Unfiltered Story #110712

, | Unfiltered | May 16, 2018

I was hired for a position combined with learning on the job. The first half year, everything went smoothly. Every monthly meeting, people were cheering for my contributions and efforts. I had never felt so rewarded before. In my half-year progress meeting, I was introduced to my new team lead, who had only recently been promoted. He asked me what I expected from him, and I gave honest advice from my seven-year experience in similar companies.

The meeting was recorded and notes were sent to me: my contract was prolonged without a doubt.

Fast-forward two weeks. The new team lead pulls me into the first of two awful meetings. He accuses me of not getting my job done (that was correct: I was behind on two tasks); on slacking off to social media, being distracted, on coming in late and leaving early; on my request to switch places so I’d sit in a quieter corner and could work more focused: he interpreted this as fleeing from supervision. He scolded me and said I was a disgrace to the company. He called my daily status updates incoherent and, as I agreed we all should stay sharp at those, he sneered I should say nothing advisory until I had my own work back on track again (I hadn’t even noticed I’d derailed, nobody had).

It took him two meetings, because at first, I didn’t believe him, and tried to take it lightly, and tone his temper down. That didn’t land well, so the second meeting he was furious. I shed a few tears, silently, because I was so taken aback by this mean, unfair behavior. I was doing so well!

In the next months, he and I tried to get back on track, but I couldn’t do anything right. I felt miserable and started to believe in my own failure. My next contract prolongment came up, so I arranged a meeting with our boss. He advised me to talk to the team lead myself, since it wasn’t his problem. I promised to. He also said, that I had surely apologized for slacking, so if I hadn’t, had my apologies been a lie, or the slacking? In any case, I was wrong. He told me we shouldn’t lie about the half-year meeting; it hadn’t been good; I should have done better and I hadn’t. I couldn’t believe it. Did he forget we’d put this all in words? I carefully advised him not to speak in hints anymore, in such meetings.

In the next week, I talked to the team lead, and asked about the contract prolongation. He wouldn’t prolong it, not to my surprise. I knew that, and I didn’t fight. Fighting him in any way had caused him to become unruly and outraged; not again.

He told me to let it sink in for a day, but I didn’t need that. I was surprised he’d assumed I did not see it coming. He even advised me to work less, because I had done so much lately (oh?) and he was afraid I’d end up home, sick (here, a company can’t let you off if you’re on long term sick leave). His sudden devotion to my health was paper-thin.

Next day, I told my colleagues I would leave the company soon, so I could be open about job seeking. Not asking for reasons, they supported me immediately. With help of them, and friends, I found a new job in only six weeks. My friends have been so supportive, it is a blessing. I am sad nevertheless. I re-read the notes from my half year’s meeting, and saw nothing but happiness and hope. And now I hope, that this team-lead one day learns to treat people better. I’ll be somewhere else.

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