Fed Up With Me

Question:

I feel that my manager is not happy with my performance. I have been working at a place for two years and few months. I have asked manager on several occasions if he was happy with performance, and he has said yes. I asked again recently, and he said, “We are with the work we are giving you now. And to be honest other people just get on with things.” I still don’t feel they are happy with me. What should I do? I have the impression they just want me out. Please could you reply to my email and not post to site thank you

Signed,

Not Happy With Me


Answer:

Dear Not Happy With Me:

We won’t publish your question and this reply, at least for now. Do you understand why, I answered your request as, “at least for now?” My point is that is almost the same way your manager answered you in your recent question. You report he replied, “We are with the work we are giving you now. And to be honest other people just get on with things.”

Why do you think he said that? Of course neither you nor I can know exactly what was in his head, but apparently he just wanted you to do the work assigned and not frequently ask him for assurance that you were doing ok. Undoubtedly your questions to him and to us spring from other reasons you feel that they want you out. Possibly you know that you are making mistakes and/or don’t produce as much as is expected. Or possibly, you don’t get along with your coworkers or have been tardy or absent too much. Or possibly you don’t strike him as liking assignments. Or perhaps you are low in self-esteem and need confirmation that you are ok. I don’t know the answer to any of these possibilities, but you might.

Ideally, he would provide appropriate and sufficient approval of what you do.

The story seems to be that there is something in you that makes you feel unappreciated and unwanted. You were wise to ask him if they were pleased with your work, but his remark that “We are with the work we are giving you now” conveys tentativeness, and that has elevated your “impression they just want me out.” He probably just wants you to get on with your assigned work and not ask for his approval. If you need a job, and most of us do, here are several suggestions I can give from afar: · Don’t again ask your manager if he is happy with your performance. Wait to speak with him until it is an appropriate time for a performance review. · Rather, reflect on what you do; both your efficiency and effectiveness. Log that for the past and next several days. (Attorneys are careful to account for every minute of what they do for each client; time on phone, date and substance. That is their evidence for charging $150 to $1,500 per hour.) Such a log should help you know if your manager is happy with what you are doing. · Talk with some coworker you respect about how things are going: What is effective, and slip in a question about your performance; what you are doing well and might improve. · Pretend that you own your place of work and put your mind to thinking of ways to cut waste; wasted supplies, duplication, time, and money. Think of small ways you might improve how things are done. Make that part of your informal conversation with you coworkers. Of course before making changes, even small ones, get think through their benefits and side effects and get your manager’s approval. · Focus on whether your manager and others are happy. Don’t be obsessed about that, but do what you reasonably can to make your manager’s work easier. · Be a cheerleader of others. Rather than seeing what is wrong, give a word or two of approval. And generally be a happy person to be alive. Possibly you need activity outside of work that makes you happy; workouts, yoga, singing in a choir, reading, tutoring, etc. Life is more than work.

These are some things for you to consider. Also access Workplace Doctor Tina Lewis Rowe’s site (just click on her name). She has a lot of posts that provide food for thought and inspiration. Think team. Think about how my signature with which I end almost every bit of advice I give might apply to you and your workplace: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. I won’t publish this question and answer; however, if you think others might benefit from it, let me know. I’m sure your manager won’t know it is from you and probably will never see it. And if he did, reading it might help him understand you are serious about performing well.

William Gorden