I may be fired soon

I’ve been working at a new job for the past four months, and at first things seemed to be going very well. They were happy with my performance and I get along great with the district manager. However, things have taken a very sudden turn and I’m genuinely concerned that I’ll be shown the door very soon. This is confusing to say the very least.

The first incident took place about three weeks ago when I was written up for insubordination. My manager sent an e-mail instructing me to do something but told me something else verbally, and when I followed the verbal instructions, her boss made the decision to write me up. At the time my immediate supervisor came in, told me what was up, and reassured me that it was no big deal, I was being placed on a 30 day probationary period, but not to worry, it would all blow over. I believed her. She told me that she knew how good of a job I was doing and that it would be OK, don’t freak out, etc.

Since that took place I’ve found out that a whisper campaign has been going on in one of the other branches (they handle payroll, etc) and they have been sending e-mails to my boss and her boss about every little thing I do, all along. We have met in person once - we communicate via phone calls and e-mail. My manager and her manager have dealt with these people before and roll their eyes at most of this behavior, but after a while you can’t help but believe some of it, right? After all, I’m still new at this and have had a minimal amount of training. When I was on the job for five weeks, the office manager quit and I was expected to step up and handle things. No raise, either.

The person I replaced warned me about these people - they did the same thing to her and she was eventually asked to find a new job. After she left, the office manager quit, leaving me to handle the daily office tasks. She also complained about the other office, and they did not treat her very well. Definite pattern going on here. The problem is that the main culprit is the VP of operations. She likes to gossip and stir up drama whenever possible, for any or no reason at all. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. I’ve only met her once.

Even worse, we got a terrible review from a client - it was about as bad as it could be. That shocked the hell out of me as she has always seemed to be happy and I’ve supplied her with what she has requested four times in the past four months. She requested help again and I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions. What she told me verbally was vastly different than the written review. :confused::(:mad: I documented everything and sent it to my boss and her boss. One of them replied with “Thanks”. That was it. I followed up and asked if the usual protocol is to sit down with the client and go over the survey results; so far no reply to my questions.

Another manager is supposed to come in two days a week to help support and train me, but for the past month she has been coming in for a couple of hours and then leaves to handle other business. I took it as a sign of faith in my capabilities that they trusted me enough to have me handle it all. I came in early, stayed late, and have been very dedicated to trying to stay on top of all aspects of the business - there is a lot involved and I wear many hats.

About a month ago I asked for additional compensation, as I am doing more that when I was originally hired in. That definitely seems to be out of the question now!

Has anyone ever gone through this? What can I do to keep my job?

I’d start looking, and wouldn’t try to hard to hold onto this job where they treat you like shit. Sometimes you just get a dud of a job, and you have to just cut your losses and try again. Good luck.

Once you’re being told one thing in writing and a different thing in person, you’re pretty much fucked. That person is setting you up. Do what they put in writing if possible, but know that they’ll hold it against you and do worse things in the future to “get” you. Do what they say, and you are clearly being insubordinate and not following written direction. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Don’t believe her!!!
She is the one who told you verbally to do something different from the original written instructions, and then she failed to tell her boss this when her boss got upset, Instead she left you to take the blame!

Either she is out to get you, or she is out to cover her own ass and doesn’t care who else gets it. While you were still new in the job, you unexpectedly took on extra responsibilities, and seem to be handling them well. She may see you as a threat to her position, and is out to get you for that reason.

Whatever the cause, this doesn’t sound like a good position to be in. Start quietly looking around, and sending out your resume.

What they said. ^^^ It truly sucks to have this kind of nonsense going on at a job where you thought you were doing well, but it sounds like sooner or later you’re getting chucked under a bus. I’d be looking for a new job.

When later verbal instructions differ from written ones, simply send an email asking for “clarification”. That covers you.

Great idea, and advice I will definitely follow from now on.

I was so excited to get this job in the current economy, and have been happy working there until now. I still enjoy most aspects of the work, but feel like I’m balancing on the top of a ball that is soon to roll over. It’s been great to have the added income and pay down bills/purchase some things I’ve been wanting to get for a long time.

All I can do is do my best every day and not give them any reason to let me go. I know that’s no way to be, but it’s better than unemployment.

Oh, and I guess I’ll start quietly looking around, just in case…

Whenever my job calls me up to change (usually postpone) a deadline they gave in an earlier email, I *always *end the conversation with, “Hey, would you mind sending me an email with the new deadline? I’ll just forget, otherwise.” They always send it, and I’ve never had any trouble.

Talk to your boss about the problem - but don’t play the victim. Say something to the effect: “I’m acutely aware that something is wrong with my performance, or the way that things are going. I want to fix this because I want to keep my job, and I don’t care if fixing it is difficult - I still want to try. What can I do to remedy this situation?”

Assuming that whatever has gone wrong is actually repairable, a good manager should respond well if you take a positive step to fix the problem.

We’ve had two conversations about my performance so far - the incident where I got the write up and a meeting last week. What really upset me is if she asked if I was planning to quit. I said of course not, I love my job and am very committed to doing everything in my power to make the office successful. It felt like she was feeling me out to see if I was going to bail. Even when I first started working there she asked me more than once if I had plans to stay, if I was going to leave, etc. At the time that puzzled me but now that I know a little more about some of the people that have been talking crap about me, it makes sense. From what I am beginning to discover, this office has had a fairly high turnover rate.

I asked if I should be worried and what I could do to improve my performance, and she said ‘nothing, you’re great.’ WTF?

If I were you, I’d do two things:
-start looking right away
-build a paper trail-get copies of your reviews, all emails, and performance records.
They are trying to set you up…the next thing will be to give you an “assignment”-in which you will fail (they will see to it that you do). Document everything you do, and send periodic progress reports (email) to your boss-that way, they will have to work at it. If nothing else, you might be able to sue them-and it will make them realize that you are capable of defending yourself.

Sounds to me like she either wanted someone else for the job and didn’t get them or she wants to offer the job to her sister/mother/brother/aunt whatever. It sounds like a no-win situation for you. Working under these conditions is very stressful for you…I’ve been there, I know.

You’re on the right track looking for a new job but I also know how hard they are to find right now.

In the future, I also agree with others to keep a paper trail. If you don’t want to ask them for an email, just send them a “this will confirm our discussion of December 12, 2010” Non-confrontational but you have a paper trail if you ever find yourself in a wrongful termination situation.

I have never, in 26 years of working, had a supervisor ask me repeatedly if I was planning on quitting - that is beyond strange. I can’t even come up with a legitimate reason for a supervisor doing that.

I am sorry that you like this job and it’s hard to get jobs right now, but in my opinion, you have no future at this company. You can bust your ass to do a good job, but nothing you can do will make a difference at this point. All you can do is manage your exit.

Thanks for the feedback. I agree (unfortunately) with everything that has been said.

No offense, but this seems like bad advice to me. You already have evidence your boss is not backing you up to her boss, whatever the reasons might be. Your interests are not hers. Your interests are to do your job well, following instructions correctly, and to have evidence that you are doing so.

Also, DO NOT say anything like, “I’m acutely aware that something is wrong with my performance…”, even if you make it an either/or statement. You are NOT aware that something is wrong with your performance, and you absolutely don’t want to say anything that implies you do.

Do what most folks here have said – make a paper trail to protect yourself. If you get any verbal instructions from your boss, reply with an email restating the instructions. If the verbals instructions conflict with earlier instructions in any way, make sure to point that out in the email, and either ask for a clarification or explain how you intend to proceed given the new directions. And cc whoever issued the earlier instructions.

If I’m understanding your situation properly, to me it sounds like your direct boss is OK apart from being spineless in covering their ass when called out on verbal v written instructions.

The only problem in that case is that if any problems arise, the issue will land directly at your door, as your boss won’t take a bullet for you. Which in my opinion is management’s job.

I don’t think there’s anything sinister in your boss questioning you about your intention to stay either, just sounds like they are very aware of the high turnover rate, which they may or may not be aware of is due to the actions of the ‘toxic’ person in the organisation - even if your direct boss is aware, sounds like they have no influence over that person.

My advice would echo others you’ve received, start looking around quietly for a new job, because you’ll never get backstopped by your boss, but as much as possible enjoy what you’re doing while you can. And learn what you can, as it looks good on a resume.

Point taken on the wording - it is apparent that people are unhappy about something or other, that affects the OP - maybe that would be a less leading way to put it.

But the paper trail thing doesn’t seem to ring very true to me as being productive - what will that actually achieve in the long run? Maybe things are just different here, but if I sensed something was going adrift, I’d expect to have to take some positive action to remedy it, rather than just document it as it circles the drain.

So we’re clear; you’ve been in the job four months, asked for additional compensation a month ago and had things turn to shite ever since?

If that’s the case, keep job searching.

“Further to our conversation this morning” That’s what I’ve had to do in the past, then a follow up phone call to say “did you get my email”. What stress, poor you.