Manager trying to make me quit

Sep 6 353 Comments

Recently, my manager expressed dissatisfaction that I was working on a project for another team. I had come into the company thinking it was a place where people would explore where they fit in, and make the biggest difference. That's how it was sold, at least. But my manager, it turns out she thought different. During one company function, she was drunk and giving advice. She said you have to give it up to the person above you, essentially that everyone should know their place and make the person above them look good, in turn for their supervisor taking care of their interests. Basically she's very pro-feudalism.

She's recently tried to put me on a PIP, and when I look at the points I have to improve on, it's written in very vague language, and is all non-technical. As well, she's moving me to another of the company's offices, knowing it will make my commute time triple. This will also put me away from upper management and HR. In addition she's been telling people behind my back to take me off certain projects so I can "focus on my new role".

I really need some advice. I'm close to my 1 year cliff, in fact she even said that's a reason she "looked into my file". What can I do when a manager is trying to make life hard for me under the pretense of giving me a chance to improve? There are other teams, but I haven't heard of people transferring very often. As well, she's senior and so definitely is more valuable to the company than any one person under her, so I doubt picking a fight over unfair treatment would help. I do want to stay at this company if I can, and I feel like I'm being unfairly targeted because I don't have the same feudal career philosophy as her.

TC 120k (Not SWE, in case this affects your analysis and advice, mechatronics/math background)

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TOP 353 Comments
  • Panasonic Avionics Goldfoil
    Dont talk to HR. Document everything. Emails, conversations, etc. then start looking elsewhere. If you see a hint of discrimination as a protected class, slam her with a lawsuit. There is nothing you can do to change an idiots mind.
    Sep 6 17
    • SAP MroO25
      At this point, if I were you, I’d be thinking about leaving soon. Considering that, I would the following:

      Start preparing for the worst case scenario and get ready to switch jobs.

      Talk to other managers who like you and ask them if they can be your manager instead and/or talk to your manager’s boss and explain what’s going on.

      If you are open and honest about what’s going on and the situation doesn’t get resolved from the management level, you would be better off working elsewhere.
      Sep 8
    • OceanX O(1*1)
      HR is not your friend
      Sep 8
    • OceanX O(1*1)
      But, HR might be on your side in the case when you have a lot of evidence of what is happening and which can prove that there is a unfair treatment at the work place. Because with all that evidence you can go and sue the company or your manager, and HR don't want that to happen.

      Again, they are still protecting the company here.
      Sep 8
    • Microsoft Mary
      Unless you are a social media influencer and have a lot of evidence stacked up on your side, no one is going to take your side. HRs role is to steer the company clear of trouble. All the recent stories you hear about HR taking down power execs happened only after multiple complains followed by a public blog article stating the same issues.
      Sep 8
    • Western Digital dntcr
      HR will protect the company against litigation risk. If what’s being done to you is illegal, or retaliatory, they will help you.
      Sep 17
  • Oracle not_larry
    TC?
    Sep 6 17
    • Credit Karma dead_beat
      I’m pretty sure he was joking. Go easy on him.
      Sep 8
    • Uber boomshake
      Shame on you dhaowhh38, I sincerely hope you are not from Uber. You realize that more than half of Uber is non-tech and they do a fabulous job running the Uber machine. I'd request that you build a perspective about non-tech roles.
      Sep 8
    • Roku cruella
      I doubt any one can be this dense.

      It was probably a joke gone wrong fro Uber.

      Op don’t pay attention to that kind of rhetoric
      Sep 8
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      Why would you work on medical devices at Linkedin?
      Ok if it really comes down to saving your job before the 1 year cliff , there are a few legally protected leave you can use. DM me for details
      Sep 8
    • Amazon pollished
      Just curious what did uber say
      Sep 9
  • Walmart qopB15
    Working for another team, over your own...Take it as your mistake, learn from this and leave. Manager should have guided you though.
    Sep 6 16
    • Bloomberg offByOme
      Yes you’ve said you’re a manager multiple times, do you need a ⭐️ or something?
      Sep 8
    • Cognizant mad_dog
      Absolutely not, I couldn't care less tbh. We all are doing jobs and getting paid irrespective of the roles we play at work. It was to answer your question and earlier to exemplify the point being made by many responses here. But looks like you do need one given your rhetorical sounding questions, trying to cook up a storm where it doesn't exist 😃
      Sep 8
    • Bloomberg offByOme
      Excuse me? I cook the best storms 😂🥃
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      Good employees, let alone good tech employees are SUPER hard to find. OP sounds like a good employee looking out for the greater good. Those well intentioned but jaded responses calling him a junior and telling him to learn “politics” well, that worked for you in the past, but this is not 1950. This is 2019 and politics will not work anymore. All companies who are reinventing themselves are doing so in several ways, one of them is killing the hierarchy and getting rid of the old school thinkers who know how to play the system. Your mileage will vary. Look at upper management and determine if you’re looking at a white boys club from the 50’s in which case obey or go. But if higher management is actually progressive, trans, etc. Go and speak your truth. Your truth seems noble to me “higher good”. The truth will set you free. Your truth “higher good” is actually a universal truth. So it will prevail one way or the other. Your manager’s truth is not an eternal truth. “Authoritarianism” is not a higher truth but rather a sin of the dark ages. Human nature. Basic instinct. Go show her the right way. The good student always surpasses the teacher. She thinks she knows better bc of her power and age. Well surprise. She will be defeated by her subordinate. History repeats itself everyday at the macro and the micro level. The question here is are you willing to embark in this fight only few can conquer, or will you quit and run away?
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      I know, Oracle for president 2020. Vote for me ya’ll. Actually. We are well on our way to have an Oracle (AI) for president. I called it here first.
      Sep 8
  • TrueCar CarWoo'd
    My two cents

    You got hired to be a part of HER team. Yea sure you got sold on the idea that you can branch out but honestly you're pretty naive to not take that statement with a grain of salt. You've been there less than a year and you're showing signs that you don't wanna focus on what you were actually hired to do. We all want to succeed and move up but you really gotta put in the time first before you decide that you wanna move up the ladder. Getting selected for a job is already hard enough as it is and you're showing a lack of appreciation by merely using your current role as a stepping stone to break into another role. Would you like it if the tables were turned?

    Anyway I know you're looking for support and not looking to be chastised. You can either:

    A) try and kill the PIP
    B) GTFO of there and use this as a lesson

    Seriously, at least put in a year and half worth of work before you start branching out
    Sep 8 12
    • TrueCar CarWoo'd
      Wow I guess I suck at writing. That's not my point...I'm not saying let your manager define your career. The relationship still has to be a two way street. Do a good job for your manager and your manager will back you up for advancing. Now I know that's not always the case. I don't know how this manager is but based on OPs post it seems like they just decided to work on other shit that didn't focus on their primary scope of work
      Sep 8
    • Comscore seatlsucks
      I had a previous manager who never promoted any minorities . They usually got PIPed or left despite being long timers. It’s like every employee on a visa would reach a career ceiling in the company under him . After previous promotions and good work I had this guy as a manager . He assigned me the least visible project that had been failing for years and no one wanted to touch it . A few months later he started documenting all our 1:1s under the guise of performance and progress on that project . I am good but not exceptional and like my predecessors this project was going nowhere despite my best efforts . I then got PIPed with vague language . Had already interviewed meanwhile and got out before firing . Moral - Based on Truecar’s words if I had put my time in there expecting that my manager would assign me the best work and look out for me I would have been without a job despite working long hours. There are all kinds of managers- some inefficient , some clueless and some with an agenda to harm just based on how you look . You gotta look out for yourself . Putting 1.5 years is bullshit.
      Sep 8
    • OP
      I'd like to clear something up. I did not seek out work on other teams, especially as a way to advance my own career. The situation was at the time, that other tram was given the go ahead by the CEO to pull resources from other teams if needed to push through their project, which was deemed most important. They approached me. My mistake was believing what HR said about a flat structure in the company and not reporting exactly what I was working on do who turned out to be a person I should have been reporting everything to from my manager's perspective, but was on paper an equal peer/colleague.
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      You have a strong case.
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      If you document and don’t lose your cool and you get the lesson here.
      Sep 8
  • Lyft n00b0
    If you're close to the 1 year, ride it out until then, then try to transfer to one of the other teams you've been working with. If you can't, probably leave. Even if you get piped they shouldn't be able to fire you for a while anyway.
    Sep 6 5
    • OP
      She said the PIP is 2 weeks. Which is just enough time to finish some dirty setup work, but not enough to really do anything else. I'm wondering if she's trying to use me once before firing me.
      Sep 6
    • Amazon sdm.aws
      PIP guidelines say it has to be at least 30 days. Do your due diligence and read the policy docs.

      EDIT: My bad. I thought this was in Amazon's forum. LinkedIn below is correct. Each company has their own policy.
      Sep 6
    • LinkedIn CarpetCog
      Every company's PIP policy may be different. Yours should be documented somewhere that you can find and read for yourself, rather than trusting your manager's word on it.
      Sep 8
    • Uber HUHN43
      I’ve seen a lot of companies in the Valley do this sort of thing. Get rid of people before they vest. Document everything that’s happening and look for another job. HR isn’t there for you. I’ve had similar issues with managers in the past. I went to HR and what they did for a solution is comical. Talk to an employment attorney. It may not be worth suing because the cost to your reputation may not be worth the short-term gain. Sincerely wish you the best
      Sep 8
    • Snowflake Computing chillhop
      Suing because you don't agree with working on the team you report to is stupid. Talk to your manager directly if you can, or ask HR to help or mediate if you're not sure how.

      Regardless of how recruiters sold you the place, most companies are structured with managers managing the work of employees and coordinating cross-team collaboration. Don't go around that role without their buy-in and you'll have more success.
      Sep 8
  • ICF SouDa
    OP I remember you had another long post about a similar issue a while ago. Is it the same manager?
    Sep 6 10
    • ICF SouDa
      Yeah it is but if you have a good trust in that person (and have worked with them for a few months) you should approach them and let them know. You need friends rn
      Sep 6
    • OP
      I realize that. Unfortunately most of my friends, or the people I'm closest too at work, are under the same manager. I'll try my best though. Outcome can't get much worse, haha. Sigh.
      Sep 6
    • Square Mr Been
      Talk to other employees about who you can confide in. There might be someone who's worthy of trust and who might give you advice
      Sep 7
    • Splunk KLeu28
      Some wise, friendly people here. Blind might be the right forum for exactly this problem.

      Use friends on your team to keep giving you a heads up, but they'll have to have enough maturity not to approach your manager directly. That will help no one.

      The manager is trying to force you out. It's really that simple. It feels more like it's textbook, once HR was contacted for the PIP, and less personal.

      However, at some point, the terms of the PIP will be unmeetable.
      -- track everyone else on your team

      Either people on your team meet the requirements, and you don't, or (more likely) no one will. Turn that shit around on them, and demand that everyone else not meeting the same standards ALSO be put on a PIP. When that doesn't happen, they'll probably switch HR contacts on you to keep a lawsuit from happening. If that happens, again, textbook, that means that you have some room to negotiate.

      That's assuming you haven't switched teams or left for another company before that.

      If you need to, tell HR higher ups that your HRBP will not be a party to any future discussions or that HRBP (and her manager) will be named parties to a discrimination law suit. You'll need all the emails that documented that hr misrepresented your emails as part of that.

      Most companies are building data loss prevention measures now, so you won't be able to save your messages on your last day. Print out as you go. More work for you, even though you barely have any time outside commute and sleep as it is.
      Sep 8
    • Splunk ImaRainbow
      Always bcc your personal non-work account when sending emails related to your job crisis.
      Sep 9
  • Yahoo hvYx15
    Learn to manage up. Your job and promotions highly depend on it whether you like it or not. In my whole career I've always loved by the fact that if I make my boss/director/VP look good, then I am doing my job.
    Sep 8 5
    • OP
      What really is the point of spending the majority of my adult life like that? If the side effect of focusing on making the company successful is they look good, then great. If the main goal is still making them look good even if the interests of the company diverge from the manager's, then that's just a life of subservience to some arbitrary person.
      Sep 8
    • Yahoo hvYx15
      That is where you change departments or companies. You make the decision with your feet... But until then your job is under the control of your direct management chain. Suck it up.
      Sep 8
    • Microsoft <<<>>
      OP, do you ever want to be a manager?
      Sep 8
    • Amazon aspie
      OP, you seem to misunderstand the concept of being an employee. The paycheck you get comes with a side effect of working for a person who hired you to do what they cannot/don’t want to/don’t have time to do. It’s what hired labor is all about. If you become a consultant, then this person is your client vs. boss. But the concept is still the same - client/boss happy, your gig is the reward. They are unhappy - no money for you. Frankly speaking, i don’t think any manager would want an employee who works for someone else. How they are going to deliver on their objectives? If you refuse your assignments, then their goal will be replacing you, and fast, so that they can get someone else. She maybe not the best manager, but you will not get any support from the company unless the other team can somehow get your transferred over. But with you being on PIP, your transfer is blocked. If I were you, I would talk to her, tell her that you admitted your mistake, and see if she agrees to take you off PIP. Once you are off PIP, you can talk to other teams and transfer. But if you tell her you want to transfer, don’t expect any support. If you want to stay, your goal should be getting off the PIP at any cost. Your ego will be your enemy in this process, so learn to tame it.
      Sep 8
    • Verizon Media boybbn
      You guys are missing the point. You are not hired JUST to do what a manager asked you. If you do, you are replaceable easily. Basically, you don’t think, you only execute.

      You are hired to do what your manager asked you AND take it to the next level. That is your value and differentiator.

      If the OP’s manager cares only about how she looks in the org the you are dealing with an unsecured manager.

      Best advice, LEAVE ASAP. Very rarely you will win a fight with a manager.
      Sep 8
  • Apple MbsC35
    Leave. But the day you put in your papers make sure you talk to your skip and potentially his/her manager about what a terrible manager you have had. Explain how it is likely to affect the current team even if it isn’t going to.
    Sep 6 2
    • LinkedIn CarpetCog
      This. Whether you leave now or end up leaving later.

      And be sure not to sound like a petulant sore loser lashing back, but just someone who honestly wants to leave clear feedback behind so that there's no confusion and there's maybe a chance for the company to learn and improve from this.

      Even if the company doesn't use anything you say, at least you can say that you tried one last time to help on your way out.

      And, who knows, maybe one of those higher-ups you have this last honest conversation with will remember you in the future.
      Sep 8
    • Splunk KLeu28
      I disagree with this recommendation. The only times I've heard of anyone successfully combating a bad manager, the manager and the skip BOTH had their promotions held up. If the manager is bad, the skip level is likely to be an enabler; even if they are not, they will have skin in the game that will keep them from helping you.
      Sep 8
  • Microsoft Votingw👞
    Sorry to break it you you but no one survives the PIP except in very special curcumstances (usually protected class or whistleblower situations.)

    Focus ALL your efforts on finding a new position immediately. Do not spend one more minute thinking about her. You are likely about to be let go. Dont sign any severance agreement without it saying that you'll agree that you let on mutually agreed upon terms (meaning they'll never tell another employer you were fired or ineligible for rehire.)

    P.S.: Sorry you are going through this. Just know it's happened to many successful people before you. She's a shitty manager and likely feels threatened. Keep your chin up and you will find something better soon. This too shall pass.
    Sep 8 2
    • Amazon Forks9
      Rubbish advice. You fight bullshit with hard data (@Amazon at least). I have seen people successful fight predatory managers.
      Sep 8
    • New Fjbc43
      This doesn't sound like a predator manager. OP doesn't realize this is an HR paper trail and that he's already been fired.
      Sep 8
  • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
    Are you working on a project for another team? If yes, why? Is that approved by your manager?
    Sep 6 2
    • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
      OP you don't want to reply here?
      Sep 6
    • Amazon whatdoIno
      Very relevant question
      Sep 8
  • NetApp 296106
    Quit then, why cares?
    Sep 8 12
    • Oracle fandantan
      Batwomann I wasn’t trying to be condescending towards you. I started my reply by agreeing with you.
      I am not what you think I am. You are what you think I am.
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      Psynaptic. Think for yourself. Neither batwoman nor your boss can tell you what is best for you. No harm in having people listen and even advice but ultimately it is your life. Why are you asking batwoman to solve this for you? (so to speak) as your Blind therapist today I am bringing to your awareness that you seem to have mommy issues (we all do, that is where most trauma begins playing out in this life) and are playing them out with your lady boss and now running with batwoman but into the same dynamic.
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      Honest question is what is going on with your lady boss a replay of your teen years with your mom? Were you the rebellious teen who could not align but who was still doing good. A greater good that perhaps didn’t align with your mother’s vision?
      Sep 8
    • NetApp 296106
      Who cares who suffer, it's that simple Find a better place worth fighting for, USA has plenty of opportunities
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      Suffering is optional. You can stay and grow and through mindfulness and meditation remove yourself from the situation one way or the other. But removing yourself physically is not alway the option. As wherever you go, there you are!
      Sep 8
  • Salesforce owowhtsths
    Put everything else down except what she wants, drop your ego (don’t fight a battle with her you know you can’t win), focus and crush the PIP! Then find a new job and get the hell out of there.
    Sep 6 0
  • Amazon aspie
    Look for a role at another team. You will not win this battle.
    Sep 8 0
  • Enovate Medical sbeS18
    Find a new job. I wouldn’t want a resource working for other departments either; you probably aren’t doing enough for your own department. I’m sure your manager is in the right; ask her if you can transfer.
    Sep 8 5
    • Google artandwine
      If you are a manager, you are probably not a good one. Just based on this comment.
      Sep 8
    • Amazon blindhippo
      1) humans aren’t “resources”. Cut that shit out if you’re a manager

      2) a report influencing across teams/orgs is exactly what you want in a high performing company

      If you’re incapable of managing top tier talent, take a hard look at your abilities and reassess if you’re good enough to be entrusted with others careers.
      Sep 9
    • Google artandwine
      I wonder if this is the kind of reason that fosters certain set of manager type. Like positive feedback loop. You "obey" your managers thinking, and as a result "get higher up", rinse and repeat.
      Sep 9
    • Splunk KLeu28
      There is a mention further below about how the CEO of the company asked people to pitch in and bail out the other team that OP helped. That would seem to contraindicate Evonate Medical's advice.
      Sep 9
    • Chase 8==D~
      This is great insight...if you want to be corporate America’s wage slave. Not so much of you want to be an effective leader and team player.

      I’ll remember this comment as a reason to not work at Enovate Medical.
      Sep 9
  • NVIDIA calmdow
    I don't understand why you're thinking so hard about what to do.

    It's obvious: interview elsewhere and leave asap. You're welcome.
    Sep 8 5
    • Oracle fandantan
      Fight the good fight! 99% of pip victims run away! Don’t leave a victim!
      Sep 8
    • NVIDIA calmdow
      Apparently PIP at Oracle means you're doing better than 99% others
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      No. At Oracle there is no PiP, actually. We have transcended it.
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      There are mostly layoffs and dinosaurs.
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      PIP is never worth the risk or effort.
      Sep 8
  • Microsoft FNfs54
    Hi you can open a ticket on hrweb, tick the box ‘private’ and they will arrange you a consultant within a day. Been there and all I can say is it works. At least it worked out for me. But pay attention to make it look like you are not completely dissatisfied-rather that you have an open mind and you just want to go back to work, than lose time with a stupid situation like this. Best of luck
    Sep 8 3
    • OP
      Hrweb appears to be a place that sells services to HR departments of companies. Is this the place you're talking about?
      Sep 8
    • Bloomberg offByOme
      MSFT just assumed you have the same hr service provider his company does. Forgive him, he does work at MSFT😂
      Sep 8
    • MathWorks woohoo11
      Bloomberg lol
      Sep 8
  • Google cjjdjd
    What she says is correct everywhere. Why the fuck would your manager want you to do work for another team? Its a job, with a specific role, specific report chain. They hire you to be in that role, not for you to explore n shit
    Sep 8 2
    • VMware BiggySmlz
      Lol bad manager cool aid slinger here.
      Sep 8
    • Google cjjdjd
      Im just being real here. Even if your manager has a problem, HR will fire you first. I had a bad manager in the past so i knew
      Sep 8
  • Zume qPgB82
    Few things. When they fire you cause it sounds like they are (and hr won't try hard to fight back) Its BEFORE your one year cliff DEMAND they best your options and remain on payroll till your one year. You can threaten lawsuit as a form of discrimination and wrongful termination. Negotiate your exit package, note that you have suffered from abuse of power i.e. your manager Impedeing on your ability to be successful by taking you off meetings, being inappropriate at off-site work event about managing others and whatever other evidence. The mere fact that you say you've retained a lawyer for several documented incedenses around a wrong termination will make legal and hr buck enough...is the PIP the only form of written documentation of your perf? Are you over 40, minority or a woman? This adds to your risk profile hr will assess. also if you have any performance reviews where you were outlined as meeting or above expectations
    Sep 8 8
    • OP
      New grad in their twenties, visible minority, male. There was one other documented incidence of a communication issue. No technical issues.

      I'm wondering if it's legally sound to argue that they are discriminating or wrongful termination because they timed the firing to be right before the cliff. It's an asshole move, but it's not illegal, right?
      Sep 8
    • Oracle fandantan
      Let the lawyer tell u what your strongest argument is. That’s their job.
      Sep 8
    • Tyler Technologies batwomann
      If they want to time a firing but also show that the onus was on you to improve that's kinda logically inconsistent 🧐 But leave it to a lawyer
      Sep 8
    • Amazon QQCs00
      Yes in my team they put am SDE in PIP saying he has communication iaaues. Had never heard it before, Amazon used to be a small company where people used to code and deliver. Now company has grown, people from all over the world are here with different ideas of leadership principle & software engineering practices.
      Sep 9
    • Tyler Technologies batwomann
      > saying he has communication issues. He had never heard it before

      Lol maybe that was the issue (jk)
      Sep 9
  • Microsoft <<<>>
    OP, are you delivering on the work assigned to you? You have not indicated that anywhere.
    Sep 8 4
    • OP
      I am, spoke with her the other day after I compiled a list of everything I've done in the time I've been here. (Compiled on my off time). She agreed the work output was "above average"
      Sep 8
    • Microsoft <<<>>
      And this is work assigned to you by your manager?
      Sep 8
    • OP
      All but 1
      Sep 8
    • Microsoft <<<>>
      A few more questions
      -What % of your workload does that 1 project represent?
      -Is there a chance that you are not giving your core items the diligence it needs because of this project? Maybe what your manager was trying to say to you is that you could be a rockstar with focus...(I understand that this might not have worded it the same way).
      - Are their projects on your managers team you are not taking on because you are tied up on the other project?
      - Also, was this one project something you undertook with their support?

      What am I hearing you say is that the projects on your team are not important to the company, but the other project is. If that is indeed the case, and you are appreciated for that work, why not move to the other team? If that is not the case, why the reticence to focus on projects on your team?

      At the end of the day, it’s really difficult to hire, train and get someone to become productive in role. So if you are indeed delivering, selfishly, your manager is better of keeping you, rather than going back to the hiring table. If your manager is looking at letting you go, it might be good for you to reflect a little bit on what else might be going on.
      Sep 8
  • Intuit DM2418
    From my perspective, I was not hired to do whatever I wanted, but to do the task and projects my manager and team hired me to deliver. I am given 20% white space to work on anything I like but it always winds up being me slowing problems that will make me more productive.

    Why on earth would anyone expect to get hired by a manager/team and be permitted to work on some others teams deliverables, makes no sense at all.
    Sep 8 2
    • Splunk fancyfancy
      Totally agree
      Sep 8
    • Splunk fancyfancy
      Especially because teams have to fight for heads / resources during planning ... no manager goes in saying I need x heads that I’ll happily share with other teams.
      Sep 8