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What to do? Talk about carrying the flag!!!

By RaTTyRaTT ·
Hi all,
first time I have posted here, but I wanted to ask people's opinion on an issue that I am having at work, and really would like to hear guidance from others.
1. When I arrived I became the IT person for the whole organization I work for, this includes acting in all capacities (IT, security, helpdesk, server...etc, you get the idea!) Now during that time, some people took a dislike to me (something personal on their part - didn't have much to do with them) and one of them, before going on extended leave actually made an official complaint about me to the managing director (they are buddy/buddy.) Now, I have had all my training suspended, am having to detail and document all my daily activities (down to the minute,) have been told to raise my 'attitude' and have been told that I am 'affecting everyone' with the way I do work. (That everyone is unhappy with me... in a 50 person organization.) Now, when they sat down with me, I gathered that something was going to come up - but I had not seen this coming.
2. Since that time, I have had to do this - ie: let it lie, and just work with them - **** over quicker.... BUT: Now I have been told that it has escalated from a simple one on two with me, a HR person & my immediate manager - to one on three with the addition of our Executive Manager being involved. (Talk about escalation!) Frankly I am becoming very unnerved about this all, and as much as I am trying not to get it down - it is starting to affect my work. COnsidering that the person who made this complaint (unspecified, but I KNOW who it was) has left, it is extremely aggravating that this is being 'carried' by others, to do this original person's dirty work. (The person who left disliked me I believe because I had to ask them to cleanup their PC, in accordance with our company policies, I think...)
3. What do I do about this? I just saw the EA for our Managing director quit, when something similar happened to them. (no listening to their side, just guilty = punishment!!! END!)
They quit - since they couldn't work for someone who was like that (in that close a proximity.) In my case, I have been trying to stick it out to see the end of it - but now it is becoming bigger (Escalating, involving more people - becoming threatening to my job!!!!)

Comments anyone?

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find a new job

by gralfus In reply to What to do? Talk about ca ...

It isn't easy, but twits like that have to be left to their own devices, in this case literally.

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Depends on your personal beliefs...

by richard.bennett In reply to find a new job

It may be a case of a past employee getting their revenge, but some one should have seen thru that along the line. If its gone this far then you need to confront your accusers with a supervisor and have them out line your deficiency's. Create an improvement plan and re-evaluate that plan each month. This is what a professionals working with professionals would do.If this is not the most professional place to work, you have to make some difficult choices.
Depending on your personal beliefs, you may be there for a reason. This could be a tremendous challenge to your character but you have the opportunity to be better because of it. No one every has an easy place to work, but you always have the opportunity to show strength of character and demonstrate your values. You never know who will see your example.
Lastly, if you do leave make sure its on good terms. You will need to put in writting your intentions, give an appropriate notice and possibly help train a replacement.
Remember, doing the right thing is not always easy but you will never regret it!

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Most Excellent Advice was offered by . . .

by KenEDI In reply to Depends on your personal ...

Most Excellent Advice was offered by richard.bennett and timnash! Combine these approaches: i.e. don't hide, but confront in a professional manner; offer your suggestions as well as solicting and incorporating those of your boss and the complainers re: what to do to address the perceived shortcomings in your performance and indirectly help overall company morale. DOCUMENTATION "Create an improvement plan and re-evaluate that plan each month" with your manager, but also keeping in the loop those upper level managers who have piled on and therefore gotten themselves involved.
I personally know someone who turned such a situation around by this kind of direct and honest approach. You must do this sincerely, and not resort to lashing out with sarcasm or counter attacks on others; again don't try to redirect, avoid or ignore; address it head on with sincerity and genuine surprise that it has grown to such proportions.
However, you must be prepared to leave if you do not get a professional response and cooperation in working toward a solution.

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Warning: Your Mileage May Vary!

by cloakedrun2001 In reply to Most Excellent Advice was ...

If the employer you work for is just misreading the situation, then attempting corrective action MAY work. However...

If this is an environment where politics is rife, and where no good deed goes unpunished, then NO AMOUNT of planning and proving "how much better you are doing now" will do a bit of good!

If the main managers "have it in for you", then you are already "on the skids", and it is only a matter of time.

I have seen the situation you describe. I watched a perfectly competent manager get fired simply because the CEO did not like him. Within days of his being fired, one of the CEO's unemployed buddies landed the job without so much as an advert being placed to fill the job with any of the many qualified people that were available at the time!

The tell-tale sign here is that even when you thought you addressed the situation, all of a sudden there is "escelation" by management. This, my good fellow, IS the writing on the wall in my direct observation. Also the fact that those complaining are "un-named". Whenever management is unwilling to name names, then it is likely that by doing so it would become obvious that the complainant is one of the crowd that is on the inside track, and is likely brown-nosing in no small way. Management in your company either does NOT have the balls to tell you outright to get another job, or there would be serious legal ramifications to just canning you without at least first building a case against you! Where I live, this is called "constructive dismissal", and it is against the law. Having said that, it is VERY DIFFICULT to prove, and costs THOUSANDS of dollars in legal fees. There are no lawyers that will take it on "contingency", so it is cash up front. And even if you have the cash, count on it taking 2 to 5 years to complete the case - and then possibly not "winning".

BTW, where I live, if you are dismissed for "cause" you also cannot collect any form of government assistance other than "welfare". And believe me, your current emplyer is building a case for "cause". It is, IMO, just a matter of time before they have the final nails to put in your coffin.

And as for "DOCUMENTATION", well you betcha! You start keeping a journal of incidents! You document the living crap out of everything! The written word is objective evidence. Watch for documents and files that incriminate your employer as to what they are up to. If you find them, make copies and take them OFF SITE (home). Covering your behind is NOT unethical. You have NO intention of publically disclosing anything. These are items that will ONLY be used if your employer decides to fire you and attempt to smear you in the process. You need EVIDENCE. And as the IT person, you might be in a unique position to get it.

The bottom line is that if your employer wants you out, you are out - all laws notwithstanding. The difference, however, is that if you have enough "dirt" on what they have been trying to do to you, then getting rid of you is going to cost THEM - not you. Keep in mind that if they have to go to court, it is going to cost them big money in lawyers fees, and if you have good evidence, then it will potentially damage their reputation as well. It would likely be much cheaper for them to give you a "severance" package than to face the music in court.

Just some thoughts. As I have told others, and will tell you, cover your *** because NO ONE ELSE WILL.

For the sake of your sanity, just go get another job while you still can. It is easier to pick and choose while you have a job, rather than be stuck taking what you can get while unemployed.

Get out, now - while you still can.

Good luck.

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You have rights!!

by hjohnston8 In reply to Warning: Your Mileage May ...

The next time you have one of these "threat sessions" you have the right to have someone of YOUR choice go in with you. While this will not get them to back off immediatly, it will keep them from geting out of line. If your unnamed accuser is gone, it falls to management to give you SPECIFIC information as to your performance. They must tell you that "You have violated company policy by doing..." whatever it is. They cannot say "You are affecting the performance of everyone" and not tell you how you are doing this. If they refuse your request of an observer on your side, there is more than bad performance on your part. At that time you either contact the labor board of your state, or the easier thing find a new job.

Good luck, I hope everything works out for the best.

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Did anyone consider this.................

by reverend_shifty_greenbacks_ii In reply to You have rights!!

Maybe this guy is a damn serial killer. I dont know what caused his problems but i dont think people just naturally aspire to hate someone without some reason. Jason..... clean your tools.

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May be you're being 'chewed and spewed'.

by williamtg In reply to Warning: Your Mileage May ...

Take heart r.young. It sounds like you ARE young and that's a good thing. Working in a small office like you are is difficult. You have to have some of the political skills of a CIO while also doing all of the grunt work. It's good experience, but no level of effort will suffice if your job was targeted for termination the day you took it. This practice was all too common in the early 1990's here in the states. Short sighted company managers would get the idea that they could hire someone to come in and clean up the IT mess that had been building for many months or even years and then, when everything is humming along nicely, WHAM! You are no longer needed. Some of your statements fit this mold pretty well. Venture a look at your overall situation and try filling in some gaps. Does it pretty much look like this?

1) Even though it was a tough job market, you were offered very decent pay for the job description. Once you started work, you found out management scammed you on the details of your duties.

2) You were promised the chance to enhance your career skills at company expense, only to see that opportunity vanish before it began.

3) Management admitted upfront that they had ?a few problems? with the network / infrastructure. You were told you would have a fairly liberal hand in modernizing equipment / software / management tools, but every penny you request is scrutinized like it will break the bank. Or, perhaps, your budget has been frozen altogether.

4) You were tasked with implementing the company's computing policy but, from day one, management was not on-board. Not even a company wide e-mail declaring an executive directive supporting your efforts (next time, insist on this).

5) When you do something un-popular to the computing environment management sits back and lets everyone believe it is your idea, though in reality you are following the orders given to you.

6) Aside from the obvious personal harassment about your ?attitude?, you sense there to be a pervasive, if subtle, feeling by management that your work product and output is not up to speed. That you aren?t getting enough done fast enough, though you know you are doing a good technical job given what you have to work with.

7) The business you support is in the accounting, finance or other bean counter industry. These people are notorious abusers of IT staff.

This is the most un-ethical and abusive sort of employment practice that there is, but it happens. The ethical thing for a company to do is to let a contract for the work that needs to be done. That way, everyone knows the score and gets a fair deal.

Remember, as you slide down the banister of life this job, at worst, is just a splinter in your ***.

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Cloake has a point

by christineeve In reply to Warning: Your Mileage May ...

Hi,
I have experienced what you're going through. It's horrible. If everything is right about the job, then fight for it. The suggestions about documenting, following up, and proactivity will help. You'll never forgive yourself for giving up.

However, if the job really isn't where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years, maybe it's time to let go.

Sometimes it is personal. But don't personalize it, because as we've all learned people see things through their own motivations and filters. So, unless you're intentionally jerky and unreliable, it's not your fault and do not take the blame.

This happened to me two times in my career, once I was able to fight it out and win. It was worth it. The other time, the job just wasn't right and I was beating a dead horse. I went on to better things.

Good luck, and I really mean that!

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I agree . .

by GentleRF In reply to Most Excellent Advice was ...

I agree with Ken and the rest and would add only one thing. When in the presense of you accuser(s), singly or together, ask this question: Do you think, if this were presented in a court of law, the allegations would stand up?

Asking this question has defused a number of situations in the various workplaces I have been. The only times it hasn't stood up have been when the argument is irrational and the response on the order of, "No, but that is not what I believe!" Fact based allegations are one thing, emotional arguments can never be won.

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It didn't happen unless you have the paperwork...

by Overcharge In reply to Most Excellent Advice was ...

Let's face it, computers are fun...you wouldn't be here unless they were at one time--maybe not now.

As the new IT guy, you probably closed some gaps, blocked some porn, put security measures in place, and in short: limited their fun. Now you just have to justify it, on paper, to your bosses.

You probably took away Johnny's favorite wordprocessor--pirated. Suzie's spreadsheet (not compatible with the company's standard) went too. Bill's on-line slots...and so on. Well old son, itemize: costs for pirated sw (how many x fine), tech support time for calls on compatibility issues, instances of spyware, etc.

You in a sense have to prove the value of your policies, and fast, I would say. And, you have to prove that you have been the ultimate team player, but that your team is the company.

And sharpen up your resume if that doesn't work...

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