Saturday, July 21, 2007

My new job stinks

Well, its been nearly two months (since early May) on my new job and from what I can tell you, it is really stinking right now. It seems that I've walked into a real hornet's nest. Over the course of the months of June and nearly all of July, I've found out that one of my teammates and the project manager can't stand each other. I've also learned that the project manager is a micro-managing control freak that keeps information from the team so that she can be viewed as the only thing holding the project together.
The fact that my one teammate (a white female in her mid 40s) and the project manager (a black female in her mid 40s) can't stand each other was pretty much a forgone conclusion between them as I arrived on the scene. Over the time I was there it got pretty apparent and vocal between the two of them. I hated being in meetings with the two of them. The icy tones and the rigid body language made for tense and unproductive meetings. The project manager accused her rival (at one point, the white woman was being considered for the project manager position) of being a loose cannon and only doing what she felt was necessary. The teammate accused the project manager of purposely holding back information, talking poorly about her both behind her back and in front of her teammates, and yelling and screaming at her when they were alone or speaking on the phone.
The real problems started when the project managers lack of leadership started to affect my job. We were already pigeon-holed enough because the project manager required everyone to publish all their work through her before going to the client, but when it took days to get work reviewed, it started to become frustrating. When work was reviewed, the changes requested were more cosmetic than substantial. The other team member (a black male in his late 20s) privately made comments and then when he'd heard me make a comment, he called me in privately and agreed with them. Information was starting to be held back from me, information that would have made my job easier. One afternoon, the project manager started to talk to me privately about some really difficult private matters (matters that probably shouldn't have been disclosed). After listening to it all (and feeling pretty bad about feeling negative towards her) I suggested that she take a couple of weeks off to collect her personal life, reorder it, and relax. With all of what was going on at work and her personal disasters, I felt that it wouldn't hurt. I don't think she minded me making the suggestion, but a few days later when I asked her if she'd considered taking the time off she simply remarked "yes". I knew then that she'd never take time off because she was too much the control freak.
The last straw for me was when she embarrassed me in front of others by not telling me about some unwritten rules that I should have been told about before going into a meeting. What's worse, it happened twice in the same day! I finally complained to upper management (the white woman had been complaining for months, so now she had a compatriot) and they took things under advisement. We'll see what happens. I think that the client and other contracted employees are noticing, so I think our account here (and my job) are in jeopardy.


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