"Very career limiting move" - your thoughts?

I guess I already know what I am going to do about this work situation, but perhaps I need help seeing it in the way that my manager is seeing it…so I turn to the Dope.

One of the projects I’m working on at the moment is a customer-facing magazine. A few months ago the editorial team was deciding on the travel feature, and a couple of the others in the team, who had seen photos from my recent vacation, suggested that as the destination, and “we can use your photos”. I didn’t have an issue - we supplied the highres images to our design agency, who were very happy to use them, and in exchange we had a verbal agreement that I’d get a credit in the contributors page. At no point did I or anyone else discuss payment.

Fastforward to last Friday, when our senior manager, feeling that for internal reasons the mag was too marketing team heavy (one other article written on a work-related feature from one colleague, and one article featuring a colleague for a family situation), ruled that no staff contributors would be credited.

I asked my manager whether this would apply to my non-work related photos, and he said yes. When I said I wasn’t comfortable with this, I was challenged as to why.

I explained, for 2 reasons - one is that they were my private photos, unrelated to my job description, taken on my time, at my cost, and offered for my company’s benefit at very little cost (the credit only, instead of a $3K cost for them to source alternate photos). Secondly, if they are printed without a reference, I am concerned that I lose control against reproduction. They don’t have budget to source more - if I refuse to let them use my photos, they’ll have to pull the article. The decision is apparently mine.

My manager’s response is that this is a very selfish attitude, and not one becoming of a senior manager, that an article he has written for the mag will not be credited, and I should get over myself. I replied that if this was a ruling about work I had done in the course of my job, I would totally get this. But this is something I do privately - where would the line be drawn?

“This is a very career limiting move. Very.” He replied.

We’re currently restructuring, and he’s deciding on his team now. In an after work phonecall to see what my decision would be, he said that my ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude surprised him (this apparently is covered by my salary and bonus), and he was now uncertain he wants me in his team at all.

My response was, that while I felt I was right to ask for this credit to be honored, and that they could not demand me offer the photos, in the circumstances I did not want to cause troubles for my team, and I would supply them in this instance.

But… I still feel agrieved. It’s certainly the best way to keep my job - but how should I be proceeding? Besides updating the CV and clearing some of my personal things from work (done!)

It sounds as if you had an agreement that your employer isn’t abiding to. This may or may not be illegal. Speak to a lawyer. Even if you won’t sue, it’s good to know where you stand legally.

Your boss figures everthing you own and do belongs to him. I’d be lookng hard for another boss. I imagine that not letting him fuck your wife would also be a very limiting career move.

Quit. Find a new job. Your senior manager is an asshole and you’re being taken advantage of by a bully.

Personally, I would have questioned him on his “career limiting move” bullshit and asked him to recite such in front of an HR representative.

I would reconsider your decision about letting them use your photos. The situation-changer here is the attitude of this tool.

Not fair. You own the photots and you gave explicit permisson to use them in a very specific way. You should get credit for them, even if it’s “Photo courtesy of Girl from Mars”. Your manager is being shortsighted imho.

It seems like your boss’s thought pattern is something like “well, everyone’s in the same boat (all being shafted for credit together), so why is GFM kicking up as if she’s the only one?” Whereas you think you should get a pass on being shafted on the grounds that you’ve already gone above and beyond for the comany - you want special treatment (I’m not saying without justification, but you want to be treated differently from your colleagues in this specific case).

I can kind of see it both ways. Yes, you did something nice for the company, but the question of not being credited is separate from that, and as far as that part of the situation is concerned, everyone’s being treated equally.

On the other hand…

“No staff get credit” sounds like a bit of an assholic move on the part of senior management - if you do the work you should get a credit shouldn’t you?

Your boss is being a dick by threatening you, and anyone who uses the phrase “career limiting move” seriously needs to get over themselves. He certainly doesn’t sound like someone I’d be happy working for.

It has been my experience that jerks accuse others of the things they themselves are actually doing. This person is being boxed in and trying to turn things inside out in order not think about the mess he is in.

You can use knowledge of this insecurity to your advantage.

I’d be telling them you agreed to allow the pictures use for credit being given. You’re not going to accept the new terms they offer for their use. Their option is to use them under the original terms or not use them.

He just gave you a not-so-veiled threat. Ask him about just getting a one-liner in there in lieu of compensation.

Seriously, if you can’t find another job, tell him that you want a letter in writing thanking you for the photos. Otherwise, go find a place that doens’t view you as a resource to be used up.

That’s one shitty boss you have. Photography credit protects your work as an artist so it doesn’t get reproduced without your permission elsewhere. This isn’t a matter of “credit” as much as a matter of copyright.

I’d have fought it. It wouldn’t have hurt them any to just put a stupid one-line note on the damned article. Seriously. To protect their own asses.

I would take the threat complaint to HR, raise a fuss, and look for a new job.

So, you don’t have the right attitude, because you don’t want to work for free.

I don’t see why they don’t want to credit you. I understand give and take, but I don’t see any give and I do see the take. This may not be a deal-breaker, but given the not-terribly-veiled threat of dismissal if you ask that an agreement be honored, this may be an indication.

There’s something going on with your manager. Either he wants a team of people willing to be exploited, or he is getting pressure from above to not spend any money and wants it to look like he is doing that with only the official resources available.

Or he is going to downsize you, and didn’t want your name to appear on the masthead because it would lead to awkward questions.

What does this even mean?

It’s somehow a bad thing for people in the company to know who has produced work product?

So with no credit being given to anyone, how easy would it be for your boss to claim work he didn’t do to the higher ups? Yeah, pretty darn easy.

As a reader, I really get annoyed when stuff isn’t credited. I want to know who wrote the article and who took the pictures and even who created the graphics. I don’t always look, but if I’m curious and can’t find out I get perturbed.

I’m not sure, but it could be “The other departments are already a little upset that they didn’t get as many opportunities to work on this issue as we did, and putting credits in there would be seen as rubbing their noses in it.”

This is what I love about Intellectual Property and all the legal stuff surrounding it. The higher-ups at the company work hard to completely screw over anyone providing the content, getting as much out of them for as little as possible, and then act like it’s the greatest sacrelige when someone uses even the tiniest portion of “The company’s product” without attribution, or payment, or whatever. Like they’re doing it to protect the content creator, and not just to line their own wallets. Wonder how the boss would feel if another magazine used your contribution without any attribution…I’ll bet he’d FLIP.

I’d kick him in the nuts. That ought to let him know what you think of his “team”.

(ok, not really, but it felt good to say it)

I could hacve argued either way on this, until the “career limiting move” crap.

You did a favor for your company. You weren’t assigned to take the photos, your co-workers asked you if you’d share them. If your boss doesn’t see that, he’s an asshole.

Polish up your resume and under the Skills section put “Photography: good enough to be stolen but apparently not good enough to be credited.”

No staff get credit is a way to, ah, manage turnover. It prevents staff from putting work done for the company in their portfolios, and thus makes them incrementally less hire-able elsewhere.

Which is the real “career limiting move”, except that she’s being given the option of having Assclown McDickface attempt to limit her career in other ways.

I’d be insisting on photo credit or no photos, looking for another job, and otherwise keeping silent.


In this economy I’d be a trifle more discreet, but yeah.
(bolding mine)
ETA: You get that that was my point, yes? No one instance of being denied credit does much damage, but the entire policy is career limiting, on purpose, to give management power over employees.

Does this mean there will be no bylines at all, not even pseudonyms? Depending on the type of article, this can come across as very unprofessional. And, as Enderw24 proves, even casual readers notice.

Your boss is a dick. You are completely in the right, not only in feeling ticked off but also knowing you should clean up the ol’ resume.