No Sympathy for the Wicked

(Source: flickr.com via @MelinaSouza

Disdain for an employer seems to be the common theme for much of this blog. When I think back to why I seem to build a hatred for a working environment, I can usually pin it down to individuals who are difficult to work with and for.

I always remember my first ever supervisor and when I tried to spruce up a presentation, he said that, “We don’t do that kind of thing here. If you want to be creative, go to Design.” That was quite an awful thing to hear in your first real job after trying to show some initiative.

Soon after that, I had a temperamental manager who was a genius and therefore measured your work against his considerable intellect. Naturally, a person could never measure up and I can remember oozing out of his office a number of times after his eruptive review of my output.

Now in this current environment, the pattern repeats. There is a senior consultant whose behavior is frustratingly erratic. At one point, she would eviscerate you for not doing a particular task in front of stakeholders and then be peachy sweet at the end of that meeting.

Her inconsistency in behavior is whispered about among those within the pod and we seek sympathy from each other whenever we got our humps busted. She is a constant reminder of who I don’t want to be.

I don’t know why humans mutate once they’re gathered in a commercial environment. This work-face makes them lesser human beings and the sooner the separation between that and home-face dissolves, the better working life is going to be.


“Our Decision Making Will Be Quick…”

Source: flickr.com via @LisaNorwood

Until it isn’t. I’ve had many interviews over the last eight months (gasp) and there have been a few hiring managers that have claimed that their decision making will be quick and that I would know one way or another whether I would be the right candidate or not.

Promises of a two-week turnaround and that their personal experiences about not being notified would not happen with me. So much for those claims. One guy actually opened with this. He said that in an interview, with my old company no less,  he was told that they would let him know about their decision about his application and he never heard from them. He asserted that this would not happen in my case. Guess what? He never got in touch.

In another interview, this one over Skype, the hiring manager says that she would be speedy and that getting this role filled was a priority for her. That was a month ago. No email. No phone call. Nothing. I’ve hassled the recruiter and she made some claim that she would find out on that day. That was early this week. Still nothing.

So, this goes into one of my vows. If I ever get back into hiring for someone again, I want to deal with applicants personally and respect the application and effort they went into. I wouldn’t want people to be treated like this again.



Source: flickr.com via @PetroleumJelliffe

The company I used to work for is close to being taken over by private equity. I’ve also heard that a number of people I used to work with have either left or been given severance packages. The crew that remain are impatient for the end and seemingly have little care for the fate of the organization.

Me, I don’t know whether to take some joy at the ineptitude of the leadership that led to this or to feel bad that others will be joining me in this seeming never-ending job hunt.


Nibbling Irrationality

Source: flickr.com via @Ben McLeod

Too much time on my hands and I worry myself to sleep imagining how my encounter with HR would be like when I get back. Since I haven’t received a formal invitation through work email, I guess they’re still working through the details (or I’m imagining they are). The HR person has always been unreliable and my typical encounters have involved matters of redundancy. At this point, I’ve had one poor performer and two occasions when employees were no longer required. Surely I’m not the curse?

In any case, in my imaginings, I will somehow get this case to a lawyer and I will need evidence about shoddy treatment and just a general sense of not adhering to any sense of decency. The first proof that I’m seeking is how they decided on my US employee’s situation (something that I haven’t been told yet) and maybe then double-up with the person in London, too. I would sidle up to the HR person and request a discussion about the employees, all the while activating a voice recorder on my phone. Of course this would need some sense of nonchalance, like I’m multi-tasking while I activate the app and ensure everything is quiet.

I’m quite certain the HR person won’t say much, being evasive as usual. What would I do with this? I don’t know but at least I’d have a record of the discussion to relive at some later moment (knowing that blood would be coursing through my ears). Would this person stumble somehow? Maybe. At this point, i’m just looking for anything to get a sense of having the upper hand. And maybe this could be a start.


In the Hands of the Inevitable?

Source: flickr.com via @uk vintage

A lot has changed and there have been many moves that were not shared with me but did impact me. My two direct reports are no longer in my team and I heard the news not from people above but from the subordinates themselves. This is difficult in two ways: (1) that I wasn’t informed by senior people or even our own (useless) HR; and (2) that it likely points to my imminent departure from the business.

What irks me is the subterfuge taken to make these moves. If it was to happen, why couldn’t it be done from the top down or at least simultaneously? Can this place be any more badly managed?


Bad Hiring – Totally My Fault


I’m a little bit frustrated with my latest hiring decision. I think it’s because I’m too easily convinced by people who can answer one good question really well. That singular answer taints the rest and I lose a little perspective.

The current hire was a very convincing. He spoke well and gave very clear and effective answers to all the questions posed. My fault was that I didn’t probe him sufficiently and took everything at face value.

As I’ve mentioned before, the work I do is heavy on the numbers and that means some heavy duty Excel work. My fault was not to probe deep into this. Although Excel can be taught, it takes time to acquire the level that I’m looking for. The Hire has good analytical thinking. His main deficiency is in condensing that into something that stands on its own – without him having to explain it.

The moral here for me is that if I have the luxury of time, compromising is possible. If not, then I should have asked the questions that would prove that a person could hop into the job and run. In this instance, at this very point, I’ve screwed up royally.