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Work advise needed

DustyBlueDustyBlue Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello All,

Have a situation developing at work that I could use some thoughts/advice on and was hoping you could help me out.

Ive been at my company for 4 years, currently hold the role of Sr. Admin and would class myself as high-performer. In the last several months, I have undertaken some side projects and additional responsibilities such as training, automating, escalations, etc. As a result, my ability to work trouble tickets and phone calls has diminished.

In the last 3-4 weeks, I have been suffering a bit of a motivation/morale issue and my performance has suffered alongside it.

The morale drop isnt just reserved to me as the entire team seems to be suffering from the increased ticket volume, stifling change controls put in because of the mistakes of others, increased mistakes of others and general appearance of the world being on fire.

For me, I also have to contend with a promised promotion & raise that got shifted to 6 months later than promised before being shifted again by another 3 months (not due to performance issues).

When I started in my position, I would routinely work 20-30 tickets per day. When I started undertaking side projects that number dropped to 10-15 tickets and now with the morale/motiviation, its dropped to 5-10 tickets. Mind you, I continue maintaining the same level in my other responsibilities and it is mainly just my ticket/phone stats that have dropped and some of that drop can be attributed to working harder tickets as when I was working 20-30 tickets I was routinely told I need to save some of the easier tickets for the Jr Admins.

Well the drop to 5 to 10 tickets has been noticed by management and they've broken out the stick so to speak and have threatened dropping my bonus payout.

Now I know I need to get back on track. Its not in my nature to perform so "badly" and it does bother me but I considered it to be a lull/funk. Now that management is involved, Im finding it even harder to motivate myself/elevate my morale and get out of the lull/funk.

I look around at the other admins at the same level or above me on the team (under different managers) and find they routinely do less tickets, have less phone time and have more mistakes than I do. What's more, as where I go out of my way to share knowledge and educate those around me, the other admins much prefer to horde the knowledge.

Yet despite this, they are held up as what we should aspire to be. They've been singled out time and again for special projects and the like. From my view, we are rewarding mediocrity.

But I digress. My manager has recently approached me about my performance and mentioned my promised promotion may now be in jeopardy for performance reasons and that my bonus payout was in jeopardy of being cut.

When I pointed out that I am juggling more than just the queue, it was acknowledged but dismissed as not being "enough" to warrant the drop. When I pointed out that I was performing at the same level as my peers I was told that I am "better than that" and that I need to hold myself to a higher standard than my peers and "lead" by example.

Aside from the fact that "leading" by example implies there is someone behind you to lead, I am struggling with this because for a long time I did just that and have nothing to really show for it.

Im told this push is coming from another manager who's own house isnt in the best of order but as my manager said, he cant control what happens under other managers, he can only deal with his direct reports.

I dislike this double standard that appears to be applied and I dont know how to re-engage in my work if this is the way that it is going to be.

Ive considered leaving but I dont have anything lined up and I need to figure out a way to keep the peace until I do.... Ive more or less been issued an ultimatum and I dont generally respond well to threats. Im considering going to HR considering the double standard is the sort of thing HR lawsuits are born from, but Id like to save that as an absolute last resort. Maybe Ill go to HR and get an exact copy of my job description and cut out all side projects...

Advise?

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    Hammer80Hammer80 Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My suggestion is that its time for you to move on, you have been there 4 years obviously since you been there for a while they don't think you are going to leave which gives them control to increase your workload, promise things and then put them off, and start questioning your level of performance. Leading by example is crap, that is just another way of saying that we understand that everyone else sucks but we want you to do more work with no extra pay because we know that you are capable of more, well if you think that I am more capable then everyone else pay me. Next thing that is going to happen is that you will be written up for something completely stupid and bogus, this will be there excuse for not giving you the promised promotion and raise/bonus while telling you that you are a valued member of the team. If I were you, I would dust off my resume and start looking and with 4 years of experience there you are guaranteed to have more pay and a better title elsewhere.
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    GarudaMinGarudaMin Member Posts: 204
    When management looks at success by the number of tickets a tech opens/closes, they are inviting a disaster. The ticketing system also loses its integrity.

    Just keep doing what it is you are doing and try not to attract management's attention too much. Meanwhile, work on resume and start looking for new jobs, become a surreptitious job-seeker.

    Based on what you said it feels like the only direction your current place is going is down, thanks to management's leadership or the lack of it.
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    TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    +1 to what Hammer said. If they had any intention of following through with the raise/promotion your boss would have come to you in an informal manner prior to it becoming an issue with your promised raise. This "verbal warning" is an HR tool. The next step is written. And you now have no leg to stand on to base a complaint about not getting that raise.
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    Russell77Russell77 Member Posts: 161
    A few quick comments,

    1) Almost all work situations are temporary. People come and go and your situation can improve or degrade but in time it will change.

    2) It's hard to take critisizim but it happens to all of us sooner or later. How you react will help your situation. Saying things like I will try my best to improve or can you help me with my priorities. It's hard for a boss to call you out because 9 times out of 10 the reaction will be negative but the person who takes it the right way comes out ahead in the long run.

    3) You are only worth what someone else is currently willing to pay you, not what the person sitting next to you is making. Stay positive and look outside if you are unhappy. Forcing the issue inside the company often makes things worse.


    4) Don't go to HR unless you are being harrassed or something of that nature. It will only make things worse and probably you will not get what you are after in the short run or long run.

    5) We all get in funks and sometimes you have to move on but in the mean time try not to burn bridges and do what you can to improve the current situation. If they want tickets worked pound out tickets. It may not be what you want but it makes you more valuable and it sounds like your boss had no choice but to talk to you because of stuff rolling down hill.

    Take it from someone who learned a few of these things the hard way.
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    DustyBlueDustyBlue Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Russell77 wrote: »
    A few quick comments...

    ...Take it from someone who learned a few of these things the hard way.

    1. I agree but I do not see a change on the horizon that would get me out of the current situation.

    2. Its not the criticism that I have a problem with. I'll be the first one to admit that my performance has taken a hit. Its the double standard that is getting to me. Despite the hit to my performance, I still am "at level" with my peers yet Im being threatened with performance penalties.

    3. The promotion/raise is playing a part in my current lack of motivation/lowered morale but while I am upset at the delays to the promotion and now the threat to my promotion, the on-going situation has very little to do with pay....

    I understand the business side well enough to know better than to argue pay because so-and-so makes X more than I do. I suppose some correlation can be made that you cant argue performance based on what others are doing but performance management does differ significantly from payroll management.

    4. HR is not something I am seriously considering as a intervention measure... More as an informative measure to see what my options are. If I need HR to intervene on my behalf than my tenure in my current roll is done since it will most definitely make things worse. I might be able to land in another department under a different manager without too much fuss but its probably not worth the headaches.

    5. Im trying hard not to burn any bridges and honestly, I dont really care what they want me to do... I just want clear direction on what they do want. Right now they want to have their cake and eat it too by having me train, escalate, develop and more all while maintaining ticket/phone numbers. If they want me to do tickets than Ill crunch tickets, if they want me to do the other stuff, than Ill do the other stuff but Im not doing both. I am only 1 person capable of doing only so much in a week.
    Hammer80 wrote: »
    ...Next thing that is going to happen is that you will be written up for something completely stupid and bogus, this will be there excuse for not giving you the promised promotion and raise/bonus while telling you that you are a valued member of the team. If I were you, I would dust off my resume and start looking and with 4 years of experience there you are guaranteed to have more pay and a better title elsewhere.

    Thanks Hammer80. I agree and I am searching externally but I need to make things work in the interim.
    GarudaMin wrote: »
    When management looks at success by the number of tickets a tech opens/closes, they are inviting a disaster. The ticketing system also loses its integrity.

    Just keep doing what it is you are doing and try not to attract management's attention too much. Meanwhile, work on resume and start looking for new jobs, become a surreptitious job-seeker.

    Based on what you said it feels like the only direction your current place is going is down, thanks to management's leadership or the lack of it.

    Agree completely. Trying not to attract management's attention though is proving to be easier said than done because apparently, unbeknownst to me, my performance "decline" has been on their radar for several months now.

    Given the added responsibilities Ive been assigned, I figured it would be expected that my ticket/phone responsibility would be lighter so I didnt really think my performance had suffered until this past month (March). Based on the evidence, I was wrong in my expectations but I guess it wasn't enough for them to say anything until recently.
    TomkoTech wrote: »
    If they had any intention of following through with the raise/promotion your boss would have come to you in an informal manner prior to it becoming an issue with your promised raise. This "verbal warning" is an HR tool. The next step is written. And you now have no leg to stand on to base a complaint about not getting that raise.

    Well they didnt formally threaten my promotion/raise though it was informally mentioned. Honestly at this point I dont know that I care about the promotion/raise that much... I dont think I am going to stick around for the 7 months left before I can obtain it and even if I do, its not going to provide me with that much more of a resume boost or pay. In fact, Ive recently considered not even going for the position.
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    DustyBlueDustyBlue Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I appreciate the comments and would love to see more.

    One thing I am looking at doing is getting a copy of my job description/responsibilities/expectation from HR and abiding by that while cutting out all other side projects and responsibilities Ive been assigned.

    It will suck, it will eat at me and Ill be unable to assist my team as much as before but I wont be of any help to the team if I am no longer there... Maybe a taste of their own medicine will get the manager to wise up and recognize the implications of just what he's asking of me.
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