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Old 12-07-2008, 05:24 AM
 
90 posts, read 190,320 times
Reputation: 64
Default Have you ever been "set up to fail" by a boss after getting a performance warning?

A previous boss "set me up to fail" at a job. He determined after I started that he did not care for my personality and how I talked to him. (I tried to be nice but we just had different personalities).

The company policies and human resources procedures would not let him fire me without warning or due process, so the boss had to give me a formal warning and performance improvement plan. The standards they set up though were incredibly strict and impossible for anyone to accomplish. In fact I was set up to fail.

I wonder how common this is in corporate America. Where a boss decides he does not like you and then does everything he can to make you look bad and eventually fires you even though you are supposed to be protected by a due process system.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:17 AM
 
104 posts, read 228,925 times
Reputation: 103
When I worked for LM, I worked for such a manager. He was getting the paper trail ready for me to fall on his sword however, I found a different job in the company and moved on or so I thought. Within a two year period, he got ousted from his management position but he was one of the "in crowd" so they put him in a position where he determined staffing slots for various programs. My job slot got eliminated and I was ordered to take a job in Virginia (live in Colorado) and they went as far as to order me to sell my house - take the option away to allow me to move back if the position doesn't work out. Of course little relocation money was offered. I tried to find other positions in Colorado and when I went to each interview it was apparent very quickly that I was not going to get it.

The ironic thing, when I got the new position to leave him, he became very hostile and made the last couple of weeks hell. Nothing could be done without special permission, constantly came by my office to check on me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by political genius View Post
A previous boss "set me up to fail" at a job. He determined after I started that he did not care for my personality and how I talked to him. (I tried to be nice but we just had different personalities).

The company policies and human resources procedures would not let him fire me without warning or due process, so the boss had to give me a formal warning and performance improvement plan. The standards they set up though were incredibly strict and impossible for anyone to accomplish. In fact I was set up to fail.

I wonder how common this is in corporate America. Where a boss decides he does not like you and then does everything he can to make you look bad and eventually fires you even though you are supposed to be protected by a due process system.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Location: NJ/NY
10,525 posts, read 10,595,767 times
Reputation: 2623
Yes, I've always worked Corporate, and the second anyone gets a "Formal written warning" or a performance plan in writing - it's a signal to find another job, and fast! I've seen it happen just because of personality clashes, it's too bad.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:13 AM
 
2,141 posts, read 5,126,286 times
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I agree with the previous poster. Performance Improvement plans or formal written warnings are usually a strong signal to start looking for a new job quickly. I have seen few people overcome them.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,862 posts, read 25,306,236 times
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I really think if you have a job where your personality clashes with your supervisor, if you can't find a way to change it, the best idea is to find another position with the same company or seek employment elsewhere. If you stay there, you will only be miserable and worry all the time.
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:05 PM
 
4,248 posts, read 6,295,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtoli View Post
Yes, I've always worked Corporate, and the second anyone gets a "Formal written warning" or a performance plan in writing - it's a signal to find another job, and fast! I've seen it happen just because of personality clashes, it's too bad.
Hmm, maybe it's a sign to quit my job. I had the nerve to get sick on my 74th day of employment. Even though I'd accrued sick time, their policy is no one can be sick in the first 90 days. I went to the Dr, got some antibiotics, a note to stay home, and I still got written up. I wonder if I should just give my notice...

At any rate, to the OP, yes does happen. Most likely the boss just doesn't like you.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:57 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 3,950,379 times
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Use the company processes. I once had a manager that I THOUGHT I got along with. I worked for him for 3-months. Our department was being eliminated and I was told to find another position or I would be let go on a certain date. Perfectly understandable. Not performance-based. Job is just going away. This was a six-figure job. Well, this manager did nothing to help me find a new position despite his offer to do so. As bye-bye time was approaching, HR told him that he could not release me because there was going to be a company-wide, performance based layoff in the near future.

So, what happened when I had my performance review? You guessed it. I was suddenly an under performing employee. But I had a sense about what was going on before this review happened so I made sure I captured, verbatim, his verbal input. Interestingly, I had received an outstanding mid-year review and glowing peer reviews as well.

I contacted HR and asked what the process was to fight the review. Obviously, they weren't particularly helpful, but I was able to find out about an obscure process that I used to my advantage. And, one of the benefits was that one could not be released in a layoff as long as this process was under review.

Net-net was I signed my performance review, but made a formal notation on it that I did not accept the review and was disputing it through a skip-level process. HR and my boss's boss would review my performance and interview colleagues. 3-months later, my review was retroactively UPGRADED 3 levels and I had moved into a new position. My new manager formally informed HR that he saw absolutely nothing in my work product that was reflective of the bogus review. I remained with that company for an additional 6-years. The manager that tried to get rid of me was laid off a year later.

Depending on you and company processes that may be in place, you CAN fight and win.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Miramar Beach, FL
2,003 posts, read 2,303,695 times
Reputation: 870
This is pretty much what happened to me this past week, on Admin. Assist. Day of all days!

I was with the company for over a year. I felt that my job was pretty secure and there was not really indication that my job was in jeopardy. Then, we had to move offices and my boss had to take on two other attys to share an office with. Well, the first day at the new office, I was given an oral repremand. I was told by my boss that I did not really help out with the move, he felt I did not care about my job, I was only there to collect a paycheck..etc. This all sounded out of character to me for him to all of the sudden to make these accusations. I know that I cared very much about my job and I know that he knew that. I had boxed up pretty much everything in the office except his office, helped unpack, made arrangements for the move. I was just taken aback. It was just me and the atty for the first year so I was the only one when they moved into an office (did not partner up, just sharing expenses) and the first day or so this friend of one of the new attys kept calling about a position available. I just assumed that they wanted to get someone in there that specialized in their type of practice but I would stay as the legal assist. for my primary boss.

I have come to the conclusion that he had to give me that oral repremand the first day to have some sort of record of a warning that I think he recorded. So, I think this was the plan all along to hire someone else and I should have seen it coming. The new attys rarely spoke to me unless they needed something done and my atty was acting different around me from day 1 of the move.

The really weird thing is, I had gotten a raise the week before they let me go! Maybe he was thinking that the next place I apply, I can put a higher salary that I left with...?? He told me when I got the raise that they would take a look at the salary again in a few weeks and review it.

On my last day, I could hear one of the new attys on his cell phone with my boss and they were meeting for lunch and the atty had said something about having to call the "law" and he started laughing and I can only imagine what was on the other end of the conversation. He was also saying that the other girl (my replacement) had already came in to meet with them. I knew right then, my time was up. While they were at lunch, I cleaned out my desk, cleaned my computer off of all of my docs, copied a list of everything I did for our current cases up to the day I was fired. I let my boss have a copy so he could reference back to it if he needed to. I wished them well and I left. I did not cause a scene or anything. The one atty said I could resign and they would give me a good reference but I knew I had to have some sort of income coming in so I just had to be fired in order to get UI. They did not give a reason at the time of letting me go and I did not ask, but I just wanted out of there.....I felt humiliated enough.
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Old 04-25-2009, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Sherwood
4,995 posts, read 6,676,723 times
Reputation: 4378
I'm sorry to hear that. You look pretty young, so I have to say welcome to the working world. Employers are people, and it's possible that they decided they wanted a replacement and decided to try a devious way "within the law" to remove you from your post, while minimizing the likelihood of a lawsuit.

Even with the "bad" economy, you're pretty and you seem fairly intelligent. So, I think you'll get more job offers. I hope you can find a new office where you get along with your new coworkers much better.

Sometimes a job just isn't a good fit.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Austin
80 posts, read 151,809 times
Reputation: 76
I'm so sorry that happened to you on Admin Assistant's Day -- I know that had to be a blow! What I think probably happened is that the new attorney's friend desperately needed a job, and they were trying to find some reason to get you out to hire that person, based on the new attorney's insistence. Gives a new meaning to the word "networking," if you think about it -- try to convince your friends that they should fire a employee to get you into the job.

I'll bet that's what happened. I've seen it before from the other side of the desk ...
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