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$H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 10:19 AM   #1
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$H!T

Ugh, another person is leaving my team and I got the dreaded call from my boss telling me (on voicemail, no less) that I am being stuck with a significant portion of this person's duties until they hire someone (and it'll be a while). I don't know if I am going to make it another 6 months here...
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 12:17 PM   #2
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Re: $H!T

Sounds like you're paying the cost of being the boss. Or in this case, NOT being the boss.

And I thought you were an old guy for some reason. So much for assumptions.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 12:40 PM   #3
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Re: $H!T

No, I'm only 31, which might be "old" if you are in your early 20s, I suppose.

When I actually spoje to the boss, he actually had the gall to tell me what a good opportunity this was to get some new experience. Sorry, I have enough experience being dumped on.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 01:16 PM   #4
 
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Re: $H!T

reminds me of the Dilbert Strip today. Dilbert is the only comic I read on a regular basis. Reminds me why I don't want to go back to work.

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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 02:54 PM   #5
 
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Re: $H!T

Hi Brewer,
I suggest that you meet with your boss and discuss your new deliverables and priorities. You will need to adjust your responsibilities based on your colleague leaving. Bring a rough swag of your new deliverables and schedule. Any good manager will be sensitive to this predicament. If everything is high priority, then suggest ways that you can quickly replace the person who is leaving, perhaps by hiring (it's easy to find good people these days), or finding a contractor.

If your boss says that you'll need to work extra hours in order to get more work done, then ask him about extra compensation or time off. Also find out how long he expects the situation to persist. If it's indefinite, then your boss is a bad manager, and your company is probably poorly run. In this case consider finding a different job.

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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 03:37 PM   #6
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Re: $H!T

I agree with both the fact that you have an unfortunate situation and the fact that 31 is old... my lifetime plus another third! I think you should take document your responsibilities and bring them up to your boss... then you confront him and simply state that in order for you to continue the excellence the company has come to expect from you, then you simply will not be able to persue the additional objectives in a timely mannor... Just kinda go in there and talk and ramble and try to establish additional meetings... finally he/she will grow tired of the aggrevation and simply find someone else to do the additional work. From what I've learned, bosses don't like to excessivelly discuss things, they prefer to be left alone and approach you on THEIR schedule.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 04:32 PM   #7
 
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Re: $H!T

Quote:
I agree with both the fact that you have an unfortunate situation and the fact that 31 is old... my lifetime plus another third! I think you should take document your responsibilities and bring them up to your boss... then you confront him and simply state that in order for you to continue the excellence the company has come to expect from you, then you simply will not be able to persue the additional objectives in a timely mannor... Just kinda go in there and talk and ramble and try to establish additional meetings... finally he/she will grow tired of the aggrevation and simply find someone else to do the additional work. From what I've learned, bosses don't like to excessivelly discuss things, they prefer to be left alone and approach you on THEIR schedule.

This is an a good description of the approach that you should avoid (I'm sorry BBull). Don't say no. Don't 'confront' your boss. Don't suggest wasteful meetings.

Instead work with him/her to figure out how to minimize the impact of the person's departure. Work together to determine how to accomplish the most important goals. Recommend adjustments to your current responsibilities that account for the new situation.

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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 04:54 PM   #8
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Re: $H!T

Quote:
Hi Brewer, *
I suggest that you meet with your boss and discuss your new deliverables and priorities. You will need to adjust your responsibilities based on your colleague leaving. *Bring a rough swag of your new deliverables and schedule. *Any good manager will be sensitive to this predicament. *If everything is high priority, then suggest ways that you can quickly replace the person who is leaving, perhaps by hiring (it's easy to find good people these days), or finding a contractor. *

If your boss says that you'll need to work extra hours in order to get more work done, then ask him about extra compensation or time off. *Also find out how long he expects the situation to persist. *If it's indefinite, then your boss is a bad manager, and your company is probably poorly run. *In this case consider finding a different job.
This is some very good advise. I'm 49 and have hired/fired and managed a lot of people. Managers want problem solvers - be one.
Get agreement on what the assignments are.
Think about it.
See how you can direct it for your benefit.
For example, do you have functions you hate and could be given to another employee?
Be positive and see how you can turn this to your advantage and remind them what you did when it comes time for your merit increase.
If you do a good job and don't get anything out of it; they are trying to send you a message - get out of here.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-05-2004, 05:27 PM   #9
 
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Re: $H!T

I worked for others from 1963 until 1987, not knowing that I was born to work for myself. Then , I worked for myself from 1987 until 1993, not knowing that I should be
working toward retirement. Then, I semiretired in 1993, not
knowing how long it would last. Then, quit for good in
1998, and found myself obviously in sync with where I needed to be
at that point in my life.

John Galt
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 06:37 AM   #10
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Re: $H!T

I appreciate the advice, guys, but basically I am screwed. My employer is a monopoly and management couldn't screw up the economics of the business no matter how hard they try. As a result, this place is chronically poorly managed. My direct boss is sympathetic, but ultimately has no say. My options are go along with it or pound sand.

Ask for more comp at merit raise time? Hah! Amid record profits for years, we haven't had a raise that has even kept up with inflation.

Hiring quickly? Hah! Let's see, they haven't replaced the guy who left in March. They interviewed a fabulous candidate for the guy who left in August. I met her and she was perfect for the job. However, management has decided to pull back and wait it out a bit. Now we have another person leaving, and I know for a fact that another person on the team will be out of here within a month or two at the outside (he has talked to me about his search).

Basically, I will smile, do as little as possible to get the additional stuff done, and be out of here in 6 to 9 months. I am basically only hanging on so that I vest some substantial 401k money. In the mean time, they can kiss my ass if they think I am working extra hours to accomodate them.

Sorry for the vent, but I am very frustrated at the moment.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 06:48 AM   #11
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Re: $H!T

Quote:
I appreciate the advice, guys, but basically I am screwed. *My employer is a monopoly and management couldn't screw up the economics of the business no matter how hard they try. *As a result, this place is chronically poorly managed. *My direct boss is sympathetic, but ultimately has no say. *My options are go along with it or pound sand.

Ask for more comp at merit raise time? *Hah! *Amid record profits for years, we haven't had a raise that has even kept up with inflation.

Hiring quickly? Hah! *Let's see, they haven't replaced the guy who left in March. *They interviewed a fabulous candidate for the guy who left in August. *I met her and she was perfect for the job. *However, management has decided to pull back and wait it out a bit. *Now we have another person leaving, and I know for a fact that another person on the team will be out of here within a month or two at the outside (he has talked to me about his search).

Basically, I will smile, do as little as possible to get the additional stuff done, and be out of here in 6 to 9 months. *I am basically only hanging on so that I vest some substantial 401k money. *In the mean time, they can kiss my ass if they think I am working extra hours to accomodate them.

Sorry for the vent, but I am very frustrated at the moment.
There must be tens or hundreds of thousands of people in your situation. I actually couldn't finish reading your entire post above because I was getting nauseous. At least you're retiring early. I REALLY feel bad for all the poor suckers that have to go through this every working day of their lives until age 65. Makes me wonder why more people don't at least try to start their own business.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 07:09 AM   #12
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Re: $H!T

OK, so your job sucks....but you are leaving in 6-9 months...how bad can they make it? Do enough not to get fired, and nothing more. Why do you care?

Like someone else said, its the poor slobs left behind that are going to have to clean up the mess. I am a big beleiver in giving employers 100% or more *if* the sacrifice is appreciated and more importantly compensated...sounds like in this case it won't be...as far as I am concerned, you owe them nothing.

Come it late, leave early and do just enough not to get fired....
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 07:58 AM   #13
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Re: $H!T

Quote:
OK, so your job sucks....but you are leaving in 6-9 months...how bad can they make it? Do enough not to get fired, and nothing more. Why do you care?

Like someone else said, its the poor slobs left behind that are going to have to clean up the mess. I am a big beleiver in giving employers 100% or more *if* the sacrifice is appreciated and more importantly compensated...sounds like in this case it won't be...as far as I am concerned, you owe them nothing.

Come it late, leave early and do just enough not to get fired....
Clearly this will be my MO. It is just very frustrating. There is absolutely no reason it has to be this way, and I don't necessarily want to be forced to job-hop my way out of BS forever. I guess the ultimate answer is FIRE.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 10:52 AM   #14
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Re: $H!T

I don't recommend that you do "just enough". I suggest that you find one part of your job where you can shine and do that well. Start thinking about who you will use for references and what they will say about your work and work habits. Take care of those folks.

In the intrim meet those who have left for coffee and find out what worked for them and if they are happy with their current situation. Don't dwell on the failures of your current management, focus on the future.

The situation of those you leave behind isn't your concern.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 12:06 PM   #15
 
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Re: $H!T

Listen to Brat.

Instead of doing as 'little as possible' to get the additional work done, re-prioritize the entire workload, and do what you can accomplish well.

Your employment situation sounds miserable. I suggest pulling the trigger now instead of waiting 6-9 months. Start looking for another job, and/or thinking about starting your own gig. In 10 years you may find the opportunities you leveraged to be significantly more important than some 401K money. Nine months of misery is very long time.

Going into '60%' mode (doing the minimal amout of work necessary to not get fired) is a bad idea. It's not clear that this is what you're thinking, but watch out for the temptation. THis mode makes you as the employee as bad as the employer. Don't sink to their level. Do your job well, and/or get out. Going into ER at work will be evident when looking for another job.

Don't slam your former employer at interviews. You can touch on the reasons you want to leave, but don't go negative.

my .02, pull the trigger now and save 9 months of misery.

--JB
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 12:54 PM   #16
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Re: $H!T

I agree with John Blake, Dex and Brat. Never burn bridges. I have managed a number of employees over the years. I often can tell months before an employee decides to quit that the employee is looking for another job and thinking about leaving. Many suffer from short timers disease in the months before they leave. They don't get their work done, the work they complete is poor, they hang out with their peers and have whispered conversations, they leave early, they have unexplained absences in midweek, they drop the ball. One time an employee came into my office and quit, only minutes before I was about to tell him he was fired. None of them will ever get a good job reference from us. One ended up opening his own law firm and sent me a letter asking for referrals. Hah!

On the other hand, I had an employee that quit recently because his wife could not find a job in town. He was about in tears over having to leave and was as sorry as can be. He continued to do a great job up to the day he left. I would take him back in a minute. I will speak well of him in our community.

I feel bad for you in having too much work to do. John and Dex have good ideas on how to address the extra work. Just recently we had an employee leave with a lot of work undone. The only other person who could do the work spent a few hours figuring out a list of priorities and how she proposed to see that the priority items (not all the items) got done. Nice, take charge attitude that will be reflected in her compensation.

Good luck.

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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 01:50 PM   #17
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Re: $H!T

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I agree with John Blake, Dex *and Brat. *Never burn bridges. *

<snip>

I feel bad for you in having too much work to do. *John and Dex have good ideas on how to address the extra work. *Just recently we had an employee leave with a lot of work undone. *The only other person who could do the work spent a few hours figuring out *a list of priorities and how she proposed to see that the priority items (not all the items) got done. Nice, take charge attitude that will be reflected in her compensation.

Good luck.

Martha
Not an option with this management team. "Everything's a priority!" They are not fans of two way communication.

I will be professional and not burn bridges, but I have been burned in the past already by trying to take charge and be an eager beaver here.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 05:58 PM   #18
 
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Re: $H!T

Unfortunately in this world, loyalty is no longer a two way street with most people. For example, in my law firm, the associates are treated rather poorly from a work-reward perspective. There are others, like myself, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, only to get the shaft later based on a "what have you done for me lately" attitude.

My take on brewer's situation? S/he ought to have a very frank discussion with his boss about his/her expectations -- before picking up the slack for the newly-departed employee. Once the crisis has been resolved, or more accurately, once brewer has agreed to pick up the slack, the pressure is off his/her boss. Thereafter, if something happens, it's brewer's fault that it didn't get done, or done properly. If brewer picks up the slack and does a good job, having not cut a deal beforehand, his/her boss isn't likely to reward him/her for doing so, at least not based upon what's been said in this thread.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-06-2004, 11:02 PM   #19
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Re: $H!T

I always cringe when I hear people give traditional career advice like, "Never burn bridges", or "Have a frank discussion with your supervisor about the problem".

Although this kind of advice may be on target much of the time, I know from my own career experience that some organizations are corrupt, and many supervisors are unreasonable. Employees are sometimes faced with a choice of "burning bridges" or sacrificing their own integrity and well-being. This is simply a fact. If you haven't experienced it, then you have been fortunate and I am happy for you. If you have experienced it, then you probably cringe when you hear such advice too.

I don't have an answer for you, Brewer. Finding another job is an option, but may involve moving your family, job hunting in a poor job market, sacrificing benefits, etc. It may be too costly to consider. And it may take significant time.

Good luck.
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Re: $H!T
Old 10-07-2004, 03:45 AM   #20
 
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Re: $H!T

I agree with salaryguru, mostly. But "don't burn bridges" has to be taken in context. There are many ways to depart, with class and dignity. Of course,
sometimes there are bad feelings anyway, but that's not
really "burning bridges". You did your part. I've been
in a lot of sticky employment situations, and left under some
unusual circumstances, many times without a place to go. I always viewed it as an adventure, but that's just me.

John Galt
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