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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, there's something that has been bugging me lately. I've been in the same IT company for +3 years, and have been in a few different development projects. I have been happy so far, thought things have changed when I was placed in my current project since the beginning of this year.

But long story short... everyone I know have been unhappy with this project, specially with the lack of/bad management. Almost everyone I know have been going to other interviews, and so far I'm the first to have decided to quit as I was lucky to find a good job (aside of bad management, most of us also didn't like the technology involved).

Thing is, even thought I'm able to quit soon, something bugs me... I feel that somehow, everyone has complaints about our managers and systems, but it seems that none of us would truly have a serious talk with the managers in order to make things better... If we don't do it then how can we expect things to change? Should we just quit when we are not happy with the management?
And then what about the company we work for? In my field, it's normal for people to change company every few years... But shouldn't we feel more part of the company? True, we might be treated like numbers or even worse, as costs, but this lack of sense of belonging bugs me a bit. Maybe I'm idealizing a bit, but I'd like to feel that I'm part of something and part of what helps the company to grow, and not just a someone that is just there to gain money.

But Idk... I'm not sure if I should talk with the managers and if they'd care to listen... Yet it bugs me that we are not happy yet we are not addressing it in order to make things change, or at least try to.


So what do you guys think?? I'd like some inputs on this, whether to tell me that I'm just idealizing or that I should actually address the issue and not swallow and leave (thought I'll be leaving anyways as I've already signed the contract with the other company).
 

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Sometimes, management is too mired in politics to allow for any movement/change from below. If the environment is toxic or has become stagnant for your growth, then you're faced with either the choice of fixing the environment (by getting into the politics), or by changing the environment (getting a new job). The former may be too vertical to allow for bottom-up change whereas the latter probably has more opportunities due to the market demands of IT. I suppose the question to ask yourself is, does staying in this company help me grow/express myself; thus, I view the sense of belonging as situational rather than an ideal.
 

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I've had a bit of experience working in a middle management position so I feel like I can relate to this from both sides. As a supervisor I've had complaints brought to me in an indirect way through my boss. I didn't appreciate that the person didn't talk to me directly about it and involved my boss but I did appreciate the feedback and worked on correcting the issue. On the other side I've had bosses that communicated completely in one direction so it didn't seem worth it to bring up any complaints because they just shut you down. If you have a manager you can communicate with though I think it's only fair to give them a chance to fix the problem rather than just walking away and leaving them confused and doing the same thing over again. If you can't ever communicate with your managers you're inevitably going to run into the same issue again. Communication is essential to a productive work environment. You need to be clear on what they expect and they need to be clear on what you need. They may stubborn and indifferent but if you're prepared to leave anyways then it's worth a shot. Even if you do just leave if you at least let them know why then they'll have the opportunity develop from your feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys for your comments. :)

Thing is, me and a few coworkers of mine were unjustly criticized some time ago, in separate events, and arguing back didn't help at all as our manager only cared to criticize us and didn't listen to anything we said.

But our problem is not only this - he would do things to test us, to pressure us, or to make us stay 'till late even if unnecessary, and so on. And our workplace is like a place of drama, with drama and manipulation almost on daily basis (well on a humorous side it can be entertaining, but when it's too much it does affect our work).
And then there is lack of management - there were times when we would be left without proper direction or tasks, and then there is lack of updating the whole team with the same important information about the project (that could be done by either sending relevant e-mails to everyone and not just to some, and by having daily scrum), and there is only one senior member with all the centralized knowledge (so that everyone has to need his help and decisions over important implementation decisions - now imagine what happens whenever that guy goes to holidays or is busy helping everyone).


My main reasons for leaving this project is coz I want to work with another technologies and coz I can't stand this management; and I have to leave the company coz they don't have other projects that I can fit in. Also, if I talk to my manager that directly, then I would probably have a more difficult life, I don't really trust him.

But I've been thinking if I should talk to him about this when I leave, as I've been thinking if I should be honest so that there's a chance for things to change, rather than just hide the truth and leave. If we never talks and simply leave, like many does, then things would never change, right? We are part of the project and part of the company's growth.

I have also pondered to talk to my HR director, as I have talked to him back then when I was unfairly criticized by my manager (it's more like accusations than criticizing), and he was supportive and wise (he probably didn't talk about this with my manager, but his talk with me was helpful for me). But I'm not sure if this would have sounded as if I'm talking behind my manager's back and try to set my HR director to do something - which seems like the kind of game I'd hate.
But it would be nice if I could know what he thinks about all this. He is a wise man and I wish that I could learn valuable insights from him, and wish that my manager could be like him!
 

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Thank you guys for your comments. :)

Thing is, me and a few coworkers of mine were unjustly criticized some time ago, in separate events, and arguing back didn't help at all as our manager only cared to criticize us and didn't listen to anything we said.

But our problem is not only this - he would do things to test us, to pressure us, or to make us stay 'till late even if unnecessary, and so on. And our workplace is like a place of drama, with drama and manipulation almost on daily basis (well on a humorous side it can be entertaining, but when it's too much it does affect our work).
!
This is enough for me - I have quit jobs because of bosses who played dominance games. It is an intolerable situation - and will only get worse. See, the supervisor probably feels he doesn't measure to the job and is putting people down so no one will recognize his as the problem.
The company is doomed in today's world if that is the kind of people who run it. The attitude of "me boss -you nothing" went out years ago with the advent of minimum wage and the abolition of slavery.. You sound like a conscientious person. Your best would be a threat to the supervisor - and not recognized nor appreciated.

Life is too short to be stunted in personal growth and feel unhappy because of something you ultimately have in your control.
Many years ago the catchphrase was Non corborundun iligitimi - imitation Latin for "Don't let the bastards gring you down."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is enough for me - I have quit jobs because of bosses who played dominance games. It is an intolerable situation - and will only get worse. See, the supervisor probably feels he doesn't measure to the job and is putting people down so no one will recognize his as the problem.
Yeah actually we do think that he's a big problem... And honestly, not being able to motivate people is not the worst thing, but actually demotivating otherwise neutrally motivated people is. Most of us team members, if not all, are responsible and able to sacrifice ourselves in order to work for a few extra hours when needed (as it happened in the past projects), but he was able to make us all avoidant and not caring much about the project... We used to care about doing things well (we are programmers/developers), yet now most of us would simply say "don't care", and just bother enough to finish the tasks even if the implementation/code is less pretty.

His dominance games are really unnecessary, and made things worse in the long run. :( Almost everyone I know has been going to interviews with another companies, no one is happy with this project.

Well, lately he seemed to have improved his approach, by telling us positive stuffs like "we can do it!" or "well done!", but the damage is so deep and he's still having some old habits that no one believes in it.

Personally, I don't like this kind of drama even one bit, and I feel that my evaluation and progress would be affected by his ways that I finally decided to walk away.
 

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Personally, I don't like this kind of drama even one bit, and I feel that my evaluation and progress would be affected by his ways that I finally decided to walk away.
A wise decision: your future should not depend on a vindictive, insecure, petty tyrant. Leave with a smile, don't fall for the bait to critisize - he may still be able to but a letter in your personel file. Exit interview? A different technology, closer to family - lies? nah. Protective coloration.
 

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Yeah actually we do think that he's a big problem... And honestly, not being able to motivate people is not the worst thing, but actually demotivating otherwise neutrally motivated people is. Most of us team members, if not all, are responsible and able to sacrifice ourselves in order to work for a few extra hours when needed (as it happened in the past projects), but he was able to make us all avoidant and not caring much about the project... We used to care about doing things well (we are programmers/developers), yet now most of us would simply say "don't care", and just bother enough to finish the tasks even if the implementation/code is less pretty.

His dominance games are really unnecessary, and made things worse in the long run. :( Almost everyone I know has been going to interviews with another companies, no one is happy with this project.

Well, lately he seemed to have improved his approach, by telling us positive stuffs like "we can do it!" or "well done!", but the damage is so deep and he's still having some old habits that no one believes in it.

Personally, I don't like this kind of drama even one bit, and I feel that my evaluation and progress would be affected by his ways that I finally decided to walk away.
That description gives me flashbacks. I had a boss like that just a couple years ago and I couldn't quit. It was one of the most depressing times of my life. He was always creating impossible deadlines on things that didn't even require it just to put our feet to the fire and rarely gave direction until he was yelling at you for doing it in a way he didn't like whether it worked or not.

If people are really all jumping ship then it's going to be obvious something is wrong whether you say something or not. He might be starting to see he's pushed too far and is trying to correct before he has to explain to his boss what happened. I admire that you want to make things better but he doesn't sound like he'd be sincerely responsive. It'll eventually come back around on him though when they can't retain people well enough to effectively do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@OldManRivers and @FromTheWorldUp, I see, I guess that it's better to leave without talking to my manager then... It would fall to deaf ears, and then he might affect my future chances too (maybe he would leave a more negative evaluation in my records in the company; and if one day I need my company to write a recommendation, my nice records might be screwed up by his last evaluation).

Actually, I have waited for a few months before having decided to leave, as I've thought that it could get better, and then this is my first company that I have some emotional attachment to it... But when we had our first conflict, it became clear to me that I must either take action or things would be screwed up.

I really wish that I could make some difference instead of just leaving, as I want to feel that this is more than just having a job and that we all contribute to the company's growth, but for now I can't do much and the best is to leave and hopefully, someday I'll find a company that I can truly grow with. I still have hopes in this ideal, as I did meet people who cares, including my HR director, and I was inspired by them. It's such a shame that not everyone can be true leaders, and end up screwing up the management.
 

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Sometimes, management is too mired in politics to allow for any movement/change from below. If the environment is toxic or has become stagnant for your growth, then you're faced with either the choice of fixing the environment (by getting into the politics), or by changing the environment (getting a new job). The former may be too vertical to allow for bottom-up change whereas the latter probably has more opportunities due to the market demands of IT. I suppose the question to ask yourself is, does staying in this company help me grow/express myself; thus, I view the sense of belonging as situational rather than an ideal.
Pretty much this. Right now it seems like management here is becoming more and more inept at things. The problem is, things are still getting done. It doesn't matter how much scrambling people have to do or how messed up the process is, all management sees is things getting done so they are patting themselves on the back thinking they are doing a great job when in reality they've fostered an unsustainable toxic environment.

I could write a book about where I work now but I've came the management with both an identification of the problem and a possible solution to fix it. Most of the time it's a simple procedural change or even a request for permissions that does not cost the company anything. I pretty much always get shot down. On the other end of it, I'm the first to feel their poor management decisions since I am on the front lines of their servers. Basically their bad decisions blow up in my face and I'm stuck dealing with the bag of crap.

The biggest thing is voice your concerns and come to them with the problem and a solution to resolve the problem. If you get blown off multiple times, management obviously doesn't care and is probably blinded into thinking they are doing a good job when they are really just running the place into the ground. Then, it's time to move on. It's easier said than done. I'm currently looking around for other opportunities but it's hard. Not to mention, when you do work in a toxic environment, it sucks all the energy from you and you are left at the end of the day not wanting to do a single thing.
 

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1. Voice your concerns to your manager.
2. Determine if your concerns are being addressed. Voice again if necessary.
3. If your concerns are still not being addressed, leave. Address why you are leaving to senior management or HR.

Leaving without communicating your frustration to your manager doesn't give them a chance to fix it. If you have already tried that multiple times in the past then I think you're justified in leaving. Someone else in the company should know that you repeatedly tried to communicate with the manager about the problem for the sake of the other workers. One of the things that has stuck with me is that if I don't know about the problem, I can't fix it.

If I know about the problem and I haven't at least attempted to fix it that is on me, but if I didn't know about the problem and someone didn't let me know then that responsibility really falls not on me but on them.

I also think there is a fine line between whining about problems and there being actual real insurmountable problems. There is no perfect work environment, where there are people, there will be drama from time to time. If it is truly an unbearable situation you need to make sure first of all that you are not the one creating the situation because if so it'll follow you to the next job, but if you decide you are not the cause (which in this case it doesn't sound like you are since others are leaving) then you should move on.

Interesting video.
 
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