What to do when stuck in a nightmare situation at work?

Amazon JSThanos
Jan 1 16 Comments

What's the best thing to do in situations where you're in a team and you're working on a product that you don't enjoy, working on tech that you don't enjoy, doing 0 development work, and unintentionally building a distrustful relationship with the manger?

I'm asking not because I'm having issue with Amazon but with a previous company that I was at (PayPal). I initially wrote a detailed post about my abusive PTSD experience but I didn't express myself properly and so I took it down realizing it was a waste of time to get sympathy.

I tried team switching but manager resisted and other managers in the org said no due to "internal freeze".

At what point do you throw in the towel? What should you do immediately? For me it takes about 2 months at least to prep for interviews so it's not an immediate solution to move to another company...And most importantly how do you avoid this in the future?

TC at PayPal: 96K 0 bonus 10K stock/4 ----- 2 YOE
Current TC at Amazon: 240K ----- 3 YOE

#paypal

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TOP 16 Comments
  • Oracle redvsblue
    This happened to me at Oracle. I wanted to cry at work every week because my manager was so mean and didn’t trust I could do my work properly and wouldn’t let me switch teams saying HR won’t let me. I was afraid to get fired every week, not because I was afraid to have no job or income but just didn’t want to be shamed anymore and I had so much anxiety. I debated quitting in August before I got canned so I didn’t have to deal with the abuse and anxiety anymore but glad I didn’t. It took me until December to find a new job because I was super picky with the new company/ team/project I would be working on. To cope I basically realized I wouldn’t get fired from underperforming until my next review and mentally checked out from the job.

    I turned down a lot of interviews at the recruiter stage because I knew the job wouldn’t be a good fit. I don’t know if being picky is fool proof but I’m super excited about the job I finally found. I haven’t been picky with jobs in the past and kind of would pretend to be enthusiastic to get more TC. This time I made sure to vet the manager and leadership before signing on. This doesn’t guarantee the manager will stay the same the whole time but I think company cultural fit is important.
    Jan 1 4
    • Amazon JSThanos
      OP
      My sympathies man. You described me pretty much. I still have anxieties like you mentioned when my current manger asks for 1:1s... Lol I remember freaking out when we had our 3rd 1:1 because it was so random and all he wanted to do was congratulate me for working well on a recent project. I had to excuse myself to go out to the balcony and let out my anxiety attack.

      I also became really picky and wary of recruiters selling job positions.
      Jan 1
    • Oracle redvsblue
      Really to avoid all this in the future you have to be on top of paying attention to your emotions. I had bad feelings about my job 1 month in but stuck it out thinking it would change for the better. Nah it usually changes for the worse. I’ve learned to trust my intuition from these bad experiences. Next time I will leave and get out of the situation quicker before it escalates so I don’t get wrecked.
      Jan 1
    • Microsoft solusan
      @redvsblue which company did you join finally?
      Jan 1
    • Oracle redvsblue
      Decacorn with blue logo.
      Jan 1
  • Collective Health dancindark
    This is what fu money is for. This exact scenario. If you have a solid emergency fund you don’t have to wait the two months. You quit now.
    Jan 1 2
    • Oracle redvsblue
      Quitting is last resort. It’s not about supporting yourself while unemployed but rather leverage for future salary negotiations. You want your current job as leverage to get a better offer (if you don’t get multiple offers). Also if people find you’re unemployed, they might not even want to interview you.
      Jan 1
    • Collective Health dancindark
      You’re right
      Jan 1
  • Intel / Eng pleb
    I wish those managers read these posts. There must be a way to reach out to the humanity in any person. It's one thing when someone underperforms and that too can be handled with a lot more sympathy but it's completely unacceptable for someone to live a nightmare every day at work.

    Has any of you thought about contacting the manager that made you live a nightmare to meet for a coffee and just talk about it like two human beings, on equal footing ?

    It's hard to have a level conversation when you're in the hole and you depend on the company financially and personally. The company always has the upper hand, whether the manager, his manager, hr and they will protect their interests. But behind any interest lies a human being with similar wants and needs and fears.

    I'm thinking that once the power relationship is broken, out of their role, people can reason more honestly.
    Jan 1 2
    • Amazon JSThanos
      OP
      Not sure man... I'd meet for coffee with friends and decent people. I'm not sure what we would achieve taking about it when we had a lot of time to talk in our 1:1s.

      What would make me happy is if I could get the opportunity to slap him. Unfortunately we cannot do it in USA but if I coordinate an India trip and meet him there it would be perfect for me show case my boxing skills 🥊
      Jan 1
    • Intel / Eng pleb
      It would be an opportunity to confront him about his behavior and maybe he would learn he was an ass and then stop being one.

      My point is that if we don't find a way to bring accountability these things will perpetuate and we'll keep bumping into assholes with every other job change.
      Jan 1
  • New b37
    I worked under a bullying, power-harassing (not sure they use that phrase in USA) tyrant of a boss who made me miserable all the time. He had been with the firm 20 years to my 19 but was a manager whereas I was an ordinary untitled employee, so his orders were absolute. I hated every minute under him and was always making sure I looked busy and made no mistakes.

    Last year he reached age 60 and was kicked upstairs. So happy he's gone.

    All this for about 50k TC. I'd look elsewhere for more money, but my self worth was destroyed to the point where I could never go on an interview.
    Jan 1 2
    • Amazon JSThanos
      OP
      Clearly your strategy to wait it off wasnt optimal (though he ended up dying somehow?). What would you have done differently?
      Jan 1
    • New b37
      Hahaha, he didn't die; he was "promoted" to another department in part because of many bullying incidents with subordinates. I should have quit at least a decade ago, before I had to work with him again. I worked on a PhD in my spare time and wanted to fully devote myself to the job. Instead I was put in his team and it only got more awful.
      Jan 1
  • Microsoft spinalcord
    Good for you. That would be my advice for anyone. Don't make it too hard for yourself. Life should be good both on family and professional fronts.
    Jan 1 0
  • New eAUo73
    I had a coffee sit down with an ex VP after a merger and we were both unemployed . It was enlightening and answered all of my question. Basically the answer was “The CEO was a sociopath but the VP had a multi million dollar payout waiting”.
    Jan 1 0