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Old 06-05-2019, 11:10 AM
 
7,394 posts, read 11,566,195 times
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I would like to know if this situation sounds familiar to anybody else in corporate/managerial positions. I figure it must, especially for middle managers.

I work as an engineer, but this could apply to any career in a corporate setting.

-You live in fear of answering to mistakes. Even though you are diligent, you know you that mistakes happen because there's so much to keep track of, so many regulations and inputs and data to keep track of, and that you are going to have to answer for them or your suboordinates' mistakes at times in the future.

-You've been cursed out or talked sternly to by clients who are mad at you, not necessarily because you've made a mistake but because your business takes $ from them that they don't want to be spending. And sometimes they're just a@@holes. But even though you feel you've done a good job, and sometimes spent your own time to help a client, they're often pissed if they have to continue to pay you.

-It seems like half of the external emails you send, and half of the conversations you have with clients, lawyers, or superiors have to be well thought out, otherwise you face the wrath of saying the wrong thing. I've literally spent 10 minutes dissecting a 2 sentence email and when I don't receive responses to emails, I wonder if I've said the wrong thing.

-In connection with the previous statement, things come up so fast and so many jobs are happening that often you come to a conclusion, then later on you dissect it more carefully and have a revised answer and then may face the wrath of that.

-Your bosses might be somewhat fair, but mostly are concerned with pleasing clients and/or attorneys and kissing their ass so they can obviously ... continue to keep being clients and pay you.

The corporate stress is just getting to me. I'm up for promotion and I actually don't even give a **** if I get it, because if I do, I'm just digging myself deeper into the corporate stress culture ... exposing myself to even more of the above.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,584 posts, read 6,656,958 times
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I currently work as an engineer and suffer none of those stresses. I have to maintain systems for 16000 people in the southeast part of the USA. I just make sure anything I send out is correct. Sure mistakes happen. People don't care as much about the mistake itself as they do the way you handle it when it's discovered.
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:38 PM
 
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OP, you are overthinking the email thing. Everyone had dealt with angry people at work. Yes, you will make mistakes.

Nothing you wrote sounds strange or unreasonable. Look into taking a stress management class or look up something on YouTube.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:03 PM
 
1,868 posts, read 720,300 times
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Yes, much of what you described I went through, but as a software developer not an engineer. My view is that corporate life is stressful and you have to put up with it. In some jobs it is not quite so bad as in others. But that is the nature of the beast. I grinned and took it. Did I like it? Certainly not.

As for promotions, I reached a level where I was not comfortable with going higher. I was continually offered promotions but I refused to take them. First, my stress level would have been much higher and I already had enough stress to deal with in my current position. Second, I would have had to compromise my principles since some dishonesty was required at the higher levels. Third, managers didn't last more than a couple of years in their roles without being carelessly booted out. I was lucky that I was not penalized for refusing those promotions for years.

So in your case, if you don't want to be promoted see if you will be penalized if you refuse. Companies have different attitudes about that. Also, if it becomes unbearable, see if you can get another job somewhere else.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:17 PM
 
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Damn the stress!
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:37 PM
 
Location: KY
579 posts, read 139,866 times
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Does not read to me like the OP will be suited for his current job for much longer. Some people have the internal "gears" to handle people and their diverse behaviors and personalities.

Working in a business that depends on doing whatever it takes to keep customers happy, is not ever going to be easy. As we have a society now to where so many people are becoming self centered, and have the " I am right, it is YOU that is wrong...attitude. So confrontation and destructive criticism will be no stranger, to a employee in these " the customer is our life" companies.

JMO.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:25 PM
 
6,863 posts, read 3,727,681 times
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Yes, I've experienced everything you mentioned. Esp the wording in emails. Can't believe how much politics and scrutiny goes into emails. Most ridiculous was an email where one word led to me getting yelled at by the customer. Who then called my boss and my boss's boss to yell at them. Who then yelled at me and threatened to fire me over it. And the whole thing led to an emergency meeting with the customer where the customer lectured us about how the program was to be run and I was again threatened with termination if it happened again.

Know what the word was? I called one of our directors by the title "Director." Customer went nuts that he was the only "Director" on this project and we were not to use the title of "Director" for any of our staff.

Just unreal to me the things that senior management egos can get spun up over.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:00 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,351 posts, read 7,997,930 times
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The email one hit home a bit more. I often have to send out company-wide communications. So there's always that hesitation when you are about to hit that send button.... did I word everything correctly? Did I mess up the spelling of a word so badly that autocorrect turned it into a word that is now sexual or otherwise inappropriate in nature? But these thoughts are really out of embarrassment vs. causing real harm.

In general, other than the @-hole customer issue, I think a lot of it comes from over thinking things. But it also shows that you care about the work you do. If you turn it around, most of us have seen emails that had mistakes or was confusing. In most cases, people don't even realize or care. Same goes for when you're standing on a stage and giving a presentation. I often say something that makes me go "ugh", and it bothers me for a good amount of time. But when I talk to a colleague about it later, they didn't even notice or thought it was no big deal.

I also sense a lack of support from your employers/managers. Which may be the bigger issue. Personally - I encourage my staff to fail. It's cliche, but you do learn more that way. I do see a difference between carelessness and taking a calculated risk. Being late for something over and over again is different than deciding to speak-up against a customer's wishes because you truly feel it will be more beneficial for them.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:21 AM
 
7,394 posts, read 11,566,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Yes, I've experienced everything you mentioned. Esp the wording in emails. Can't believe how much politics and scrutiny goes into emails. Most ridiculous was an email where one word led to me getting yelled at by the customer. Who then called my boss and my boss's boss to yell at them. Who then yelled at me and threatened to fire me over it. And the whole thing led to an emergency meeting with the customer where the customer lectured us about how the program was to be run and I was again threatened with termination if it happened again.

Know what the word was? I called one of our directors by the title "Director." Customer went nuts that he was the only "Director" on this project and we were not to use the title of "Director" for any of our staff.

Just unreal to me the things that senior management egos can get spun up over.
THANK YOU for illustrating what I am talking about.

Granted I've never been threatened to be fired, but I have been rebuked for things I have said, and my boss has waved at me wildly during conference calls when I've started a thought for me to 'not say what I was going to say.'

Keep in mind this is after carefully rehearsing what to say and always being conscious of trying not to say the wrong thing.

The President/Owner of our company was also scolded in an email by a client for something very similar to your situation. Basically, he asked for permission to give an update to a property owner, and was scolded for 'not understanding' the nature of the parties' relationships.

And obviously, if we're putting up with stresses, there are many people who are inflicting these stresses. I can't even imagine how bad this is for lawyers.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:31 AM
 
7,394 posts, read 11,566,195 times
Reputation: 8188
Quote:
Originally Posted by BusinessManIT View Post
Yes, much of what you described I went through, but as a software developer not an engineer. My view is that corporate life is stressful and you have to put up with it. In some jobs it is not quite so bad as in others. But that is the nature of the beast. I grinned and took it. Did I like it? Certainly not.

As for promotions, I reached a level where I was not comfortable with going higher. I was continually offered promotions but I refused to take them. First, my stress level would have been much higher and I already had enough stress to deal with in my current position. Second, I would have had to compromise my principles since some dishonesty was required at the higher levels. Third, managers didn't last more than a couple of years in their roles without being carelessly booted out. I was lucky that I was not penalized for refusing those promotions for years.

So in your case, if you don't want to be promoted see if you will be penalized if you refuse. Companies have different attitudes about that. Also, if it becomes unbearable, see if you can get another job somewhere else.
Two more promotions and I'll be fairly high. I wouldn't say I'd have to do immoral tasks. But let's just say the pressure of bringing in clients and making $ will force me to do things that are against my typical philosophy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greglovesoldtrucks View Post
Does not read to me like the OP will be suited for his current job for much longer. Some people have the internal "gears" to handle people and their diverse behaviors and personalities.


JMO.
I think in my current role, I'm okish. I'm a middle manager, so I still have a little buffer. But at the next step up, I agree, I'm not suited for it. Why do I wait so long to take action in life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by macroy View Post
The email one hit home a bit more. I often have to send out company-wide communications. So there's always that hesitation when you are about to hit that send button.... did I word everything correctly? Did I mess up the spelling of a word so badly that autocorrect turned it into a word that is now sexual or otherwise inappropriate in nature? But these thoughts are really out of embarrassment vs. causing real harm.

In general, other than the @-hole customer issue, I think a lot of it comes from over thinking things. But it also shows that you care about the work you do. If you turn it around, most of us have seen emails that had mistakes or was confusing. In most cases, people don't even realize or care. Same goes for when you're standing on a stage and giving a presentation. I often say something that makes me go "ugh", and it bothers me for a good amount of time. But when I talk to a colleague about it later, they didn't even notice or thought it was no big deal.

I also sense a lack of support from your employers/managers. Which may be the bigger issue. Personally - I encourage my staff to fail. It's cliche, but you do learn more that way. I do see a difference between carelessness and taking a calculated risk. Being late for something over and over again is different than deciding to speak-up against a customer's wishes because you truly feel it will be more beneficial for them.
Some managers are better than others.

One upper manager who works here is a really nice guy, and really smart and hard working. So chances are...

1) He'll catch the mistakes before they go out because he's also really anal.
2) He'll still rebuke you if you screw up, but it will be a very light rebuke. He's very reasonable.
3) He will handle most of the client interaction for you.

But of course, I can't work with him for every job. And even then, the amount hoops he goes through and the stress he puts on himself to not make mistakes for the client is crazy. He stresses himself out even more than I do.

I will say obviously there are people here that are either careless, or make decisions and don't think twice about them. Sometimes they survive, sometimes they don't.

Last edited by jobaba; 06-06-2019 at 08:03 AM..
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