Friday, 21 August 2015

A 1 to 1 with the leader

After my first one to one with the leader today I felt energized and motivated.  The leader has understood my career ambitions and clearly stated his expectations.  He asked for my opinion and went through my objectives for the rest of the financial year.  He also suggested a weighing of the objectives, was complimentary about my strengths and gave me ideas for development opportunities.  He was totally calm which enabled me to remain calm as well.  The meeting was a positive experience and I know I can approach him anytime about anything.

Previously with the bully boss, the boss started the meeting nervously and unprepared.  I did not feel the bully boss was in tune with my achievements during the year nor that she cared.  She would spend time talking highly of her favourites in the team (all young boys right from uni or with little experience, while herself she is a middle aged woman) and how lucky we are to have hired them.  She told me how good they are and mentioned some of their objectives to me.  I would desperately try and tell her what I have done and get her to notice it because I knew it is important for my advancement.  The bully boss' mind had no time for it so it seemed and would never follow up on our discussion.  At the end of the year I would complete my self-assessment, list my achievements and tell the bully boss during the review, but the bully boss would not comment.  Instead she would sit there and just look at me, before drifting off to speaking about other people.  I felt confused, abused and demotivated.  It sucked the life out of me.

Monday, 10 August 2015

On Honeymoon with the leader

Today was day 1 with my new boss as he returned from annual leave.  It is incredibly liberating to be able to work in a safe place and it looks like I am one of the few targets that do not eventually need to leave their job due to bullying.

As a number one rule leaders need to make their direct reports look as good as possible, so the new reporting structure has been disguised as reorganisation within the business unit.  Well, I am certain some changes would have taken place anyhow, but if it ain't broken don't fix it, right?  In some way the bully boss has had responsibility removed and I consider myself lucky to have this kind of outcome for myself.

How did the bully boss react?  Well, the bully boss went into silent treatment.  I now definitely no longer exist for her.  Although we sit only three meters away, there is no eye contact, no good morning, no goodbye, nothing.  I sensed a similar behaviour towards her manager which now is also my manager.  I no longer need to care.

So, this is me on the honeymoon with the new boss and I look forward to re-assess the situation in a few months time once I get a full picture.  I am very optimistic. It cannot get worse.  Gone is the feeling of powerlessness against the manipulation of the higher ranking people, against the bad mouthing of my ability to perform the job, the isolation from the rest of the team, the pitting of team members against each other to establish winners and losers (me), the intimidation and the fault finding with anything I do.  I salute everyone who has gone through this longer than me (18 months).  It took me about six months to figure out something is not right, another six months to realise I cannot fix the situation and another six months to fight for an outcome I can live with.

I do not know how much it has helped to report the issue to HR, but I do know that I would do it again.  What did I have to lose? I had reached a stage where I was prepared to leave the company on the spot, so I thought I might as well try this route before acting on Plan B after quitting.  It has been stressful and exhausting but so is putting up with bullying and I am glad I stood up for myself.