Interesting situation at work (LONG)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'll try to keep this simple, and without revealing too much that could pinpoint who I am ITRW, so I won't repeat stuff that's happened recently the I posted about in other threads.

    Another person working for my boss but with different job duties decided to give me a "test" on something that people in my prof learn the first year on the job. (Remember, I took a job related to my field so no one else there is in this profession- or even close to it. Coworker has been doing what she wanted to test me on for 2-3 years but that's all she went to school for and that is her primary job.) I told her same thing I'd told boss two days earlier about not being able to do it if she was standing over my shoulder. She went to boss, told him I wouldn't or couldn't. He remained calmed but clearly had issue so got us all together and talked about how I had to do these things for this job, etc. He was making it sound like I was refusing and my job was on the line. I calmly explained that I was not refusing, I could do these things - that should be obvious- they can check my credentials online- but I had essential tremors and when I am stressed they get worse and I simply cannot work when people that I haven't become comfortable working with yet are standing over my shoulder.

    He said well they might need to stand over my shoulder sometime. I said that's fine, after a few days but I've only been here two days and I am still adjusting to this and getting to that comfort level and if I feel like someone is breathing down my neck, it will make make the tremors worse. He's been around me before and knows they aren't always there but I pointed that out to remind him anyway. I asked if they felt the need to test me on this, although they could simply call my previous employer and ask, would they mind just handing it to me, walking away for 15 mins and seeing if it is completed when they get back. Fine. I got it done.

    That was yesterday. This morning I go in and mention that I haven't signed any papers (accepatance of job proposal letter sent last weekend) or new employee forms yet and maybe I could do that while we were still waiting for my computer to be set up by IT guy. Boss calls HR and gets those documents in. I noticed that it included an additional letter that said I would be getting a review in 90 days and if I was not meeting the satisfaction of the customer they are contracted to or I rec'd an unfavorable performance, my position would be terminated.

    Now, they could get rid of me any time they wanted to in this state. However, I am pretty darn sure this letter was just created due to boss having an issue on my essential tremors and thinkink they were going to interfere with my work. Mind you, I have been working with my hands for over 30 years now, in different ways. A company can certainly give 90 day reviews if they choose- but this wasn't brought up when job was offered, in the offer letter, or when I was hired. And I also got an emailed copy of the company's employee handbook of policies today- when printed out it says it was last edited today- it says there are reviews after the first 6 mos but has nothing about a 90 day review. And that is written in a list of numbered items and there were extra blank lines around this one, making it appear that it was edited today.

    I left for lunch but started thinking this might be illegal and if they let me go in 90 days over this, I will fight for unemplloyment. I'll be taking in the written proposal saying job terms, then a letter later written saying I'd have a 90 day review and could "have my position terminated", and a written policy handbook saying even a different policy. I have never seen anyone react that strongly over something like this. Nothing they gave me to do was a part of my job description anyway and I proved I could do it and I'm thinking a neurological disorder (essential tremors) falls under ADA protection and they hired me already.

    I know boss keeps talking about being worried that the company's contract with the "higher up" people won't be renewed next year so I figured he just must be one to over-react and create an issue just because he's concerned about a potential future issue.

    But then- the "higher up" guy who represents the other side of the contract (ie- the "contract customer") was chatting with me this morning and later today. He liked me during the interview and we chatted about my previous experience and so forth. He has a particular interest in what I did in the military and started looking all this stuff up online and asking me to come over so we could chat some more. LOL! I know he was genuine because even when the job was offered by tthis company, they said this customer really like me.

    Anyway, he represents the people I'd really prefer to be working directly for instead of the company contracted out to them. I started thinking something seems a little odd if boss seems so worried that I will cost them this contract and this guy obviously enjoys chatting with me and we have common interest. Then when boss came back to work area, they started talking and "head guy" calls me in on that conversation. He told my boss that when I was free from boss's needs for me, he wanted me to work directly with him and asked if I would mind. I said, no, not at all. Then he said when contract gets renewed next year, (get this) he would already have me familiar with more in depth stuff that could help get things a lot further in that contract. I said I would like that and it would help me to coordinate things better, too. He agreed and said something like it might lead to a lot bigger possibilityu in the future too. He said that kind of quiet and away from boss. I was standing where boss couldn't see me at that point and just smiled.

    Now, I know this guy heard the conversation yesterday when I explained the tremors, that they aren't always there and only prevent me from working if someone is standing over my shoulder that I'm not yet comfortable working with and it only takes a couple of days of working with someone to get to that point. He didn't make any big to-do about it. Look at how my boss handled it- in the guise that it was due to having to make this guy happy- who is happy with me already. Boss hung the axe over my head. Contract customer was acting like it was no big deal. Which one would anyone prefer to have standing over their shoulder?

    All I know is that if I can land a job with these higher ups directly instead of thru another company, they won't have to worry about "terminating my position". The way today ended up, it sounded more like keeping me on would help them get the contract renewed instead of jeapordize it. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when my boss explains this to his boss at the company headquarters.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    Fingers crossed and prayers going out.
  3. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Any place I have always worked, its always a 60 or 90 day probation period and its pretty much a given and not always in writing. As far as unemployment goes, here in Ca you have to earn a certain amount of money before you are entitled to collect.

    I would tread very carefully with this relationship with the customer, especially if your boss seems a little paranoid about you actually being able to do this job i.e. any kind of stress and you will be comming down with tremors, and if he gets wind that you would much rather work for the customer than him, thats not good at all

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That isn't what bothered me about this situation- it's the fact that I was led to believe three different scenarios/conditions. This was just one of the three. None of the three are "wrong" but to give three is- in my book at least.

    I am treading carefully, no doubt. But since the "customer" (for lack of better term) works with us as well as representing the persons signing the contract, he is the one I am supposed to make happy- according to my employer. That is what my employer is paranoid about, ultimately.

    But I think I know what happened. My boss changed his approach to me the few days we didn't have much contact- after I told him I would take the job then talked to him on the phone a few days later about actually moving date and so forth. When I got here, I found out that a person that works for the same company as us that had a similar position in it but somewhat lower, had been moved into a position where he would be working with us. I think the company decided that if "one of their own" wanted to get into this group, they would be fine with that. My boss had told me at the interview that they were going to hire two people and one would probably move into a higher position when their contract went thru again next year. He couoldn't guarantee the contract but thought it would be extended. He told me at first I would be that person because I had more credentials. Since that few days of lag time though, after getting here and finding this guy who was already with the company is taking the other open position, I now think they changed gears and want him to be the one to stay on and go to a higher position when the contract is extended. Not that it's anything personal against me, just that I can tell the tone from this company has changed and I can see where they would be more comfortable with someone who has worked with them a few years already.

    But, on the other hand, the people this company is contracted out to has this rep that I have been referring to. He works directly with my/my bosses group 24/7 and in the same location. He has more experience in this field and will have a lot of input on this upcomeing contract and many others related to it. I didn't ask to work with him directly- he told my boss that he wanted me to when things were slow in the area my boss has management of. First, this company that hired me says I HAVE to meet this guys expectations. OK- then would I say NO, I don't want to work with him on occasion? Second, this company needs this contract renewed. If this guy wants to spend time training me and working with me for things that will benefit the contract getting extended, why would I or my boss discourage that? Then, it appears to me that if this is what's going on, boss and company might not look so good to push for the other guy they just moved into this group to move into something better with them next year. But if they do anyway, I could use the rep from the "customer' as a reference to get in with the bigger group of people who have the contract with this company. That's my goal anyway if things don't work out with this company.

    As far as my boss's paranoia- oh yeah- that has become clear. Either paranoia or trying to find an excuse not to stick to all the illusions he gave me about potential with the company since this other guy decided he wanted to move into this group. It might be a combination. But that will work itself out, I think. As an example, I came here last weekend. I got here Friday evening after one heck of a week. We talked on the phone that evening and he said He could meet me at 9:00-9:30 am Sat morning to show me apts. Well, this was about 8:00pm Fri and I was dead tired. I had hauled stuff, moved stuff, driven, and just given up my home. I told him that I would try but I sure wouldn't look my best because it had been a long day and right then I just had an old pair of jeans and T-shirt on and my nicer clothes were slid into the very back of the trunk of my car. He responded with "oh, you know you need to dress professionally at work- they expect that". Yes, I know. (I didn't say it but I knew I had dressed professionally and appropriately for the interview.) So, I didn't make it Sat at 9:00 am but did make it at about 10:30am- showered, with makeup on and casual slacks/top. I had interpreted what he said to mean he was a person that never wore jeans and didn't want to see any professional in them. What does he wear? A pair of shorts and T-shirt. His wife had on jeans and a casual top.

    Fri, he wore jeans to work and tells me earlier in the week that I need to tone down the nice clothes when I go on certain trips and wear something more comfortable. The guy's nails are bitten to the quick. He jumps the4 gun and over-reacts when the customer's rep says the least little thing. I think the rep sees this, too.

    My tremors are not the result of panic. But they do get worse if I'm under stress or haven't eaten regularly. Still, I can function with that. When it gets to a point that it interferes with functioning is if during those stressfull times, someone is standing over my shoulder- or I percieve that someone is breathing down my neck or holding an axe over my head at those worst moments. This is some people's way of managing employees, I know. But they ought to wise up- it isn't very effective. You can't bash tremors out of someone. I think my boss will figure that out pretty quickly now that i see the rep already knew it and didn't hold it against me. And the reassurance the rep has given me- not about job security but about wanting to work with me, has made me a lot more at ease which reduces the tremors a lot automatically. And now that I'm getting settled in a place and can eat better that helps too.

    So in my mind, it is my boss that has the bigger anxiety issues. Look at how far he went with this instead of just being diligent and giving it a chance.