Do I assert myself at work


#1

Ok, something has realy been bugging me lately at work and I have not said anything in order to not create a ‘wave’, but my behaviour has been seeping through in other ways that should stop.

Here is the situation. A big wig at work ask to speak to me to discuss my career goals (he approached me). He asked me if I would like to do a job like ‘Sally’s’ to which I said ‘yes’. 3 days later it is announced that Sally has found something better and would be leaving. The big wig encouraged me to apply for the job as well as another internal job. That was 6 weeks ago. I was never contacted for an interview for the second job (although I was asked to apply for it). I did have an interview for Sally’s old job. Then my dad passed away. My immediate manager told the hiring manager that I was out of town for the funeral. Well…enough time passed that I knew I would not be getting Sally’s job.

Finally one day out of the blue the hiring manager (ie Sally’s old boss) asked to speak to me alone. She brought me to a private room and as we were walking there said ‘So your dad just passed away’ I said yes that is I was gone last week. To which she replied ‘I wasn’t here either my daughter was sick’. She did not even say 'I am sorry about your loss after she was the one who brought it up !!!

The second the door was closed she told me, she offered the job to someone else. I was shocked. Not because I did not get the job but that someone would go out of their way to bring up something painful right before she was about to give me more bad news. And I still can’t get over the fact she didn’t say ‘sorry for your loss’

So… I feel treated unfairly. If anything I feel treated like a fool. Asked to apply for a job and not even get an interview ! Now… if I say something to the big wig, my concern is he will think ‘I was trying to help you if you can’t be grateful why should I help you again’. I don’t think he sees how he totally got my hopes up and it hurts. (Lord knows I got my hopes up so often in the past only not to get the job, while I was unemployed and my ‘friends’ just made fun of me) It hurts to have to go to 50 interviews for every 1 job I get. And No that is NOT an exageration

So, I can’t keep up like this because I am being passive aggressive at work. But I don’t really know what their is to say. I am not 100% comfortable asking for my managers advice because it seems she is stressed about personal stuff right now.

Any suggestions?

Thanks


#2

If you have a good relationship with your manager, ask her if you can speak to her about the situation. Whether or not she has personal things going on, she is still a manager and needs to take care of her staff. Tell her this:

"I was asked to apply for 2 positions, neither of which I was selected for. The 2nd position was filled without my having been interviewed. I would like to know if there is something I could improve upon, so that if another position comes open, I will be seriously considered for it."

You could have asked the hiring manager for that information, "Can you tell me why I was not considered? I'd like to know if there are things that I can improve to help my performance for the company." But it's sometimes hard to swallow one's pride in the moment. Especially since she wasn't very skilled or polite, to ask you about your father and then not even say that she is sorry for your loss. That's someone who probably should not be in HR.

:shrug:

As for the big wig, he might be interested in mentoring you. You are right to approach this carefully, you don't want to sound ungrateful or as though you assumed that you had either job sewn up. I would not approach him directly. If he asks you what happened, you can tell him what your manager told you, for example, "I do not have quite as much experience in direct sales as the person leaving the position, but that is something that I want to work on for the future." If your manager can't tell you what happened, make an appointment with the hiring manager first, and have your questions ready. You need to have something to say to the big wig who may be interested in your career. If you really can't get anything out of your manager or HR, and he asks, tell him, "Well, Sir, I'm really not sure what happened, I thought the interview for Sally's job went very well, but I wasn't selected, and the other position was filled before I interviewed. Thank you for encouraging me to stretch and grow, I want to continue to learn and improve."

You have to find your own words, you don't want to sound crawly or anything, just confident and self-assured, and somewhat puzzled about the outcome.


#3

I’m sorry to hear about your father.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon him and may he rest in peace. Amen.

Hmm. I guess I have a couple of things to say about this. First, the big wig doesn’t appear to have had anything further to do with the hiring process beyond inviting you to apply, so I don’t think you’ve been wronged by him. I don’t know why the interview wasn’t rescheduled. I can’t really comment on how the hiring manager handled the situation - perhaps she wasn’t aware of the whole situation until it was too late…

I understand how hurtful and frustrating it can be to be ill treated at work, especially when there’s nothing you can do to change it. One thing I do believe, though, is that complaining generally won’t make things better. I’d suggest that if you can speak to the big wig, tell him that you were pretty disappointed that you missed out on the job, and that if there are any others coming up, that you’d really appreciate being considered for them. Keep it positive, let him know that you are grateful that he thought of you last time. That way he’ll remember you with positive feelings.

About the lack of condolence from the hiring manager - I wonder if she doesn’t have much of a relationship with her own parents. Maybe she doesn’t see it as a big deal. Just a thought.

I also suggest that you offer the pain and frustration to God, and pray for the people who hurt you (even if you don’t feel like it - that’s the best time to do it).


#4

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:2, topic:243383"]
If you have a good relationship with your manager, ask her if you can speak to her about the situation. Whether or not she has personal things going on, she is still a manager and needs to take care of her staff. Tell her this:

"I was asked to apply for 2 positions, neither of which I was selected for. The 2nd position was filled without my having been interviewed. I would like to know if there is something I could improve upon, so that if another position comes open, I will be seriously considered for it."

You could have asked the hiring manager for that information, "Can you tell me why I was not considered? I'd like to know if there are things that I can improve to help my performance for the company." But it's sometimes hard to swallow one's pride in the moment. Especially since she wasn't very skilled or polite, to ask you about your father and then not even say that she is sorry for your loss. That's someone who probably should not be in HR.

:shrug:

As for the big wig, he might be interested in mentoring you. You are right to approach .

[/quote]

I have been doing EXACTLY that for 3 years. Every time they suggest a course, I attend. Everytime they suggest saying something a different way, I do it.

I have ALWAYS asked hiring managers what I could do to improve and I ALWAYS get the same answer: 'You were a vvery strong candidate but someone else better suited our needs' or 'Someone else had more relevant experience'.

After 3 years, it is starting to sound like a hoax. I can't help but think thet have it in for me and just act like they are 'helping' me so they don't get into legal trouble. You have no idea how worn out I am from this whole procedure

CM


#5

Do your best job every day & go in smiling; but it sounds like you need to look elsewhere if it has been 3 years & you have truly done all of the developmental activities. The best time to find a job is when you have one.
Ask God in prayer what he is trying to teach you in this situation & to assist you in being where He wants you to be.


#6

It sounds like the “big wig” likes you and your work, and saw an opportunity for you, but probably did not have much to do with the hiring process. I don’t think he would think you are ungrateful if you approach him again, but you could just tell him that you were disappointed that you didn’t get the job, and ask him to keep you in mind if he hears of anything in the future he thinks you would be good at.

I know what it’s like to do everything right, even above and beyond, and feel like you’re stagnating at work. This happens everywhere- people play favorites, incompetent people get to be managers, etc. In my case, once I realized I wasn’t going to go anywhere in the office, it was a blessing because I set out on a different career path that so far I am very excited and happy about.

Have you considered looking for a different job? You wouldn’t have to tell anyone, but it might be worth seeing what else is out there. If you’re unhappy and feel like you’re not advancing in the way you would like, take some time to figure out what your goals are, and whether they can be more easily met somewhere else. You can hang onto your job in the meantime, just spend some extra time planning where you want to be, and considering other ways you might get there. Who knows, you might end up somewhere you never expected to be, but somewhere that makes you happier! :slight_smile:


#7

[quote="cmscms, post:4, topic:243383"]
I have been doing EXACTLY that for 3 years. Every time they suggest a course, I attend. Everytime they suggest saying something a different way, I do it.

I have ALWAYS asked hiring managers what I could do to improve and I ALWAYS get the same answer: 'You were a vvery strong candidate but someone else better suited our needs' or 'Someone else had more relevant experience'.

After 3 years, it is starting to sound like a hoax. I can't help but think thet have it in for me and just act like they are 'helping' me so they don't get into legal trouble. You have no idea how worn out I am from this whole procedure

CM

[/quote]

(disclaimer: the following assumes that your workplace is non-union)

I don't understand why they would encourage you if they didn't think you had a chance at all? What kind of legal trouble are you referring to? I worked in HR for years. If someone was working away, doing a good job, there is no requirement that you have them interview for other jobs... you just leave them where they are.

The fact that they are recommending courses, and asking you to apply for open positions sounds to me like they want to help you develop your career.

However, many times the final hiring decision belongs to one person, and if that person decided they like someone else better, there may not be a real solid reason... it's much more subjective.

I would however, recommend having as frank of a conversation as possible with your manager and the hiring manager...ask for specific details on why the person hired was a better candidate. When they give you the "another candidate was more highly qualified" spiel...press for details. Just be honest..."I'm trying really hard to increase my chances -- I can't do that if you won't tell me exactly why I am not being chosen."

Also, try to take a really hard look at yourself...are you able to take constructive criticism? Are they afraid to tell you the truth? You said you are acting passive aggressively with them...is this common behavior for you? If you have behaved that way in the past, that may be turning them off. Do you interview well? Or do you choke in an intense interview?

I am not trying to pick on you, I am just saying that, if all the tools are there in your toolbox, but they are still not promoting you, it may have more to do with other factors.

As to the HR person not expressing her sympathy -- she's an idiot. Unfortunately, the world is full of people who are idiots when it comes to the subject of death. I think you should let that go. Just know that about her -- she's insensitive.


#8

[quote="cmscms, post:1, topic:243383"]
Ok, The second the door was closed she told me, she offered the job to someone else. I was shocked. Not because I did not get the job but that someone would go out of their way to bring up something painful right before she was about to give me more bad news. And I still can't get over the fact she didn't say 'sorry for your loss'

So...... I feel treated unfairly. If anything I feel treated like a fool.
Any suggestions?

Thanks

[/quote]

I don't understand the feeling, but that is not important, it is what you feel. I am glad the manager did not leave you hanging and wondering what happened about the job, that was kind. Yes she should have said something but maybe she is just one of those impersonal people and that is her manner. Other than that there is no reason to feel unfairly treated, you don't know how many other supervisors suggested others apply or if they filled the job from outside.

It seems your justifiable feeling comes out of your very natural grief and you handle it the way you do the grief, give it time and prayer, and don't let anybody tell you how long grieving should last. Address the real loss and work through that and ignore the imaginary loss--you never had the job anyhow so you lost nothing--and do the real work of grieving, and I am truly sorry, there is simply nothing else that has the impact of losing a parent.

as to the work situation, Real's advice is very well taken


#9

May your father find eternal rest.

As for the managers, I would ask them to explain the situation, if it bugs you, you don't understand and you feel you need the closure.

I would ask them to explain why I was asked to apply but wasn't selected twice, as I didn't understand that. I would like to know if something went wrong or whatever else happened.

If I were on first name terms with an immediate superior, I'd ask in informal terms.

As for the lack of any expression of sympathy on their part, I suppose the explanations given by previous posters cover it well. Some people are just not thoughtful enough, have their own specific experience, this all affects how they act in various situations and general tact and good manners are no longer universally taught in family homes and have not been for a couple of decades. For this reason people are often not prepared to handle certain situations tactfully. Wouldn't make too much of it if not accompanied by other signs of disrespect.

Also, I don't want to be subversive and I wouldn't wish to incite anyone to disrespect towards his employers and all, but I have my own opinion about how the corporate wheels turn. They often turn in inexplicable ways, ways that don't always make the biggest sense. Those who can't take it (and I am one of such people) might wish to look for a non-corporate job (note there are similar downsides to government jobs, just different sort of wheels, and to freelancing where you still face all sorts of "strange" customers; a job where things happen in rational, understandable ways is probably hard to find).


#10

Sorry about your dad. That must make all of this much harder. Hang in there.

The superior who brought up the topic of such a great loss and offered no condolences (other than equating it with a daughter getting sick) screwed up big time. What I find a bit scary is that her response only makes sense if she thinks that it is the fact of having to miss work that is your shared "big loss." Consider that as you ponder exactly what it takes to get ahead in this company.

Do yourself a favor and pass it over. It was a real injury, you ought to get some help from your real support system in coping with it, but do pass it over. There is nothing to be gained by dwelling on it longer than necessary. As for giving her feedback, this falls in the category of "don't toss your pearls before swine." You have no ongoing relationship with this woman in anything but business terms. She can't really fix this with you, at least not if you're the one who confronts her about it. You could well be harmed professionally if you respond in a way that she considers a faux pas against her, which will only add insult to your injury. Passing it over is probably the best thing for all involved, but it is certainly the best thing for you.

Having said that, if it gets back to those who alerted you of an opportunity that you are holding it against them that the opportunity didn't provide a tangible payoff, they may re-considering giving you any such alerts in the future. They may see it as largess on their part to tell you where you have even some small chance of advancing, while they see the matter of whether you capitalize on that information something that is your business alone. It would be like listing a possible hunting spot where you heard from a friend where some game was sighted...maybe something too far out to be of interest to an old arthritic hunter like you, but something a young guy would check out. If you provide leads like that to a younger hunter, you don't want to be blamed when the guy doesn't bag his buck.

If it is guarantees that you want, then say so. I think you'll not only get no more guarantees than you would have, but that you'll get far fewer decent chances. If it is chances you want, then thank those who gave you a heads up, even though it didn't work out. Like the old guy who gives the tip on where to hunt, they will probably reward your gratitude by trying to find you even better leads next time. It will be up to you to decide which are worth pursuing and which are not worth your time.

It is OK, though, when someone gives you a tip like this, to ask ahead of time "What are my chances of getting this?" and "Can you give me some tips about what they're looking for. I've tried and failed before, but this time I want to nail it!"


#11

[quote="Sarahforgiven, post:5, topic:243383"]
Do your best job every day & go in smiling; but it sounds like you need to look elsewhere if it has been 3 years & you have truly done all of the developmental activities. The best time to find a job is when you have one.
Ask God in prayer what he is trying to teach you in this situation & to assist you in being where He wants you to be.

[/quote]

I was unemployed in 2003 when the economy was good and it took a over a year to find a job. As much as looking elsewhere is a good idea, it will be just as much of a heartache and I will have to go through a lot of rejection before I get a job. I need to balance how much rejection I am willing to put myself through with how much I want to leave the company

CM


#12

At this point, I would say keep that job. Things are not looking up in a lot of the country and employers have a lot of candidates to choose from.


#13

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:7, topic:243383"]
I would however, recommend having as frank of a conversation as possible with your manager and the hiring manager...ask for specific details on why the person hired was a better candidate. When they give you the "another candidate was more highly qualified" spiel...press for details. Just be honest..."I'm trying really hard to increase my chances -- I can't do that if you won't tell me exactly why I am not being chosen.".

[/quote]

My immediate manager is very good at giving me feedback. However, she can only tell me so much because she wants to take her career one way in the company and I want to go the other way. She can only help me based on what she knows unfortunately for me that is not exactly what I need

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:7, topic:243383"]
Also, try to take a really hard look at yourself...are you able to take constructive criticism? Are they afraid to tell you the truth? You said you are acting passive aggressively with them...is this common behavior for you? If you have behaved that way in the past, that may be turning them off. Do you interview well? Or do you choke in an intense interview?

[/quote]

I just want to say I am not being passive agressive with managers but more so with peers when managers are not around. Nonetheless, my behaviour is wrong and I want to change it.

As for taking constructive criticism. I would say I am much better than I was 3 years ago. But even if I was perfect at it, not everyone wants to give it.

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:7, topic:243383"]
I am not trying to pick on you, I am just saying that, if all the tools are there in your toolbox, but they are still not promoting you, it may have more to do with other factors.

[/quote]

I don't feel picked on. You spoke the truth in love which is appreciated

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:7, topic:243383"]
As to the HR person not expressing her sympathy -- she's an idiot. Unfortunately, the world is full of people who are idiots when it comes to the subject of death. I think you should let that go. Just know that about her -- she's insensitive.

[/quote]

As much as it is about her, it seems it is people like her that are in the position to give others jobs. But that is another topic

CM


#14

Actually a lot of people are VERY uncomfortable around death. And they don't know how to act, or what to say. They often make comparisons. I've heard people reel after a friend told them at their CHILD'S funeral, she knows just how they feel, 'cause her cat died.

SO, Perhaps you might consider that this woman, although clearly without thought.. PROBABLY didn't mean to go out of her way to hurt you, then smack you down a bit harder. If however, she did, then perhaps you need to find a less hostile work environment. That's just cruel. So, do you think she meant to be cruel? Or do you think she just stank at showing compassion. The average person is, well... average to say the least.

She probably realized that NO ONE told you that someone would be starting the position soon. And probably realized that it would be hurtful to just watch someone walk in to the job. As if you weren't even worth telling you didn't get the job.

I think you also need to consider the difference (and there SHOULD be one...) between asking you to apply...(basically going through the ropes to hire you), or encouraging you to apply... which means your qualified... but there easily could be others that your up against.

And so, the way I would approach this... if your immediate manager can't really help you, tell you immediate manager (so as not to step on toes), that you plan to talk to HR about this. That you'd like to get some feedback. Then let HR, know that you'd just like some feedback on your performance in comparison to others. Let them know that you're feeling a little frustrated that you've been encouraged so many times to apply, but then don't get anything. AND that rather then get upset about it, you'd like to be proactive to find out what sorts of things are you not measuring up against your competitors... so you can work on that... you know... To get a competitive edge.

AND, I'll mention. If you KNOW you're behavior is PA, (good for you for working on that) That's HUGELY noticed by management. Easily they just don't want to deal with that. And you just may already have your answer???

I do hope things get better for you soon. I know it's been a hard year. Oh, and I know you don't want to experience rejection. I understand that. However, it's generally the people that really put themselves out there that get top billing. Maybe look into some ways to NOT internalize the goals and such of others...

I'm in a rush... I hope that's helpful and clear... if not, let me know... HUGS & Prayers!


#15

[quote="faithfully, post:14, topic:243383"]

SO, Perhaps you might consider that this woman, although clearly without thought.. PROBABLY didn't mean to go out of her way to hurt you, then smack you down a bit harder. If however, she did, then perhaps you need to find a less hostile work environment. That's just cruel. So, do you think she meant to be cruel? Or do you think she just stank at showing compassion. The average person is, well... average to say the least.

[/quote]

Thanks for your advice. It is clear. At this point I think I want to know 'What can I do to gain a competitive edge' I DON"T want to ask 'What did I do wrong' because honestly, I don't think I couls bare to hear the truth to that question. And if I ask, I have to say 'thank you for telling me'. I need to weight how much do I want a new job vs how much pain I am willing to put myself through

As for the lady who didn't say she was sorry. No, I don't think she meant to hurt me. I honestly believe she just has issues herself. Like a lot of people unfortunately :shrug:

One thing though I just remembered. A code of conduct came out at work and I was feeling like if I practiced the Catholic religion I would be accused of discriminating others. I asked to speak confidentially to someone else in HR. Let's just say it was an interesting conversation. Then my dad died and this HR person contact me for a follow up. When I finally came back and told her why I hadn't replied sooner, we booked an appointment. The day before, I called her to confirm because the appointment got erased out of my personal calendar. No reply. So I emailed her and got a standard message she no longer worked there. It was odd.

Let's just say I feel a bit weird right now at work

CM


#16

[quote="cmscms, post:15, topic:243383"]
Thanks for your advice. It is clear. At this point I think I want to know 'What can I do to gain a competitive edge' I DON"T want to ask 'What did I do wrong' because honestly, I don't think I couls bare to hear the truth to that question. And if I ask, I have to say 'thank you for telling me'. I need to weight how much do I want a new job vs how much pain I am willing to put myself through

As for the lady who didn't say she was sorry. No, I don't think she meant to hurt me. I honestly believe she just has issues herself. Like a lot of people unfortunately :shrug:

One thing though I just remembered. A code of conduct came out at work and I was feeling like if I practiced the Catholic religion I would be accused of discriminating others. I asked to speak confidentially to someone else in HR. Let's just say it was an interesting conversation. Then my dad died and this HR person contact me for a follow up. When I finally came back and told her why I hadn't replied sooner, we booked an appointment. The day before, I called her to confirm because the appointment got erased out of my personal calendar. No reply. So I emailed her and got a standard message she no longer worked there. It was odd.

Let's just say I feel a bit weird right now at work

CM

[/quote]

I think you need a baseball attitude towards failure. In baseball, you're going to strike out, you're going to get hit by the ball once in awhile, and that is true no matter how well you do. As Yogi Berra said once, after being asked about his hitting slump, "I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hittin' the ball." He explained later that although many people found that funny, he was very serious. When you come to bat, you focus on what to do to make contact this time, not on results you didn't like last time.

You have a job. Many people would like it, many people wanted it when you applied for it. To use a baseball analogy, you are not out! You have a man on base and your team is still at bat! If there are managers interested in your advancement, in fact, you are in scoring position! The best way to get home is to keep your head in the game and keep looking for opportunities to advance.

Patience, patience, patience, and realize that strikeouts and occasionally getting hit by the ball are part of the game. It hurts, but shake it off. Leaving men on base happens, but it means your team is getting the bat onto the ball. You can do this!!!

The thing with the co-worker who isn't there may be "true, true, and unrelated", or another example of ineptitude in HR. Hang in there. I really doubt that this is about being Catholic, but if you think it is, read the Book of Ester. You are on the right side of things.

Find some real-life support, to help you keep things in perspective.


#17

Why would being Catholic be discriminatory toward others? What could be in a Code of Conduct that would make it seem so?

Are there a lot of religious conversations going on there?

Companies I have worked for have had policies against prosthelytizing and political campaigning, but that's pretty much the extent of it.


#18

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:17, topic:243383"]
Why would being Catholic be discriminatory toward others? What could be in a Code of Conduct that would make it seem so?

.

[/quote]

If I was invited to a homosexual wedding and I said 'I can not attend a homosexual wedding' I could be in trouble for intimidating homosexual.

At Christmas they give us a 'holiday party' and we are NOT to call it a Christmas party. One year I was on the organizing committee and I suggested having Santa show up and I was told that could make non-Christians uncomfortable

And lastly, I live in Canada. Our national holiday is July 1st. It is called Canada day and we get a free barbecue lunch. As of last year it is now called a summer pinic because calling it Canada day makes immigrants feel uncomfortable. For Pete's sakes ! These people came to live here but we are not allowed to remind them of the country THEY CHOOSE to come too.

It is getting ridiculous


#19

[quote="cmscms, post:18, topic:243383"]
If I was invited to a homosexual wedding and I said 'I can not attend a homosexual wedding' I could be in trouble for intimidating homosexual.

At Christmas they give us a 'holiday party' and we are NOT to call it a Christmas party. One year I was on the organizing committee and I suggested having Santa show up and I was told that could make non-Christians uncomfortable

And lastly, I live in Canada. Our national holiday is July 1st. It is called Canada day and we get a free barbecue lunch. As of last year it is now called a summer pinic because calling it Canada day makes immigrants feel uncomfortable. For Pete's sakes ! These people came to live here but we are not allowed to remind them of the country THEY CHOOSE to come too.

It is getting ridiculous

[/quote]

If I understand correctly, you are free not to go to the wedding. You might be made to suffer for evangelizing with regards to why you will not be there. Therefore, you must be free to say, "Since it is illegal to voice some of the reasons a person might not attend a wedding, I choose not to give a reason for not attending, in solidarity with those who have lost their freedom of speech. Last I checked, I am still free to keep my mouth shut in this country." Let them put that in their pipe and smoke it.

The prohibition on calling Canada Day just that must easily be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. You might ask if you're allowed to say you have a job when you are at company gatherings, since the comment might get back to someone who is not fully employed. Can you talk about the weather? There are people who never get outside, after all. And can you really call it a "summer picnic" when it is winter on half of the planet? I mean, talk about parochialism!!

Good grief, there is nothing sadder than when intelligent people try to make themselves wise and only make themselves ridiculous, instead.


#20

Hi Easter Joy,

Am I correct in thinking you are American? You just would not believe how ridiculous human rights have become in Canada. Kids in the public school are not allowed to wish each other a Merry Christmass because it makes the non-christian children uncomfortable.

It is SO sad. And even more sad is when the Untied Nations says ‘This year Canada has been determined to be the best country to live in’ It is usually the year we legalized homosexual marriage or something else that shocks the hair off of Catholics


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