June 29, 2011
I need advice regarding problems I am facing at work.
I am 26 years old,working in the IT industry in India as a senior software engineer.I have a work experience of 3 and half years.
Right now,the organisation I am working in is my second job.It's a known MNC.My first job was also at a well known(and much larger) organisation.I worked there for two and half years before I moved to my current job a year ago.
My boss has approx 12 years of work experience and is one level ahead of me in the Organisation hierarchy(If I get a promotion now,I become the same rank as he is).
I am having problems with my boss,and not to mention the quality of work that I am doing.So,please advice.(I apologise in advance for being so detailed)
Things which are bothering me are:
First the work:
1) My work is very basic.For the last one year I have been doing work which has no scope for learning or, picking up any skills which would be a good addition to my resume/skill sets.
I have always considered myself a good perfomer at work and, I had always been appreciated for the work I did in my first organisation by my superiors.In my current job as well,I was initially appreciated by my boss for my work(until things became awkward between him and me) but,honestly,the quality of work that I am doing here is pathetic compared to the work which I used to do in my first organisation.
Still,in the first couple of months in my new job,I gave it my all in the hope that things would improve after some time and I would get to learn new skills.Unfortunately it's a year since I started in this job and things are still the same(Even though I brought up the topic many times with my boss regarding bringing in some changes in the work so that people doing the work would also be benefited in some way like knowledge/skill advancement.He always said he would try to improve things but,I didn't see any change)
What bugs me most is that I was given a different idea about my work responsibilities at the time of my interview than what I am doing right now.By the time I joined the org and became familiar with the work,I realised that it didn't match anything with the job description they had given me and it was too late to do anything about it.
Now about my boss:
1) My boss doesn't communicate at all(unless he seems to have no other option).It's not just work that I mean when I say he doesn't communicate..I mean it in the normal social sense as well.I found it weird when I initially joined the organisation and noticed that if he and I came face to face in the hallways or in the elevator,he acted as if he didn't know me.There was no hi/hello or any sign of acknowledgement ever.After a few uncomfortable days,I caught the hint and stopped acknowledging/looking at him as well.It's funny cause he has just 7-8 people reporting to him and not 30-40 (in which case I can understand that he might not be remembering everyone)
He has a few cronies with whom he's friendly.He talks with them,goes out for coffee breaks and lunch and all,but when it comes to his team or people who are his juniors(atleast in years of experience) he's pretty cold and indifferent towards them(and that includes me) unless he wants to get some work done ofcourse.
In my last organisation,my boss was the friendly sort.Even if there was no official work,he would often come around for a bit of chit chat,ask how things were going outside the workplace,crack a few jokes or maybe discuss some upcoming work/technology.Ofcourse we had a few issues at times,but,he was very understanding and I didn't feel awkward telling him what I had in mind.If we had differences,we always made up for it.He seemed to care about his team and always had our back when we made any mistakes.It felt good working under him even though he wasn't much of a technical guy.
In my current workplace,my boss is aloof all the time and it feels awkward.Not just my boss,half the people in my team seem to be like that.It's every man for himself and everyone seems to be on the lookout for any chance to put down any of their colleagues.
2) Initially when I joined my current job,I gave it my all even though the work was not to my taste.At that time,my boss used to appreciate me for my work.But,I noticed that because I was doing good work,instead of urging the others to start doing better work too,he started dumping other people's work on me during their absence(even though other team members were idle).I didn't complain initially but with frustration creeping in about the stupid work and my boss taking me for granted always,I finally spoke out.Also,he seldom appreciated me in front of my team mates for doing good work and the extra work which I had done.He used to praise me sky high during one to one meetings(but then he probably said the same thing to my other team mates as well).Only once in this one year did he send me a one line appreciation email with my team mates in CC.
3) My boss was supposed to be promoted on seniority basis(though funnily he hasn't been promoted yet though the due date for promotions seem to be over) and so he had to attend quite a number of training sessions.He used to be absent from office a lot because of that and during his absence,I was given his responsibilities.So,I used to do his work along with mine,supervise my fellow team mates and co-ordinate with the client regarding work when needed.My boss's boss appreciated me for my help during those days but, my boss never said anything at all.I felt snubbed.I am a person who thrives on appreciation(not undeserved praise,but, if i do something good,I do like being apprciated for it.It motivates me to perform better).Also, because of his promotion,he must have attended about 10-12 trainings in the last 10 months(often on critical days when loads of work would come in and he knew that beforehand).I attended 3 trainings till date in my one year here and, I cancelled about 4 trainings at my boss's instructions because he said work would be coming in.
Also,there have been instances,when I would finish off my work,prepare reports and then he would tell me that the work I completed is not needed anymore.And he would seem completely nonchalant about it while I would get absolutely livid(ofcourse not in front of him) because I worked my ass off to finish off that work.
4) Lately,I have been feeling very frustrated with my work and it's creating problems in my personal life as well.I feel like I am stagnating in my current project and my career seems to be going nowhere.Also,my boss's aloofness and his total lack of concern regarding the work or his team pisses me off.I finally asked him for some time one day and told him that I felt that I could do better work than what i was doing and requested him to release me from the project so that I would be free to be taken up in another project which might suit me more.He said that he would talk to his boss regarding that and get back to me but,he never did.I then communicated directly with his boss(who's also my project manager) and asked her casually if my boss had mentioned anything about the concerns I had raised with him in front of her.She said that he hadn't said anything.Anyway she herself took the initiative and discussed things with my boss after which my boss asked me to join him for a one to one meeting and said they would let me go for job rotation after I complete a year in the project(as per official rules).I was frank with him regarding my issues with the work(afterall he's my boss and don't all websites tell you that when you are not satisfied with your work,you should talk to the boss).
Anyway,after that meeting he's become even more aloof with me.Whatever extra work I used to do,he passed it on to another team mate and now my boss has put me almost in full ignore mode.I do my usual quota of allotted work now and he doesn't assign me any extra work(or whatever work I used to do earlier for him like writing reports and stuff..now that's done by his current favorite)
It hurts because I have done a lot of work in this project even though from day one I felt that the work was dumb.Compared to my other team mates,I have done much better quality of work.Till date there hasn't been a single complaint about my work from the client side while all the other guys in the team have had atleast one one rebuke from the boss for mistakes they committed.
Now my boss gives me the "we can do without you" treatment.Even some of my other colleagues have started acting that way towards me.It hurts and pisses me off and I don't know how to handle this anger and frustration.
At one point of time,my boss was so dependent on me for getting work done and now when he treats me this way,I wish I had never put in the amount of effort I put in during my early days.
I feel like telling him off some day at his face what I think about his leadership skills and his way of doing things.But,I know that will probably never happen.
I have started looking for another job now and as I thought,the last one year's dumb work isn't making a good impression on recruiters.But,I am still trying and keeping fingers crossed.
I was very frustrated today and needed to vent it out.Your advice,suggestions on how I should handle the issue and the frustration I am going through would be really appreciated. (I live far from home and I feel very depressed and angry .There's no one here where I work who I can talk to and who would understand and probably advice me with my best interests in heart) so,I appreciate any advice and suggestion from your side .
Thanks very much.
February 9, 2011
Welcome to AAC. We really appreciate your time and effort on posting your story here in the forum. Thank you so much.
Your concern is really serious as it involved social issues regarding your relationship with your boss as well as your work environment. Well, it's really something that needs be addressed asap. Aside from talking to your boss about work-related matters and possible alter of project, you need to raise up some personal issues like the aloof/snubbed feeling and other depreciation concerns. Maybe it's just some sort of misunderstanding between the both of you or maybe you've done something your boss apprehended. Try to make a personal appointment and iniatiate the conversation somewhere in which you can raise up all your concerns about the issue. It's really not easy to be in your situation but the only way for you to find out the root cause of the issue is to talk to the main person involved or else, it'll make you more uncomfortable and frustrated. If you won't make any settlements about it then it will surely affect your work and worse is ruin your whole career. You can also consult a professional Counselor/Psychologist expert on social issues.
As I read and analyzed your situation Rishi_1, I actually don't see any problem on you cause as you've said you've been performing well with your job and that's something to be proud of. Just continue to do your best and keep up the good work. Sooner or later, the recognition you've been asking for is within reach. Hope to hear from you soon.
June 29, 2011
Thanks a lot for taking the time to go through my really long post and for giving me your suggestions.I appreciate it a lot.
I've always tried to be friendly and respectful towards the boss and even in conversations that we had regarding the work quality and such,I have always been polite and put forward my concerns in proper words which I don't think in anyway should have hurt his ego .As I mentioned in my post,he doesn't communicate at all ( A fact which many of my team mates admit as well and complain about within the group,but, when it comes to face to face meetings with the boss,they are busy buttering him up).Even in all the meetings that he and I have had, I sort of got the feeling that he's just waiting for me to finish my "rant" so that he could go back to whatever he was doing and all that I said during that entire time meant nothing to him …it went in through one ear and went out the other:)
If I land a better job,then maybe while handing in my papers,I will have a discussion with the HR regarding my reasons for handing in my papers.
February 9, 2011
I think that's a better thing to do. Discuss it with your HR and ask some advises as well. Anyways, I think your boss is already the problem and not you. Maybe some sort of psychological/mental problems? Well, we really don't know so let's get our hands off to that. Anyways, you're just doing fine so don't worry. Stay cool
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