Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Manager from Hell

Thanks to the dot com bust and the outsourcing, the most prevailing type of work in technology industry (not counting layoffs) seems to be contract work nowadays. I believe there are a lot of them in the Bay Area, as it has become the corporate policy to save money on the overhead by hiring as many contractors as possible and keep them as long as possible. I knew someone has been a contractor for ten years before being converted to permanent employee.

It’s not legal or ethical, but that’s another subject.

I have been one of the many contractors since 2001. My last assignment was to work for this mega size high tech company Systkol (not real name), reporting to a manager named MaryJane (not real name). She appeared to be a pleasant person when you talk to her, albeit a little unclear on the descriptions of my soon-to-be work responsibilities or later, giving work instructions. The overall work experience was frustrating to say the best. The team didn’t seem to have an organized onboarding process, and MaryJane herself was seldom seen by the team members, let along providing any directions when needed. For the first three weeks I didn’t have a phone. They moved me three times in the first two weeks. All these made it extremely frustrating for a newcomer.

Within four months they had two re-orgs and, from what I gathered through the grape vine, a budget cut. I received the message one Friday morning that it would be my last day.

The infuriating thing came next. MaryJane told the agency that I was not familiar with Office application, and there were a lot of mistakes in the data I input into their system, just to name a few of the lies she said about me.

I will give you a couple of examples to show why I called those lies.

I have been scheduling meetings for one of her team members several times a day every day because she couldn’t get her application to work. I even helped a consultant on her team to do this because “she’s pretty bad with Office,” according to the consultant herself. MaryJane herself didn’t know how to share her calendar in Outlook with others, because she didn’t do the setup correctly.

Does this sound like I didn’t know Office or they didn’t know Office? The meeting scheduling software, might I add, is the company’s own application.

She also failed to mention to the agency that, in order to enter data into their production environment, I have to be 100% correct in the training environment, which I was. They would never let me touch the production version had I been making any mistakes. I received feedbacks from the trainer numerous times that I did a great job – there’s no mistakes after the audit. It never occurred to me the feedbacks were worth saving because it never occurred to me the manager would lie like that.

The agency of course is on the company’s side, since it’s their major customer. This means I can forget about working for this agency again. The negative feedback I got also made it difficult to get my next assignment.

Is MaryJane lying to cover her end for lack of budget and, therefore, to get out of the contract? There is no way for me to know. I only know that when it comes to lying and lack of leadership, MaryJane is up there in the top three “managers from hell” in my eighteen years of work experience.


Related Posts with Thumbnails