The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!

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Zilnad
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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Zilnad » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:06 pm

Drumstick wrote:
Zilnad wrote:Been in touch with an agency today about getting a new job. Things came to a head with my director today and I just have to get out before it gets worse.

It's an awful time for change but sometimes you just have to.

What happened?


I might elaborate later as I've spent all afternoon dealing with it now and just want to get some work done now! :lol:

But basically my director is ignoring the gov.uk guidelines and is adamant that I need to be in the office as soon as possible. He was acting like I was being unreasonable but he never actually gave me a valid reason why I need to be in the office (because there isn't one)

Some choice moments of the half hour conversation were:

"If you're feeling anxious why don't you go for a walk, you'll probably find you feel a lot better"

The classic "you should have told me if you were feeling depressed"

"Don't trivialise the problems I'm having because of this situation. As a director I'm dealing with a lot of stress myself"

"If I sent you a risk assessment report this afternoon, how would that change your feelings about coming into the office?"

"Oh well, if that's how you're going to be, that's that then"

"WFH is not ideal"

"Unprecedented times" :lol:

I'm actually really proud of myself for standing my ground and remaining calm for the whole call. I was very nervous and my voice was shaking but I was 100% polite and reasonable. The fault is entirely with my employer.

I'm also 90% sure that he scoffed when I said the virus could literally kill my wife because of her vulnerability but he denied it when confronted.

The conversation was left as "carry on as you are for now and I'll get a risk report over to you". He's been ringing me a lot afterwards as well asking for me to check this order and that invoice and these payments.

Last edited by Zilnad on Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Green Gecko
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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Green Gecko » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:15 pm

Jenuall wrote:The lack of transparency around key information that would make this process much easier for everyone is also really strawberry floating annoying. What their actual requirements from you are, whether they have specific deadlines in mind, which audience (user/client/supplier/director etc.) they are needing this for and therefore how best to tailor the response etc.

Yeah, in brief I would remind people of the Two Primary Doctrines of Management (R).

1. JFDI (Just strawberry floating Do It) Management
2. NMP (Not My Problem) Management

Guaranteed to happen if an incompetent person is hired as a manager, because they can just use their position to blame everyone else and never listen to the core of a problem by simply pretending it doesn't exist systemically. Result, everyone but the manager gets strawberry floated over while earning 2-5x the pay, on average.

This is a major reason why I am self-employed. I am simply a better manager for my own skillset and to only be fair to myself, my knowledge in my area of work is vast, I'm qualified to a degree level even though this isn't remotely a requirement, started doing (i.e. selling) design for actual professionals aged 14, and am I ever going to meet someone who knows me better than myself when I have consistently demonstrated an ethic of doing things without being merely told to do them? Not really.

That manager sounds like a total bellend.

And for Jenuall's point, I refer again to the customers I have to deal with from time to time. I mean, these certainly aren't bad people and they're generally lovely, but they don't help expediting their own project, which I find weird, because surely it's them that wants it to get done? The BIG difference between a customer and a manager is that I can choose not to pander to their own terrible work ethic/competence/whatever bullshit reason it is, it is indeed, "Not My Problem" and I can relatively easily filter out via vetting, policy making or generally choosing whether to pick up the bloody phone or not to avoid working with idiots, but...

Simple e-mail: "What is your deadline and do you have any issues with the price?"

strawberry floating nothing, so I send out a quote with my standard T&Cs with a lead time for delivery of 10 work days from the day payment clears, i.e. I'm doing absolutely nothing until you respond to your own project.

The same person suggests in emails after getting an auto-responder from 2 days leave, because I worked overtime for an entire week until about 2am, that this project should be moving now. Well if you want it to move, answer questions.

Then again a few days later, after changing priorities on which project needs to be delivered first for some reason: "OK, how many do you need?"

strawberry floating nothing again, so it's my responsibility to follow up with this.

And these are generally managers for their own businesses :shifty:

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Jenuall
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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Jenuall » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:10 pm

People :roll:

Forget self employment, this is why I'd love to be "solo employed" just doing something where I don't have to interact with anyone to earn money!

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That's not a growth
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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by That's not a growth » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:51 pm

Jenuall wrote:TNAG that sounds like a really gooseberry fool situation, but a familiar one. Countless hours of my working life to date have been spent explaining in increasing levels of detail why something which an uninformed manager/client/idiot thinks is trivial is actually really strawberry floating hard and it is rarely appreciated. :roll:

The lack of transparency around key information that would make this process much easier for everyone is also really strawberry floating annoying. What their actual requirements from you are, whether they have specific deadlines in mind, which audience (user/client/supplier/director etc.) they are needing this for and therefore how best to tailor the response etc.

Trust is a huge thing in these situations, so often the manager seems to operate from a position of "everyone under me is trying to take the piss and get away with slacking off" so they just view any plans or estimates that they put together as bullshit, despite the fact that they generally lack the expertise to genuinely critique them in any valid way.


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Although it's depressing that you're saying it was a familiar story. I was kinda thinking of doing something like scrummaster to hopefully give myself a boost when applying for jobs, but now not sure what I want at all.

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Zilnad
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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Zilnad » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:09 am

Do people think I should write a formal email to my director, reiterating my concerns over coronavirus, following the half hour phone call I had with him yesterday? I'd also consider providing several links to gov.uk, hse and ACAS sites which show the clear instruction for the need for risk assessments and WFH.

It's difficult to know exactly what to do because I feel at an all time low and not sure if my judgement is off.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Trelliz » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:41 am

Zilnad wrote:Do people think I should write a formal email to my director, reiterating my concerns over coronavirus, following the half hour phone call I had with him yesterday? I'd also consider providing several links to gov.uk, hse and ACAS sites which show the clear instruction for the need for risk assessments and WFH.

It's difficult to know exactly what to do because I feel at an all time low and not sure if my judgement is off.


This looks like its turning into a situation where getting all interactions in writing is a good idea, write it as a "so, just to recap our conversation yesterday..." type email. If they aren't willing to commit their chicanery in writing then they have even less of a leg to stand on. As it stands it could become a case of you said/they said with no evidence either way, and at least this way you have your version down should it get more complicated.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Zilnad » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:35 am

Trelliz wrote:
Zilnad wrote:Do people think I should write a formal email to my director, reiterating my concerns over coronavirus, following the half hour phone call I had with him yesterday? I'd also consider providing several links to gov.uk, hse and ACAS sites which show the clear instruction for the need for risk assessments and WFH.

It's difficult to know exactly what to do because I feel at an all time low and not sure if my judgement is off.


This looks like its turning into a situation where getting all interactions in writing is a good idea, write it as a "so, just to recap our conversation yesterday..." type email. If they aren't willing to commit their chicanery in writing then they have even less of a leg to stand on. As it stands it could become a case of you said/they said with no evidence either way, and at least this way you have your version down should it get more complicated.


This was my thinking too. Thanks. I think I'll try and keep it as brief as I can while still including the major points of the issue. It's really dragging me down so I don't want to spend all day on it again.

I think the agency will likely ring me today about potential job opportunities as well but I don't even really feel comfortable going somewhere new at the minute. I feel completely strawberry floated and damned either way though so I really don't know what to do.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Jenuall » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:08 am

That's not a growth wrote:
Jenuall wrote:TNAG that sounds like a really gooseberry fool situation, but a familiar one. Countless hours of my working life to date have been spent explaining in increasing levels of detail why something which an uninformed manager/client/idiot thinks is trivial is actually really strawberry floating hard and it is rarely appreciated. :roll:

The lack of transparency around key information that would make this process much easier for everyone is also really strawberry floating annoying. What their actual requirements from you are, whether they have specific deadlines in mind, which audience (user/client/supplier/director etc.) they are needing this for and therefore how best to tailor the response etc.

Trust is a huge thing in these situations, so often the manager seems to operate from a position of "everyone under me is trying to take the piss and get away with slacking off" so they just view any plans or estimates that they put together as bullshit, despite the fact that they generally lack the expertise to genuinely critique them in any valid way.


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Although it's depressing that you're saying it was a familiar story. I was kinda thinking of doing something like scrummaster to hopefully give myself a boost when applying for jobs, but now not sure what I want at all.

Oh don't get me wrong - whilst it's a familiar situation it's not an "all the time" kind of thing. I've probably been on more projects where this kind of thing doesn't happen, but the bad experiences tend to be the ones that stand out! :lol:

Amongst other things I've been working as a scrum master for the majority of the last 5 years and it has been a really enjoyable role.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Qikz » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:30 am

That's not a growth wrote:
Jenuall wrote:TNAG that sounds like a really gooseberry fool situation, but a familiar one. Countless hours of my working life to date have been spent explaining in increasing levels of detail why something which an uninformed manager/client/idiot thinks is trivial is actually really strawberry floating hard and it is rarely appreciated. :roll:

The lack of transparency around key information that would make this process much easier for everyone is also really strawberry floating annoying. What their actual requirements from you are, whether they have specific deadlines in mind, which audience (user/client/supplier/director etc.) they are needing this for and therefore how best to tailor the response etc.

Trust is a huge thing in these situations, so often the manager seems to operate from a position of "everyone under me is trying to take the piss and get away with slacking off" so they just view any plans or estimates that they put together as bullshit, despite the fact that they generally lack the expertise to genuinely critique them in any valid way.


Image

Although it's depressing that you're saying it was a familiar story. I was kinda thinking of doing something like scrummaster to hopefully give myself a boost when applying for jobs, but now not sure what I want at all.


Middle Management is literally the most pointless role in all of existance. Middle Management exists to give people a role to keep them in a company when they've been doing actual work long enough that they can't add on any more senior titles to a job role. I work with over 150 companies at my job and the middle management at each and every single one of them are just either twats or complete and utter morons who genuinely seem to have no idea how hard the people in their companies work.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Zilnad » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:36 am

The email recording our phone call and my concerns is done and sent. I spent over an hour on it but at least it's done. Pretty proud of it to be honest and gives me a little boost to stand up for myself.

Might have to put the agency on hold if this means I can continue working from home but I'll definitely have to get a new job before going back as my name is now mud and they've burned all bridges with me.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Dual » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:49 am

they'll probably just sack you instead. How long have you worked for them?

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Oblomov Boblomov
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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Oblomov Boblomov » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:27 am

Qikz wrote:
That's not a growth wrote:
Jenuall wrote:TNAG that sounds like a really gooseberry fool situation, but a familiar one. Countless hours of my working life to date have been spent explaining in increasing levels of detail why something which an uninformed manager/client/idiot thinks is trivial is actually really strawberry floating hard and it is rarely appreciated. :roll:

The lack of transparency around key information that would make this process much easier for everyone is also really strawberry floating annoying. What their actual requirements from you are, whether they have specific deadlines in mind, which audience (user/client/supplier/director etc.) they are needing this for and therefore how best to tailor the response etc.

Trust is a huge thing in these situations, so often the manager seems to operate from a position of "everyone under me is trying to take the piss and get away with slacking off" so they just view any plans or estimates that they put together as bullshit, despite the fact that they generally lack the expertise to genuinely critique them in any valid way.


Image

Although it's depressing that you're saying it was a familiar story. I was kinda thinking of doing something like scrummaster to hopefully give myself a boost when applying for jobs, but now not sure what I want at all.


Middle Management is literally the most pointless role in all of existance. Middle Management exists to give people a role to keep them in a company when they've been doing actual work long enough that they can't add on any more senior titles to a job role. I work with over 150 companies at my job and the middle management at each and every single one of them are just either twats or complete and utter morons who genuinely seem to have no idea how hard the people in their companies work.

What do you class as middle management?

Say in a company of ~500+ employees, do you think you could just have a layer of executive directors and they could effectively manage workloads and everything else along with it for hundreds of employees, without team/department/whatever managers below them?

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Qikz » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:29 am

Oblomov Boblomov wrote:
Qikz wrote:
That's not a growth wrote:
Jenuall wrote:TNAG that sounds like a really gooseberry fool situation, but a familiar one. Countless hours of my working life to date have been spent explaining in increasing levels of detail why something which an uninformed manager/client/idiot thinks is trivial is actually really strawberry floating hard and it is rarely appreciated. :roll:

The lack of transparency around key information that would make this process much easier for everyone is also really strawberry floating annoying. What their actual requirements from you are, whether they have specific deadlines in mind, which audience (user/client/supplier/director etc.) they are needing this for and therefore how best to tailor the response etc.

Trust is a huge thing in these situations, so often the manager seems to operate from a position of "everyone under me is trying to take the piss and get away with slacking off" so they just view any plans or estimates that they put together as bullshit, despite the fact that they generally lack the expertise to genuinely critique them in any valid way.


Image

Although it's depressing that you're saying it was a familiar story. I was kinda thinking of doing something like scrummaster to hopefully give myself a boost when applying for jobs, but now not sure what I want at all.


Middle Management is literally the most pointless role in all of existance. Middle Management exists to give people a role to keep them in a company when they've been doing actual work long enough that they can't add on any more senior titles to a job role. I work with over 150 companies at my job and the middle management at each and every single one of them are just either twats or complete and utter morons who genuinely seem to have no idea how hard the people in their companies work.

What do you class as middle management?

Say in a company of ~500+ employees, do you think you could just have a layer of executive directors and they could effectively manage workloads and everything else along with it for hundreds of employees, without team/department/whatever managers below them?


Ok, maybe let me rephrase. In smaller companies Middle Management is pointless.

You can have your directors, then you should have a team of managers who each manage staff. There's no need for a team of managers who manage a team of managers who manage a team of managers who manage the staff that do the actual work.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Oblomov Boblomov » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:30 am

Zilnad wrote:The email recording our phone call and my concerns is done and sent. I spent over an hour on it but at least it's done. Pretty proud of it to be honest and gives me a little boost to stand up for myself.

Might have to put the agency on hold if this means I can continue working from home but I'll definitely have to get a new job before going back as my name is now mud and they've burned all bridges with me.

Sounds like you work for a bunch of nutters, so you definitely need to record discussions in writing.

I can't quite remember, did you say you don't have an independent HR department as it's quite a small company?

Can you sign up to a union if you've not done so already?

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Oblomov Boblomov » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:36 am

Qikz wrote:
Oblomov Boblomov wrote:
Qikz wrote:
That's not a growth wrote:
Jenuall wrote:TNAG that sounds like a really gooseberry fool situation, but a familiar one. Countless hours of my working life to date have been spent explaining in increasing levels of detail why something which an uninformed manager/client/idiot thinks is trivial is actually really strawberry floating hard and it is rarely appreciated. :roll:

The lack of transparency around key information that would make this process much easier for everyone is also really strawberry floating annoying. What their actual requirements from you are, whether they have specific deadlines in mind, which audience (user/client/supplier/director etc.) they are needing this for and therefore how best to tailor the response etc.

Trust is a huge thing in these situations, so often the manager seems to operate from a position of "everyone under me is trying to take the piss and get away with slacking off" so they just view any plans or estimates that they put together as bullshit, despite the fact that they generally lack the expertise to genuinely critique them in any valid way.


Image

Although it's depressing that you're saying it was a familiar story. I was kinda thinking of doing something like scrummaster to hopefully give myself a boost when applying for jobs, but now not sure what I want at all.


Middle Management is literally the most pointless role in all of existance. Middle Management exists to give people a role to keep them in a company when they've been doing actual work long enough that they can't add on any more senior titles to a job role. I work with over 150 companies at my job and the middle management at each and every single one of them are just either twats or complete and utter morons who genuinely seem to have no idea how hard the people in their companies work.

What do you class as middle management?

Say in a company of ~500+ employees, do you think you could just have a layer of executive directors and they could effectively manage workloads and everything else along with it for hundreds of employees, without team/department/whatever managers below them?


Ok, maybe let me rephrase. In smaller companies Middle Management is pointless.

You can have your directors, then you should have a team of managers who each manage staff. There's no need for a team of managers who manage a team of managers who manage a team of managers who manage the staff that do the actual work.

Oh yeah it can get ridiculous in some cases, no doubt. Anecdotally I believe the NHS is truly awful in this regard.

I definitely think a company would need to be small (probably fewer than around 40-50 people) to be able to operate without any sort of middle management (which I would categorise as anything below Executive level), although I expect it would also depend on the type of work being carried out.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Zilnad » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:38 am

Oblomov Boblomov wrote:
Zilnad wrote:The email recording our phone call and my concerns is done and sent. I spent over an hour on it but at least it's done. Pretty proud of it to be honest and gives me a little boost to stand up for myself.

Might have to put the agency on hold if this means I can continue working from home but I'll definitely have to get a new job before going back as my name is now mud and they've burned all bridges with me.

Sounds like you work for a bunch of nutters, so you definitely need to record discussions in writing.

I can't quite remember, did you say you don't have an independent HR department as it's quite a small company?

Can you sign up to a union if you've not done so already?


That's correct about HR. I will look into a union soon as it definitely looks more and more like a necessity.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Oblomov Boblomov » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:41 am

Zilnad wrote:
Oblomov Boblomov wrote:
Zilnad wrote:The email recording our phone call and my concerns is done and sent. I spent over an hour on it but at least it's done. Pretty proud of it to be honest and gives me a little boost to stand up for myself.

Might have to put the agency on hold if this means I can continue working from home but I'll definitely have to get a new job before going back as my name is now mud and they've burned all bridges with me.

Sounds like you work for a bunch of nutters, so you definitely need to record discussions in writing.

I can't quite remember, did you say you don't have an independent HR department as it's quite a small company?

Can you sign up to a union if you've not done so already?


That's correct about HR. I will look into a union soon as it definitely looks more and more like a necessity.

Oh cripes. I don't want to cause any alarm but the lack of a proper HR department could make this really difficulty – if I were you I would look into the union this morning.

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Dual » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:46 am

Zilnad wrote:
Oblomov Boblomov wrote:
Zilnad wrote:The email recording our phone call and my concerns is done and sent. I spent over an hour on it but at least it's done. Pretty proud of it to be honest and gives me a little boost to stand up for myself.

Might have to put the agency on hold if this means I can continue working from home but I'll definitely have to get a new job before going back as my name is now mud and they've burned all bridges with me.

Sounds like you work for a bunch of nutters, so you definitely need to record discussions in writing.

I can't quite remember, did you say you don't have an independent HR department as it's quite a small company?

Can you sign up to a union if you've not done so already?


That's correct about HR. I will look into a union soon as it definitely looks more and more like a necessity.


How long have you worked for them?

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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Drumstick » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:52 am

Zilnad wrote:Do people think I should write a formal email to my director, reiterating my concerns over coronavirus, following the half hour phone call I had with him yesterday? I'd also consider providing several links to gov.uk, hse and ACAS sites which show the clear instruction for the need for risk assessments and WFH.

It's difficult to know exactly what to do because I feel at an all time low and not sure if my judgement is off.

I would recommend seeking advice from ACAS about your situation. It's free.

One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily I'm not an ordinary man.
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PostRe: The Work Thread 2 - Get back to work!
by Zilnad » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:32 pm

Dual wrote:
Zilnad wrote:
Oblomov Boblomov wrote:
Zilnad wrote:The email recording our phone call and my concerns is done and sent. I spent over an hour on it but at least it's done. Pretty proud of it to be honest and gives me a little boost to stand up for myself.

Might have to put the agency on hold if this means I can continue working from home but I'll definitely have to get a new job before going back as my name is now mud and they've burned all bridges with me.

Sounds like you work for a bunch of nutters, so you definitely need to record discussions in writing.

I can't quite remember, did you say you don't have an independent HR department as it's quite a small company?

Can you sign up to a union if you've not done so already?


That's correct about HR. I will look into a union soon as it definitely looks more and more like a necessity.


How long have you worked for them?


Just under 2 years.

I'll look at connecting ACAS later. Already been reading their website for info.

Edit - In a queue for ACAS now


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