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Old 05-24-2011, 08:15 PM   #81
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Next Chapter: I did find new boss Monday before applying my fix and told him what I had been up to, as well as told him about the other obvious solution. He seems like a nice enough guy, but I don't think he expected what he's finding here either. His take on the whole machine thing is please don't spend work time on it because it's not part of our responsibility, but I'm free to do whatever makes sense after hours. He didn't seem bothered about the obvious idea not coming up in brainstorming and wanted to know how often we got pulled into what he called "irrelevant side projects" So I'm hopefully taking this to mean that I'm unlikely to be in trouble for not speaking up enough.

Today we lost another engineer and also the head or programming. New boss took me out to lunch, I think as much to develop a working relationship as to try to look for ideas why turnover has been so high. I tried to suggest we used to be more collaborative without sounding hostile to the change in leadership. For his part, he mentioned feeling he might be in over his head, so I'm hopeful he may be open to a less dictatorial style. At least he seems more human and approachable than my first impressions. I think I am right that things are not going well here, but it doesn't seem like he is the source of the problems. At worst he seems like he may be contributing by accidentally adding additional shocks to the other problems. I don't know if this is the kind of collapse that a company can recover from. Maybe I can hold out for 4-5 more years, or maybe I have to be ready to move again if things get worse.

I did also see the company owner Monday morning and he came by to say he knew there had been issues with lots of people leaving (this was before the latest 2) and he hoped I was not thinking of leaving, so I hope that's some indication I at least have the option of staying here.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #82
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Good! It sounds like things are working out nicely after all. Maybe everything will get ironed out.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:34 PM   #83
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Yes, it sounds like things are going well.

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For his part, he mentioned feeling he might be in over his head . . .
Seems like a very odd thing to say to a subordinate he's just getting to know. Has this guy led people before? There's nothing wrong with being honest, but there are different ways to say the same thing that might be better.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:40 PM   #84
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As for the controversy about "it's not my job" I don't know any better way to say this.

If I find a small mess in the restroom, I likely quietly straighten it up. If I find a big disgusting mess there, I will likely alert whoever is responsible for facilities. If I see a pattern of messes, I might tell people, but I would not put in overtime (unpaid) on a program of restroom monitoring and reporting. It's not my job. I'm happy to be helpful, but I need to pay primary attention to my actual job and not go looking for unrelated work I could do around the company.

I realize that this particular phrase can be overused and even that it has acquired some emotional charge as a cop-out for disgruntled or lazy employees. But that's not how I'm trying to use it. I do literally mean that I have an assigned area of responsibility and the machine performance problems are not part of it. There are other people who are responsible for that. I'm okay with helping them, I'll even volunteer to help them, but I can't just do whatever I want there without interfering with their official responsibilities. Then I'd really be in trouble. I need their permission for any changes or even for taking time to look it over.

I'm trying to be clear that this problem is not assigned to me, not assigned to any of my immediate coworkers, not assigned to my department. When I talked to my new boss about it, his words were "That's not our job" It's not that I'm a whining malcontent, or even a bad team player. It's that this is a problem so much belonging to another part of the company that I have to be careful who owns it before potentially interfering.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:29 PM   #85
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Glad to hear it turned out well. I think you'll feel better about your working relationship with your manager from now on, now that the ice has been broken.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:30 PM   #86
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Actually I feel sorry for your new boss, imagine what it must be for him to wade into this pond of alligators. If you convey that you will to what you can to support him and the company's success you are likely to have internal cheerleaders. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep your eyes open for other opportunities but by building bridges internally you may increase your chances externally.

Potential employers always look to a candidates former relationships as a predictor of how they will behave in a new one. Never 'dis an old boss because the potential new boss sees him/herself as the future target of critique. Screen on skills, hire on fit is the classic comment. "Fit" is the behavioral factor.

Best wishes in surviving this transition, it is always healthier to feel appreciated - and you have the opportunity to create that condition.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:31 PM   #87
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I personally would be headed for the door now, given what you know and the ramp up in turnover.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:33 PM   #88
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Me too, but it is easier to find a new job when the current one is not acidic.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:04 AM   #89
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Today we lost another engineer and also the head or programming.
Sounds like an opportunity for a promotion.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:11 AM   #90
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Loyalty and communication are only from the worker to the manager? You can't be serious, especially in this case.
You miss-read me. Communication is only top-down. Loyalty is only bottom-up. Expect nothing else.

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When the OP relates a work story that includes, 'I didn't get to help choose my new boss (absurd IMO),' .....
In this case, I agree. Unless this guy works for the Israeli army, staff employees do not have this right. In my case, I do get to choose my new boss...every time I take a new contract. I have found that it is very important who I work for. Life is too short. I have turned down assignments because of bad vibes and regretted a few that I took because the job was too attractive. I know better now and can usually spot a stinker before it goes anywhere. The cost is that I must be extraordinarily portable. On the other hand, there are people I would walk through fire for.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #91
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Would you agree that the commotion at the company is not a good sign? It may be that something has changed that the OP is not aware of. We see management's problem retaining valuable staff. We may not see a collapse of their markets or a change in ownership coming. Something is causing all these folks to jump ship. They cannot all have drunk cool-aid.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:31 AM   #92
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I would think long and hard before I headed for the door. I would not turn down a good offer, but you have less than two years with your current employer. You were let go by your previous employer. IMHO, two years is at the bottom of time for job swapping.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:46 PM   #93
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I would think long and hard before I headed for the door. I would not turn down a good offer, but you have less than two years with your current employer. You were let go by your previous employer. IMHO, two years is at the bottom of time for job swapping.
In software, 2 years is plenty of time at one employer.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:08 PM   #94
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I would think long and hard before I headed for the door. I would not turn down a good offer, but you have less than two years with your current employer. You were let go by your previous employer. IMHO, two years is at the bottom of time for job swapping.
For good talent, nobody cares how long you were at your last job.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #95
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Based on what you have said, you should quit, and if you worked for me and I found out you had the solution to a customers problem and did not come forward with it, I would fire you. ..........
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I would think long and hard before I headed for the door. ........
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:09 PM   #96
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Travelover,
Do I need to point there are 70 post between these two quotes. In those quotes the OP modified/clarified his position! At least your post would be more honest! I was well aware of the first quote when I wrote the second. Between the two quotes, I learned that the OP had been fired from his last job, the head of his company talked to him and stated how much he was appreciated, he met with his new boss, he appears to be forming a different attitude about the competency of his boss, and quite a bit more.

Based on the information he presented in his original post, I would fire him. Based on his clarifications after that the position he put forth in his original post do not seem to be what actually exist at the corporation, not is his place within the corporation as dire as he set forth.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:49 PM   #97
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Travelover,
Do I need to point there are 70 post between these two quotes. ...........
Sorry, I was just practicing in case I decide to go into politics.......
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:54 PM   #98
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Travelover,
Do I need to point there are 70 post between these two quotes. In those quotes the OP modified/clarified his position! At least your post would be more honest! I was well aware of the first quote when I wrote the second. Between the two quotes, I learned that the OP had been fired from his last job, the head of his company talked to him and stated how much he was appreciated, he met with his new boss, he appears to be forming a different attitude about the competency of his boss, and quite a bit more.

Based on the information he presented in his original post, I would fire him. Based on his clarifications after that the position he put forth in his original post do not seem to be what actually exist at the corporation, not is his place within the corporation as dire as he set forth.
+1 I too was about to post something positive about staying in light of the new info despite the fact that I earlier questioned whether OP's actions merited firing.

Both the new boss and the CEO have approached OP directly for input and support. That could mean they are earnestly trying to do what's best or could mean the company is tumbling over a cliff. Only OP can decide.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #99
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so sooner or later someone may remember that and ask me a direct question. Until then, I am observing and trying to make up my mind what to do.

That may come back to haunt you. If I were a manager and found out that someone had the solution but was doing the "it's not my job" kind of thing, I'd have their name at the top of the list for 're-structuring'.

It can't hurt to butter the bread a little with the new person. Even if you do make him look better, so what.... you're on your way to retirement anyhow.

I'd pull a "Eureka!" and approach him/her privately with a "possible" solution. Mention that you think it worked before. He might just appreciate it enough to let you live the next 4 or 5 years in peace as a 'company man".

If, on the other hand, he blows you off, then it's every man for himself and just coast until you can get out.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:48 PM   #100
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A friendly word of caution here... working overtime does not necessarily mean you have too much work. It may mean more ominous things such as you're not organized, you expand the task to fit the time allocated for the task (e.g. taking an hour to do a 30 minute task), you slack off during the work day and have to put in the extra time to compensate, or you just don't know what you're doing. Also, if you're at work that much, then family time suffers.

I would not allow my employees to work overtime except in extraordinary situations.

I used to do the whole overtime, work 7 days a week, take on everyone's problems kind of job. When a family crisis came up and I had to cut back on hours, I was accused of being less productive and was eventually threatened with job loss. I quit before that happened (after the boss told me he couldn't wait for my father to die so things could get back to normal in the office) and it took 4 people to replace me.

When I moved to this new job, I started on the same track but my new boss called me in and told me exactly what you said above. He refused to allow me to do overtime unless he specifically asked for it.

I had never looked at it that way. Now that I'm the boss, I say the same things to my staff.
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