Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about probation not going well: What do you do when you see your job on career builders? There’s no mistaking it. It’s mine! Still I’m within my 90-day probation.
I am new in a position, although I have been in the industry for 19 years. I know my job. I just needed to learn the policies and procedures of the company. My regional manager was great when she first visited my property, but the following Monday she came on like a drill sergeant on steroids. We had one week together before this for training.
In that week it totaled up to about 6 hours of training. Commands were barked out at me, her was voice raised in a demeaning nature. She made me feel like she felt she had made the wrong choice with me. She would make statements like, “We went over this; did I waste my time with you?” and “You came to me with a lot of experience. Why are you not performing?”
Ok, granted, being new, I may have made a simple typo or placed the date in the wrong field on a spreadsheet. I asked if she could please get me an updated operation manual; 3 weeks later I got one. I also just received a new Dell all in one printer, fax, scanner, nice machine. I had not learned how to scan according to the way she likes it, and I was told I need to go back to school.
Most recently, Friday, It was time to turn in the petty cash report–simply read the manual, follow it, and turn it in according to that. I did. I got a phone call saying, “Do you have your manual open?” “Yes,” I said. She says, “Well did you read the darn thing?” “Yes.” “No, you didn’t. You could not have. Go do it again and would you get it right?” I went back to the office; read the manual again. I found a mistake; I sent her scanned copies of receipts when the manual says just email the report. Sent it again, mentioning I found my error. She does not approve it again. Says It was still not correct; does not tell me how or why. I then at her request fax her all the receipts, in date order. I get an email that day stating she has done it for me and turned it in. On her report, the receipt dates were not in order, I used from date: 08/01/09 to 09/30/09.
My two months on the job. When I reviewed her “approved” copy she made the dates were 08/11/09 to 09/13/09. There were receipts prior to 08/11 and after 09/13. They were not included. Now, if these are the accounting dates, great! Let me know that, the manual did not specify. I have started quoting the manual to her because of her asking me again and again, have you read the manual…yes. Her “changes” are not in the manual. I have asked for a phone conference so we may discuss these issues, I am told, “I don’t have time for you.”
HELP I AM AT A LOSS WITH HER! I don’t want to lose my job over it; I am still on my 90-day probation ending the first of November.I don’t know why my regional manager treats me so badly in her manner of speaking, emails, and notes. The other day all of her other managers had been mentioned in her email of boasting about something they did, even the smallest thing, like attempting to collect a delinquent account. Everyone was mentioned, except me. And I had sold a home. I wonder if she in fear of me? I am smart and have been doing my work for a long time and know quite a bit about the property management business. I do question her if I am in doubt of a procedure, or in doubt of a state law, according to the way the company is doing it now.
She is a drill sergeant type, maybe she does not like being questioned, (although SHE is not being questioned) and it is the property running correctly as a whole, as a team. Those kinds of questions are what I ask. It is my job and responsibility to make sure there are no liabilities. But yet, I am treated, talked to and email to like a child and demeaned, degraded on a daily basis. What can I do to change this? She won’t even speak nicely to me at all anymore. I dread checking email and answering her phone calls…help.
What do you do when you see your job on career builders? There’s no mistaking it. It’s mine! Still I’m within my 90-day probation. The boss is not as knowledgeable as I in the property management industry, and she knows it. All this makes my life miserable every day with her inattentive, demeaning and degrading tones. I want to talk to her supervisor should I? Is there hope in AZ?
Signed, Is there?
Dear Is there?:
Yes, if I were you, I would talk to her supervisor. You can by-pass her and make your case, succinctly describing the kind of demeaning she has exhibited. Or you can schedule a meeting with her superior and with that individual’s approval invite your regional manager to join you two to discuss your conflict. Whether you chose to bypass her or invite her to meet with you and her boss, I recommend that you should be up front telling her why you have decided to go over her head.
Prepare for the meeting. Think through what you has brought you to this point and be prepared to present both a written and oral description of your hostile working relationship. Request a thorough investigation. Also be prepared that your regional manager will tell a different story that paints you as difficult and incompetent. Guard against a heated she says, I say argument, but don’t back off from saying, “That’s not how I heard it.” Your query provides examples of the language she has used speaking with you. If her emails also are evidence of incivility make copies of them.
Asking for a meeting with one’s boss’s superior is going for broke. So approach it courageously realizing that one such meeting will not transform two months of antagonism to a cordial working relationship. You might submit a list of dos and don’t about what you consider good boss-bossed communication; detailing the kind of language you think is civil and supportive. Ask that you have a follow up meeting with her superior once the matter has been investigated.
Since you apparently want to keep this job, is it possible that you might be transferred to a different manager?It is fair for you to ask if the ad you saw was intended to replace you. Possibly, rather it is for another one with your skills. Are those in your field of competency easy to find? Might this place of employment be seeking more hires? And if they are planning on replacing you, think through your job hunt. Possibly they would prefer that you find another job rather than that he might have to pay unemployment costs if they fire you.
It is certain that work is hard enough without hostility between a boss and bossed, especially in the first few weeks at a new job. Your frustration is high and it is not healthy for you to work with such stress. Meanwhile while this probation is coming to an end, can you keep your cool and find some support from outside this workplace? It is not good to obsessively recounting the many unhappy incidents you experience with this manager, but seeing the counsel and support of a close friend or family is what might help you hang in there these next few weeks. Don’t neglect outside of work activities that you enjoy, such as workouts, singing in a choir, sports, volunteering.
The good life is not all work and no play. We can’t quick-change bad bossing to one that is employee friendly, but we can shape our attitude to be resilient in spite of bad bossing. We can make a case for civility as instrumental to high performance. We can do what is reasonable when assertively confronting a bad boss to help her to maintain face. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and approaching this conflict with that goal in mind, is something to consider.