Manager trying to make me quit

Sep 6, 2019 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)

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
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, 2019 17
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • Oracle not_larry
    TC?
    Sep 6, 2019 17
    • 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, 2019
    • Amazon pollished
      Just curious what did uber say
      Sep 9, 2019
  • 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, 2019 16
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 12
    • Oracle fandantan
      You have a strong case.
      Sep 8, 2019
    • Oracle fandantan
      If you document and don’t lose your cool and you get the lesson here.
      Sep 8, 2019
  • 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, 2019 5
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • ICF SouDa
    OP I remember you had another long post about a similar issue a while ago. Is it the same manager?
    Sep 6, 2019 10
    • 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, 2019
    • Splunk ImaRainbow
      Always bcc your personal non-work account when sending emails related to your job crisis.
      Sep 9, 2019
  • 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, 2019 5
    • 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 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, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • 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, 2019 2
    • Amazon Forks9
      Rubbish advice. You fight bullshit with hard data (@Amazon at least). I have seen people successful fight predatory managers.
      Sep 8, 2019
    • 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, 2019
  • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
    Are you working on a project for another team? If yes, why? Is that approved by your manager?
    Sep 6, 2019 2
    • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
      OP you don't want to reply here?
      Sep 6, 2019
    • Amazon whatdoIno
      Very relevant question
      Sep 8, 2019

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees