When There is Writing on the Wall, Part I
Tsk, Tsk, Something Wicked Comes This Way!
You were once the star performer at work. You were quite invincible or so you think. Your supervisor adored you, often giving you the choicest assignments. You received accolades and were on the fast track to success. Suddenly, your former supervisor has either gotten a promotion either upward or to entirely different company. Or else, he/she decided to retire. Your former supervisor adored you and wished you well on your future endeavors.
Now you have a new supervisor. This supervisor decides to implement a new plan. He/she details the plan and you follow it to the most minute specifications. However, even though you follow the details to its absolute minutiae, this new supervisor always finds something WRONG with your presentation. You are totally left amiss regarding this. According to this new supervisor, you have missed such and such details although you contend that you have followed instructions to a "T" in addition to dotting your "I"s. Well, this supervisor is not content with your work and he/she is now scrutinizing your work, thus decreasing your production.
You figure that you were an outstanding worker before. "So what is the problem?", you think to yourself. In fact, in your career, your work performance has always been stellar and at least, highly effective! Now you are receiving "needs improvement" in your evaluation. " What gives?", you ask yourself.
You are slowly discovering that your new supervisor really does NOT LIKE you at all. You are actually viewed as a threat to this new supervisor. According to some reliable sources, this supervisor and the precedent had some type of animosity towards each other. This new supervisor clearly was not fond of the preceding supervisor and knowing that you were that supervisor's favorite, that animus is now extended to YOU!
You suddenly have fallen from grace. You went from being a prominent star employee slated for the fast track to success to being a total persona non grata. Clearly, this supervisor detests you. He/she is overly micromanaging your work. In addition to that, you are now receiving the most detestable and odious assignments possible. If not, you are given assignments which the supervisor knows that you possibly cannot finish within a certain time period. Now all your choice assignments are given to an employee who was a close associate and personal friend of the supervisor.
You are a deep quandary. "What should I do now?", you exasperately declare. Now it is the time to follow that supervisor's work instructions to the letter. In order to being extreme meticulous in your work habits, you must apply the same scrupulousness to your time and attendance if it is somewhat less than perfect. Maybe, your past stellar performance with the precedent supervisor allowed you some leeway regarding being on time for work, lunch hours, and taking days off. Well, the party is proverbially over! No more free lunches so to speak! Now you have to be on your ps and qs regarding time and attendance issues as YOU are now under WATCH!
You are now being written up for quite insignificant offenses. Once you were in the ingroup and inner circle with the precedent supervisor. Now, you are in the OUTER LIMITS so to speak. You are actually in a Catch-22 situation with this supervisor. No matter what you do, this supervisor finds something to critique and scrutinize you for.
Everything from your demeanor to wrting type is under total observation. Each time you submit something to this supervisor, he/she consistently inform you that your reports are totally inadequate even though you did meticulous research and investigation on the topics in addition to having an impeccable writing style. Well, the supervisor purport that your writing style is too erudite, adding maybe you should tailor your writing style appeal to a kindergarten level audience. Now, you are at the anger stage!
Suddenly you are questioning your self. In the past, you felt quite invincible and on top of the world. Now, you feel like total %^&@! You discuss the issue with your family and friends. One of them suggest that "maybe" it is you. You give them an icy glare, mumbling that you know that YOU are NOT at fault here, it is that $%^&*#@! supervisor, not you at all!
Now, you want to get revenge on him/her. Caution a millinillion times: this is surefire way to career suicide and/or eventual career oblivion. There was one instance on a job which a person who fits the exact description above had a new supervisor who delighted in micromanaging her. Her work was stellar in the past; however, the new supervisor now overscrutinized her work. This employee was tired of it and she decided to send an objectionable magazine to the supervisor's work place address in order to put the supervisor in a bad light; however, the employee was brought up on disciplinary charges and her career was seriously derailed so to speak. So, do not entertain acts of revenge, not even a thought! Remember, a supervisor has the power to either enhance, derail and/or ruin an employee's career!
Now you ask what should you do. Well, be superscrupulous regarding work performance, time, and attendance issues. If necessary, discuss with the supervisor as to how he/she wants the project, report, and/or investigation should be done. Once he/she gives the detailed instructions, document the instructions and follow them to the smallest minutiae. Follow these instructions and demonstrate to the supervisor that you can effectively follow instructions and implement his/her plan.
Also document everything this supervisor says just in case, he/she critiques you, stating that you were not strictly adhering to his/her instructions. In other words, be so ever vigilant because you are NOW being scrutinized. This supervisor is doing this probably he/she has a hidden agenda to get even with the precedent supervisor and/or is perhaps jealous of your prior stellar work performance under the former supervisor. This supervisor wants to reduce your stellar work history and/or intends to "set you up for failure" so he/she has a further hidden agenda to either transfer you to another unit, give you constructive discharge(make your work environment so toxic and onerous that you have no other choice but to resign), and/or produce a paper trial to eventually terminate you! Clearly, this supervisor does not LIKE you and will resort to any means necessary to lessen your presence so to speak.
Well, if you possibly can, do not give this supervisor ammunition to ruin your work record. According to Dante's Divine Comedy, one must often descend to the depths of hell in order to reach the ultimate of heavens. To paraphrase, many of us must often endure a less than perfect supervisor in order to accomplish our work goals. To make your work life a bit easier, do EXACTLY what your supervisor says and be ever scrupulous regarding your work habits. If you are as near perfect as possible, probably the supervisor will take notice and not hassle you as much. However, if the supervisor continues to make your life infernal even though you are following his/her instructions and rules, maybe it is time to move on........either to another unit or department and/or to a different job entirely.
In summation, you were once a stellar worker and a star performer. Now, a new supervisor arrives and you are no longer the star employee. Your work is now being micromanaged and you are now placed under scrutiny. Your new supervisor is clearly not pleased with your work performance. You have, in essence, fallen from grace and are now a persona non grata according to the new supervisor.
You now sense that something wicked has come this way. You are totally nonplussed as to what to do NOW! You must become more meticulous and scrupulous than ever in your work habits in order for your new supervisor not to hassle you. You must further document any instructions he/she gives you just in case, he/she decide to play games thus blaming you for any perceived mistakes. Even though, you try to please your new supervisor, he/she continues to overscrutinize you, making your work environment totally hellish. In other words, there is writing on the wall, informing YOU that you should extricate yourself from this work environment either be transfer, resignation, and just going to a different company. Sometimes you may be in the wrong corporate environment and for the sake of your mental health and self esteem, you have to move into a more positive work environment in order to fully thrive.
© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams
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