Mitch says some very good things. One reason there are bad managers is “social” promotions; been there a long time, a good worker (ewhatever the field), etc. A good programmer (put any position in here) does not a good manager make. In the Navy, I used to tell my E6’s and new E7’s that it was time to put down the screwdriver and learn how to use that pen, that up to now they had maintained electronics gear and now they had to maintain people and thatmeant they had to study different tech manuals. Too often training for management staff is not provided and they are left to learn by trial and error.
          Your position is not sustainable from the sounds of your letter. If you decide to lawyer up, do so quietly. Read General Sun’s Art of War (strategy). Learn the rules of the game before you start playing hardball. Figure out what guns you have available and load all chambers before you draw it. Develop a plan of attack, a plan of sustainability, and a plan for exit. Sounds like a lot but the alternative is like going to a gunfight with a BB gun.
          And don’t forget to look in the mirror. Good luck!

        • #3177246

          Excellent Advice Mitch!!

          by bluegiant ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          I think this is outstanding advice for an exit strategy. Given the nature of the IT Manager, you both cannot continue to work for this company. The IT manager will not change his expectations of your time commitment, which are truly unreasonable. If you can’t afford to be out of work for a while, begin that search for a new job NOW! When you have accepted a job offer, follow Mitch’s advice for exiting the company. No matter the situation, remain professional when you exit the company…it can only benefit you in the future.

          On the brighter side, there are good IT jobs out there. I’m a business systems analyst and AS/400 system administrator, I have a great boss who is every bit as knowledgeable as I am and understands the concept of quality work. I work 8:30 – 5:00 almost every day. The times I have to come in during off hours are usually compensated with time off somewhere else. The IT department is well run and my coworkers are great to work with. The pay is a little under average, but not much; however, the excellent work environment makes up for it in my opinion. I never have to worry about getting time off to attend to personal issues…when I need it, it’s there.

          I’m saying this so you know that there really are good jobs out there. Like Mitch said, be attentive in the interview process. Ask questions about the company…you should be interviewing them to determine if they are the right company for you. Try to meet people in your prospective department if possible…you can gain valuable insight into the culture and work environment that way.

          Hope this helps,

          Mark

        • #3177123

          Very insightful and thoughtful response

          by raulman1 ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          Thanks, Mitch. I especially found value in your last paragraph — about looking in the mirror if you find you’ve worked for a string of “jerks” or have a lot of short-term engagements on your resume.

        • #3177064

          **IT IS EASIER TO GET A JOB WHEN YOU HAVE ONE**

          by martinshort ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          There is something better than unemployment. It’s called hang in there and work hard at getting your next job. It’s tough having to jobsearch and hold down a job we know BUT:

          I worked with long term unemployed professionals for a number of years – helping them back into work. They all had similar stories of taking the redunancy money, quitting because the hated their boss and failing to get a new post!!

          **IT IS EASIER TO GET A JOB WHEN YOU HAVE ONE**

          Anyone who gives you different advice to that has never seen the damage extended unemployment causes. Do yourself a favour and be responsible to yourself – you will not regret it.

        • #3177056

          Very true

          by dlidge ·

          In reply to **IT IS EASIER TO GET A JOB WHEN YOU HAVE ONE**

          That definitely is the case. I would never voluntarily walk away either. But if you are wrongfully terminated and eligible for unemployment(which you should be since you’ll have your paper trail and the unemployment office is your first line of defense), you will have time to find a new job and pursue your lawsuit.

        • #3187966

          Find something else first!!!!

          by itguyinde ·

          In reply to **IT IS EASIER TO GET A JOB WHEN YOU HAVE ONE**

          deja vu…

          martinshort is right, it is MUCH easier getting another job when you currently have one. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CURRENT JOB UNTIL YOU HAVE FOUND ANOTHER! Just devote all of your free (sorry) time to the job search. If that means cutting back, so be it. You aren’t sticking around there anyways…

          For the last four years up until now I was very much in a similar situation as you (in a small company, 160 hour workweeks, etc) but I left and went to a very large company hoping that the situation would improve…this didn’t work out either so I found a happy medium: A larger company than where I was at before, but small enough to not simply be a drone or cog nor blinded by rules and procedures.

          I suspect you would be happier in a similar situation.

        • #3177032

          I cannot believe..

          by hammaren9 ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          ..what I hear sometimes. I post this in this level because apparently we have run out of levels. The one thing I like about a ‘progressive thinker’ is that they always seem to paint a beautiful portrait of what could be. Who doesn’t think a janitor isn’t a valuable person. But sorry to say, a thousand people can line up for that job. CEO, competent or unknowingly incompetent has a short line. And for anyone who has worked in corporate America, managing there is no picnic, regardless of the perks. I appluded when the recent verdicts were handed down, and frankly I think they should get life. But once again, keep making us like Germany and France, and we will accomplish that goal.

        • #3176997

          Put on Notice

          by dlidge ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          I remember at my old firm when our departments merged, I was part of a group that wasn’t liked by new management. They systemically singled out individuals for some sort of petty harrassment. I was caught by the big boss coming in about 10 minutes late twice in one week. (Mind you, he was downstairs talking on his cell phone during business hours,no less). Needless to say I was put on notice and told I would have to email my DR every morning and evening, arrival and departure. After responding with the usual “this reeks of harrassment” etc., I decided have a little fun. I went to the Alta Vista Babel Fish website and translated various greetings which I would email to them daily. “See you later alligator” in French, “I’m in the house” in German and so on. After about a week, my DR came to and asked me if I was having fun. I replied that I was and asked him did he enjoy learning how to say good morning and good night in several different languages. Needless to say that afternoon they told I did not have to do it anymore. (I did, however, send all correspondence from them to my home as part of my paper trail if they tried to push the issue. They backed off.)

        • #3178350

          Very Good Answer

          by tony_moey ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          Mitch, I think you nailed the problem ! Yes, it’s a very, very logical and sensible assessment of the situation, i especially like the fact that it’s always a case of the 1 and 2 you mentioned in the first part of your post. So, to thread this fine line, we gotta make sure we don’t go against the bosses too often, yet, we must not always back down. I just faced a similar situation last week, and i had to spill the beans on my superior after keeping quiet for more than 3 years. Insecurity of bosses and their inability to keep cool about it is one major problem in IT. How did it happen? Simple, they sucked their way up and they didn’t spend enough time learning. It will always happen, wherever we go, so stick to it and just don’t give up !

        • #3178184

          The Real World

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Welcome to the real world

          Very nicely put. Take control of your own destiny and don’t leave it up to your employer. Interviews are a two way process. The employer is trying to discern if the potential employee is a good fit for the company, and at the same time the employee “should” be trying to discern if the potential employer (company) is a good fit for them and their needs.

        • #3176358

          Now you know

          by mjmarcus ·

          In reply to Business attitudes toward employees …

          Now you know why unions have been formed in the past. Most businesses reward the managers or policies that can suck the most profitability out of employees for the least (pay, benefits, pension, personal time) possible. And there is really no way to stop them, you can only hope to get lucky at a different company or division.

        • #3176323

          I generally oppose unions

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Now you know

          I’ve worked for several union shops. Most were in blue collar positions. One was an IT union shop. It seems to me that there is no way to win in a union shop. The union creates a structure which eliminates the possibility of management and labor acting as a team. Often the lower level managers resent the union and manifest that malevolence in whatever way they can. The worst thing about unions is that it so clearly defines the roles of labor that you cannot work outside of the scope of your job definition. This eliminates any interest in the labor force to grow by learning new skills. You become pigeon holed into a job definition and are restricted from doing any activity that is not covered in your job description. This leads to people being undertasked and unable to pursue new interests informally.

          Unions are like prisons. The employer’s management and the union’s shop steward are the prison guards.

          I understand the need for unions. The horrors of the Industrial Revolution as described by Charles Dickens and others of the time show to what levels of inhumanity unrestrained management and business owners will sink. In the U.S. stories from the early 20th century like the Pullman strike show that when people in positions of power, such as business ownership or business management, consider themselves to be a higher order being from the laborers then they are inclined to treat laborors like slaves. The plight of hard rock underground miners has only improved due to the efforts of unions to influence both business managers and the government. The standard 40 hour work week in the U.S. with the provision for enhanced pay when working more than 40 hours per week are attributable to unions. So unions have an important place in society. They can be a tool to force business and government to mandate humane treatment of laborers.

          But there is a price to pay. Unions do not create an ideal work environment. They may enable people to force business management to adopt some basic humane policies but unions are also divisive. The mere existence of a union can play into the strategy of a malevolent management or can turn benevolent management into resentful and petty adversaries. Malevolent managers can use the union rules to make the work environment dull and degrading. Even benevolent management may feel emasculated by the existence of a union and may use the union restrictions to make the labor environment restrictive and excruciatingly boring.

          I would seek alternate solutions unless work conditions were plainly and unnecessarily unsafe. A lot of these problems would be solved if IT jobs were NOT exempt from the Fair Labor Practices Standards Act of 1938. The 40 hour work week would become standard. Extra pay would be legally required when an employee was required to work more than 40 hours per week. This would reduce the expectation that IT workers would work normally more than 40 hours a week. I don’t think we need unions nor do we want them. We just need the same rights and protection under the law as other non-management employees.

        • #3177126

          I don’t quite agree with what your saying.

          by joprysko1 ·

          In reply to I generally oppose unions

          Unions are a wonderful thing, if you’re employed doing physical work. Carpenters, electricians, construction, etc. Like you said, a union does clearly define your job roles and functions.

          In a labor force where the change in procedures, tools, and general required knowledge is very stable, then unions are an excellent resource. They enable laymen to have a powerful voice where none would exist otherwise. It provides strength and benefits which otherwise wouldn’t exist. A good example of where unions help the masses are at supermarkets. Quite a few of the large chains are union shops, while you may hear the employees complain about this or that, have them try getting a job at a fast food joint, resturant, or small local store.

          While the pay may end up about the same to start, without the union, those employees would most likely go without medical benefits, hospital coverage, and be truely still subject to the will of their boss. While the boss is still liable to pay overtime, etc. as provided by government laws, that’s about the extent of working at a small shop in those types of business.

          Then you have stores like Walmart if you remember from a few years ago, and even last year, whose employees are absolutely non-union shops. The lawsuits about how the employees were treated unfairly, the illegal workers, etc. I really don’t want to get into a debate about unions. I just want to say that for certain types of fields, unions can still be powerful and helpful ally’s to the workers.

          Now to IT….

          The IT field is such a dynamic and broad field. The knowledge you have today could be made totally invalid by new occurances and advances in matters of years or even months. I’m going to keep the perspective of a small-mid sized IT support as opposed to mainframe.

          There was a time that the Novell CNA certification was close to the ‘be all – end all’ of IT certifications.

          When doing PC and network support meant you HAD to know how to identify hardware problems down to the component level.

          A time when the tools you would use to add additional nodes to a network would vary by company as on a hardware level and your toolkit was something to be proud of on a hardware level, as opposed to how many CD’s you carry.

          There were many different media it could be carried across. Token Ring, ArcNet, 10b2 ethernet, and more.

          How many people here remember monochrome VGA monitors?

          Sorry, I’m rambling also, but the point I’m making is that if the IT field is or had been unionized since it’s inception, we wouldn’t nearly be as far advanced as we are today.

          Sorry if this letter seems broken up, I fell asleep in the middle of writing this.

          Joe

        • #3177098

          It sounds like we’re agreeing

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to I don’t quite agree with what your saying.

          It sounds like you’re saying that some jobs like those in a supermarket benefit from unions. Other jobs, like those in IT support would not benefit from unions. That sounds a lot like my post.

        • #3178167

          A couple of commants.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to I don’t quite agree with what your saying.

          I think unions tend to help some people (sometimes undeservedly) at the expense of others. A simplistic example, but a lumberjack who cuts down 30 trees a day should be compensated more than one who cuts down only 20 trees a day. It is also more difficult to see rewards. Increasing the pay of an outstanding employee usually results in a barrage of grievances from those in the same “job class” as the rewarded employee (especially those who have more seniority). I also tire of seeing promotions given to the “most senior employee who meets the minimum qualifications”.

          Health benefits? Who do they think they’re fooling? They’re not providing a damned thing. The part of the premium that “they” are paying comes out of the same funds used to pay you. They’re just not paying them to you. Frankly, they can give me that 12k per year and I’ll buy my own health insurance. Not to mention that this discriminates against people who are covered under their spouse’s insurance. What a racket!

        • #3177199

          Sick of this Europe nonsense

          by theantimike ·

          In reply to Now you know

          The quickest way to insure that all of our jobs are outsourced is to start talking about unionizing. Unions are dead. Get used to it. All this nonsense about how great Europe is only tells half of the story. The Netherlands this, the Netherlands that! Once you start digging below the surface and take a look at the health of their economies you will see that socialism IS NOT SELF SUSTAINING!
          I for one do not want the government taking care of my needs. Self reliance is a beautiful thing.

        • #3178353

          Re: Sick of this Europe nonsense

          by dean7710 ·

          In reply to Sick of this Europe nonsense

          tHeaNTImIKE,

          “Socialism – A social system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are *owned collectively* and political power is exercised by the whole community.” — American Heritage dictionary

          I don?t believe that this is something that anyone has proposed. Mr. Dell would still own his goods and the distribution of them, and employees would not have ownership of them (unless they purchased some shares I suppose :-)). — sorry for the verbatim paste from previous post, but I’m about ready to crash.

          Also, according to the CIA, the Netherlands form of government is a “constitutional monarchy” (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/nl.html#Govt). I?m not saying we should or should not emulate the Netherlands, but that based on the CIA, I don?t believe that they are a socialist state.

          I think that under certain circumstances unions may be detrimental to an economy, and in others can be beneficial to an economy. It can also be instrumental in protecting workers. From what I understand unions are supposed to ensure workers have DECENT working conditions and get DECENT pay. I don’t have a specific case, but I know that there are various instances in the early 1900s where unions helped prevent the wholesale abuse of workers (ridiculously long work hours, child labor, etc). Current circumstances are surely not as bad as they were back then – and you can thank UNIONS of the past for that! And yes, thank the GOVERMENT as well. It was the establishment of laws protecting workers that improved the life of millions, and that surely helped thousands move up the capitalistic society. By the way the government is us (or it is supposed to be).

          But times have changed since then, and maybe unions are not needed as much now as then. And I guess unions, like corporations, can be abusive at times by allowing wages that may be TOO high and much more and above than decent and necessary. I suppose that with the changes over the past hundred years, unions could evolve to adapt so that they would address real contemporary work issues, and yet not be an impediment to economic growth. Otherwise the concept may indeed die then, but for now apparently they aren?t quite dead.

          I do agree that self-reliance is definitely a valuable quality worth attaining (and nurturing).

          Regards,
          Dean

        • #3187784

          re: Now you know

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Now you know

          If this is the reason unions were formed then my already strong dislike of them is now being support by their incompetence, although I applaud their ability to convince their membership that they are a necessary entity. The same reason you state as a need for unions also applies to unions. The suck their membership for as much dues as they can and only pay lip service to the needs (actual or perceived) of their members.

        • #3176993

          And yet, in Australia ……

          by peter.profiris ·

          In reply to Business attitudes toward employees …

          The conservative Liberal Federal Government has won majority control of both the House of Representatives (population based elected representatives) and the Senate (state based elected representatives regardless of state size), and in three days will be initiating a bill to remove unfair dismissal laws for 98% of the workplaces in Australia.

          Thank you for my window into the future.

        • #3178240

          That’s disappointing.

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to And yet, in Australia ……

          The upside is that these things are only a problem to the degree that people are a$$holes.

          Oh. Wait. I guess that means it’s a big problem.

          I’m not bitter, though. No sir. Not me. 🙂

        • #3178301

          But what i the arbitor found in favour of …

          by mick henderson ·

          In reply to Business attitudes toward employees …

          …the employer? How can you compel a person sacked for being a slacker to pay his ex-boss’ legal & loss of income costs for preparing for the arbitration?
          Sorry, your solution sounds good, but it won’t work – it’s as inequitable as the current problem.

          MH

        • #3178243

          Nothing’s perfect

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to But what i the arbitor found in favour of …

          I think that what I proposed is better than the current system where an agrieved employee may seek legal recourse if they can find an attorney to take the case and have to pay that attorney. I think that if a review of the situation by an independent arbitrator were a part of the system when someone applies for unemployment insurance benefits then the situation would be better than what we currently have. This is because when someone were treated unfairly they would not have to look for an attorney or pay an attorney. It would be part of the system.

          You ask what if the arbitrator incorrectly found in favor of the employer. We would have the same problem when a criminal trial reaches in incorrect finding. It’s not perfect but it’s the best that we have. What I’m proposing is that we can and should improve the system.

          I really believe that my proposal would not be as inequitable as the current system. I believe that we would have less inequity. But, and this is the reasoning behind this, I see this as a catalyst to changing attitudes about how employees are treated in work by management. This is the primary goal.

        • #3178201

          Insurance

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Business attitudes toward employees …

          I was with you until you started talking about insurance. Yes, in America we have the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, but we’re not guaranteed that it will be had. Employers, business owners, etc, in my opinion have a right to have work for them whomever they feel provides the best fit for their organization. Most places are required to contribute to unemployment insurance. In general, where unemployment insurance is available, the only way it can’t be claimed is if one quits. The reason an employer gives for terminating an employee doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be correct from the employees perspective. As long as it doesn’t run afoul of the law in that it isn’t based on anything that ends in “ism”, it is good enough. We are a free society and most employer-employee relationships are at will. Perhaps I misread your post, but it sounds like you’re saying that empoyees should have some level of guarantee of being employeed. On that I disagree. The nature of a capitalist society I think is counter to that notion.

        • #3178159

          No guarantee of employment intended

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Insurance

          In my state, Massachusetts, as well as in New Hampshire, both in the USA, if an employee is terminated for a cause then they are not entitled to unemployment benefits. This can be the last vicous act of the sociopathic manager toward a particular employee. This is why I suggested that all employees who are fired for a cause should be entitled to a grievance hearing at the state department of employment security. In my proposal this would only serve to provide a deterent to bad managers who fire people without a good cause. Currently the state agency asks the employer why the former employee was fired. If this could be enhanced to be a formal hearing with both sides presenting their side of the situation and any documentation that they may have pertaining to the situation then there would be a better chance of an unjust termination being labelled as such. Then the former employee would be entitled to unemployment benefits even though the employer fired the former employee. My idea is just to introduce the idea that the employer may have acted unjustly and to give the former employee a better chance of having their case correctly evaluated by the unemployment office.

        • #3179139

          The same ol same ol

          by sonoffar ·

          In reply to Business attitudes toward employees …

          is the rule of the day.
          There will always be people who oppress others just because they can. The solution is not in vast emotional social upheavels, or stringent government intervention. Those entities often set the bench mark for oppression.
          The solution to wayne62682s problem is as simple as these two words. COURTESY….RESPECT
          Give them to all without reservation, demand them from all whom you give them to.
          It’s just that simple.
          If you won’t give them then leave. If you can’t get them then leave.

        • #3176445

          It’s becoming more of a problem every year

          by paul ·

          In reply to you don’t get a life

          For several years I worked extra long hours, in IT, and it got to a point where Work/Life balance ceased to exist. I ended up establishing my own set of rules, and developing a solid backup analysis set to back me up.

          Basically, I made sure that I was out the door around 5pm – 5:30pm every day, and that work problems stayed at work. I also made sure that my whole team (I am currently a director of IT) also got a good work / life balance, and we all work together now as a team to make sure everything gets done, and everyone is kept happy.

          Its actually remarkably easy. Here are our core rules

          1. Set expectations realistically
          2. Ensure helpdesk targets are realistic
          3. Manage projects efficiently and with strength
          4. Document weekly wins for exec mgt

          Give it a shot, you’ll be suprised what you can achieve. They key is to make sure you are one of those people who uses every minute of your 8 hour day wisely.

        • #3176390

          Unfortunately only one way to correct this situation

          by oldtimer1 ·

          In reply to It’s becoming more of a problem every year

          Unfortunately I have been through this senario more times than I care to think about. You are dealing with a control freak who has no one`s interest in mind but his own. He is trying to look good to the bosses at your own expense. Either you have to remove him, or yourself from this situation as he will NEVER change!
          And yes you do have legal recourse, but you have to build your case because if you go off the handle and rant, he`ll out bullshit you faster than a snake oil salesman. How you handle this depends a lot on the actual size of the company you work for. A large company would have a human resource dept. that supposedly would handle this, which would be the proper chanel before going off and trying to sue. But from I gather this is rather a small company. My sugestion is find yourself a lawyer first, and ask. To make a case he`ll tell you what must be said and done in order to make a viable case, and what evidence he`ll need to persue the case in court.
          If this sounds dire it is. You are dealing with a manager that will see you fired before he`ll let you rain on his little empire. One reason he doesn`t want you to socialize with the rest of the company is control. These deadlines are HIS idea, not the head bosses. What is even sadder is his bosses are letting him get away with it. They will claim they never knew, but in reality as long as he produces(meaning you), they will look the other way.
          Oh, by the way, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING!!! Everyting he says…the content it was said in…the time it was said, and as one reader said, a tape recorder is worth a thousand words. Also, answer everything, even comments, in an email. Even if he makes a comment in a meeting or the hall, repeat what he said in the email, and then your reply. My son was fired from a software company for a disability, but his case turned into a $50,000 case instead of a $250,000 case because he didn`t follow this advice.There are other things you can do, but the main concern is to protect yourself.
          One thing you MUST understand. There is NO HOPE for this work relationship to continue without either him leaving or the slow destruction of you. This boss has definately crossed several legal limits, but how you handle it will depend if you can recover financially. Being asmall company I doubt once any legal action is taken if you will remain at the job when all is said and done. But the last thing you want to do is fight on his level. His kind are oily snakes and they survive because they don`t care about anyone but themselves. Be smart about this, and you may be able to get him removed(doubtful) but at least make his mismanagement pay.

        • #3176305

          Good advice.

          by dlidge ·

          In reply to Unfortunately only one way to correct this situation

          I worked for a labor lawyer for a few years and learned the in’s and out’s of protecting yourself in the job market (private sector). You hit the nail on the head. You have to have the stomach for it though. It may take a long time before you get any satisfaction, although I have seen some employers concede before it went that far. Each situation is different. However, a class action suit increases your chances, so if there are other people willing to back you up, get them on board.

        • #3177256

          Get a life……

          by burke9 ·

          In reply to you don’t get a life

          Document, Document, Document……

          Then go out and have a beer. Stay when its necessary and leave ON TIME when possible.

          Talk to HR and to his boss. Talk to other department. Find out if this is company policy.

          Polish up your resume but be prepared for that fallout too …..

          Good luck.

          One boss I worked with actually threatend to have me arrested and prosectued… I think they put him in a padded cell finally.

        • #3177091

          Now THAT’s funny

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Get a life……

          Arrested and prosecuted? For leaving work at a reasonable time? That’s got to be the funniest war story I’ve ever heard of. Tragic, but funny.

        • #3178270

          Very Simple

          by janos.mirt ·

          In reply to you don’t get a life

          Very Simple…Your decision, weather you know it or not, has been made already, move on..

        • #3187577

          You don’t get a life, you have one already

          by fcometa ·

          In reply to you don’t get a life

          Good for you! I couldn’t help but relate to
          your story. I had accustomed management to
          seeing me work overtime almost all the time. I
          had dedicated so much time on certain projects I
          was on the verge of getting dumped by my wife.
          But I gradually came to grips with the fact that
          I have several roles in life, only one being IT
          manager at this company. I am also father of
          three and a husband, before and above the IT
          manager role. And when my mother was diagnosed
          with lung cancer, I really got my values in
          place. I am now trying to get a part-time
          arrangement with the company. If they don’t go
          for that, I will just have to find someplace
          else. But my family has lost all this time:
          it’s their turn to win. (Funny coincidence: I
          was also concerned about my little girl’s
          grades).

          Us IT folks have a life. We just have to
          decide on living it. Don’t let someone else
          decide for you.

      • #3176313

        by all means do!

        by ctos ·

        In reply to Dealing with Morons

        By all means *do* get some legal advice! BFilmFan is totally correct: all jobs should have a bit of consideration and respect, some give and take on both sides. I know that it is not easy to be in such a situation and in fact it is very scarey/nerve-racking to be there; so to make your life easier and help you know what is and is not *right*, gaining legal advice assures *you* (and your mind and heart)of how much you can say without braking the rules of conduct.
        Take the tape recorder, just make sure to inform him that you will taping so as to not brake the “confidentiality* rules and have your recording thrown out. I am sure when you have the recorder in hand, he will either have a total conniption fit or shut up and look at you with new respect.
        Good luck!

      • #3176292

        Labor Board

        by tlea ·

        In reply to Dealing with Morons

        First and foremost, if management doesn’t change their attitude you will have to leave this job eventually. Based on what you have said, this is really the only long term solution. In the mean time you might want to check with your state’s Labor Board/Department. If I’m interpreting you correctly, it sound like you are being treated as if your position is salary exempt. In other words, no overtime pay. I know that in Illinois there are limits to who can be salary exempt and who cannot.

        You may want to look into this as I recieved retroactive pay from one of my previous employers because an ex-employee went to the Labor Board and complained. This didn’t solve the problem with the employer, but it did reduce my hours on average (because he had to pay overtime). In the end I had to leave for greener pastures.

        Greener Pastures
        I typically work between 43 and 45 hours a week at my current job. When I need to take time to take care of my family, I am given it. In fact I had some fairly serious family related issues over the past year, and my boss was very empathetic to my situation and allowed me to take time off at the drop of a hat whenever necessary.

        This doesn’t mean that the job is problem free. I have to deal with my fair share of unreasonable requests, managers, requirements, and deadlines, but that’s just part of the job. Sometimes I get upset about these things, but in the end I believe that I am treated fairly, and payed a reasonable salary with decent benefits.

        In other words, not all IT jobs are like yours.

      • #3177117

        Don’t bother with the lawyer!

        by oregonnative ·

        In reply to Dealing with Morons

        A lawyer has never added value to a situation in the history of mankind!!

        But why are you still there?!?!?! There is no good reason. You will make new friends, have a narrower scope of work, and regain your life if you find another job.

        It’s your life. Make the choice and get on with living!

    • #3175696

      Simple Course of Action

      by astral_traveller ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I would have dealt with this guy ages ago, Simply walk into his office, jump up on his desk, Sh*t on his head and P*ss on his face.
      After all that’s what he is doing to you.

      • #3175671

        Sounds like my advise

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Simple Course of Action

        I made a similar suggestion a few months ago to a similar post. I was surprised when some people apparently thought I was serious. We all need to have a dream.

        There is a series of fictional stories about sysadmin fantasy actions. I really enjoy reading them. They are at The Register.

        http://theregister.com/odds/bofh

        This is a British site. Apparently in Britain they refer to a sysadmin as an operator. BOFH stands for bastard operator from Hell. One acronym that they use a lot in these stories is PFY. This stands for pimply faced youth, the junior sysadmin. These two characters always have a new department manager because they’ve managed to get the last one fired. It’s pretty funny stuff.

        • #3176434

          Reply To: What to do??

          by fizzgig ·

          In reply to Sounds like my advise

          Operator is usually the superuser account on VAX systems.

          BOFH has been going for a loooong time.

        • #3177209

          SYSTEM is super user on VMS

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Reply To: What to do??

          If a VMS system has a good administrator then the operator account should only have bypass privilege. The “super user” account is system. I’ve run VMS systems since 1987.

          VAX is a hardware architecture that could run VMS or Unix. In no case is the operator account equivalent to the super user whether it be root or system.

    • #3175686

      Why bother

      by jrod86 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I laughed when I read everyone else’s posts, but in reality IT is a tough job. From what I have seen in the past few years is that you do work a little overtime, but sometimes I feel that is due to lack of prioritization and efficiency. This may stem from the worker, or from other workers just trying to get by.

      I would find another job, and quick. If my manager told me those things, I would laugh in his face (of course I would probably get fired, but hey, that’s the kind of guy I am).

    • #3175652

      wow

      by afram ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Yes, overtime is hard to avoid on occasion, but to say you can’t have a life is insane. You’ll burn out so fast and become so resentful and it would kill a marriage real fast.

      The boss sounds like a big control freak. He has no right to dictate who you can eat lunch with or what you do after hours. I used to eat lunch with my fellow IT guy, the office manager, the manager of customer service and a warehouse guy all the time.

      I’d look for a new job and let this guy burn himself out. Why work where the boss puts you down and threatens your job all the time?

    • #3175637

      It’s lawyer time!

      by kaceyr ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I don’t normally recommend legal action because I’m not that fond of lawyers, but this is one just begging for a lawsuit.

      This isn’t a manager, it’s an idiot. Whatever you do, don’t listen to him.

      • #3174619

        Sue for what?

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to It’s lawyer time!

        Not being privvy to the poster’s employment contract, I’m not sure what the basis for a suit would be (being an idiot unfortunately doesn’t qualify). Most places give you two choices. Do the work assigned, as assigned, or work someplace else.

        • #3174609

          **I** couldn’t sue…

          by obiwaynekenobi ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          But I’m pretty sure my co-worker would have a good case. I’ve seen/heard a lot of possible sexual harrasment that makes her very uncomfortable at work. Quite frankly the only reason she doesn’t say anything is because there’s no guarantee that the guy would get fired for it (he would prob. just be reprimanded), and if he didn’t then he would make her life hell.

        • #3177804

          the S word

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to **I** couldn’t sue…

          If that’s happening, she should go up the ladder until she gets relief. I suspect they’d rather fire a lousy manager than even try to defend against a suit. I know it’s hard to do, but she has to tell or the company can claim “but we didn’t know”.

        • #3176388

          Obligation???

          by ptb476 ·

          In reply to **I** couldn’t sue…

          If you are aware of it and aren’t doing anything then should’t you?

        • #3174601

          I agree

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          Unfortunately it isn’t illegal to be an a$$hole.

        • #3177715

          Plenty

          by dwdino ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          Violation of employment law.
          Violation of safe workplace.
          Violation of harassment law.
          Violation of compensation.

          Many more if more details present. You don’t chase the mouse for the peice of cheese. You chase the mouse to gut the sucker!

        • #3176841

          for harassment, hostile work environement, violation of civil rights

          by macghee ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          adunlap,
          I don’t mean to throw stones, but from what the original poster described, the manager has gone way over the line of what is legal and what is not. Employees have rights. A lot of managers do not like that because that limits their power. The manager described has created a work environment that is so hostile it isn’t funny. A voice activated tape recorder in a pocket where it functions perfectly and cannot be seen is a very useful thing. You don’t tellthem about it, you play it back for your lawyer. And the court. And the jury. You consult with the lawyer to decide what you want to say and ask when you have the little chat that will end up being recorded. The harassed employee needs to see an attorney NOW. He needs to find out EXACTLY what his rights are, what the requirements are to prove his case, what the ramifications will be, how much he can expect from a typical award, after legal fees and taxes: he needs to find out where he really stands. “Right To Work” is one thing, right to harass is another.

        • #3177260

          Reply To: What to do??

          by ngit ·

          In reply to for harassment, hostile work environement, violation of civil rights

          I’m not a lawyer, but I’m decently confident that a tape recording obtained in this manner would not be admissible in court. Now, as an example to give to a lawyer to ask for advice, it would probably serve perfectly. The lawyer would then advise you on how to obtain evidence that could be admissible.

        • #3177251

          depends on the state

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Reply To: What to do??

          Some only require one party to the conversation be aware of the recording before it is admissable (or even legal), while others require all parties be aware.

        • #3177258

          That’s quite alright.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to for harassment, hostile work environement, violation of civil rights

          The original post didn’t mention anything that the original poster can sue over. It’s not illegal for a manager to tell employees they cannot talk to other (or certain other) employees while on the clock. Nor to is it illegal to give assignements with unreasonable deadlines or to ask the employees to work overtime (you have the choice to either work the time requested, refuse… and accept the consequences that go with that refusal, or quit the job).

          Not to say that there’s nothing he can do. He can get callerID and just not answer when the manager calls him at home, or he can demand ‘on call’ pay if he is expected to be available on short notice. Or he can go to this manager’s boss and explain the situation, but it’s not normally something you can sue over unless something in an employment contract has beeen breeched.

          As far as the harrassment, it seemed from the original message that it was directed to the poster’s co-worker, not the poster, so the co-worker might have a cause of action, but not the poster.

        • #3176448

          Grounds

          by david.tschanz ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          As a practical issue it might cause the owner to take a closer look at what’s really going on, even if there isn’t a lot of reason to sue. Amazing what a phoen call from a lawyer ready to take action can do. The worst that happens is that you’re fired or more lielly allowed to resign with full benefits and a reference that’s not negative. Better deal that what you currently have form the sounds of it.

        • #3176446

          Take it up the chain

          by dave ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          Legal action seems extreme for someone who would appear to simply be a complete idiot. A sensible course of action is surely to take the incident higher (I doubt senior management above this guy thinks like he does). If they don’t do something about him then you’re obviously wasting your time in the wrong firm. Time to move on for your own sanity. As for the colleague with children, work isn’t even in the running where family are concerned.

        • #3177243

          Are you kidding?

          by bfelts ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          It is unlawful to create a hostile work environment. Period. An abusive and hostile environment can (and almost always will) cost an employer in court settlements.

        • #3177174

          Legal Action

          by pamela.white ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          Before going for the legal action, I would follow the chain of command just to be sure that you cover yourself. The company can be held liable if they are aware of the situation and do nothing about it.

          And, as has been previously mention, from this point forward document every conversation between yourself and the manager and even the higher ups. This way if it does come to the point of legal action, you will have the documentation to support you.

        • #3177422

          Re: Legal, etc.

          by dgrube ·

          In reply to Legal Action

          Good advice from Pamela. Regarding the sexual harrassment, it would really be your co-worker’s battle, not yours, but she should be able to count on you for support should sexual harrassment charges be filed. Regarding any kind of legal action on your part, consult an attorney, check any employment contract which you may or may not have had to sign. Look esepecially for references to the working conditions you’re complaining about.
          And finally, look for another job. Dump this one as soon as possible. Nobody has to work under these conditions. Eventually your boss will get his butt in trouble for all the problems you’ve described. In the meantime, you have a life. I’ve been through the same scenario myself (minus the sexual harrassment). The best thing I ever did was dump the job and the turkey. I never regretted having more time for my family.

        • #3177173

          Sue for what?

          by pamela.white ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          Hostile work environment

        • #3177153

          Reply To: What to do??

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Sue for what?

          Legal definition please.

        • #3177095

          Legal Definition of Hostile Work Environment

          by dlidge ·

          In reply to Reply To: What to do??

        • #3177087

          Legal definition of ‘legal definition’

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Legal Definition of Hostile Work Environment

          I meant a law or statute of any state that defines it. I know that many lawyers use the term to signify certain forms of harrassment.

          (as an aside, I’m glad I am not the owner of a company. The way some of these things are written you could get sued for saying ‘Merry Christmas” to the wrong person!)

        • #3177065

          Violation of Title VII

          by dlidge ·

          In reply to Legal definition of ‘legal definition’

        • #3178194

          Violation of Title VII

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Legal definition of ‘legal definition’

          Well that lets him off the hook then, since from all appearances he is an “Equal Opportunity Idiot”.

      • #3177071

        If you sue, be prepared for a fight

        by oldbag ·

        In reply to It’s lawyer time!

        I sued my former employer for wrongful dismissal after I was let go because of a workplace related injury (carpal tunnel syndrome). Because this is Canada, the law does not allow employees to sue for injuries that are covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance payments (I was covered under this government program but all my expenses were charged back to my employer) so I could only sue for wrongful dismissal.

        It was a long, hard road. I had to change lawyers once and again, because this is Canada, I had to pay my legal expenses up front. After 3 years of fighting, my former employer blinked first and I ended up with a modest settlement, after my legal fees are taken into account.

        The reason I did this was that after a long time with that employer, I felt an obligation to the co-workers who came after me. Someone had to make the company realize that they have to take care of their workers and that their actions in attempting to cover up my injury and letting me go because of it were the wrong thing to do.

        If you feel that you can truly justify taking legal action and that you can stand up to the pressure, check with a lawyer and see if you have grounds. Just remember, launching a lawsuit is very stressful, expensive, and time consuming.

    • #3175605

      Walk out , alright, but on your terms

      by dmambo ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Suck it up until you find a new job, then walk out. But take my advice, don’t flame out. Give your notice, say vanilla things in the exit interview and remember that it’s a small world. When you’re gone, it’ll all be behind you.

      • #3175577

        Agree but don’t do what he wants

        by dr dij ·

        In reply to Walk out , alright, but on your terms

        Smile and agree with him and don’t argue with him, but do what you want. This type of action is the hardest for control freaks to deal with. If he starts yelling ever, tell him you talk to him when he calms down and exit the office.

        Leave after 8 hours. If you don’t get something done, don’t feel apologetic. Tell him you’re working your hardest, and do so (but only for the 8 hours your there). Until he calms down, I wouldn’t work ANY unpaid OT.

        the worst he will do is fire you. I’d start looking, of course. I’d guess he has trouble keeping people so you have a tiny bit of leverage that way. I might also mention this to HR. If you do, be calm and reasonable and explain exactly what is happening with this fellow.

      • #3175567

        Pretty much my thinking, too

        by cactus pete ·

        In reply to Walk out , alright, but on your terms

        Don’t lose this job before you’ve obtained another. But don’t let the boss push you around, either. You’ve caved in so far, so now it’s expected.

        Unfortunately, I suspect your good natured customer service mind got you to just take it. It’s harder to recover from here than to stick up for common sense in the first place…

        Your boss is a jerk. I say you shold full-time look for a new job, work hard at the job you have now until then, and go to lunch with the owner as often as possible.

    • #3175539

      Greener Pastures…

      by jgarcia102066 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I have to start off with the fact that not all IT departments work this way. My boss acknowledges the importance of a balanced life (work/personal). Our time is very flexible and his motto is under-promise and over-deliver. All my boss asks is that if we promise something that we deliver.

      At times, we are constrained to deadlines that are outside of our control and we have to put in some serious hours (90+ per week) in order to get a project done but this is not the norm. My development team averages between 40-45 hours per week and we like it that way.

      Look for another job and focus on that light at the end of the tunnel.

      Good Luck.

    • #3175504

      It is the manager not IT

      by tdaisy ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Assess you financial situation, if you can do afford to do it, quit. However, if you can not start looking (maybe for any job to support yourself) and leave. Just remember not all IT is like this, actually it your manager not your career field that is the problem. I always evaluate my happiness and see if it is worth it. On your death bed, no one ever says they should have worked more. Good luck

      • #3176311

        exactly

        by mek804 ·

        In reply to It is the manager not IT

        This isn’t an I.T. problem–it’s another manager who thinks he is
        doing something “faster, better, cheaper” by working you to
        death.

        I.T. business is often more than 40 hours per week, but you
        either take control of the situation by working smarter, cutting
        back your hours (whether he likes it or not–after all, he will
        take the credit/get the bonus by getting the job done on time,
        not you) or by leaving the job.

        If you get fired over it, tell the truth to your next potential
        employer (“I don’t mind going the extra mile to pitch in, but this
        guy wanted an extra 7 miles–every day. And he fired me when I
        was unable to live up to his impossible demands”).

        Working anywhere, I.T. or not, means you are selling your time
        (hourly wage) or selling your services (salary): if you
        commissioned a guy for new gutters for $1000, would you
        expect him, after he started the job, to paint your windows, too,
        for the same money? Nope. He’d walk off. Think about it.

        Hope this helps you,

        mk

    • #3175473

      Been There Done That

      by michaeljsimpson ·

      In reply to What to do??

      NO!! you shouldnt expect that from any job. Real managers and real IT jobs wont require that of you. I spent the last 3 years in a position just like you mentioned. A boss who appreciatted nothing and expected everything. I worked an average of 60 hours a week, Ive gone in on a Friday morning with plans to go out of town for the weekend and left work Saturday night, knowing that I would come back in in a few hours.

      I finally got let go from that job mainly because I refused to be treated like that anymore.

      Your boss is a MORON. And he will go far in a corporate job, mainly due to YOUR efforts. I found another job after taking several months off. I would say you wont have to hard of a time finding another job either.

      My current position pays the same but I work M-F 7 am to 4 pm. They dont even ask me to work the weekends. Real IT jobs are out there. Just look for them.

      Mike

    • #3175392

      Happened again today…

      by obiwaynekenobi ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Today we both got yelled at again; my co-worker was in tears because she was ordered not to take smoke breaks because “they” think it makes her look like a “loser”.

      Shortly after, I was reprimanded for apparantly not following procedures that weren’t written down in the first place and for taking four weeks to complete a website that my boss said could be done in two weeks (EVERYTHING can be done in two weeks at this place. Hell soon they want us to write an ENTIRE VB.NET SOFTWARE PROGRAM in two weeks!!!).

      I was told basically that “they” wonder why they cant just hire a contractor to do a site in two weeks; I told my boss if they think that, then let them do it, and I wouldn’t have any hard feelings if I left due to it. This is gettng really ridiculous….

      • #3175381

        Reply To: What to do??

        by mdk-dialectic ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        Everyone here has given you some good advice. If you have not contacted the HR Department then do so immediately. Inform them of the issues you as well as your co-worker are experiencing. If this is how the Manager is treating you others may have previously informed HR about it. The more information given the more likely the person will be disciplined or terminated.
        There are times you have to look at it from a different angle. Kinda Cliche, but grab a piece of paper and right the following questions down. Then provide answer. Once you have your answers. Write down the solutions. (This is the hard part. Try to be Objective)
        Do you like the Company? Other than the Manager, Do you like your Co-workers? Do you enjoy the work you do?
        Hope some of this helps.

        • #3175345

          DOCUMENT YOUR A$$$$$$$ OFF

          by cuteelf ·

          In reply to Reply To: What to do??

          Start writing things down.

          if your boss expects you to have X done in 14 days, then have it in writing. Remember: emails count too.

          Tell him, I’m going to need a detailed listing of what exactly the ppl want, and those dates.
          so go on, make the program.

          Send it in, and if it doesnt work, fine.

          you needed more time to do it. You worked your butt off, during the times you were there, so you’ve done your half.

          As for your co-worker, let her fend for herself. If you get caught up in her sh!t, you can get in trouble too. Keep your nose clean and keep working..and lurking @ the same time.

          http://www.workingwounded.com is a good place for advice.

          Start documenting all the comments he makes.
          Dates times promises etc.

          if his comments offend you, tell him nicely..and document your comments to him.

          You are building ammo for the next visti to HR.

          After this project is over (programming) GET A NOTHER JOB. EXIT STAGE LEFT.

          You need sanity and brains and hope…to work & live. What this guy’s doing is NUCKING FUTZ.
          Walk out, hand the documents to HR and keep originals for a lawsuit if needed.

          Get out, quickly

          Cuteelf

        • #3176695

          This is really good advice

          by thompsonwj ·

          In reply to DOCUMENT YOUR A$$$$$$$ OFF

          As My wife frequently tells me. Document, document, document. Make notes on everything and keep them off the jobsite.

          Remember,You do not have to continue where you are. Get another job soon.
          There were some suggestions to tape record. Tape recording your supervisors rants and raves is not always a good idea for public playback. You can however use them for “memory refreshing” and transcriptions of tape recordings are allowable. Why the difference? Who knows? Only recordings made in public places are okay without all parties permission. You would need the owners permission in writing to record at work and present it as evidence. Thanks to a divorce I found out a lot of bad stuff.
          Good luck, been there, done that, wore out T-shirt.

      • #3174738

        Wondering….

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        What is the name of this boss and the place you are working?

        Feel free to contact me at my peer email address with this information and I will be glad to call your HR for a brief commentary on this manager winning “Jerk Boss of the Year” award after numerous nominations from your users and previous employees.

        I really like asking, “Do you feel this manager’s incompotence is a sterling example of how your organization delivers quality products to your clients?”

        Since I am a TOTAL stranger and they have NO IDEA where this one came from, it is always a guaranteed winner. Usually it sets HR off in a panic mode and they scurry around trying to find out what in the hell is going on.

        And the best part is, Da Boss will never see this one coming or figure out who I was! Even my name won’t mean a damned thing to him.

        And yes, I did do black bag ops in the Army. Why do you ask? 🙂

        • #3178948

          ooooooh

          by jck ·

          In reply to Wondering….

          Hey BFilm…

          If you’re not much older, I might have made some of your toys 🙂

          shadows are the best 🙂

      • #3177829

        Union or Sue or Quit

        by givemejava ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        I would suggest 3 possibilities:
        1. Look for a new job. I was recently faced with an abusive boss – though no where near as bad as the jerk you work for. I posted my resume on the standard job boards. Within 2 weeks I have arranged for 8 face to face interviews and have gone through 5 additional phone screens. I expect I would be slightly more in demand as an Oracle and SQL server DBA, however this does attest to the fact that the market is hot again – at least in New England.
        2. Union – you and your colleague should both contact the CWA through http://www.techsunite.org/. Everyone has a right to be treated with respect and dignity. They can tell you how to organize your shop and you can not be fired for speaking to a Union or participating in Union activities.
        3. Sue or at least talk to a lawyer. Every state has different rules about what an employer can or can not do. I do not know where you are but I would at least speak to a lawyer who understands your state’s employment law and federal law and represents employees, not management.

      • #3177781

        Story of “They”….

        by prplshroud ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        I’ve been trying to figure out for 15 years who this Mr or Miss They is. This person seems to follow me everywhere I work.

        You should ask that “They” not be allowed to be referred to as “They”. You want to know who “They” is. IMHO, “They” is management speak for “I”. Of course in all the management training that I had, “They” was never brought up.

        Also, I think I know your boss. It your boss a male? Are his initials TC? I feel like I worked for this person once.

      • #3176838

        HEY WAYNE!

        by macghee ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        Document everything.

        Get and use a voice activated microcassette tape recorder. A good one.

        Hire a lawyer TODAY! One who specializes in employment law.

        Make sure that you have information needed to contact co-worker outside of work.

      • #3176432

        From a technical point of view

        by kho ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        Ask your boss, how he calculates the time needed for a project and how you can do the job in that time. If he says the latter is your problem, than you should be the boss. Has your boss technical experience with VB.NET ? If not (what I assume) propose the help of an external, local VB.NET-Guru (like me 😉 to do the calculation and more important set up the structure of the programmm and help you to manage critical tasks. In fact that would mean that the work of your boss is done by somebody else.

      • #3176409

        Blow the whistle and then walk….

        by unixdude ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        Make sure your manager’s boss is fully aware of all that is happening. Document ALL events that you feel are demeaning, derogatory, harrassing, etc and then hand it to senior management. Then both you and your coworker hand in your resignations. Fully answer all question they will have and then let your manager explain his actions to upper management. My guess is that he won’t be far behind you….

      • #3176387

        SOAP

        by dancadmin ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        The is better than “Days of Our Lives”!!!! 🙁
        Your primary concern is you – take a long walk in the park and decide what you need to do for you.

      • #3176370

        by mswanberg ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        I really feel for ya… sounds like a tough situation. I do hope you are getting paid righteous bux for this crap that you’re enduring.

        All in all, what I would do is this: talk to a lawyer, talk to HR, get a new job.

        I am not particularly litigious, but you almost have a duty to expose this creep to safeguard future employees at your firm. Unfortunately, however, being the squeaky wheel is sometimes the worst thing to be. Like the principal in school, you don’t want HR to know your name. And you don’t want to be known as the “suing guy” either. And finally, you may go broke trying to level the suit.

        In the end, the choice is yours. But believe me, it’s not IT. It’s your manager.

        I’ve had some similar (albeit nowhere near as bad) run-ins with coworkers. I record meetings on my PocketPC now. And I keep copious records where certain individuals are concerned.

      • #3176306

        It’s time to move on

        by tcompton ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        Your answer is simple. There are other companies to work for. It is time for you to move on. Any company that allows their management to treat their employees like that is not worth working for anyway. Make sure to do an exit interview with HR, send a letter to the upper management of the company stating your reasons, but make sure you have secured a new job first. But it all boils down to this, you must be happy in the career you choose, otherwise it is just a job. IT is a great field, you have just gotten involved with the wrong company.

      • #3177138

        The developer sets the schedule.

        by rdcpro ·

        In reply to Happened again today…

        In the real world, the project manager asks the developer “How long will such and such take”. I give my best guess, given the requirements. It’s ridiculous to drive development by some arbitrary schedule. If they needed it in two weeks, they should have asked you how long it would take, then had you start on it early enough to get it done.

        You can’t even guess correctly if you don’t have a project plan, with an outline of the tasks involved. Do it in a spreadsheet, and assign hours to each task. Record the actual time you spend on each task, and don’t forget to keep track of tasks you didn’t think of.

        Finally, you can’t set a schedule, or even provide a wild guess at the time, unless you have a relatively complete set of *written* requirements.

        Advice: If they give you an impossible schedule, tell them it can’t be done, give them your estimate of the time it will take (accompanied by the task list I spoke of), and refuse to accept responsibility for their project schedule. Only accept responsibility for your own schedule. Always work as diligently as you can, keep them apprised on a daily basis of the your work on schedule (don’t surprise them at the end with “I’m not finished”).

        Oh, by the way, look for a new job.

        In this line of work, there is always a “crunch time”; The better you get, the shorter that crunch time is, with respect to the overall project.

        Read up on Agile methodologies, also known as eXtreme Programing. Kent Beck has written on the subject extensively, and this approach really does work.

        Regards,
        Mike

    • #3175344

      You must be a tolerant

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to What to do??

      sort of chap, because to be quite honest this guy would be wearing a TFT necklace if he tried this woth more irrascible people such as myself.
      Start looking to leave now and tell everybody you are and why, or start looking to leave now and tell everybody you have and why.
      You could fight for this job but to be brtally honest from your description it does not seem worth the effort. So walk out, held I high and tell absolutely everybody why you have. Get your colleague(s) to do the same. If you manage it send us a pic of this clown’s face when he realises he has to meet his own dealines without his trusty slaves.
      It’s a bit harsh, but if you walk around in brown clothing with welcome written on them people will use you as a doormat. Remember you are good at your job this eejit is not good at his.
      Next time he gives you two weeks, tell him and everyone else you can reach it will be two months, you didnt fail to meet the dealine he failed to set it properly.
      Still happens to me on occasion, anyone tell’s me how long a job is going to take, I disagree on principal and very loudly. Admittedly I have extensive experience to rest on now, but I’ve always had this attitude. When I make a promise I keep it

    • #3175290

      Humm …

      by jayma ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne:

      Pretty sad state of affairs.
      One thing is clear: your boss seems pretty disfunctional to me.
      And I think you think the same thing.

      The question is:
      Is the rest of the company, in particular its leadership (the “exec”) are they as disfunctional as this guy ?
      If they are, (which would be logical), I would sugguest that you get the hell out quickly.

      One point deserves consideration, your internal clients might not know any better. In other words, your internal clients might think that that is how a usual IT Group functions. If the execs are just ignorant but are willing to listen, then I would gently point out the consequences of your boss mode of operation, any disaster project ? Any grossly missed deadline ? How about high turnover in the IT Group ? I suppose that the guy does not follow any sort of structured software development methodology, correct ? I suppose you know the consequence of that, if not you probably can figure that out.
      Finally, I would suggest that your female co-worker (and yourself) carefully document the sexual harrasment issue and get a good lawyer. You could achive two goals with one strike, i.e.: get rid of the harrasser and get rid of the incompetent boss. I did write incompetent, because in my opinion, he is incompetent.

    • #3174626

      Our bosses must be related.

      by tonythetiger ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Our bosses must be related.

    • #3178988

      Do this

      by damon ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Hey Wayne,

      Maybe you guys should strike – or work to rule – only do what is in your job descriptions – without you and your co-worker busting your butts he will soon be begging you to change.

      Good Luck

      Cheers
      Damon

    • #3178952

      my simple advice

      by jck ·

      In reply to What to do??

      1) CuteElf is right. Document your ass off. Email everything to him: concerns about timelines, questions about procedure, etc. Make your manager define the tasks and process *for* you.

      2) Read your employment handbook/guidelines for the company. If a rule/process/procedure isn’t defined there, make your manager define it or have him have a superior define it for him and pass it on to you.

      3) If the manager is *clearly* breaking guidelines set forth in company policy, express your disagreement and quote company policy. If he goes against company policy, report him *immediately* to HR and send a copy of the email in which you expressed your disagreement.

      4) If the manager continues to disregard policy and HR does nothing, email HR again and CC the owner of the company. This not only lets the HR department know (not skipping chain), but it lets the owner know HR isn’t doing their job.

      5) Contact your state/county employment office. Don’t file a report at first, but check into employment law and regulation. In some states in the USA, it is against employment law to verbally reprimand employees in front of other employees of a company. You and your co-workers may have a case based solely on that.

      As well, you may have a case based on the fact he is telling you what to do in your personal life. If neither your contract with the company nor your employee guidelines forbid you from fraternizing with other employees outside company facilities and operations, you may have right to sue for harassment if HR doesn’t stop him from enforcing policies not set forth as part of your employment.

      6) (most important) Start looking for another job. I had a boss who was a tyrant, he worked 16 hours a day and on weekends and expected us to as well, would scream at us in front of other employees, scream at employees from *other* departments, told us we shouldn’t be talking to people in other departments, etc. Sounds like your boss. I sure as hell hope it’s not the same guy I had for a boss. I heard he isn’t where I used to work 3 years ago.

      Just check…recheck…and check again. Make sure to cover your ass, both under law and by putting everything in writing/email so that you have a paper trail that establishes any wrong-doing he may be doing and that the company is letting him do.

    • #3178846

      my two cents… *slight rant as well*

      by goliathkutaa ·

      In reply to What to do??

      First, sorry to hear the situation your work environment is in.
      I am from a small town, and the idea of just “look for another job” doesn’t always apply. Here, I can count the number of IT related departments on one hand and have fingers left over. The guys are right that the situation is NOT acceptable. This attitude of “you’re below me” and ?Jump <> How high sir?? are only going to lead to hostility.
      Try talking with your other co-workers and find out if they have the same feelings as you about the situation. I am sure you’ll find that the man with a child will be willing to just quit but has obligations to his family. What you might want to look into is indeed the local Labour laws group in your city.
      Steps need to be taken to correct this problem. You can say what ever you want on a discussion board, “yeah, go in and tell him off and walk out with your head held high”… this just doesn’t happen in practice. I am assuming you enjoy IT, and that?s why you started working in the field. Not all businesses are the same, but a lot have the same hierarchy. If this is where you want to work, take steps to correct this manager; if you don’t want to work here, you need to “start looking for another job”.

      Best of luck to you in this difficult situation.

    • #3178835

      glad i not over there

      by shellbot ·

      In reply to What to do??

      wow, read most of the replies..glad i not in america doing IT. most people i know have a much easier time of it over in ireland. my husband has a great job (IT). good money, 9-5 mon-fri.they pay for his cell, he can go home whenever, he can work from home whenever, yes, he may work a wee bit of OT once in a while, or be on call for a weekend, but they make up for it by giving him extra time off, as well as a bonus.
      I’m in a good position. worked an hour OT last week, boss said, next friday leave at 4. plus i leaving at 3 today for Dr appt which does not come of my pay.

      my advice..find new job, work out yur notice period..forget the place exists after that !
      or
      move to the uk 🙂

    • #3178821

      Kind of in the same boat

      by wildcatsystems ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I don’t get the ridiculous deadlines, but I do get the harassment. Most specifically when the e-mail doesn’t work. The company I work for is a small MBE. When I started there were 3 other techs. One by one they’ve left. I myself tried to leave before the last person left, but with the IT job market the way it is, I’m still here.

      I myself almost walked out yesterday morning. The boss called me a liar (not the first time), which of course nobody would like. This is in addition to being questioned about my skills and abilities, etc. I hold 4 certs A+, Net+, Server+ and MCP, in addition to having worked with computers from before the Windows days. So, I think I know what I’m doing. I’ve also been told that those certs mean nothing to the boss, but those certs are what gets contracts for the company. THere have also been a few racial overtones here and there.

      So, the bottomline is I’m going on vacation for a few days, and at the end of the month they’re getting my 2 weeks notice. IT is a good field. It’s what I love to do, and you do to or you wouldn’t be in the field. Look hard for another job, check into doing your own thing (which is what I’m going to do).

      Good Luck

    • #3178813

      fight back

      by rmori1 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      get one of those small recording devices and try to tape his meetings and har….nt comments. Take it to your ER rep and make a formall complaint. The Comapny has to act on it. Plus you will be on record if the boss ever fires you for not getting the work done.

    • #3178783

      The Market Cannot be That Bad

      by michael.hasslinger ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Start looking. The market has picked up some, and life is too short. Your “Boss” is not a true leader; rather he is a kiss-ass who’s only true value in life is that he has some power over three other unfortunates. You will never truly be viewed as an associate. You are most likely viewed only as a necessity, and one no one wants to pay for. There are better ways to be miserable.

    • #3178752

      Understand, then be heard

      by crawk ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne –

      IT has, indeed, become a tough profession; one I’ve counseled a number of young people NOT to pursue unless they have absolutely no other interest in life. But your situation is not real life.

      The best way to handle any – any – situation is to “seek first to understand, and then to be understood” (-Stephen Covey).

      So… Part A – Seek to Understand…

      Based on your description, your manager sounds unbalanced. Imagine how it must feel to be that paranoid! The fact that he remains in his position speaks much about the company’s management and probably-toxic corporate culture. (One wonders what the rest of the company is like that this behavior is tolerated, but remember that one of the Dilbert Principles is the craziest people run the world mainly because we’ll do whatever they want just to make them shut up and leave us alone!)

      Ergo, two assumptions and one fact:
      Assumptions:
      (1) You and your co-worker are at an impossible disadvantage because you are still behaving professionally,
      (2) while your boss has completely freed himself of professional or even civilized constraint.
      Fact:
      (3) Whenever push comes to shove, management will back management no matter how psychotic.

      Your boss is there for a reason. Sometimes, a seemingly out-of-control manager is just doing the work of a higher-up of the same ilk on the inside but who won’t do the wet work – wrinkled pea or round pea, they’re both peas but one hides it.

      No strategy or tactics on your part will help. Any change in the IT department operation will come from above, and since the current situation was apparently created and blessed from above, there’s no reason to change it just because of a disgruntled underling or two.

      Now, on to Part B – Seek to Be Understood…

      You have one chance to be heard, much less understood: Get out, now, both of you, simultaneously.

      If you don’t hang together, you WILL hang separately.

      Plan carefully.

      First, quietly and unobtrusively take home every single personal item – everything you care about, everything with your name on it, from professional journals to coffee cups to aspirin.

      At the same time, decide whether you think you can both get other jobs within a reasonable time. Even at McDonalds, you’d likely earn more per hour actually worked than you do now, and with a lot less stress. Talk to a consulting firm or two, temp agencies, headhunters, whatever you think you can. If you can both get new IT jobs, great. If not, anything is better than this.

      Document your boss’ abuses. Write it all down. Dates, times, places, direct quotes.

      Finally, write official vanilla resignation notices (pursue other opportunities, further my career, etc.). Submit your notices simultaneously. Lay copies on your boss’ desk, turn around immediately and take additional copies to HR and maybe to someone at least two levels higher than boss (but be careful because they all know him and what he’s like and are ok with that).

      Be prepared for a very ugly reaction from boss and probably from other people. Be prepared for wheedling and whining and guilt-laying-on and give-peace-a-chance from HR. Be prepared to work out your notice or to leave immediately. Most of all, be prepared to go through with it and leave no matter what, because this company is not going to change and it is what it is.

      Get out. Get on with your life. Tell your co-worker to get on with her life.

      And please don’t judge all of IT from this. It can be rough, but for those with the personality for it and a love of the work, it’s still a terrific career.

      Good luck. And please let us know what happens.

      • #3177875

        Easier said than done…

        by obiwaynekenobi ·

        In reply to Understand, then be heard

        I appreciate your advice, but the major problem with your suggestion is that we can’t reasonably guarentee that we’d get IT jobs. This area does not have that many IT jobs… while I could afford to just up and leave but my co-worker has a family, so she is between a rock and a hard place, so to speak.

        • #3177822

          you’re right – no guarantee

          by crawk ·

          In reply to Easier said than done…

          You’re absolutely right: there’s no guarantee you could get IT jobs again right away.

          Your co-worker may think she’s making more money than she could elsewhere so feels like she’s stuck (been there myself). But her family is paying a terrible price for that money. Worse yet, the true price may not show up for a few years, but, trust me, it will.

          One of the nice things about IT is the flexibility a woman can squeeze out of it and take care of her family on their terms – unlike working on an assembly line, for instance. Sometimes that flexibility is a bit unconventional, but it can be done.

          Not, however, in your situation.

          Further, the business-powers-that-be in your community are probably well aware of the nature of your company, and staying there too long may end up making you look bad, too: like someone of low-enough character to actually tolerate the place.

          In the end, each of you must make your own decision. You’ll be stronger and have more effect as a team, but don’t hang back if fear delays her from doing what she ultimately will.

          Between now and then, Tony Hopkinson’s advice is excellent as always. Lots of other legitimate ideas here too.

          Although it may be too late for your company, consider teaching them a little bit about project management… You have three priorities: TIME, COST, and QUALITY. A project requester must pick one, and it always comes at the expense of the other two unless he’s willing to add resources in all areas equally. Simple algebra. We either balance the equation or it’ll balance itself like it or not.

          Whatever else you do, get out. In hindsight, you’ll both see that leaving was the best thing to do.

    • #3177984

      Well said stress junkie + Advise

      by hammermustfall ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Very well said stress junkie…

      Unfortunately there are a lot of incompetnent bosses like the one you have. But I have a pretty good setup where I am and have had at my last couple of jobs so…there are a few good jobs left. Sounds like to me you need to try to find another job. If you devote yourself to it, even though you are very busy during the day, I bet you can find another job – hopefully with a descent boss. Good Luck!

    • #3177965

      It’s simple, but not easy

      by goingmobile ·

      In reply to What to do??

      People take jobs for many reasons (earn a living, learn, love of a field, …) while companies hire people for one reason: to do the work they need done. As long as there is a reasonable balance, everyone is happy.

      Clearly not everyone (probably no one) is happy in your situation – I sure would not be. Regardless of who said what or how much of a tyrant your boss is, it comes down to the balance. If you need the job more than they need you (or perceive your value), you have little bargaining power. If they need you more than you need the job, you’re in luck: you are in control.

      So don’t overcomplicate the situation with all the awful and abusive things the boss says. Figure out where you are in the relationship and then make changes to get it in balance. That could mean finding a new job or it could mean becoming more valuable to the company. Only you can decide, but change is needed.

      IT can be challenging and I have been through many ups & downs, but I find it rewarding.

      Good luck.

    • #3177900

      I was in a similar situation myself

      by abraham ocón ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Ok Wayne, I was not in the same situation but in a pretty close one.

      I work as a DBA in a Financial company. I was hired because they are implementing a new software and one of the terms in the contract with the developer company was to hire a DBA.

      Ok, this project started with the left foot as they made a plan for 6 months but apparently without thinking on delays or thinking that the workdays has 14 hours.

      When the project started to implementing (I was like in my 2nd month) the consultants (software developers) began to push to get some job done. They always wanted the job done for yesterday (for example to have some files ready to migrate to their database).

      But almost all the time, I had the job done on time, they didn?t take the files to get mounted on their database at the time that I gave the files to them (they use a program to migrate data and the process takes like 2 hours), instead they started to migrate at 4 pm.

      Now, they insisted in that I had to stay until the migration was complete, so I had to stay until 7 pm for instance (some times until 11 pm).

      Also, my boss was always insisting in that I had to come saturdays and even sundays, to not get the project unscheduled. I had calls to my house on weekends, to my cell, until I had to not answer the phone and turn my cell off.

      I started to get out early also, at 6 pm, just to show them that I couldn?t do whatever they wanted to.

      So the project went out of scheduled (it would be out of scheduled even if we had worked 24 hours a day) and the consultant send a letter to the directors telling that the project was out of schedule because our company and specially because of me.

      So I sent a letter to the manager in charge (above my boss) and I did explain each of the problems that the project had but in terms that I have no fault and also that the consultants didn?t planned well, things like:

      – The consultants have planned days of how many hours? Cause we work days of 14 hours sometimes. Is not 8 hours the legal?

      – I have a private life and my weekends are to be with my family

      – No one can put impossible deadlines to my work if they don?t know what is the process to get the job done.

      In short, I think that you have to take your and your associates problems with the boss to the next level in the organization. In a letter, signed for all of you.

      Also, take in consideration the following:

      – There is someone who can take your job if is new in the company (can they replace you as easily?)

      – Are your partners so close to you so all of you can confront your boss? (Think in something like tell him that all of you will quit if he continue to push you that way)

      – Have you some other chances in other place? (Maybe is time to leave that boat. It depends of how easy you can find a new job)

      And remember, even IT is a job of 8 hours. Why others can work just 8 hours and we have to work more without receiving anything on exchange? If the company need someone to put backups at 1 am, so they have to hire someone on a night shift and that?s it.

      You have rights man, so claim them.

      The best of lucks.

      Abraham in Honduras

    • #3176897

      Y Generation

      by anon78 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I’m guessing you are a member of the Y generation- born after 1978. According to a book I’m reading about Y generation – they are confident, street smart, tech savvy and will not put up with boredom, unchallenging tasks or disrespect. Personally I would move on and fast before the person has chance to erode your self-confidence which to me is more damaging than a lower paying job. I’d rather serve beer at a pub (which gives you the daytime to pursue your bach degree which you mentioned you wanna do) or stack cans at the local supermarket. There are consequences with taking a legal stance is that you might not come up the winner in the long run and what about the upfront legal fees and if you don’t win the case. There are hundreds of thousands of companies who need people in IT. And they want you.

    • #3176804

      Your Boss is an EEDIOT!

      by it4life ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne,

      Don’t give up and get your post your resume.

      There are many more satisfying job opportunities out there. You may even be happier as a consultant or a contractor (usually less politics to deal with.) I believe that all of us in IT would agree, that at one time or another, we have all dealt with bad management. These individuals only care about themselves and how great YOU make them look. Get Out and Get Happy! IT IS a great career.

      BTW, YOU SHOULD work for McDonalds. They have a huge IT Staff and they actually care about their employees! How ironic would that be – get a job at McDonalds in a career you love and make more money than you boss ever dreamed of!

      As for the overtime; check out the article at: http://www.dailyitem.com/archive/2005/0622/biz/stories/05biz.htm

      Good Luck we are all with you!

      • #3185181

        Produce Miracles

        by wade.price ·

        In reply to Your Boss is an EEDIOT!

        You could be like the rest of us in IT and simply put up with it and pull miracles out of your backside every other day. I’ve actually found my unreasonable boss to drive me beyond what I ever thought possible. The problem however is he has no idea about technology and so producing those miracles is lost on him. He doesn’t know how unreasonable he is because he doesn’t know technology. And, now he takes miracles as the status quo. So, if I’m ever human and actually want to go home at a reasonable hour (like before midnight!) then “I’m slacking.”
        Just be glad you’re not the only IT guy in the company like I am. I am the systam admin, helpdesk, network admin, desktop support, server admin, web developer, programmer, software support, trainer, etc., etc. Try being all of those because “Your the computer guy.” “Oh training? We don’t send people to training” “I hired a computer guy because they are supposed to already have all those skills” Dohh! Oh by the way try having to be the expert in any and all software purchased for any reason whatsoever. Such as I am supposed to be the expert in our accounting software on the day I install it. So how do we set up categories, how do we post to the general ledger? How do we figure bi-weekly payroll deductions for our partime empoyees, etc. After all “You’re supposed to know, “You’re the computer guy and it is software on the COMPUTER!” AHHHHHHHHHH!!! The other thing that drives me nut is the boss is tight and will only buy one or two computers at a time. So much for imaging. And the upper management get them, then their old one boils down to middle management, etc. etc. So every time you buy on computer you have to install, nuke, and resetup like five. Then you’ve got to magically make a server out of the one that boiled out the bottom. Not to mention you’ve only got one modern one and four old junky ones that are going to eat up all your time just to keep running. Aren’t computers fun! 🙂

        • #3184862

          Wade’s story is a cautionary tale

          by crawk ·

          In reply to Produce Miracles

          Wayne – Read Wade’s story carefully. This is what happens when people keep putting up with the likes of what’s happening in your company.

          Wade’s situation and yours are, unfortunately, far from unique. Since Wade is currently “doing the job,” the slightest request for help will — WILL — be taken as declaration that he can’t do the work. If the company ever does bring in help, Wade will not be in charge, but remain at the bottom because it was he who couldn’t do the work – not the new guy(s).

          Wade – you already know your only way out is also to get out. The obvious mindset of this company’s management/ownership is that computers are toys. Things will not ever get better under current management. Or, not until the systems reach critical mass and the company can no longer function because the servers you are still building from scratch become permanently unstable. Then you’ll be the scape goat anyway and your job title will simply be eliminated (thus avoiding unemployment). (Easy enough to create a new job title and bring in the next sucker.)

          Get sick (since I doubt you get any real vacation), and find another job. You don’t owe this company your life and soul or even your undivided loyalty, because they sure as heck don’t have any loyalty to you.

          It’s completely understandable that they don’t comprehend your knowledge or what you do, but completely unacceptable that they don’t respect you for it.

          If they find they need your services after that, charge them what you’re worth as a consultant with specialized expertise in their exact systems. Payment to be received and funds confirmed, before work is done. You already know how cheap they are – you know better than to think they wouldn’t drag their feet for months and months and months after you’d gotten the work finished.

          If they want you back really really bad, do so only with a contract that addresses the realities of what you need, what would be your department, and how it affects their ROI.

          It’s very unlikely that either of the above would happen, though. But it if did, after the anger subsided you would earn their respect and get back your self-respect.

    • #3176690

      Completely unacceptable

      by bill ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You stated the root cause of the problem. The boss is a lousy manager. He’s a “yes man”. I suspect he’s the type that was a lousy techie that somehow got promoted to manager (the classic peter principle).

      In IT there will ultimately be times when you have to put in the extra effort to hit a deadline. The key to success is to minimize these times with solid project planning. It sounds like this moron you work for gives the classic “two to three weeks” for any reqest without taking the time to break the problem down, do some basic design, and then getting the people that have to build it “buy in to the schedule”.

      The good news is that the job market is great at the moment. I’d get a search underway ASAP. I would also make sure this is all very clearly documented and report the guy to upper management. A lawyer would help but at the end of the day you would be out of a job and may not make any money in the process. That said I would definitely consult with a lawyer and see what they say. Find a reputable employment lawyer and not one of these ambulance chasers that advertise on TV.

      • #3178680

        That’s exactly it

        by obiwaynekenobi ·

        In reply to Completely unacceptable

        That’s exactly what it is. He’s nothing but a yes-man for the upper management (especially the Marketing VP, who is the one that wants all these bells and whistles in the first place). EVERYTHING at this company has a deadline of two weeks; Web design, Windows program written from scratch, you name it, its always “two weeks”. As I said, soon we’re going to be redesigning a new version of the company’s software product (and what a shoddy piece of work the current version is; I bet IT was done in two weeks) in both a Windows and Web version, and when should we have it done? If you said TWO WEEKS, you win a prize! (not really). Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that the greatest programmer of all time (throw me some names here…) could write a complete application in two week, but someone without any formal programming experience and who is self-taught (me) and someone pretty much fresh out of school with a CompSci degree (my friend/co-worker) can?? Something wrong here. Nevremind the fact that his advice is to “copy [such and such working program that the company currently uses] exactly”. I guess that’s supposed to be WHY the two week deadline? Because you just copy someone else’s software, change some bits around and pass it off as your own??

        • #3176435

          Get over it….IT

          by sakuhara ·

          In reply to That’s exactly it

          First get over the “yes man” thing. Every job you take will have one. Either accept it or go back to school and be the “boss”. 2 weeks is actually plenty of time if you do as your told “copy the old stuff”. Just dont forget to give credit. It is not up to you to decide the morality of doning so. Do as your told or go back to school. That is often a hard pill to swallow but .net gurus and web develpoers are every where. Your company will ultimately contract the job out period! I bet they hired 2 or 3 of you because they cant afford anther one of him. Leave IT now and leave gracefully. Document everything but refrain from sounding like a 20 year old and let your co-workers document their own issues with managment. Your current boss (no matter how much a noob he is) will not be let go and nothing will be done to him or his carrer. Most of all go back to school and get a part time job in an area other than IT.

        • #3177255

          It isn’t going to change…

          by overcharge ·

          In reply to That’s exactly it

          Essentially, you have some standards, they don’t. You aren’t alone, but there are alternatives, most of which are covered in other posts.

          You have to make the decision: Do I continue to work here, or do I shop around? Having fewer job opportunities in the area does two things:
          1. Generally you hear about opportunities in the area, and
          2. The labor pool is likewise smaller and they can’t afford to lose the folks they have.

          You can push the issues you have with that company, but all it will get you is the door and a referral of “he worked here”. Best to do your homework and line up a position while you are currently employed…and when you submit your resignation, don’t accept a counter-offer from your current employer. They generally resent being forced to make one, and they’ll be shopping for your replacement.

          Good luck, and take your co-worker along if you can, if you can’t, give her a heads-up as early as possible.

        • #3177130

          The requirements?

          by rdcpro ·

          In reply to That’s exactly it

          Two weeks could be reasonable, depending on the requirements. Two months could be reasonable, again depending on the requirements. But if the requirements aren’t clearly stated in writing, then *no one* knows how long it will take.

    • #3178689

      Your Life is Worth More

      by craig_b ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I’m sorry that you or anyone has to be in the position your in. It sounds like your boss has some serious issues to overcome.
      This may be a time for you to look at why you are working in this environment. You may want to review your career and life goals and see how the line up. Based on that you may want to decide to seek employment elsewhere and/or try to talk to someone in HR or a higher level manager.

      You have the power to make choices in your life.

      Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured.
      Good Luck

    • #3176442

      Last Centuries Management Knowledge (or no knowledge at all)

      by mugwump ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Every serious study about work-effectiveness shows: Increasing working-hours beyond an 8 hours-job does not increase the productivity of your workers. Period. No matter how much time you work after your 8 hours, you will not get done more. Every programmer knows the feeling, to code only bullshit round midnight and spending a good part of the next day to refactor the code and get it clean again. We are not standing at an assembly line, at least sometimes you have to think about what you’re doing. Which simply does not work any more after eight hours.

      I simply do not understand, why employees don’t get this simple facts. Can’t they read? Maybe take some courses in business organisation?

      The most obvious root of the trouble is the lack of proper measures for productivity, serious agreements on goals. As most organizations lack theses measurements, they fall back onto things that can be measured easily: They just write down the hours you spent inhouse – which is a very poor and inadequate indicator for productivity.

      Try to plan ahead and document these plans/goals. There exist numerous measurement-systems for productivity (eg function points), and they can be adapated quite easily to ones own needs – then try to make your boss judge you by your productivity and not by the number of minutes you spent dozing in front of your screen because your tired and burned-out.

      And feed your boss with the books from Tom DeMarco (“The Deadline”, “Controlling Software Projects”, “Slack”) – maybe he’ll get the message…

    • #3176441

      Would you like a copy of a case study that FAILED!!

      by glennlnrs ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Hope you read this, as many things sound like a particular case study that we did for IT Project Management at uni!! The project failed as it was by inexperienced people, (some of them) and leading edge technology, but I think I should maybe send you the whole unit material, and let you try to convince your boss of the right way to do project management.

      Oh and he OBVIOUSLY IS OBLIVIOUS TO THE FACT that working MORE than say 10 hours, you DON’T get as much work done, than if you work less than the 10 hours.

      For a start, it isn’t allowing the client/customer to add whatever they like to the application, and also having such short timelines to have it developed in. Please tell me if you would like the case study, or all the material on the unit I did, as I think this IT manager just doesn’t know how a project should be run, and doesn’t learn from mistakes at all, probably due to not bothering about a post implementation review either.

    • #3176438

      Document everything…

      by andrew.burns ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Some thoughts…

      1). Keep a diary of everything. Times, dates of every shouting at, every irrational order. Log it ALL. You can bet he won’t be, so it gives you ammunition. Don’t be emotional in it (tough one), just factual.

      2). Log your working hours.

      3). Generate your own estimates of how long items of this work will take. You’re the specialists. He should be asking you how long work will take, and allocating resource accordingly. If he’s short of resource, then tough for upper management – or he gets to grow his empire!

      4) Take your log of his irrational behaviour and your time estimates to upper management. They might be more reasonable, and completely unaware that there is a problem. Mention harassment if necessary – that will get attention.

      5). Consider taking your log to a lawyer.

      6). Look for a new job.

      7). If things get really bad, you could both quit. When the entire development team quits the same afternoon, alarm bells should start ringing – and there go all his 2 week deadlines.

      8). Turning out software in 3 days is unprofessional. Even small pieces of work require more testing than that.

      9). Start leaving on time. If the projects fall behind, it isn’t your lousing work – it’s his lousing estimates of the time involved.

      Above all, remember, work expands to fill the time available.

      Good luck.

    • #3176433

      Five simple things

      by commandgce ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Get your CV up to date. Get your co-worker really onside.
      Actively search for a new job – both of you.
      Get good references.
      Blow the whistle upstairs, with the union and the civil rights group.
      Then tell the bugger to go get photographed. Take your offsider with you.
      In other words, hitch your wagon to a better star and let the present one find its own black hole.

    • #3176430

      What to do?

      by tim ·

      In reply to What to do??

      If you and your colleagues have witnessed sexual harassment, or belief such harassment has occurred with a co-worker, than you MUST go to an HR manager immediately. An HR person will listen, especially if more than one person comes forward.

      It sounds like your manager is extremely insecure. Of course, he has no business trying to control your private lives. You need to speak with someone in HR about your manager’s work habits. If you don’t take action, nothing will change.

      The sad thing is, long hours are part of the IT territory. It is the not-so-secret secret of American productivity. We need to work long hours in order to compete against lower-wage earners in other countries.

    • #3176427

      arm yourself (and your colleague)

      by cb0503 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne

      I confess I have not read every single reply, just skimmed them. But I think someone has suggested talking to HR ?

      One of the first steps you and your co-worker need to take is to know exactly where you stand – what is in your contract ? what policies does the business have in terms of harassement, hours, conditions etc ? This kind of information should be available internally (to the business – not suggesting surgery !)

      One thing you might like to check out – independently and outside of the business – is something called “constructive dismissal”.

      There are 100 things I would suggest given the time and room, but one thing is to make sure that what you are doing is “visible” not just to your boss but to others. e.g. if you have a piece of work to do, document what will be involved and what you need to do, with timescales. Say it comes to 4 weeks and he says do it in 2 – ask him what is to be cut out, and get what he proposes to cut IN WRITING !! After all, it is YOUR professional reputation at stake.

    • #3176424

      Start looking NOW

      by goldenboat ·

      In reply to What to do??

      This is actually insanity …
      Do not quit without lining up your next job, but start looking now. First define what you need and don’t need, in the type, size of organization, type, size, of department … industry, geography, and kind of hours (early shifts or 9-5 etc), plus the better salary you will get.
      Then get from your County Economic Development office a list of all companies in your county, which will show size, and industry!
      Then polish your resume — your County Workforce Development office will help – ( you do NOT need to be unemployed)Also register as seeking new IT work on the State employment website.
      Then write nice cover letters and mail to the CIO or Head of IT, at the companies you are interested in …
      This will take focus, and half-an-hour to an hour each night … but will help you get some energy going in the direction of sanity, instead of what it is costing you to be oppressed and harrassed by this person …
      Meantime, document use of foul language and threats, and, if you can, record the incidents with HR. If this person is as bad as you say, they should not be in a supervisory role. Also record every change in scope, deadline etc -on a simple spreadsheet that you keep a back-up of … no emotion, just facts.
      If you walk out, you will find it harder to get a decent new job …

      Deep breath, start working the plan, and with God’s help in 90 days you will be in a better job in a sane workplace.

    • #3176422

      Reality Check

      by old it guy ·

      In reply to What to do??

      OK, I’ve looked at a few of the responses and it’s time for a reality check.

      I’ve been in IT since the mid-seventies and I’ve worked quite a few places and seen lots of problems.

      If you don’t like the environment leave! Don’t just walk out, make sure you have somewhere to go first.

      All this advice of lawsuits and ultimatums is just looking for the fast track out the door and screw up your career. While every company I know has a “neutral referral” policy that they can only give bare employment facts nothing of performance, the “good ol’ boy” network will certainly get the info of how you conduct yourself.

      The standard response to an ultimatum is to eliminate the employee. Managers cannot afford to be bullied by employee threats. Unless your really well off, the company can afford a better lawyer for a longer period of time than you can. Unless you have some solid stand on a law they are breaking, pretty good odds your just going to end up with a great big lawyer bill and be out a job.

      It’s pretty simple really, if you don’t like where your at, find another job.

      If you want low stress try an educational environment, they tend to be more laid back and less stressful. They also pay less. Stay away from banks and insurance companies. Very high stress, VERY demanding.

      Unfortunately if you want the big bucks, they expect to get it back out of you in work and no, you don’t get a life.

      • #3176412

        Some corrections

        by givemejava ·

        In reply to Reality Check

        Actually I doubt you would end up with a large legal bill – having just gone through the experience of suing and settleing a case for a wrongful firing (I refused to install software when we had not purchased a license and got canned). The lawyer worked on a contigency fee. If we won or settled he got 33%. If we lost, he got nothing. Most plaintiff’s lawyers work this way and they only take cases that they think they can win or settle. You will not end up with a big legal bill if you sue. Plaintiff lawyers have as much money and staying power as the firms hired by your company, sometimes even more if you work for a smaller company as seems to be the case here.

        While I agree that you should not just quit without a job I take issue with the “it aintgonna change” direction of your post. I too have worked in a number of companies. Even as a relativly well paid IT person you still make a small fraction of what the executives make. Why should you be forced to work nights and weekends while the people making over $250K/year plus stock get to spend the weekend at thier summer place?

        We need to change our own attitudes and recognize that we are entitled to the same dignity as the executives. They get rich off our sweat. Join a union I would say.

    • #3176421

      Alternative Solution

      by simons.ron ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I read a lot of the responses from a variety of positions on this topic. However, I really didn’t see much about what to do if you want to keep your job there. As the president of a company, I would suggest that you do a couple of things: write down some notes about date, time, who said what, etc. immediately after one of these conversations; request an appointment with your supervisor’s supervisor to discuss this issue. If you don’t document the events and inform the company management, they can’t do anything about the problem. You certainly don’t need to take the abuse, but there are other alternatives to quitting or letting this behavior go on until a crisis develops. Think about what you might gain from using the ‘system’ rather than quitting or getting fired. You really don’t have a lot to lose if you’re close to quitting anyway.

    • #3176419

      If only life was this simple…..

      by mad mole ·

      In reply to What to do??

      My sincerest condolences for working in such a ridiculous situation. Fact is that no matter how much pressure is placed on an IT department any organisation worth its salt would never let a situation reach the depths you describe.

      Outside the office doors it’s none of his business what you do unless it affects your performance at work (that bit will be somewhere deep in your contract). His complaints only highlight his fears that someone above him or competing with him might find out something he doesn’t want them to know. Impossible deadlines and employee discontent are two extremely damning examples.

      Ask yourself these questions:
      1. Is the company worth working for?
      2. Is the work you do enjoyable?
      3. Would the situation be acceptable if the deadlines remained the same but the continual stream of put-downs and demanded restrictions were removed?
      4. Would you be happier stacking shelves for the same excessive period of time you currently work your kahunahs off for?

      If the answer to 4 is yes then get out now.
      If the answer to 3 is yes then it’s time to remove your boss (though don’t expect his replacement to issue longer deadlines as upper-management have got used to short timescales).
      The answers to 1 and 2 should help your resolve whether you want to stay or go. If either is no then it’s not worth staying regardless of your boss and get looking for other jobs.

      Your colleague will clearly have to consider her family. However if she’s spending next to no time at home, and when she she is home she’s unhappy after work, then even if it means moving home it simply has to be done. Such stress will gradually destroy any homelife either of you have. In the end it could be for more expensive to stay…..

      I’ve not the experience to give you advice on fixing your boss as my only past nightmare leader I left to be derided by his peers (his butt-chasing antics won him more enemies than friends).
      All I can say is that there is a challenging, interesting and rewarding IT job out-there for you. I just hope you find it.

    • #3176417

      DUDE, Come On!

      by angelohl ·

      In reply to What to do??

      That’s crazy!! Why are you putting up with that?! OK, here goes, I agree with a fraction of what he’s telling you – which is, sometimes we MUST work out of the normal scope of hours. Think about it…those people that society thinks as successful or having a nobel job (i.e., doctors & lawyers) can’t do jack-sh*t without us. And he in critical-systems type environment (i.e., hospitals) that comes with the “Yes, I accept” on your offer letter. So, that being said, Dude, wake up, suck it up and get back to work! NOW, having said that, to defend you – he’s so off-the-rocker it’s pathetic. He can’t do what he’s doing – and fear never motivates troops to perform well cuz you can always get another job. And to crank out good software won’t take three weeks – developing, testing, prototyping, client comments, re-developing, re-testing, client sign-off……isn’t going to take a lowzy 3 weeks… Mail-bomb him…no, wait, don’t do anything crazy.. I’m just an I.T. veteran who gets p*ssed-off to read something like this, that a boss is taking advantage of his staff. But, o.k., turn it around, say “Boss, since I worked over-time to get whatever done, I’d like to have off on WhateverDay” (assuming you worked over 40 hours by Thursday)…observe his response, it’s called Comp-Time as most employers don’t want to pay over-time but will let you time-sheet those hours and take time off for them. Also that’ll show that you’re be coming aware of how things work in the job market. (no offense but I assume you’re a junior-level person working in a small company???)… Nutshell is, we’ve all been there, taking the slack-jobs because we’re junior-level, but that’s no reason to be abused – I’d start looking elsewhere, like in a consultancy (where the bucks are bigger and you can gain experience quicker – and on much better high-tech equipment where you otherwise wouldn’t). Peace.

    • #3176416

      employers insecurity

      by linuxlala ·

      In reply to What to do??

      In my opinion you should go to the higher management and complain about this guy. You ee, his behaviour indicates that he is insecure about his own position at the company and so by threatening and humiliating you, he is coaxing his ego into believing that he is in charge.

      The other reason could be that he desperately wants to get into the good graces of THE BOSS. Not the nicest ways to do so. So, the best solution would be to calm down, think it over a night and go and talk to somebody in a senior position. Tell them your side of the story and be calm about it the whole time, make it appear as if you have given deep thought to this situation and theres no alternative other then thie fellow meding his ways or a replacement.

      Hope you resolve the problem soon.

      Best.

    • #3176415

      Sickness

      by talentonloan ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You work in a sick environment. If you want to stay and try to heal it, and take the risk that it might kill you, stick around. (Thank God the medical people are willing to do that sort of thing.) It got to this point because many people long ago did nothing to up front deal with this guy. What might have been cured with a simple procedure now will take full blown high risk surgery.

      Prioritize your life needs and if he doesn’t value you as a person and your point of view, ask him to prioritize which projects he would like you to complete before you walk out the door. Let him know in no uncertain terms that it is under your terms, not his. Slavery was outlawed a long time ago.

      tol

    • #3176414

      It’s not the job, it IS the IDIOTS

      by norman_berube ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Basically, 10 years or so ago, I worked as a bookkeeper/counter person for a small family owned company. The owner came flat out and told me one day that I have to choose which is more important to me, my job or my family. After working for them for four years and going from a starting pay of $5 per hour to a whopping $6 per hour, I thought that was stupid.

      Needless to say after much thought and deliberation, I decided to quit. There was no other job lined up and waiting for me but I knew that I had to.

      Now I have a very good job. One that respects me and my family. I’m a programmer/IT person in the same town as I started in. Yes, my job can be demanding and it can have some strange hours. But I’m making over 4 times what I was before and if I need to go home to spend time with one of my children or run an errand, I can with out being made to feel guilty.

      Don’t limit your self. Everybody here has offered some good advice and points. Document what you can, and most of all don’t be afraid to take a chance.

      If it helps any, I have worked at a Mc Donald’s recently, just for a change of pace :). The pay is not great, but the people do work hard. I actually felt more stress about getting to work on time (I did weekend openings) than I did about delivering a new project at my day job.

      No matter what you choose to do, good luck!

    • #3176411

      Wow!?! What a twat!

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Your boss that is. Yes you can expect some odd working hours with IT, especially with programming and devlopment but not like this.

      I thinkk he’s just looking out for number one, himself.

      More than anything else, your company would have a code of conduct regarding employees and how you should be expected to behave within the workplace. Guaranteed he’s breaking them, which can be a sackable offence. You’ve also got union rules, regardless of whether your a union member or not. Unions are there to look after employee’s rights, so check into it and give the twat a good kick in the backside.

      He’s not only loosing respect from you but if you ensure his actions are brought forward, he will loose credibility with the company. Once you loose credibility in IT, your IT career can go downhill very fast.

      Don’t feel disenheartened by his actions, not everyone in IT is like that.

      Oh and a good old stop work meeting will be bound to put the wind up him. 🙂

    • #3176407

      Not the norm

      by jmschattke9 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You happen to have found a bad apple. Seems like you have a talented hacker as a manager; this is bad – and it sounds like he’s a geek with low people skills, making it worse. Which, unfortunately, sometimes happens in IT. He’s trying to cover up is people skill failure with his bosses and the other managers by blaming you.

      But, yes, you ARE entitled to a life, and many states wil enforce it.

      See if you can find the following facts online:
      Your state’s employment rules (and don’t let them claim you are management). This chould include breaks you get and maximum times which you must work, and whether overtime is voluntary.
      Your state’s leave policy – over 30 states have family time leave rules.
      Definitions of harassment, for your co-worker.
      How to Win Friends and Influence People – for your manager.
      Another Job. If you’re doing VB.NET and web design, you should have no problems, really.

    • #3176398

      Jump ship while you can…

      by jfosc ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne,

      Any job in any field should not be like you describe. Any good, challenging job will have deadlines that require you to go the extra mile and work more than 40 hours, probably more than occasionally. There might even be spurts that will run a couple/few weeks at a time. However, if this is a daily/weekly/monthly occurance with no let-up, there’s something wrong with the manager and/or the company. If the feeling you have is shared among your co-workers, that’s a sign that something larger is wrong.

      If the feelings are shared, which it sounds as if they are, save yourself some grief and find an IT position in a different company where they respect the employees more than they seem to at your current company. Your manager needs to make decisions, but they shouldn’t be unrealistic decisions of deadlines. That just brings down morale and productivity. Ironically, your boss things he/she is increasing productivity by driving his subordinates into the ground.

      You don’t say how much experience you have in the IT field, but I’ll repeat myself: Understand that IT, like any job, requires dedication and committment. There will be times where you may work 80 hours in a week to meet a deadline. That should be expected. Let’s face it, not many people want to work more than 40 hours a week, but to get a specific project done you may need to. Try to put this in perspective when searching for another position, if you choose to do so. A good employer wants someone that is dedicated and is willing to burn the midnight oil when needed, but realizes that the lamp shouldn’t be burned until there’s no fuel left.

      Good luck.

    • #3176397

      be careful

      by ammonet ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Time to move on, my friend. My experience is that guys like your boss are popular with their bosses because they deliver the goods. Going higher probably won’t help because presumably the next guy up put your boss in his place. If he sided with you, he’d be admitting he made a bad decision, one of the few decisions that these guys actually make, and would have to account for that to his boss (who could be the owner in a small outfit). That’s why bad management can hang on so long – of course, once the relevant mentor leaves or retires, his useless managers get phased out. But that’s too far down the line to help you. And I’m afraid no one will care if even two of you walk out the door – they’ll replace you with other slaves who will stick around for 6 – 12 months, and that’s long enough to . . . deliver some more of the goods. On the positive side, there are actually lots of good jobs around.

    • #3176395

      Sociopath

      by scoleman4 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      This person sounds like a sociopath. There are many of these people in business. Some of the warning signs are:
      – Manipulative and cunning
      – Grandiose sense of self (it’s a special job)
      – Lack of remorse, guilt or shame.
      – Glibness/Superficial charm (in this case, to the ones above).
      – Pathological lying
      – Callousness/lack of empathy
      – Shallow emotions
      These are a few signs – there are others. Look up ‘sociopath’ on the internet – you may find some behavioral correlations with your boss. Unfortunately, these people can do well for a while before the damage they do is discovered. Ultimately, they drive away all the talent, just leaving the ones that can’t find other work.

      I would advise you to get your resume together and get out ASAP. Telling anyone won’t help – the boss will find out and make your job worse (if possible).

      Good luck.

      • #3176351

        Has it affected you?

        by mjmarcus ·

        In reply to Sociopath

        An abusive work situation can even affect your thinking, cause depression, or the boss can convince you that you somehow ‘deserve’ such working conditions. You might want to talk to a therapist and see if this jerk has manipulated you into letting the situation get so bad, without reporting it or leaving. If you had seen this guy’s behavior during your job interview there, would you have said, “No way”? Have you acted on any of the suggestions in this thread or do you hesitate.
        Whatever happens be sure to let us all know how it turns out!!

    • #3176394

      Messed up in the head

      by enida ·

      In reply to What to do??

      No, your managers’ behavior is NOT what IT is all about. The wierd beliefs and attitudes I can’t say about, but there are labor laws that protect you, and you should have some type of HR department, or atleast someone to talk to about the amount of time you work. Do a google on Fair Labor Standards Act. That might help on the working 24hrs with no comp. with no life outside of work either. There are other companies that have great IT departments that encourage self-improvement and increasing your skills. There is no way you should settle for McDonalds.
      Griz

    • #3176393

      Constructive Dismissal

      by siencyn ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I would keep a written record of future harrassment, and then quit and sue the company for Constructive Dismissal.

      Constructive Dismissal is when an employee leaves a job because of the unacceptable behaviour of his employer. Examples of Constructive Dismissal can include:

      1. Not supporting employees in difficult work situations.

      2. Harassing or humiliating staff, particularly in front of other less senior staff.

      3. Victimising or targeting particular members of staff.

      4. Changing the employee’s job content or terms without consultation.

      You need the record in order successfully to sue the company for damages. However it is difficulat to win cases, and you need trade union and/or legal advice before acting.

      In addition the Working Time Directive means it is illegal for anyone to be forced to work more than 48 hours. Another reason for trade union advice.

      • #3176336

        There are Four things to do

        by jmccombie ·

        In reply to Constructive Dismissal

        1) Stop stressing. Your manager is either new to the job or extremely stressed about losing his job. This is his problem, he cannot fire you for going home at reasonable times. Your collegue is protected by her employment contract and need not work out of hours unless there is a written request with a bonafide reason signed off by your Directors. You have a contract of employment I assume your hours of work are clearly stated. He cannot fire you for non completion of jobs he has not documented.

        2)If he requests a job be completed in unreasonable timescales,you must do the following. e-mail him back (always) and clearly state what the developement time required for this job is, as you understand from the specs he has given you. Clearly state that you feel you will compramise the departments and firms reputation if you develope in a shorter time as you cannot guarantee the quality of the finished item. Let him know when you are happy to work overtime with an agreed notice period, and for how long, and let him know when you cannot due to private commitments, (all in writing everytime e-mail is your best friend). Finally if he has over committed he will have to stay late and finish it him self !! not you, remember you did not and should not make those commitments !!!!!

        3)You must understand that it his behaviour and management style that is completely unacceptable to any profession. (Yes we are in a recognised profession). It is ineffectual for achieving long term reliable and concistent results in both software developement and in staff developement. It is expensive and disruptive. It is clear he needs support to learn how to manage a team. It will be questioned if you raise the problem with Human Resources, who are paid to prevent this happening. This cannot continue unless you facilitate it. Both of you must record and report it internally, it will a) help you resolve this problem. b)It will prepare the path for you to claim constuctive dismissal if he try’s to fire you. c) Human Resources will try and resolve the problem for you and for him. d) Try not to be damming of his personality when you raise the problem, this is not personal it is business, question his methods, timescales and express your concern regards the quality of work which will be produced. Explain the pressure you think he is under and the pressure this is putting on you and your collegues who like the company and don’t want to leave. Most importantly have your expected commitments on your contract confirmed back to you.

        4) He really cannot ask you where you have been and what you do after work, this is an expression of his paranoia, he is on the edge. If the departments reputation is at stake it is his behavior not yours that is in question, recommend that he get management training to help him get things in perspective. Know that management truly do not want to be spoilt in preference to having a fully functional IT department, think about it, they are not stupid he is.

        3) Finally stop working the hours slip back a pace and start looking for a new job. This is all going to go tits up (english expression)do you really want to hang around to patch and fix incomplete bits of messy unstructured ill thought out systems ? (Not your fault but addition after addition etc etc yuk yuk been there done that ).

        Remember to be professional dig your heels in and only work the hours you are required or wish to do, network with other managers, establish a report with the IT managers, Boss. You will need a reference.

        This time remember to interview the company and the IT manager when you go on interviews, you never want to make the same mistake again.

        Finally this is all basic managment training which he has obviously not received or is not suitable for. How do I know I was him once !!!! before I recieved training 5 years ago. I admit not as bad but in my eagerness to prove my self I forfitted the respect of my collegues and staff.

        I hope that this gives you an insight and although long winded is useful. You truly have options in a maturing industry, you do not need to suffer this stress – take action now !!!!!

    • #3176384

      Simple answer

      by eric ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You have one of two choices. Quit or document everything and when he fires you take the company to the labor board and make sure there is alot of press. He’ll end up unemployed too, but with a bad rep.

    • #3176383

      Don’t settle for this

      by gbales ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I work for a very large company and at no time is OT demanded. It is rare that I have to put in extra hours and when it is done we are rewarded by a great and generous management team. This guy is not a boss but a slave driver. Find something else, get out now.

    • #3176382

      I feel your pain!

      by meoohmy ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne,

      I feel your pain. I have been working 7-days a week for the past several months. My “weekends” are spent doing work from my home PC. This past weekend I needed to go away for the calendar weekend with my sons. This morning I feel I am being punished for having a life! My inbox filled up with some nasty emails because the people left in charge of my project for the two days I was out of town couldn’t handle it. They are more experienced than I by the way but you should see the mess I have on my hands! When I got home last night from my trip I checked my work email and came away worried I even had a job this AM!

      Sorry for not giving you a solution but I hope it makes you feel better that there’s more of us out here than you may realize who are sitting at the same terminal! I know now why so many of my friends are getting out of this field or doing contract work so they can set their own schedules.

    • #3176374

      Look for a better job

      by fm21496 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Why do you tolerate this???

      Start actively looking for a better job. There are quite a few good job web sites where you can post your resume. In my opinion, finding a new job will certainly be the best answer to give to your abuser. Don’t put up with this. By the way, it sounds like your boss could definitely use some counseling — for mental problems.

    • #3176372

      No Life

      by codebubba ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne,

      Yipes! I’ve heard some strange ones, but this one really takes the cake!

      If I were you, I would go find work somewhere else. You’ve got a real kook for a boss.

      IT can sometimes be on the stressful side, yes. The hours can sometimes be long and, yes, the expectations by people who “don’t have a clue” about the difficulty level of our work can be completely unreasonable. However to specifically state that you are not allowed to have a life outside your work? That’s completely uncalled for, completely nuts and a complete reason to move on somewhere else.

      -Bruce

    • #3176355

      My two cents. . .

      by petedude ·

      In reply to What to do??

      So much that could be said, so little time. . .

      Granted, you’ve gotten a lot of viable advice, but some
      of it misses the mark in one sense or another.

      First off, yes– IT careers are increasingly becoming
      demanding to extremes. There’s not much to be done
      about it , either– but I have heard a lot of rumbling that
      salaried “sweatshops” are increasingly a complaint for
      lawmakers, so we’ll see what happens. Not ALL
      companies are this bad, but you have to find one that
      understands the balance between productivity and not
      having burned-out folks.

      Secondly, you might want to ask HR for their ADVICE.
      Don’t walk in to HR complaining about your boss
      directly. Sit down with the HR manager, describe your
      situation as indirectly and professionally as possible,
      and ask for his/her ADVICE. LISTEN, and do NOT
      launch into any diatribes. This will put you in a better
      position with HR, as you’ll have asked their advice AND
      gotten their sympathies/involvement. If you’re lucky,
      someone will say something to your boss or his boss
      within a week.

      Nextly, I’d consider firing off a copy of your rant to Bob
      Lewis at InfoWorld, and see if he posts a response in
      his blog at the InfoWorld website. Bob has a sound
      perspective on these sorts of issues, being an IT
      management consultant. It’s my favorite read on
      frustrating IT matters.

    • #3176346

      What to do in IT land?

      by jevans10253 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne62682, I feel your pain. From the way you describe the working situation, it is more of a dictatorship then a working environment. But even dictatorships can be broken. Does the entire IT department feel the same as you? If you all do, then it would be suggested that you all ban together and take the boss aside and discuss the situation with him. No one person should speak for the entire group. But approach it as a group. Maybe the boss doesn’t realize what he/she is doing. Develop action plans and to have regular (timed) meetings to go over strategies for the week or day. You also need to realize that in today’s society, for salaried people that don’t do time clocks, there is not such thing as a 40 hr work week. I myself am not entirely in the IT world (started in acct mgmt) and I can’t remember the last time I did 40 hrs unless we were closed for a holiday.
      Good luck in your endeavors.

    • #3176345

      Seems simple enough to me

      by pauln1 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      If you like where you work and your boss has a boss talk to your bosses boss about your feelings and see what happens. If they can not come up with a resolution let them know that the reason they see you getting smaller is because your leaving!

      Personally, if I was having this many problems where I worked I wouldn’t let the door hit me in the ass on the way out!

    • #3176343

      Silently Slip Away

      by finge ·

      In reply to What to do??

      This is an old story heard frequently. The Donald Trump ?want-ta-be? suffering from taking the wrong medicines, combined with stress and lack of compassion for what ever reason. Unfortunately, legal avenues only spawn more legal avenues. One would have to question the man?s sanity and one?s own loyalty to the company. Based on what you?ve said, I don?t think he?s crafty enough to correctly test his employees, therefore he is what he is. Silently look for another job.

    • #3176342

      Wow

      by ilyons ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You have said it already. All the pieces of the puzzle are there.

      The warning phrases are “he is a yes man, does what his boss says/asks”

      Your boss doesnt know much about managing IT. Add in that he is a yes man (which shows he does not have any stones to stand by his people. Sadly, as I have learned being a manager doesnt mean that you can manage.

      Unless he gets let go, or someone blows the whistle on him, I dont see anything changing. And since you work in a small company I think alot of the fallout will land on your shoes, I recommend start looking for a new job.

      As a devoloper/IT admin, you have skills that are in demand. You can find another job, probably not as fast as you wish, but it is doable.

      No, this is not normal for IT. It happens everywhere.

    • #3176341

      Don’t worry about it.

      by john ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Your boss sucks. Look for a better job.

      It sounds like you can afford to quit, seeing as how you almost quit yesterday. If that is the case, I wouldn’t quit, but I would no longer care about getting fired.

      Work within the limits you think are acceptable. Arrive at 9:00, work while your working, leave at 5:00. If he wants to fire you … you are probably better off … but he probably won’t fire you for something stupid, and he will be stumped when you put the ball in his court to fire you.

      Don’t get emotional, just let his shit slide off you. Having a job you don’t care about getting fired from is incredibly liberating.

      But keep looking for a better job.

      Good luck.

    • #3176338

      He is crazy

      by ronald ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I have been an IT pro now for 33 years and I have never had to tell my folks whether to stay or not. I have led by example. If one of my employees / co-workers needed time with his/her family I told that they MUST go to their family because that is Why we are working. Not for the company but to support our families. I have yet to ask anyone to stay for any time. If the IT Manager puts the workers first then he will have a dynOmite dept. If he puts that many barriers to having fun or at least a decent working environment he will be alone and he will have a difficult time meeting the demands of the other managers. You and your “fellows” should look for another place to go for work. There are too many hours that we spend at our place of employment to spend it in a POd manner. IT people have enough pressure from the type of job and lack of experience or knowledge without putting more on the individual. WE PUT PRESSURE on ourselves, we don’t need more from our co-workers. Smile, and ask him for a raise….. it is NOT the nature of the business.

      Small Business Solutions, Inc.
      Ronald McCallister, Senior Systems Engineer
      Vice President.

    • #3176332

      beefless jerky

      by jsullo ·

      In reply to What to do??

      It sounds to me like you work hard at your position but enough is enough. I have seen similar situations. You have three options fight, flight or wait. Fighting will probably not work not in this job climate, flight may be your best bet get a better job and leave him or her to do the work themself. Wait you could hold on hoping he will bail then you might get a shot at his position. This would be a judgement call only you could make. I would find an out and let him go “see ya!” would be how I usually put it.

    • #3176324

      Control Freak

      by edglock21 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      The sooner you get out from under the thumb of that brown-nosing control freak, the better.

      If you’re sticking it out to ‘get some experience’, then suck it up, keep your goal in mind, and let that be your motivation.

      Dollars to donuts you won’t get a glowing recommendation from this guy when you leave, so you may want to make yourself known to some of the company brass – either inside or outside the office.

    • #3176315

      Bad Boss

      by dennis.rhine ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Unfortunately I have worked for at least one boss that was in some ways similar in terms of work hours. In that job we were expected to be there by 9:00 AM and to stay until at least 10:00 PM plus weekends. When the boss got after me for leaving one evening I quit and got a different job.

      I currently work for a boss who expects us to have lives, encourages interaction, and wants for us to go home by 5:30 PM every night unless there is a compelling reason to stay later.

      In short – its not the industry or the job, its the boss who is a jerk.

      Best – Dennis

    • #3176314

      First thing first – Get evidence!

      by natou0609 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      IT jobs are demanding BUT there are limits. If I were you, I’d start gathering evidence…recording, e-mails, or whatever fits. I’d list all the projects that were over-promised and under-delivered then I’d try to get the attention of senior management. If there is any evidence of h…ment, I’d gather such evidence and bring it to the attention of the HR manager. But maybe that wouldn’t work in your company… Maybe then it’s time to quit. The reality is that many IT managers are promoted into their job because of their technical skills, not because of their people skills or leadership skills. To make things worse, most of them never get any “management” training. No wonder we end up with tyrants!

      • #3177297

        Document, document, document

        by rparthas ·

        In reply to First thing first – Get evidence!

        I agree — start documenting all the items that you are mentioning. Dates, times, and place and who was around. Be sure to include references to the ‘they’ comments as well.

        Can your co-worker not drop a hint on the happenings to the owner’s daughter? She could just send a link to this thread as a joke! 🙂

    • #3176308

      Don’t flame out.

      by mousejn ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I have been in the IT industry for 35 years and have seen many ups and downs. It is always wise not to burn any bridges. Do what?s necessary in your present job and find a new one.

      I was a manager for 14 years before starting my own company. What you say and do at your could come back and bite you later. Managers do talk and resumes are checked. A flame out would be perceived as an extremely immature act.

    • #3176307

      Find a new Job!

      by dhesson ·

      In reply to What to do??

      This guy is obviously a poor manager looking out for no one but himself… Get you resume up to date, and start contacting recruiters in your area.

      Working in IT does have it’s demands, but no one should have to deal with a work environment like the one you’ve described. Good Luck…

    • #3176304

      Get used to it

      by kenneth.cottrell ·

      In reply to What to do??

      In January I checked myself into the emergency room of a local hospital thinking I was having a heart attack. Two days later I was released after a bunch of testing with the conclusion being that I was reacting to stress but that physically there is nothing wrong with me. My job was one of two issues that had me on the edge.

      It was easy to end the personal relationship that was the other issue. It was quite a bit more difficult sitting down with my boss to manage and relaign his expectations.

      I work for a large company that has gone through a series of rolling layoffs in the past several years. Those around me who remain employed are shell shocked. We have all been trying to assume the work of three or four (now missing) former employees while holding down our own responsibilities.

      Why work like this? It’s globalization, my friend. We are told that there are people in India or China who will do our work for a small fraction of the price. So, to justify ourselves in this situation, we try to work likt three or four employees. We are re-aligning our economy so that we are completive with third-world work forces. We asked for it; we got it.

    • #3176303

      There’re always bears in the woods…

      by jimglewis ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne,
      I think I worked for your boss’s dad back in 1973 at an auto dealership…and several of their family since then.
      Point is; IT hasn’t cornered the market on bad managers who lack training, understanding and good people skills.
      A professional relationship is just that – a relationship. And like any relationship, when it gets too bad to accept anymore, move on.
      I wish you well.
      – – -Jim

    • #3176301

      Department of Labor Rules August 2004

      by rush2112 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Check here for the rules.
      Apply them, unless you live in a state (there are 18 of them according to some articles I have read)
      where state rules trump these fed rules on labor.

      http://www.dol.gov/fairpay

      Option # 2.
      Get a new boss.

    • #3176299

      Escalate, or move on…..

      by scott.hosler ·

      In reply to What to do??

      wayne62682 – In my humble opinion, this is failry cut and dry. The ethics and integrity of this boss are seriously lacking, and you need to go to someone in Human Resources, or call an anonymous hotline within your company work perks/benefits. You absolutely need to be well documented, and speak ONLY in facts; lose the emotion. Alternatively, it sounds like you have broad skills, and could easily find “greener grass” if you needed to move on to another employer. A few years ago, one of our Senior Vice Presidents distributed an article from CIO magazine stating that “technicians leave managers, not companies.”
      From an IT Manager with a life, and staff that have lives!!!

      • #3176282

        Avoid HR like the plague

        by babbage ·

        In reply to Escalate, or move on…..

        Whatever you do, stay away from HR. If you are in a small company, the HR rep is probably one of several roles for one person. That one person usually has a direct link to the CEO. If you’re in a large company like me (Multi-national org), the HR dept is so built out, its not funny. The problem you will run into every time is the HR is there for the MANAGER!! It’s pure fantasy that they are there for the employee. They are in place to cover the company’s ass.

        I went to HR after having a similar issue with my boss. HR turned it into a performance issue on my part and demoted me among other things. I stuck it out, but that’s me. Then again, they don’t try to control me to the level they are with you.

        If you’re committed to stay, start documenting everything and respond to each item by email. If he tells you that you need to get something done in two weeks, describe your case carefully with a cogent response that doesn’t leave anything open to intertpretation. Craft your messages very carefully, so that you are clear, to the point and not emotional. Explain your points with concrete business issues. Start archiving every scrap of email to CD so that when the day comes, you have everything readily available. But be prepared for the backlash.

        Sue or don’t sue, but IMHO you should really get out of there. This guy won’t change and even if you nail his ass by copying the boss on his rants, he’ll still feel threatened by you and find a way to discredit you. Leave on your terms, not theirs.

        • #3177216

          on the nail

          by ammonet ·

          In reply to Avoid HR like the plague

          Read the first paragraph carefully – it’s exactly correct. In a small company HR is trying to keep his own job, in a large one HR is part of management and his remit is to protect management and the company. In the latter case, if he can help you while fulfilling his remit, good, otherwise you lose. But normally, anyone going to HR is seen as a departmental liability and will be transferred away – to another department if the company is big enough, otherwise out.

    • #3176297

      A long time ago, in another life?

      by telcochuck ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I also had such a boss; finally one Friday he told me that even though I had cleared having my weekend out of town with him, because of a problem I would have to work thru the weekend. I informed him that I was the best man in my cousin’s wedding and would be down there that night. His response was that I had an improper attitude for working there. Of course, being Irish and all, my response was “Exactly how much notice do you require?” He fired me for threatening to quit. I appealed to Job Service and after almost 6 months of rig-a-marole got my two weeks of unemployment because I had not threatened to quit, I had asked for a clarification of company policies in front of 4 witnesses. I have been very happy at my new job and the ironic part is the former boss tried to hire me back 4 times before his company went bankrupt!

    • #3176293

      The Trouble With Bad Managment

      by marcusfrank ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Unfortunately your experience is not just limited to the IT world. The Peter Principal still seems to live on after all of these years. Too often you will find those in management positions that actually do not possess the professional maturity and/or requisite past job skills/experience to properly prioritize, plan and execute. I have seen it in IT, marketing, sales and even on the creative side. Realize you are dealing with someone that is probably extremely insecure and over their head in terms of understanding what it really takes to get the job done and what should be a real business priority.

      You probably could construct an abusive/hostile work environment case against your company. However it will take some of your money and a lot of time and energy. If you have a good sense of politics at your company you can decide if your boss is in or out of favor with executive/higher management. If he is in favor I would just file a complaint of abusive work environment with you senior HR person to buy yourself some time so you can find another job and get out of that place. Slack off your hours a bit to spend the time looking for a new position. HR will probably talk to your boss and warn him to temper his behavior. Depending on how clever your boss is he will eventually find a way to make your life hell again or fire you but not for at least 30 ? 60 days. Document (use email as much as you can to capture his abusive requests) all of his unreasonable requests as a backup in case he tries to fire you.

      Many, but not all companies support such hostile and abusive behavior from their management. They think it is how you extract the most productivity from their company resources. They are of course wrong. When looking for a new job make certain you interview the company as much or more than they interview you. Look for a boss who has solid business sense and experience in the industry he or she is working in from an IT perspective. Quiz the potential new boss on his or her views of what are business critical initiatives for the company and the time table they envision, desired and probable, for completing these initiatives. Also ask what they feel your typical work day/week/month would consist of in terms of tasks and time requirements. If you think you like the boss ask to meet co-workers and get a read on how well they like their work environment and what their view of a typical work day/week/month is like. Find out how many have families and how balanced they feel their work/personal lives are.

      The reality is business tends to go through cycles of abusing and nurturing employees. In bad times, like the recent recession, companies will take a harder line with staff knowing it is less likely they will find another job to defect to. In better times after they hear the giant sucking sound created by the departure of large numbers of staff they start instituting employee retainment programs. Some organizations buck the trend and always look to treat their employees as the valuable resources and business partners they are. With some due diligence and a bit of luck I am confident you will find a better work situation where you can thrive.

      Good Luck!

    • #3176291

      Walk

      by al.j.weysham ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Dude.. I would walk.. no freakin way would I live like that.. I would take McDonalds ANY day over that.. or maybe a Walmart greeter.. sounds like fun and you get to talk to EVERYONE. I’ve been in this biz for 14 years and have never worked with anyone like that and never will.. Sorry.. good luck with whatever you decide but I would have a head hunter looking for SOMETHING for me at all times.. heck, maybe 2 or 3 head hunters and all my friends also!

    • #3176289

      Shouldn’t be like that

      by riceoroni ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I’ve worked in IT for more than 10 years. While there are days that you’ll be in the office for what seems like 24 hours (I’ve actually done 48 hours straight during the hurricanes last year in Florida), it shouldn’t be like that at all. My advice, look for something in your line somewhere else and advise your coworker to do the same. This guy will eventually promise something he can’t deliver and one of you will likely be made an example to save his own skin. It’s not worth it. His demands are unrealistic and there are other jobs out there where you will be respected and treated fairly.

    • #3176288

      (B)Army bosses

      by ged.haydon ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Hi
      I do sympathise. Ask yourself how much you need/want the job. If you can’t get a similar job for similar money it may be best to stick to the frying pan.

      A lot of IT managers don’t have a clue. There are no formal courses. I should know, a lot of former friends are IT managers (I wouldn’t have given them the job).

      IMHO this gut is a total **sehole. Get some other like minded people to gether and stuff him officially with his boss (or do it in some underhand scheming way if you have to). It is your duty not to let gits like this get away with it. If you do, they will inflict their miserable existance on someone else.

      The army management mentality is still around even though it is crap. Look at the employees at Google for the other extreme.

      In terms of management anyway – look at the NHS – one manager per qualified health professional and they still can’t hack it.

      Good luck and all the best. Hope it works out.

      Ged

    • #3176284

      Management

      by jfmorg ·

      In reply to What to do??

      First of all, you refer to your boss as a manager.
      He doesn’t have a clue regarding leadership and management. Autocratic bosses are not leaders and leadership is required to manage.
      It is obvious that your boss has never heard of Peter Drucker.
      In my humble opinion, “Management By objectives” is the best form of management. Unfortunately, it starts at ther top and requires input all the way down to the person or persons who is/are directly responsible for achievining the objective or objectives. The final objective is broken down into sub objectives which must be achieved in order to complete the project. Goals and time frames are set
      and individual workers participate in the swetting of realistic goals.

      http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/mgmt_mbo_main.html
      http://www.12manage.com/methods_smart_management_by_objectives.html

    • #3176283

      BOFH – register.com

      by sirlanse ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Go to theregister.com and read the Bastard Operator from Hell. Simon does a good job of
      dealing with his bosses.
      Nothing like a little water and an open circuit to settle down a control freak boss.

    • #3177314

      What to do?

      by pamela.white ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I recently left a job because of the same things that you mentioned in your post. Depending on your situation, you can either grin and bear it until something else comes along, which is what I did, or walkout.

      We tried filing a grievance against my previous supervisor, to no avail. Most of the staff was also on anti anxiety meds. Once I started my new job, I was able to get off them.

      IT is not like what you mentioned. Certainly there are times when ot is required, but you are allowed to have a life. Just stick with it and get your resume out.

    • #3177313

      Nuts

      by mike_flood ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I think the person you are speaking of has a BAD mental problem.
      I’d look for other employment ASAP for your own sanity. Then when you get ready to leave tell him off.
      Disregard his mandate that you not talk to anyone else. Go to the top. If management won’t fix it then you’re better off somewhere else. Life is too short to put up with that stuff.
      Good luck!

    • #3177311

      At first glance . . .

      by gentlerf ·

      In reply to What to do??

      At first glance it seems to me that your manager is completely ’round the bend on having unrealistic expectations. I fervently hope you are documenting every conversation and meeting as this seems to be a large violation of the Fair Labor Relations Act (I go out on a limb and surmise you are in the US). It further seems that this manager feels you to be “property” and no longer employees. No matter what you say to him, it will never be “his” fault.

      Your co-worker, if he truly has been hanging out with the owners daughter, can use that relationship as a pipeline to the owner as a means of voicing your grievances. Again, document everything, both of you. I would also find a labor relations attorney to represent both of you.

      Again, this is a first look without looking at the other’s comments, so I hope we are all on the same page.

    • #3177309

      What’s most important…..

      by leketee ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Though providing for your family is an honorable thing, don’t allow anything (company or the such)cause you to miss valuable time with family. Time is one thing that continues to move on and you cannot recover those valuable moments that should have been spent with those precious ones. There are other jobs and working environments that I’m sure are better than the one you are in. Choose the thing that’s going to make you the most happy and add the greatest value to your life.

    • #3177306

      Hmm… There are reasons

      by mross01 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      As a manager, one who appreciates his employees and does what he can to help the, there are reasons that managers make these decisions. More experienced IT professionals usually have less complaints and whine less about the things you are bringing up. This isn’t just IT idealisim, this is a real job. Although IT world does have a greater demand, especially if your are salary.

      I hate to say it, but, grow up and welcome to the real world. Sorry.

      • #3177275

        Real World?

        by isapp ·

        In reply to Hmm… There are reasons

        I hate to say it, but, managers like you are the reason that people like us quit. Sorry.

        • #3177268

          I have managers too.

          by mross01 ·

          In reply to Real World?

          I have no turn over and have a very dedicated staff. I have a wide range of employees, from inexperienced to the professional. You miss understand what I am saying. Managers make decision based on things that are going on. Rarely do managers delibertly become arses by choice. They are trying to get something accomplished because they are required to get something accomplished.

          If are like the person complaining then you won’t understand any of this until you mature in your career.

        • #3177052

          Mature?

          by isapp ·

          In reply to I have managers too.

          A manager may not become an arse by choice, but he/she certainly may be an arse by birth. Simply giving someone a title doesn’t automatically confer sanity or skill.

          Until a few years ago I would have basically agreed with you. However, then I experienced working with the same type of lunatic described in the original post. I would never have imagined that one person could be responsible for the chaos and hysteria that this person spread throughout her division and the MIS department.

          Hmmm, could this be what you’re referring to as “maturing”? Or could you be referring to someone who has worked with IT and computers since 1969? Oh wait, that’s me!

          Or maybe by maturing you’re talking about becoming someone who listens to BOTH sides of an issue, rather than assuming that all managers are competent because they’re a manager.

      • #3177159

        Time to learn how to manage, motivate and lead

        by csettle ·

        In reply to Hmm… There are reasons

        Yes, IT has its demands. But without understanding how to effectively motivate your team members, you’re missing the ETHICS, LEADERSHIP, and MOTIVATION points of this discussion.

        Learn what you should realistically ask of your team members. Even though you might be willing to work a steady diet of 60-80 hour weeks, does not mean that you should or could expect all of your staff to do likewise. Team motivation has to do with MUTUAL RESPECT, flexibility, and understanding that everyone has different limits. Do some research. Study motivation. Study ethics and leadership. Do a better job than you’re doing now. You owe it to yourself, your team, and your company.

        I’ve been in IT leadership for over 25 years, and I know for a fact that there’s a better way. I hope for you and the people that work for you that you learn that too.

    • #3177296

      What a jerk!

      by wwwebster ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Jeez, what a whack-job!

      Other posters are right – this cat’s a control freak. My wife recently had a similar experience.

      Your boss is screwing you good! While he works you to death, he’s taking credit for your successes, and probably blaming you for any and all failures when upper management raises any ‘uncomfortable’ questions. His efforts at segregating you from the rest of the company is likely designed to prevent you from finding out what’s really going on and to prevent you from passing out tales of his misdeads.

      If your company has a Human Resources Department, I would suggest contacting them and requesting a copy of your formal job description a well as an explanation of their policies on work hours, overtime, grievances, etc. If a safe channel exists for reporting your work conditions, I would give some thought to doing so, perhaps enlisting the assistance of your other put-upon co-workers. Butthead’s house of cards will likely come crashing down around him.

      Your boss does not have the right to dictate to you re: what you do on your time, nor who you do it with.

    • #3177280

      Working for a Lunatic

      by isapp ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Not all IT jobs are like this, and not all IT managers are this psychotic. We had a manager here for awhile who had a similar ability to create chaos, bad feelings, and tears. Twice I documented her harassment, and I included names, dates, times, and direct quotes. I was told I had a personality conflict so I realized I wasn’t going to get any help.

      I was making up my mind to quit when this person was “laid off” during a downsizing. Her entire division breathed an enormous sigh of relief!

      It sounds like the only realistic remedy for you is to leave. You won’t get any more help from HR/management than I did, but you can get out. Don’t abandon IT if you enjoy the work. Just find another place to do it. Life’s too short to spend this many hours being miserable.

    • #3177279

      Get out while you have your sanity

      by rzimmerman ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Life is too short to work for bosses like that. You will be surprised how many better places there are too work. I had an assignment once that was hell on earth, working on projects late into the night and having status meetings at 6:30 in the morning. I just walked in one morning and said I want off this project. It was the best decision I ever made. My stress level went down to 10% of what it was. Less than a year later that boss and his boss were removed from the project for incompetence. Unfortunately while they were in their positions they managed to make life miserable for a lot of my fellow employees.

    • #3177277

      Extended Liability

      by coxg ·

      In reply to What to do??

      One avenue that you might explore is to make yout boss’s supervisors aware of the kind of treatment that employees are experiencing from him/her. By making the higher management aware of this type of behavior the accountability and liability of your boss’s behavior toward employees is extended into upper management who may not be aware of such practices.

      Document everything including dates, times, and settings, (if possible record staff meetings, if this is one of the settings), and the date, type, and content of communication with your boss’s supervisors. Make sure that the documentation is sent to a specific member of upper management by registered mail, return receipt requested, so you have documentation of the communication. To be effective, the communication should be signed by the majority of this boss’s employees.

      If these practices continue for an extended period of time after upper management has been informed, then it should be apparent that the behavior is condoned by upper management and you may have legal grounds for action. The legal liability for such actions may include not only the boss in question, but also his/her superiors, and possibly the company as a whole.

      Also, even if a lawyer sees no legal grounds for action, you know how the company stands on the issue; that is not just one supervisor, but the whole company. In which case I would change companies as soon as possible.

    • #3177271

      Slow down, step away

      by mbrunner@customerselects.com ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You are in the IT field, so I assume that you are analytical of mind, and a solution provider by trade. With those two assumptions as guides, consider the following, and try to reduce the problem to a resolvable issue. It is business, so remove the personal side of the argument if at all possible.

      1) In IT, there is often mentioned a “pyramid” structure for Project Management. The 3 sides are made up of Time, Resources, and Budget. At least one of these items will be frozen, and hard to adjust.

      2) Your boss has likely been tasked to “Do More With Less” as the business battle cry. This of course gets delegated downhill. The workload increases while the staff level decreases due to attrition, vacation and/or downsizing.

      3) IT Managers are often promoted from the IT ranks for doing a good job in a technical capacity. This doesn’t make them good Managers or communicators, as they may have focused less effort on these skills than on remaining relevant.

      Now, how can you carve a solution out of this scenario? I would develop ideas around all 3 sides of the pyramid above, and prepare arguments to allow one or more of these factors to “slide”. You need to develp a solution that promotes a win-win for you and for the business. So if you want more free time, show how this will increase productivity. If you don’t want to carry a pager and respond 24/7/365, suggest ways to make this work, like a rotating on-call schedule. Your solution should prepare you to SELL (not argue about) your solution.

      The bottom line is this is just one more area where needs analysis, process and procedure development, and problem solving can save the day, and/or the career. I have used this approach many times in the past.

      Just my 2?.

    • #3177269

      Walk not run

      by pry1 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Find another job and get out of there. Do it now! I made the mistake of putting up with a similar situation for two years while I watched many others be burned out and discarded. Now I’m layed off and spending my savings and investments while trying to find another job. Get out of there as soon as you can. Don’t wait or hesitate.

    • #3177267

      Find another job

      by eric.p ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Not all bosses are so backward thinking, so look for another job and say goodbye to this retard. The future doesn’t look bright for that company anyway if that is their mindset. Any enlightened human being understands that people need balance in their life to perform at their highest level.
      When I have worked with companies that require so much time from their employees, they get into a never-ending cycle of making stupid mistakes, which require endless time and headache to fix, effectively doubling or tripling their load. They’re so overworked they can’t see their way out of it, and things just slowly spiral out of control. That’s no way to run a company — it does no one any good, and sure does a lot of harm.

    • #3177266

      Have you been looking for another Job

      by thomastri ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Bleive you me, I can relate go to Monster, Careerbuilder, and Dice, bleive me when I say, if you have talked to your boss about this more than once,and the abuse continues it is time to post a Resume. You might have to settle for less money, it depends on your priorties your family is there for you, your kids are only kids once.

    • #3177264

      Simple really…

      by godaves ·

      In reply to What to do??

      First off, start to document everything in case _they_ try to sue _you_.

      Now, there is the time tested and proper action you can take here.. Your team should all just find a new job and quit.

      I’m not condoning what your boss is doing by any stretch, but suing will probably cause you as much heartburn as it does him.

      The risk is that he may find out you’re looking and you fear he’ll go nuts and make life even more miserable.. Really, the worst that can happen is he fires you, especially if you document everything and you are truly in the “right” here, so they can’t turn around and make some sort of a performance based complaint against you.

      Chances are he won’t do anything worse if he learns you are looking, the reason being is I think he may put a little thought into what your team means to his part of the organization. You never know, the dink might actually start to realize what he has and treat you more appropriately.

      Regardless, if you can handle the worst (you get fired and won’t starve), then really the best solution is to just find another job ASAP.

    • #3177254

      It’s the old old story

      by puzz623 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      So look Wayne, you’re either valuable or you aren’t. Well obviously you are. The guy who isn’t is the boss who’s making trouble for you and your colleagues. Is his problem that he is insecure and therefore tries to impress his superiors with fantastic deadlines? The chances are that the IT manager’s superiors don’t know what is going on below him, and would be a little surprised if they found out. If this is not the case then I’m afraid you need to move to another company, because this one is showing all the signs of being terminally badly managed. Rule no.1: Your private life is your own affair. The IT manager is worried about socialising because he is paranoid. Why is he paranoid? He ain’t very good at his job. It’s easy for me to say, not being in your situation, but the point is that if you guys act together and the company is still one that you actually want to work for then you need to evolve a strategy to get the IT manager sacked. Nothing short of that will work, and it can be done.

    • #3177252

      Get a life….

      by burke9 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Document, Document, Document……

      Then go out and have a beer. Stay when its necessary and leave ON TIME when possible.

      Talk to HR and to his boss. Talk to other department. Find out if this is company policy.

      Polish up your resume but be prepared for that fallout too …..

      Good luck.

      One boss I worked with actually threatend to have me arrested and prosectued… I think they put him in a padded cell finally.

    • #3177249

      Maturity

      by figarcia ·

      In reply to What to do??

      It requires a lot of knowledge, maturity, self-discipline and luck to work in the IT field.
      Nevertheless, we do not put the hours that the retail industry requires, neither we get paid as a Surgeon that is on call 24X7
      If IT is a field you are getting into because of money or prestigue alone, you have made a mistake.
      You must like the field and be willing to sacrifice plenty for it. This is very hard when you have small children or your domestic situation is unsettled.
      Best advice is get along with your boss, make him part of the day to day work so he can make the “Business decisions”. If it is too much for you, get another job or best get another occupation.
      Leave the field to the true devoted IT pros.

      • #3177227

        Awesome – This is what you need to know.

        by mross01 ·

        In reply to Maturity

        I gotta say here is what you need to understand. This post is short accurate and to the point.

      • #3177181

        What???

        by jim.mccracken ·

        In reply to Maturity

        It’s one thing to expect tight deadlines, I know we have all had them, but to encourage total submission to an egotistical boss is crap. Maturity sometimes involves voicing your concerns to the correct person or persons involved, along with an arbitrator.

      • #3177142

        You’ve obviously never been **** on!

        by landoflost ·

        In reply to Maturity

        In a previous position as an IT Director I was expected to give 100% of my time to the company – and I did because that?s what good employees are supposed to do. I received great reviews, great increases and a great office – until I had my world crash around me. My assistant was sexually harassed by the CEO. As her manager, I was obligated both legally and morally to report the situation. That?s when the retaliation began. I suffered through two years of it before they forced me to resign. I have a box full of evidence, numerous witnesses, you name it. The EEOC investigator was shocked by the blatant retaliation. My attorney says I have a great case. And what did I get out of this? Unemployment for a year, depression, resentment, etc. I also know that I will never devote myself to an employer like that again. I will do my job and have a life, for a change. My case is still pending a court date. Maybe I?ll get some financial reward out of it, maybe I won?t. All I can say is do the right thing but make sure you have job first ? leave on your own terms before the devious people find a way to make you!

        • #3177108

          It is unfair

          by figarcia ·

          In reply to You’ve obviously never been **** on!

          I appreciate your sad experience. It happens in all fields. I have seen a lot of wrong things done to me and others. However, it is clear that you emerged in a better position due to your professionalism and understanding that there are ‘bad apples’ in our field too.
          Many a times we find ourselves in situations where things happen well beyond our control. So, best thing is to get out fast. Best luck to you.

        • #3178110

          Missed the point

          by darinhamer ·

          In reply to It is unfair

          Figarcia, I think you missed the point of the previous post. His point is that you devote yourself to your employer 100%, but to your employer, it is business. The employer is generally not going to be so devoted to you.

          Yes, there are times when you will be expected to work some over time and yes you should be devoted. But it is absurd to suggest that you can only work in IT if you sell everything else out for the job. My belief is that if you don’t have balance between work and family/home/recreation/whatever, you really can’t be all that valuable to your employer anyway. You’ve got to be able to have a life no matter what field you are in. That balance makes you a better employee.

    • #3177241

      First,

      by stan20 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      First, your manager sounds like a complete asshole, and you should look for a job in a different company. Development schedules should be realistic, and the manager should defend realistic schedules to his boss, etc.

      If you are expected to work more than 40 hours a week as a general rule, you should get more than 40 hours pay.

      You can have a solid IT career and still lead a normal life. But, like any other field, if you want to be the best you have to have a real passion for your work, and make it your life.

    • #3177231

      Clients can be the same, too

      by camboro computers ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I am a small business owner, specializing in web site design and development. I certainly hope that I never become the type of person that your manager is, and I also hope that if I do, then one or more of my employees quickly put me in my place.

      I have clients that demand unreasonable deadlines on items that they know nothing about. For instance, web site search engine creation is usually given no more than 10 hours to build and perfect for the site. This is ridicuous, and it is often difficult to communicate the obstacles that programming often causes.

      My advice to you is to find out if your boss’s boss has ever served in the Military. Find out the same for your head HR guru. The reason that this is important is because most people who have served in the Military have been in some kind of leadership position, and most have learned how to become a great leader. A good leader will listen to your problems – a great leader wil work with you to solve them. If you do not currently have this luxury, then I highly recommend asking your future employers about their Military experience during any future job interviews. If your new boss says that he/she is/was a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), a Commissioned Officer (Officer), or a Warrant Officer, then you just found a great leader!

      if you ever decide to quit your job and relocate, I am always ooking for good empoyees in the IT field. Send dme an email with your resume to jstuttler at camboro-computers dot com and we can go from there. By the way, I am an NCO, and I do not put up with the BS that your current manager gives out!

    • #3177222

      Have you tried Personnel

      by basilmac ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne,
      The most useful resource at your disposal is HR, and is sometimes overlooked. You should ask for company policy on over time or socalizing on off duty time.

      My job is salary based and when I don’t want to be disturbed, my answering machine gets the call and not me, then I don’t have to make excuses why I didn’t respond.

      For an experienced IT person, there are other jobs in the market. If you are not satified where you are, trice dice.com or monster.com. the best time to get a job is when you have one!

      Best of luck,

      Basil

    • #3177217

      Look elsewhere

      by stevemissa ·

      In reply to What to do??

      My first piece of advice is f*** your boss. He apparently suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (type that in Google and start learning) and the only way to effectively deal with these people is to walk away. So I would suggest you keep your resume nice and shiny and look elsewhere for employment.
      Yes, it is true that IT is pretty demanding of one’s time, depending on what you are doing. Most IT folk should expect to work a fair amount of overtime (is your boss aware of the new Fed regulations about OT?) but the demands you are faced with are ridiculous.
      My other suggestion is that IT needs to unionize so that those of us in the industry have some power and representation. As for your situation, I’d suggest you and your two co-workers who are under your boss “unionize” by all polishing up your resumes and all finding new jobs and all leaving on the same day with no prior warning – that may wake the narcissist up, at least for a few minutes.
      Good luck!

    • #3177214

      THE HEAD!!!!

      by mooney driver ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I have worked for freaks like this before, and most of them are supervisors in manufacturing areas. Most manufacturing supervisors are pure control freaks. There was one that sticks out clearly in my mind. The stories I could tell you are endless. We worked in a cubicle area and even if we were talking to a co-worked about a job realted issue, he would see you talking across the building and stand there staring at you with his neck stretched high so you would NOTICE that he was watching you. Because we mostly saw his head stretched over the cubicle walls I wrote a poem about him and shared it with my co-workers. I called it “Manufacturing” because these freaks seem to bread in those settings. PRAISE BE TO GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE THAT I AM NO LONGER IN THAT HELL HOLE!

      Here it is for your enjoyment:

      MANUFACTURING

      It is said we dread the Head
      whose nightmares chase us in our beds.

      We then wake to morning?s light,
      return to work to see the sight.

      The sight we see is as before,
      that ugly head coming through the door!

      HERE IT COMES!!!

      Wow! That was close!
      That ugly head is really gross.

      One day these chains of bondage we shall break,
      and that dreaded Head we will forsake.

      No more to see it in the halls,
      nor peering over cubicle walls.

      No more to fear the right to speak,
      looking over our shoulders,
      whispering cheek to cheek.

      No more to march to that cattle call, ?time for break?, ?hey you are late!?

      Yes, one day we will leave this Hell,
      and dream sweeter dreams that time will tell.

      But as for now, it?s ?BACK TO WORK!?
      I dread that Head, what a jerk!

      -by Glenn Erdelt

    • #3177212

      Just quit.

      by grandemocha ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Tell them you have Anal Glaucoma. You can?t see your a$$ working here anymore.

      My last job was like that. They came to us with a new project that they wanted implemented in a short time. They threw everybody on it, cancelled vacations, and said we had to do whatever it took. It was just an internal project, not client facing. No reason for the short deadline. Just management insisted. I refused. I said I?ll do my 45 hours, no more. My director threatened me with a meeting with HR. I said, ?You do what you have to do.? The HR director said you must or we will fire you. I quit.

      Two weeks later my director got laid off the day before surgery. My General Manger quit two weeks after that. My manager quit two months after I did with 4 kids and a stay-at-home wife & he didn?t have another job. The VP quit 4 months after me. My entire chain of command was gone in 5 months.

      I filed for unemployment. Admitted I quit. They took 6 months to deny my claim. They said in IT, it doesn?t matter how nasty they are or how many hours you have to work, if you quit, you get nothing.

      One of my friends got me into her company. I?m hourly. I get paid for what I work. I took 5 weeks off last year. The $$$ is a little less, the hours and the stress are a lot less. My husband says I?m more pleasant to be around at this job.

    • #3177201

      Get him to put that is writing

      by jtakiwi ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Seriously, if that is the company policy, he should have no qualms about writing it down and signing it. Once you ask him to do that, common sense may suddenyl com into play.

      Your boss has a screw or two loose, worse, he realizes it and wants to keep you guys from interacting w/ the rest of the company. Start writing it down, and keep copies off site. When you really decide to seek employment elsewhere (you’re only real way out of this as long as the guy is in charge of you), go see this clown’s boss and show him the paper trail along w/ a detailed explanantion of why you are leaving.

    • #3177194

      It’s time to move on

      by csettle ·

      In reply to What to do??

      By choosing a career in IT, you have chosen a “professional” position in business, which will encompass overtime where necessary.

      On the other hand, much of the current motivational management approach clearly illustrates that respecting balance between work and personal life is a crucial factor in ensuring high levels of motivation in workers. Your boss is way behind the times in his/her management style. (There’s a lot of great information on the web about management and leadership – do some searching, and you’ll learn how off-base your boss is, and what to look for in a new boss!)

      What your boss has achieved is typical of a bad manager – through suck-up posturing to senior management, he/she looks good to them, but he/she is allowed to terrorize his/her staff. It’s a pity that his/her bosses aren’t wiser, and insist on building some level of perspective into how their managers manage – or perhaps they condone the approach? Be really cautious about things like off-hours time with the owner’s daughter – that has the potential to get people into unwanted trouble.

      By the way, where is HR in all of this mess? Has the entire group gone to the head of HR en masse to discuss the problem? If this has occurred more than once and HR is not taking action, there is a much broader systemic problem going on. Bear in mind, that the best way to approach HR (or senior management if that is the only option) is show up with clear documentation of what was said/done when, and by whom. While your desire may be to get rid of your lousy boss, he/she is may well valued by management, and you may be more successful in asking that management training and coaching be done to train your boss in how to motivate effectively in a positive manner (though a feel a “yeah, right” sensation creeping in here, particularly if this type of management is in evidence further up the line).

      The real bottom line is that you cannot change other people’s behavior. If the company does not place value in positive leadership, management and motivation, then you will not have any success in changing anything. And your boss doesn’t seem like he/she has any need to change of his/her own volition.

      Your choice, then, is to change your own behavior. Either go with the flow, get what you can from the situation (needed experience, or the like), or move on to another job, preferably with another company that has a healthier attitude towards their staff.

      Best of luck!

    • #3177182

      What to do? Get Out

      by dagilleland ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Unfortunately, there are a LOT of people in IT that think IT is the only life people need. But that’s out-and-out garbage (I actually wanted to use the c**p word, but hey, this is a public forum). The sad part happens when one of these people is in management…

      My advice: Get out of there! There are a lot of better places to work, and freelance web or IT development can be much more rewarding (even if you put in similar hours once in a while).

      And consider this: There is a MAJOR demographic shift that’s going to be happening in the next 5-10 years, and IT is one of the places that’s going to be affected. What it will probably translate into is a better job market (i.e. – companies willing to pay for the services they get), as there will be a reduced population to do the work (while many others retire).

      Shop around. IT’s Your Life!

    • #3177180

      Take him down.

      by dryflies ·

      In reply to What to do??

      A control freak like that will have a nick in his armor somewhere. I had a manager from hell like that that so angered all of the employees under him that evewntually they found him breaking a company policy and got him fired. very few positions demand that kind of sacrifice, If the tight deadlines continue then it is poor estimating, not poor performance by the developers. I once was told in an interview – this is not just a 40-50 hour a wekk job. I stood up, said sorry for wasting your time, and walked out.

      • #3177146

        More info..

        by obiwaynekenobi ·

        In reply to Take him down.

        First off, I don’t really know if we HAVE an HR department.. I think our “Director of Finance and Administration” handles that.. I’m not even sure.

        We both have decided to start looking for better opportunities.. hopefully we can find something soon. In the meantime we have a looming software project coming up that is supposed to get done in.. *drum roll* two weeks. *rolls eyes*

        The main thing is that he won’t try this control garbage on me, because he knows I woudl tell him off. But he intimidates my co-worker because she has a family to support, hence why he does things like yell at her for taking a smoke break (because it makes her look like a loser to management, he says). I don’t get the brunt of it, I just refuse to put up with being a dog to these people. I don’t mind putting in overtime (we dont put in much); it’s the ridiculous deadlines and the “I know you can do it!!” excuses that p*ss me off.

        EDIT: I should mention this, as well.. my boss is of the Islamic faith, which probably explains why he treats my co-worker that way and pretty much threatens to fire her if she does things he doesnt approve of (why she takes this crap is beyond me, however. I tell her plenty of times to stand up to him). He has also.. how can I say this.. attempted to convert her by giving her a copy of the Quran (however it’s spelled) a few months back; that behavior has stopped, fortunatly.

        • #3177066

          Well if that’s the case

          by mooney driver ·

          In reply to More info..

          … be sure to tell him that they have a need for more suicide bombers in his native country. Surely lying in heaven with 17 virgins would make him more happy than terrorizing you folks.

    • #3177148

      Tell him he can’t control your personal lives

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You may socialize with anyone you want after hours and on YOUR lunch breaks.

      He has the right to keep you from doing it during work hours only.

      Next time he says anything about it, ask him to show you in the Employees handbook that you can’t socialise with other people in the company and what the discipline for such infractions are.

      Stand up to him as it is obvious he isn’t used to people going against his wishs.

      Get your resume out as this guy will make this a dead end job for you.

      Till then, grow a backbone and don’t let him push you around in areas he has no right to. He can’t fire you for having lunch with anyone. Just make plans BEFORE work so you didn’t do it during his time.

      He sounds more like a bully and a suckup than anything else. Runs you ragged and then takes ALL the credit, which is the reason for the segrigation.

    • #3177099

      That’s not IT, it’s an insane asylum

      by blueknight ·

      In reply to What to do??

      That type of treatment is NOT what you should expect in the IT field.

      If I were you, I’d be looking for another place to work. Your boss obviously doesn’t realize, or doesn’t care, that for any project to be successful, planning, including reasonable time and effort analysis MUST be done. If the analysis determines the project will take 6 weeks, then that’s what it will take, and that’s what you tell the “customer.”

      Rather than reiterate what you told us, everything else I see points to a totally unreasonable (and probably very insecure person).
      There are many adjectives that could be used to describe your boss, but to keep it simple, this guy is what we call an “Adam Henry” (radio phonetics) in law enforcement… you can figure that out eh?

      Tell your coworker to file a complaint on the harassment (I pronounce it the “old,” widespread, way – emphasis on the 2nd syllable makes it sound as ugly as it is), then both of you get out of there ASAP!

      If you stay, you’re either crazy or a masochist.

    • #3177097

      Easy…leave…now.

      by mr l ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You get to have a life.

      You get to socialize with whomever you see fit outside of working hours.

      You get to work in an environment that is free of overt harassment (overt=provable).

      Based on what you have said here though, you have one good solution…bail.

      Having said that, expect some situations where you are working outside normal business hours, and do not get too attached to 9 to 5 as business hours.

    • #3177089

      No, this is NOT normal.

      by ddjohn ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne, This is not even close to normal. Your boss has serious issues, some of which fall under the category of micro-managing, and others are strictly psychopath. Decide if you can risk talking to the head of HR. If not, I would suggest the entire department defect to another company. Except for the department heads, I don’t normally see IT staff working mega-overtime. Most companies are too afraid of the DOL overtime rules. Very few HR people really understand what they can and cannot get away with, so they try not to step in stuff.

    • #3177080

      Your boss is right. Get back to work you slacker.

      by david_reehl ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Your boss is always right.

    • #3177078

      Hey Dude

      by darrahg ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You need to quit. But, don’t burn any bridges. You will not please him no matter what you do.

    • #3177060

      Don’t be a weenie or a doormat

      by billeger ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne, you’re allowing a jerk to spoil your life. He has a position of authority so it is likely an even bigger jerk owns the company. Get out of there!

      Don’t just walk out, find a job elsewhere and then walk out. That your are presently employed makes it easier to get a new job and less required that the new employee will go to the existing boss for references.

      Life is too short to put up with mistreatment from your family, your government or some jerk who is a boss.

    • #3177054

      I had a boss a bit like that

      by newsletters ·

      In reply to What to do??

      He was a complete @?!King C*!?, but he owned the company and therefore thought he was god allowed to say what he liked when he liked to people!

      However He went through 18 engineers in less than 4 years

      So I left and got another job

      Which pays better

      All the people are very nice and helpful

      Has a company car

      Expenses paid on time

      Better prospects

      Etc etc

      So my advice

      Don’t be bullied

      make a point of telling him you won’t be bullied and get another job

      Once you go you’ll be amazed at how many others follow suit

    • #3177045

      Start Looking

      by wednesday1031 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      If I was you I would definitely start looking for another job! This one is not worth you getting discouraged about the IT field. I had a manager that was very condiscending (sp?) and the only reason she had her position was because her husband was a higher up at IBM. By 6 months I was ready to start dragging that woman around by her hair! So when it came time for me to renew my contract I told them no and I showed them every email and sametime message she ever sent me and told them that she takes advantage of her position and that she really has no business being a supervisor. So a week later I found another job working with great appreciative people and I’m happy again. So don’t get discouraged, just find another place of employment and wash your hands of that manager. By the way, does he have a degree or did he just do a crash course and get a certification to make him an “IT Manager”? Best of luck to you.

    • #3177025

      Dilemma

      by vltiii ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I’m not sure what the dilemma is. Is you still work there it’s because you choose to and by extention accept the working conditions. I think one discussion with your boss is enough. After that you can leave or if you think his bosses may not be aware of how he runs things, you can bring it to their attention. Slavery was abolished in this country over 100 years ago.

    • #3177005

      Look around

      by bhome ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You can’t work like this and your boss is unrealistic. Move before the stress kills you or gives you a reputation.
      Remember, you don’t have to work a that company. So get a good offer and then YOU have a closing meeting.

    • #3176991

      Welcome to the IT world

      by wnash7658 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      1. Most people (Manager’s) don’t know the real time to complete IT tasks…. have a look at most of the budget blowouts for IT projects. This is because they lack technical knowledge.
      2. Your Manager is an idiot … WELFARE is an important role for a Manager. Maybe he/she was appointed because they know somebody.
      3. Planning – I can always see what is going to happen and then I am able to plan ahead. It’s a gift I have.
      4. I was once in your position, but the advantage I got was I became so experienced that when I left the job, I had three good company’s looking for me. (Note: it is usually better to be in a small company, I am in a large company and I am limited to what I can do – too many IT consultants)
      4. I had a BOSS who once said … You will have a good and bad bosses … live with it.

      Lastly, I was in a position that I was expected …. yes ….l to crank out software with bad business requirements, etc. So for you keep the job, but start looking elsewhere. If you have a job interview – say that you are sick.

      Hope it helps (NOTE: The IT world is not based on your Manager … one door closes and other one opens).

    • #3176989

      Do what I did…

      by jesuss ·

      In reply to What to do??

      In my first IT job, I had a supervisor who was just like yours, except mine liked to use A LOT of profanity. After 6 months of putting up with his atittude, I quit and managed to take him with me. Heres what I did:

      Type up a formal resignation letter (2-weeks notice) in which you explain why it is you’re quitting. Give it to your superior (the one who treats you like a POS), his superior, the HR director, the CIO, and the CEO.

      Within a week, this guy was fired and the HR and IT directors asked me to reconsider my resignation. I would have stayed, but I had already accepted a position elsewhere.

      My 2 cents. Good luck!

    • #3176979

      Re: What to do??

      by philipx.d.glynn ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Doing the web development is a good thing. Get as much experience as you can. But as soon as you can, get out of there. Post your resume on monster and some other job boards. Apply at some recruiting companies and let them look for you, since you obviously won’t have time. Most people in IT are professional, unlike this guy. So you should be able to find a better job and a better boss to work with – certainly can’t get any worse. I have worked in IT almost 40 years, am a project manager, managing intranet web development projects, and have never heard of something as bad as your manager. Good luck!

    • #3176975

      It’s not as simple as it sounds

      by karl ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Hi Wayne62682,

      I don’t normally reply to these articles, but yours grabbed my attention. I am the owner and manager of a small software outfit, with probably very similar demands placed on me as your boss. My response is a mixture ….

      1) What you do in your own time is your own business – tell him to go jump.

      2) Unreasonable deadlines never helps anything – software development is a risky business, when you have to quote a fixed price, however pressuring the developers solves nothing.

      HOWEVER:

      3) While your boss is definitely out of line on several issues, just remember who the competitors are nowadays: China, India, Indonesia, Thailand. They work for peanuts, have no OH&S, and can freely pollute their environment. They are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. Our Australian customers who have not got smarter with their IT systems are already disappearing – replaced by factories overseas. You and I have to work hard to help them remain competetive. So, to some degree, YES this is what you can expect from IT: you do need to take responsibility for your output, including deadlines, and you should expect that an IT job will never be 9-5. Bill Gates advertisements with you sitting on the beach with your laptop sipping latte is NOT reality, but is unfortunately what many young folk in particular have been led to believe.

      4) Regardless of the above, if you are good at your job, you should be compensated for the additional effort, even if it is in short bursts, with overtime or time off in lieu, or a bigger pay packet. If you are no good at your job, then the boss should encourage you with a positive environment and shelter from the harsh realities of the IT business world. Your part of this deal is to take some responsibility re. deadlines and emergency support activities.

      Hope this helps you!

    • #3178359

      Take it in stride…then

      by mmelvis ·

      In reply to What to do??

      While you have a position now, start looking for a new position. Look now when you are not pressured to take the first thing that comes along. Yes the current situation is not the best to have but it will give the motivation to find a new company that suites your needs. No IT is not a 24 hour job

    • #3178340

      Time to move on

      by jdavidsorrell ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I would so quit. Oh, and I would do it in some sort of fantastic bold fashion. I work for a small IT service provider. We have four “workers” including the owner. I love the company and my boss and my coworkers and crap, but I loathe some of the customers. Interestingly enough the one I hate the most is our biggest customer, a trash hauling and landfill management comopany. THEY SUCK!!! And I mean that in the most malice filled way possible. Most days spent there for me are not worth the paltry some I am paid. This company takes full advantage of the smaller company that I work for like we are some how owned by them. They don’t pay us squat either but the expect us to jump to as soon as they call. I keep telling myself “you have only been at this for 6 months now, you need the experience” but the other voice of reason in my head says “SCREW ‘EM!” Sorry about this turning into my rant. BUT, you should definitely get your resume revamped, get it out there and start making some phone calls and sending e-mails. Oh and as for the other people talking about an IT union? I worked for a union for about 8 years and the only thing they ever did was make sure that the people already retired or about to retire were taken care of at contract time and to protect the laziest dead beats in the place while they left the rest of us to twist in the wind!

    • #3178331

      Your dodgey Boss

      by malcolm_pattison ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Hi:

      I have to sympathise with you, basically your getting treated like shit, this could be down to a few reasons working on what you?re saying.

      Your manager lacks man management skills, and has a sick way of getting around the fact.

      He wants to impress other execs and show them what a big man he his at your expense.

      I can recommend that he gets on a good man management course give him this link: http://www.managers.org.uk

      Working in IT is one of the best most satisfying jobs you can be in at this day and age. You did not go through all your courses, degrees or what ever to be treated like some detainee.

      A good IT department works as a team all mucking in together as a tight knit unit. You have to mix with other members of your company so that you know and share their work patterns. This helps you understand what level of service they require.

      The myth about IT people being back office Geeks is rubbish. Be noticed be polite to people and when called upon to produce do it with a bit of pride and do it right, so what ever you?re doing works first time.

      You have a life and IT is a good career however if I had a manager like yours I would be gone he does not deserve to be doing the job think and treat people like that. I?m sure other IT pros will feel the same.

      All IT managers are not power trippers like him.

      Keep the ink on your CV wet.

      Good luck

      Mal

      IT Manager

    • #3178291

      What to do

      by philh123 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      1 Tell him straight – you will work how you wish to work, not how he wishes you to work
      2 Is it Company Policy not to fraternise with others? – if not, ignore his instructions and tell him it aint Comapny policy.
      3 If he gets tougher with you than can get tougher with him – find a new job with a rival Company, and write your resignation letter to the Chief Exec

    • #3178152

      Baseball Rules. . .

      by vicars55 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      My late pappy was fond of saying that life is like baseball rules, 3 strikes and your out.
      Seems that your letting the rules be changed. In effect your saying that your boss is saying 99 strikes and he’s out. Really, the lights are out and everybody’s gone home. . .

    • #3178133

      At lesat not to work too hard

      by theohkm ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I will tell you that when you are sick, you have less energy and desire to do anything better. Tasks with such a “political timeframe” is often seen. At the same time a lot of people yelling for support. The kind of development is tiring. Without socializing with the users, I believe it is harder to make them accept and utilize your applications. There maybe someone who does it but in turn impose “political timeframe” (easy to fail within, management then takes further action) to you. With limited time and irregular interventions from users, it can not easy to balane both side – support in time and development progree met.

      For technical issues, I think you can to post in techrepublic for whatever newsgroup for assistance.

      In my point of view, the development should be broken in to acheivable part and not acheivable part, finish the acheivable part then you are almost done. Non acheviable part(within time frame) should be postponed to the latter stage.

      You must emphasis to the world that your work is work for their advantage, no matter how tight the schedule is, one it is finished.

      It disorders your general life. Getting tension, falling haris, messed personal schedule, which are unaccountable compromises.

      Socialize is not permitted ? I think it is “sidesing” problem. Don’t worry, you can socialize with a few of your workmate, and Techrepublic member here.

      We are all IT guy, we understand your situation.

    • #3178127

      What to do

      by mr ‘t’ ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I have been in this racket 38 years, and nothing changes. The only way to prevent this is to be under contract, where your time costs them money.

      Slavery was abolished in the 1860’s. It is time to look elsewhere. IF you have the talent, move on. Life is way to short.

      Next job: get the expectations in writing before you join. Stick to them. Nice guys are buried with their keyboard in their hands.

    • #3178121

      My 2 cents worth

      by issinho ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Personally, I feel that your manager is missing one ( if not both) of the vital points of leadership. While in the military, I adopted a principle that I feel applies in any leadership position: 1- Mission Accomplishment and 2- Troop Welfare. Now, you have a job to do and that needs to come first ( while on the job). However, you also need your own welfare, and he needs to provide that. I feel that his requirements are a little rough. He needs to realize that he cannot expect more from you than he expects from himself. If he wants a program done in 3 days, then why in the hell isn?t he helping with it? If he doesn?t know how to program or do your job, then he, as a good leader, should ask you if the goal is possible. If it is, great! Meet the deadline. But he needs to understand that sometimes those goals are not possible and need more time. In IT, there are some things that take time, time that doesn?t meet the time limits enforced on us by business men. If we need to reinstall all systems due to a virus, let?s say, we probably won?t be done in an hour, especially if there is only a small handful of us to do the job.

      I am a Mainframe operator and a skilled Network and System Technician.

    • #3178116

      Yes. Yes IT is really

      by too_much_experience ·

      In reply to What to do??

      … what you can expect from IT. Welcome to hell. I.T. is indeed unique. 25 years for me and the labor relation picture has consistently degraded over time. My current company is a fortune-50 company which is a perennial member of the “best places to work” lists. That seems to be so for the business-side. 8:00 – 4:00 with perks, relaxation, and fun. The I.T. side of the house? We budget labor at 65 hour weeks and prevent staff from reporting more than 40, deny after-hours on-call compensation, and reward staff in the quarterly IT meetings based on their “willingness” to make the office their home. No one gets an award for an accomplishment unless management ca tie it to 80-hour weeks. Literally. They even brag about how the campus is a tomb at 5:00 and on weekends except for us loyal IT idiots. My advice – get out while you are young and the golden handcuff is not yet soldered shut. Go to the business side. You are serving the DARK SIDE.

    • #3178018

      Dump the SOB

      by techcleaner ·

      In reply to What to do??

      This is a week after the fact, and there are a lot of postings, and I am guessing that what I am going to say has been said in one or more of the 200+ postings, but:

      Look for another job — now. Get all your team to get other jobs — leave the guy in the lurch. Here’s the deal: he is a “manager” that lives for the adrenaline rush of harsh deadlines and impossible goals and the “glory” of IT. He will not change. Do not expect him to change. Just go.

      Until you go, just do your job, do your 40 hours. Do not stay after hours (I am assuming you are salary. If you are hourly, GET OVERTIME). Do not do anything more than your job. This guy does not have 24×7 privileges. Getting weekend/nighttime time from your IT people is a privilege, not a right, and this guy does not get it.

      Meet with your HR person, tell them what is happening. He/She will (if this is a reputable company) get this guy some coaching or perhaps ask him to “add value somewhere else”. If they don’t, if they fire you, sue them.

      I am an IT VP for a firm on the west coast. Yeah, IT is an odd job, with odd hours, but it is still a job, and while I expect good, hard work from my team, I do not ask for or expect off-hours stuff without balancing it out with weekday time-off or other perks. I am a software engineer, so I know that good software takes time. Do I cave to my customers? No, I tell them that it will take X (reasonable number) of days/weeks, and that’s it. If the customer complains, I ask them why they didn’t ask weeks ago for this?

      One of my favorite analogies (slightly non-PC) is that you can’t have nine women give birth to a baby in one month. People get this. A good manager manages expectations of his staff, his customers, and his bosses.

      Anyway, go to HR, and if they fire you, sue. Get a real job (and a real life).

    • #3177636

      Reply To: What to do??

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Like with any Mckie Dees job, you give two weeks notice predated two weeks prior.

    • #3177621

      Your boss is a bully

      by uordave ·

      In reply to What to do??

      1. Your environment is not normal or okay, nor is it typical for I.T. You shouldn’t ever have to put up with a situation like that.

      2. Your boss is a bully. Bullys exist in the corporate world just as they did on the school playground. Do some research and you’ll see it fits him like a glove. The research will help you cope until you have a solution.

      3. He’s abusive. Any situation that results in someone crying is unacceptable, and probably already has broken laws, labor codes, and company policies.

      Know that it’s not you–it’s him. Get armed with information and support, and pick one of the strategies that others have posted. Get a new job and tell them why, or have your co-worker file harrassment charges. Find out if he has a pattern of this behavior, in this company or others.

      Good luck. Let us know.

    • #3177542

      Gotta be crazy!

      by jcalexandres ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I will recommend you to look for a job were you don’t have to be subject to that kind of pressure, if 8 or 10 hours aren’t enough to do your regular job, they should hire some help for you!

      From a different perspective, sometimes our job in IT projects require your mind to be fresh and your body well rest, else you can expect all kinds of “weird” things happening because you were not in your right mind doing work off-regular hours and with a tired mind.

      I am agree eventually we need to work long hours and weekend due to the fact we sometimes need to work with equipment when office personnel or production peocesses are not using it, but definitely you should not allow that to be en every day situation.

      I am sure there are better jobs as alternative. Tell your boss slavery is well hated anywhere, so are the ones who practice it.

    • #3177541

      Psycho Boss

      by qc ·

      In reply to What to do??

      1)Step on his head and talk to his boss or HR.
      2) Start sending resumes out. Hang on until new job is found.
      3) If you can afford it, get fired and collect unemployment.

      Life is too short to work in a dysfunctional environment.

    • #3177535

      Actually getting back to wayne62682’s dilemma…

      by mrfurry ·

      In reply to What to do??

      It sounds like you have an untenable situation. It also sounds like everyone in the IT department has the same issues with the boss, with some indiviual variations. My suggestion would be for you all to document your grievances over a period of time, citing specific instances, and as best you can recall exactly what was said or done. Without letting on that you are doing so. Then you are ready to act. You can: get a lawyer, go to the labor/unemployment department of your state, or go to higher-level management. You will probably want to do 2 or all 3, the decision being in what order. I would prefer to see someone specializing in labor law, who will provide free advice and information (there should be a number of organizations local to you willing to do this), document all the while, and then decide how you want to procede.

      If you think management would be open to change, then just get your boss fired for any number of violations of company policy, state and federal law.

      Of course, the money would probably lie in sueing, since if all of you documented numerous abuses, it would be hard(er) for the company to accuse you of being the problem.

      The government route would probably provide a middle-road between the other two.

      It also would depend on what you want out of this. Compensation, and perhaps a severance package to look for new work, or to stay with the job, under different working conditions.

      Also, you should all start looking for work immediately, because many of the different outcomes would see you looking for work anyway. And if nothing else, the entire companies IT department quitting in a short-period of time, after documenting numerous abuses, should at least make upper-management take notice if they did not before. And I would think the thought of it would at least give you a nice, evil smile.

    • #3177489

      BAD MANAGEMENT

      by mombasadog ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Wayne, I have been an an IT manager for 8 years in an investment banking environment which is considered to be high pressure. I have come across a manager such as yours. It sounds to me as if he is having a nervous breakdown and or suffers from paranoia. Many IT managers are under a great deal of pressure to meet impossible deadlines set by business functionaries. This used to be the norm and lead to long hours ( amply rewarded in my environment ). What actually happens when people work long hours is their productivity drops, you then get “stay at work and do nothing syndrome” to please the boss. I carefully plan the work involved and get agreement from my developers, if we get slippage it is often due to spec change in a dynamic environment and I have a strict change control process! I admit my approach does not make me lots of friends in the business but they get what they want in a fairly predictable amount of time.

      Secondly, judging by your “English twang”, I assume you are from the US. In London, I had the misfortune to work for a New Yorker who was similar to your boss. He was so money motivated and personally greedy for more, he lived at work, he spent most of that time criticising others ( we call it back stabbing ) and Politicking. He was hated by all but presented a sane and reasonable facade to the business sponsors who loved him. I got so fed up with him that I raised awareness of the circumstances to anybody that would listen! It fell initially on deaf ears so I resigned. At the exit interview I destroyed the guy. I heard 3 weeks later he was fired. My advice… Walk and Destroy… its a dog eat dog world with these people. If enough people do it, he will get his come-uppance sooner or later. Dave.

      PS If you decide to stay, there is a book out by some french woman on how to waste time at work! It sounds like a humerous read from what I hear.

    • #3177470

      What you do….

      by uptoe ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You’re in a jam here and employment law is different in your
      country than mine but it sounds to me like this manager is out
      of control and you have genuine grievances. nA lawyer or a
      union could help you go through the process of shaking this guy
      off. His own manager might like to know what a mess he’s
      making of his own job. If he makes unrealisitic demands on you
      and over-promises, it’s going to come back to haunt him one
      day and soon by the sound of it.

      If you’re not up for the confrontational route, you might want to
      draw his attention to this website:
      http://www.missioncontrol.com to help him get his life back and start
      doing what really matters to himself and the company rather
      than hitting you guys with his neuroses. In the UK to to
      http://www.leadingworks.com who do the same stuff on this side of
      the pond.

    • #3179207

      Re: Bonehead Boss

      by tnunetworksupport ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Hi Wayne,

      I applaud you for doing the thing that is difficult for many of us, that is, asking for help.

      I used to be this guy, your boss, or at least a variation of the frightened, self-centered, workaholic, controlling character that you have described. In my experience, this guy is not specifically doing this to Y-O-U. He is simply doing it. He would treat anyone else in your position the same. Regardless, that doesn’t make it fun or any easier for you.

      I’d suggest that if you enjoy this company and your job there (minus the boss), to talk to your boss’ boss and/or your HR department. If you don’t, start looking elsewhere for an employer that will appreciate you (if you haven’t already!).

      Personally, I know that it is possible to work (in IT or otherwise) and have a life. I’ve been in my current position for over six years. During the first two, I worked 90-100 hours a week and expected my employees to do the same. I’d done that most of my life. It’s a miracle that my wife (of almost eight years) didn’t leave me! In the past four years, my average work week (and that of the folks that work for me!) has been 45 hours or less. Given, there are sometimes when a switch dies, Citrix burps, or dozens of other things happen to trigger alarms in the middle of the night and I have committed to respond. But, these are exceptions and part of the job.

      Today, I continue to maintain the reasonable work hours AND I have a life, a beautiful wife, a 2 yr old daughter, and another kid due in less than six weeks. Just two weeks ago, I took my daughter on her first fishing trip. Now that’s what life is about!

      Work to live, not live to work!

      Give me a holler if you find yourself in Nashville. 🙂

      • #3050314

        Get away from this boss

        by visray ·

        In reply to Re: Bonehead Boss

        I was once married to someone with traits similar to your boss: controlling, manipulative, self-centered, egotistical, and a “matryr” for whatever company she was working for. It was always amazing to me that she just “had” to work 80 hours per week but her colleagues seemed to do fine with less. Anyway, workaholic control-freaks are very unpleasant and can make your life miserable. If you can’t resolve this through HR, your boss’s boss, or both, move on. Don’t let this ruin your family relationships or take over your life.

    • #3179073

      Update

      by obiwaynekenobi ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Things have subsided a little bit right now.. but we are both looking. My co-worker won’t stand up as much as I will because as she puts it, she has bills to pay and would rather deal with the BS and get a paycheck. I sort of understand..

      Thank you all for the advice!

    • #3187951

      Lee Iacocca had it right

      by geekdoctor ·

      In reply to What to do??

      “You can’t get rich on 40 hours a week.”

      Now taking my tongue out of my cheek, let’s be realistic. This particular job sounds like it sucks and you should probably quit. But in general, I have no patience for the 8-5, “complain because I have to work” crowd.

      It’s simple economics, supply vs. demand. If you can get a better job, do it. If you can’t, shut up and get back to work.

    • #3187519

      Dealing with paranoid managers

      by zgr ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Well…

      As a CEO, I would immediately fire a manager like yours. No results besides making co-workers feel like prisoners. This a typically paranoid (the true medical meaning) personality. You have no choice but either go to your CEO with your co-workers with precise complaints and make your manager be replaced asap, or find another job. The best would be that your 3-persons team resigns at the same time. You have much more power than you imagine. Once again, I know the problem form the “other side”. If a whole team resigns, or at least warns that it will do so, I first have interviews with the management chain. Just because I know that in such cases, the problem always lies into bad management practice. I wish you good luck and hope that you will find a solution fast!

    • #3187842

      He’s basically nuts

      by hafizullah1 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      …even though, from American culture’s perspective, he’d be called “high functioning.” This guy is living at a level of fear that you would find incomprehensible if he were able to verbalize his interior process to you — though it’s unlikely that he can verbalize it even to himself. My guess is that he secretly believes he’s an incompetent POS and is scrambling like mad to cover his arse. He’s headed for substance-abuse and/or an early heart attack and doesn’t care who he takes with him.

      The suggestion of taking a tape recorder to your next meeting is a good one. Actually, first I’d have him put his expectations/stipulations/restrictions in writing. You have the right to know what is expected of you. There are a lot of other rights you have (including the Constitutional one of Free Association), so talk to someone from Labor and Industries to get some clarity on just what they can and can not ask of you.

      Be prepared to stand up for yourself by walking out. IT can be high pressure, but what you’re under is crazy-making and destructive.

    • #3187832

      sounds familiar…

      by maverick96 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I too was in a similar situation at my earlier company. The only difference was the company was big and there were some processes in place. The entire team complained to the CIO. My manager was ‘slapped on the wrist’ once. But the second time such a thing happened, he was asked to leave the same day…

      I am actually suggesting something drastic here… be sure if you want to do this…

      What can your manager do if all of you tender your resignation at once?? (of course you need to have another job on hand)…

    • #3187792

      Some advice

      by jackuvalltrades ·

      In reply to What to do??

      If anything that is bordering on illegal is occuring (which you intimate), get your ducks in a row, write everything down and file a formal complaint with HR. Period.
      Other than that, write everything down (for your exit interview), dust off your resume and start shopping. In short, prepare to leave. I am in a similar situation myself and unfortunately, I am stuck here for at least 3 more years for family reasons. I will tell you that your family and health are a hell of a lot more important than your career. If you are relatively young and skilled, which it sounds like you are, there is work out there for you which doesn’t involve become a white-collar slave.

      Just my opinion……

    • #3187764

      Document and give it to them.

      by starrider1 ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I also had a former employer who would ask me to do the impossible, i.e. finish a month long project in ? the amount of time required to do even a nominal good job, thereby making me look incompetent.

      My solution was to DOCUMENT AND COMPLY!

      a) Document the project, the initial time frame provided, Your objections to that time frame-if any, the specs as provided, the changes in time or specs?etc. Document why you object and/or what you object to.
      b) Comply ? give them the best project you can in the time provided. If and when they are not happy with the end results show your specs and documentations, including all changes and your objection(s).

      Remember it is not your company, nor your project. It is what you do for a living. You should do all things to the best of your abilities and take pride in what you do. Don?t stress over what you can?t control. It sounds glib I know, but it is true.

      When you show your competence in your field, repeatedly, management will, repeat WILL began to take your requests seriously. Be it for a reasonable time frame to produce a quality product, more help to meet their goals, or whatever.

      Then if all else fails, look for another job, or like I did start your own company? and make sure that your managers don?t treat employees the way that you were treated.

    • #3187626

      A new bunch of Dagwood Bumsteads …

      by aapjanaya ·

      In reply to What to do??

      You remind me of Dagwood, if your boss resembles Julius Dithers better be ready for his kick in your ass. In the other hand, if Blondie is waiting at home every day, that could improve matters.
      Ask for some advise from your grandpa, or even grand-grandpa, they somehow survived thru depression years, when such bosses were a common disease, and even so they made this great country feasible.
      You and your folks must struggle for a renewed decent American Way of Life.

    • #3187594

      This type of boss

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to What to do??

      Needs special treatment! He needs to be removed from the IT gene field, his kind are the reason that good projects go bad. We start with him being a yes man, we find out what he said yes to and then make sure it will not work. Then we fix his user profile so that every time he logs in he has to change his password and then we delete his exchange profile. And for good measure we delete his personal folder on the network.
      Man I have had a few bosses like this! Next copy a bunch of not so nice things from the internet to the bosses drive and call security from a pay phone and tell them about how he has not paid for any of your web sites charges. And tell them about how depraved your site is. I could go on but my boss might be looking;)

      • #3179910

        Incredible

        by vltiii ·

        In reply to This type of boss

        What an infantile response!

      • #3179856

        And I thought *I* was cruel…

        by obiwaynekenobi ·

        In reply to This type of boss

        Now, I have pretty much no morals at all and have no qualms with using anyone and everything to move ahead in life but YOU, sir, disgust me.

    • #3185462

      Thank you all for the advice

      by obiwaynekenobi ·

      In reply to What to do??

      I’ve told my co-worker about the site and about the advice recieved.. and funnily enough we have MORE stories from yesterday: We overheard our boss insulting us behind closed doors to the owner of the company and the VP, saying how my co-worker does well but she does certaint hings, like *gasp* HAS A STEREO SYSTEM IN HER CAR or *puts hand to mouth* PUTS HER DAUGHTER FIRST. I mean, can you believe the NERVE she has to do these things??? *note heavy sarcasm*.

      I told her flat out that she needs to take this crap to the VP on tuesday and flat-out tell him the harassment that goes on and how its our boss thats teh problem. I mean really, how the [expletive deleted, but begins with an F!} does the fact that she has a “boom box” in her car have ANYTHING to do with work?? How does that make her a “loser”, because she likes to have fun?

      Sorry, rant off. Just wanted to give another update on the situation. We’re both still looking for work, but its easier said than done in our area (pinellas county, FL). I’m going to make sure that something is said on Tuesday; this is completely ridiculous to put up with this bull—-. I was *this* close to barging in the door and confronting the boss right then and there.

      Thanks again, guys. I’m glad to know that so many of you agree that this guy is a nutjob.

      • #3186654

        Bust in!

        by vltiii ·

        In reply to Thank you all for the advice

        You probably should have burst in on him. He would have known that you knew what he was saying behing your backs and at the same time he would have been unable to play it down (politicize) to make it seem that you were overreacting. This also would have been an opportunity for you to vent about the hostile working environment that you and your co-worker are being subjected to. Businesses are in business to make money and I think that take precedence over all else. This would have given the VP and the owner something to think about. Assuming that they understand labor laws, this may have been the trigger needed to get your boss reeled in. I don’t think the owner wants to have to deal with a law suit bassed on harassment that could have been dealt with.

      • #3179981

        And what was OWNER’s response?

        by crawk ·

        In reply to Thank you all for the advice

        The key to that meeting was the owner’s response to your supervisor’s observations. If the guy did not immediately question what all this had to do with the business anyway, then you now know this is not the first time your boss has run to the owner with some juicy bit of gossip.

        That being the case, it is reasonable to assume that it’s the owner himself who relishes gossip, manipulation, and playing one person or group against another. He likely not only tolerates, but actually encourages, childish and psychotic behavior of his line managers. There may actually be some good guys at this place, but they, too, are under seige and powerless to change the culture fostered by the owner.

        And you want to work for a company like this because…?

        Did you ever see the T.R. discussion thread “IT Career… an Oxymoron?” It started last October and still has some life.
        http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=6&threadID=161127&messageID=1660566

        I was trying to remember where Pinellas County is, but couldn’t. If there’s no market for your skills there, do something else or follow the market. Your beleaguered colleague would be well-served to do the same.

        On the other haaaand… back in the “bad ol’ days,” girls were subjected to harrassment–and much worse–without benefit of legal protection. We had our own ways of dealing with it. Dismissal, humor, and careful derision are still some of the best. And, she works with TOOLS, right? Well, in response to one who takes himself seriously, you’d be amazed at the things she could say while rummaging around for a socket driver “small enough to suit” him — all said with the sweetest smile, to be sure! Afterall, she’s just trying find a way to satisfy him, right?

        Let him run to the owner with THAT bit of gossip!

        DH and I are considering a move to Florida ourselves. But, I will be going as a general (not IT) project mananger, or as a piano tuner — not as an IT professional with thirty years of experience and horse sense.

        What’s the DOL statistic on how many times the average person changes CAREERS during their working life? Five? Six? (I don’t remember.)

        Get the flock outta there.

      • #3183012

        He Certainly Is A Nutjob

        by isapp ·

        In reply to Thank you all for the advice

        Hi Wayne,

        I’m glad that our posts helped. I had to work with a nutjob for about two years, although I referred to her as “the lunatic.” It was absolutely horrible. The thing that helped us get through it was being supportive of each other and keeping our lines of communication open. My lunatic liked to divide and conquer, but it couldn’t happen because we talked to each other. We didn’t believe the lies.

        Also, whenever possible I communicated with her via e-mail so that I had proof of what I was asked to do. (She liked to change requests in mid-stream.) One of her favorite defenses was to say, “I thought you said . . .” whenever she screwed up so it was good having things down on paper. Oh, I could go on and on, ad nauseam. I’ll stop now.

        I hope that you and your co-worker continue to support each other, and hopefully something better will come your way. I simply outlasted the b****.

      • #3184225

        You’re gaining momentum!

        by uordave ·

        In reply to Thank you all for the advice

        Realizing that your boss is a nutjob and that his behavior is incredibly inappropriate will help a lot.

        The more you become empowered, the better you’ll be able to stand up to him (if gently at first) and keep your balance. This in turn will help you keep your your sanity and find another job if they don’t fire him first.

        I once walked into my boss’s office ready to quit over an issue. I even called my husband from the car on the way to the meeting “Are we sure we want to do this?” (he was in school at the time and I was the breadwinner). Luckily, my boss agreed and I didn’t even have to threaten quitting, but oh my god I have never felt so incredibly powerful in a meeting before. The fact that it wasn’t an idle threat–that I had steely resolve to quit if necessary–was incredibly powerful. Keep gaining your momentum and power.

    • #3186839