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Old 07-20-2016, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573

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I started a new position in early February. There has been one other person in the role who has been with the company for nearly twenty years, along with at least two additional staff in my role since 2011 - both of those guys either resigned or got fired (not sure which). There are other staff in the department - we have one support person and two other infrastructure guys, who have more generic knowledge than on my role.

The one person that knows the role is virtually covered up from starting time to quitting time and is rarely available to answer questions, validate testing plans, much less train on any of the software we use. Unfortunately, I came from a different part of the industry and don't have much familiarity with the applications we use. When I was interviewing, the manager acknowledged they wouldn't find anyone with that skillset, and were likely going to have to take what they could get.

We don't have test environments for some critical applications, so some things are released directly into production with little validation or testing. It's a small, but growing company that hasn't seemed to scale well with its growth. This is the smallest organization I've worked in by far, and it's been difficult to go from a far more formal, bureaucratic environment, full of documentation and rigorous infrastructure and testing to this loose, shooting from the hip environment.

Because of the "one man only" knowledge and lack of a larger infrastructure to properly test/vet changes, as well as my own unfamiliarity with the applications/lack of formal process/documentation, I'm making errors, and when I follow up to try and get feedback/correction from the other person in the role, there is often no response because she is having to do increased work just with the business scaling as well as trying to fix my mistakes. The manager doesn't know the role well so he can only offer general guidance. They have worked 4/5 of the past weekends on both days - it has horrible work/life balance.

Other than stopping the errors, my manager and my manager's manager told me I need to be more assertive, but I've tried to be assertive with the other team members as far as helping them offload some of their simpler tasks and have gotten little feedback, positive or negative. Some of the problems they mentioned occurred over two months ago, and no one has mentioned it to me until now, and I never knew there was a problem - never getting any negative feedback from my management (aside from an informal ten minute talk at the end of the day) or end users at the close of a project (what few I've been involved in) until a formal PIP. I have never had a direct one on one performance review with my manager since I was hired in. Most of what my manager mentioned on assertiveness and being thorough, I feel as though I already tried, and haven't gotten much of anywhere.

Maybe I haven't been assertive or communicated enough, but I've been met with near silence by the other person in my role. After awhile of communicating with nothing, I've basically given up. This role involves customizing and maintaining a lot of financial software for our firm's needs, and with little to no internal documentation or assistance, I'm likely bound to keep making errors.

At this point, I don't see this working out over the long term. This is a poor cultural fit to a T. Everyone was cordial today, and the two managers were doling out plenty of advice in a friendly way, almost like big brothers, and in the initial meeting with my manager's manager Friday, we were talking loosely and even laughing a bit. We get along well, but it's not the right fit professionally.

They want to reconvene in thirty days. If there is not sufficient improvement, they're either going to terminate me or demote me to a support staff level, according to the PIP - demotion was listed first on the form. I've been pounding the pavement already for a month with some success because I knew this was on shaky ground. I've had various callbacks, etc., but nothing paying to the tune of what I make now. I have no commitments to this area and can move virtually anywhere. I'm going to talk to my previous employer that I left on good terms and who are still hiring for my old role to see if I can get back.

On a more general sense, any demotion/firing is going to wreck my shaky finances already, and I'm only in this metro because I'm getting paid relatively well ($60,000 now - have only made $50,000 before this and it was local). Due to large unsecured debt, I can barely make my monthly nut on $60,000.

Family is willing to let me stay with them back home for awhile until I get back right-side up financially, and I sent a former manager from back home an email and he is willing to rehire me at $16/hr, if it comes to that, so I'm not worried about basic needs, homelessness, etc. I think I could make $40,000 or so about anywhere. Other than that, I'm wanting to go to FL, the Carolinas, or other parts of Tennessee, in basically that order.

Credit score/personal finances are going to be screwed unless I can pull a rabbit out of my hat and make $60k shortly.

Manager did have a demotion to another role possibility on the PIP form other than simply firing me.

At this point, would you...

1) Put in a two weeks and preserve dignity. I have enough cash to cover most expenses for about three months. Local economy is very healthy, but it will run up the cards further.

2) Wait two weeks then put in a two weeks. Basically be on my best behavior for two weeks and appear like I'm wanting this to succeed, then resign, should I survive that long. This gives me extra cash to go on in the interim.

3) Do my best and see how this shakes out. I've given it an honest effort and I don't think I'm what they're wanting, nor is this what I want. If I do patch the immediate bleed, it's not the right fit further on.

If I get fired, I may or may not get UI. Either way, the firing is on my own record.

How would you move forward?
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,023 posts, read 21,719,486 times
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Wow so sorry you are going through this! Awful, awful place to be, most of us have been in similar situations. My advice is to ride it out as long as you can or until you get another job.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:41 PM
 
17,245 posts, read 10,169,578 times
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If it were me, I would most definitely put in my 2 weeks if I had something solid in terms of another job offer. If not, then I don't know what I would do.

Let's say I was suddenly given a 30 day PIP notice. I know at that point I'm on borrowed time. So I'd do my best to find another job, but these days it's not as easy as just finding another one quick. Do I ride it out until I find a job offer or just cross my fingers and hope I just get a demotion so I can keep looking?

I usually don't have enough savings to tide me over until I find another job.
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
If it were me, I would most definitely put in my 2 weeks if I had something solid in terms of another job offer. If not, then I don't know what I would do.

Let's say I was suddenly given a 30 day PIP notice. I know at that point I'm on borrowed time. So I'd do my best to find another job, but these days it's not as easy as just finding another one quick. Do I ride it out until I find a job offer or just cross my fingers and hope I just get a demotion so I can keep looking?

I usually don't have enough savings to tide me over until I find another job.
Neither do I. I can go for a couple months here but not much longer. I'm already in debt up to my eyeballs. At this point I am thinking of going back home, taking the $35k offer, do chap 7, get this pig off my back, and move on
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:03 PM
 
10,058 posts, read 4,648,803 times
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Do you like the job? Being on a PIP doesn't mean you will lose job. You may have to put in more effort and work longer hours/stay late to relearn process to prevent mistakes.

Being assertive or not, join a toastmaster group. Communication is key and not how much you push. Learn to give a good speech if you don't already.

You can lose the job yourself by quitting or work to keep it. They have no real reason to fire you yet because the next hire would make mistakes as well.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:09 PM
 
391 posts, read 215,905 times
Reputation: 327
I'd start looking for another job.

They would have to fire me.

I'd consult with one of my attorney friends to find out the exact law of "we fire you or you take a demotion"... you know, if you don't take the demotion, do you still get unemployment.

Either way, I'd still be extremely nice and respectful to everyone in the office. I'd leave with dignity. I'd also work my butt off so to not get fired though... if you want to stay.

Have you had a frank conversation with them about the issues you addressed above?

It would be huge if you can overcome this and make it.... that would mean you are growing. See this as a challenge and opportunity.

Things like this happen... it is not a good fit. No big deal. I've known two people in the past four years who were in the similar situation... 1 got fired in her last week of probation = she went on to get a job with a promotion. Spoke to her a while ago, she is doing well. Second guy left before they could fire him. He got a job with the same pay, but a potential promotion on the horizon.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
Do you like the job? Being on a PIP doesn't mean you will lose job. You may have to put in more effort and work longer hours/stay late to relearn process to prevent mistakes.

Being assertive or not, join a toastmaster group. Communication is key and not how much you push. Learn to give a good speech if you don't already.

You can lose the job yourself by quitting or work to keep it. They have no real reason to fire you yet because the next hire would make mistakes as well.
I don't much care for it nor do I have a reason to be in this area. Either way, finances are toast. If I was demoted, I would just leave. I do have an escape plan for $35k a year. It won't pay all the bills and I may end up in BK, but at this point I want the hell out of Indiana.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMat View Post
I'd start looking for another job.

They would have to fire me.

I'd consult with one of my attorney friends to find out the exact law of "we fire you or you take a demotion"... you know, if you don't take the demotion, do you still get unemployment.

Either way, I'd still be extremely nice and respectful to everyone in the office. I'd leave with dignity. I'd also work my butt off so to not get fired though... if you want to stay.

Have you had a frank conversation with them about the issues you addressed above?

It would be huge if you can overcome this and make it.... that would mean you are growing. See this as a challenge and opportunity.

Things like this happen... it is not a good fit. No big deal. I've known two people in the past four years who were in the similar situation... 1 got fired in her last week of probation = she went on to get a job with a promotion. Spoke to her a while ago, she is doing well. Second guy left before they could fire him. He got a job with the same pay, but a potential promotion on the horizon.
I'm looking already. If they fire me, I don't want to end up with contested UI, etc. Per PIP, I would be fired for performance/incompetence, not any sort of abuse/willful bad intent. Even with things as they are, we are able to be courteous and civil - the problems are not personal. If I just resigned, I have no doubt it will be "just go our separate ways" conversation. I don't want it to get worse than that.

We had a frank conversation today and I don't think this is the right fit long term. Even if the immediate problem is stopped, I have no intention of remaining in Indianapolis longer than I must. I contacted my former manager, who is still hiring for my old role, and spoke to two client references, and two of the three biggest clients for my former employer are going to send an email to my former manager recommending to put me back in. They have not really replaced me since I left.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:54 PM
 
391 posts, read 215,905 times
Reputation: 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'm looking already. If they fire me, I don't want to end up with contested UI, etc. Per PIP, I would be fired for performance/incompetence, not any sort of abuse/willful bad intent. Even with things as they are, we are able to be courteous and civil - the problems are not personal. If I just resigned, I have no doubt it will be "just go our separate ways" conversation. I don't want it to get worse than that.

We had a frank conversation today and I don't think this is the right fit long term. Even if the immediate problem is stopped, I have no intention of remaining in Indianapolis longer than I must. I contacted my former manager, who is still hiring for my old role, and spoke to two client references, and two of the three biggest clients for my former employer are going to send an email to my former manager recommending to put me back in. They have not really replaced me since I left.
Sounds like you have a handle on it...

After reading this thread, I realize now that I have no idea about unemployment... which is why I'd speak to my lawyer friend. I resigned from jobs and went on to start businesses or work other jobs.

Well, I did get unemployment when I left the military long ago (then I accidentally got a job offer that I took).. so I've been on it for maybe 2 months in 35 years of working.

Sounds like you have a plan. Please let us know how it works out. Sounds like you will do well though.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
In any event here, I have an income to fall back on, though it's not what I want and a handshake guarantee basically.

It won't pay all the bills but I can pay the most critical ones and likely file a chapter 7 to get out from the unsecured debt and auto equity. At $35k, I should float under the median in both jurisdictions after three months and be able to pass means test as I calculated it. Depending on circumstance, auto loan will not be reaffirmed but continued paid on. Staying the course, I have no installment loan relief until 6/19, by which point my credit will have healed somewhat naturally rather than letting it decay month to month the way we are going. That's not even counting what any unexpected events do to it.

Going to ask some friends for BK attorney recommendations tomorrow.
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