February 17, 2018

Betrayal

Posted in Emotional Maturity, ethics tagged , , , at 2:16 pm by Yvonne LaRose

What's behind the mask

What’s behind the mask

The project has had issues since the third day after your approval to work on it. Delays become not a few hours but days approaching a full week. Deadlines and milestones are turning into crisis events. Your colleagues are deferring to either your boss or one of your associates for instruction, guidance, and information. You’re left standing useless and impotent except for striving to make the project a success and your team / department shine.

Are you listening to the chatter that’s going on around you? Someone said, in reference to the announcement about the project, that it’s so nice that your associate is running a part of the project. In fact, they received an email from your associate asking for input. There is an assumption that you report to your associate instead of the other way around.

The project is progressing but those faithful support people are becoming difficult to work with. They have objections to producing content. You didn’t submit it the right way. You need to resubmit using a format that you’ve never used before (which takes research and learning a new technique). You didn’t submit the work in a proper format. You need to return to the original and check its attributes. By the time the double checking is completed, the support person’s quitting time has arrived and they won’t be back for three days. Someone else must do the production. You’re starting to notice a pattern. This support person seems to have an issue with doing production each time it’s requested. They keep passing the buck to one of their team mates.

And then you discover that one of the reasons why people believe your associate is in charge of the project that you got approval to do is because your boss changed the assignment but never bothered to tell you about it nor explain why there was a decision to make the change. So you have a conversation (once you’ve cooled off). The boss just likes your associate a lot. Associate has nice ideas. They’ve done other projects over the years that seem to have a lot of popularity. (Your approach is new, different, and vital and aims to get more involvement that the passive productions Associate does. Same approach with a different theme. People politely look at the production, make nice sounds about it, then leave, never giving the project nor the desired goals another thought.)

This pattern of behavior is chronic. It appears the boss has instructed people to not do work for you; in some way politely refuse to do it while telling you that there were flaws in your instructions, the request was too great, their schedule doesn’t permit more, and so on. But essentially, the boss told them not to work on your project(s).

In the alternative, it isn’t your boss who’s the burr in the project. Actually, Associate has taken your concept and repackaged it (while you were developing it). They’re presented their repackaged version to the boss and gotten approval to do it. Associate presents it at the department meeting as their own and without any reference to the “borrowing” that happened. The team applauds and prepares to work on Associate’s project.

Is this the work culture you expected when you accepted the job? One way to survive in a new environment is to adapt by using some (or all) of the current practices. Given the scenarios above, it can create a very interesting lifestyle to live and work in a paranoid or a cutthroat state. It’s far better to document everything you do so that you have an accurate track record and portfolio to display to potential employers or clients along with a good patter relating to how much your work saved the company, the number of new clients who were attracted, and so on. Give credit to those who were reliable in spite of the confusion. (Good for interview conversations; avoids the blaming mode.)

  • Find a healthier place to be.
  • Become much more savvy about what you say and where you share information. This is a game of Texas Hold ’em.
  • Before you leave the room, be absolutely clear about what your role is on a project and who your reports will be.
  • Be certain you and your boss (colleague) understand that the piracy will no longer be tolerated. You expect good, clear communication.
  • Find a healthier place to be.

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