I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Monday, April 26, 2010

Previous week in KL

As my team members are in KL, i would hold team meeting via teleconference every week. We would take turn update each other on the issues we are facing and the outstanding tasks at hand.

Since i go to KL once a month, so there will be one face-to-face team meeting every month when i'm there. I'm not sure how my team members feel about such meetings, but i do think that it is necessary for everyone to keep abreast of what each other is doing, partly to serve as backup of the other team members and also as a means to build team cohesiveness.

I enjoy having discussion with my team members. Work aside, we do joke around sometimes and always have a good laugh at things. I do not, however, do pep talk as depicted in angel's drawing:

My time in KL last week was spent in meetings most of the time. Beside the usual team meeting, i also had three days of system design session with two of them. We are going to do some development for the new version of the system, and the best programmer who is gonna leave us at end of May promised that he would complete all these work before he leaves. The time we spent in making sure we go through the system design in details would facilitate him in his programming. It has been a fruitful week, as we achieved what we set out to do.

As boss was in KL too last week until Thursday, we would return to the hotel in the same cab every evening. He went back to HK on Thursday afternoon, and i got the chance to have dinner with the little brother colleague again. Initially i thought i gotta cancel the dinner due to a conference call with UK in the evening, but the meeting ended quickly and i could still proceed with the dinner plan.

At the restaurant, little brother only ordered some snacks. I was surprised that he was eating so little, and that was when he told me that he actually already had an early dinner (because he thought it was cancelled). It was very sweet of him to still go for dinner with me even though he had already eaten.

During the dinner, he told me that he is thinking of whether to resign this month or the next. He has not found a job yet and plans to take a break for two months before starting the next job. I did not give him much advice on it, as he is old enough to know what he wants for life and whether it is the right move. I just told him that as long as he is sure that there is no problem in getting a new job in view of the current economic climate, i'd give him my morale support on all his decisions.

Actually i'm in a very awkward position. He works in the team of my ex-little boss, and if go by job rank, i'm technically his superior too (even though not in the direct reporting line). Yet we are friends (i am like a big sister to him), and that is also why he told me about his plan, trusting me that i would not tell anyone else. Of course i would not tell ex-little boss or my boss about it, but this also means that i am keeping mum about things that i know would potentially affect the department. In this respect, it seems like i am not acting professionally in my capacity as a manager.

So you see, it is a dilemma, but to me the choice is obvious -- I would not tell.

Oh, and there was an incident that made me rather unhappy. Boss held a townhall meeting with the entire department when we were there. During the meeting, he announced to everyone that the increment would be postponed to May with backdated pay to April, with the exception of the lady manager in KL, which would be back-dated to February, the month she was promoted.

I can't recall if i had blogged about this before, but her promotion had actually added some disgruntlement in me earlier this year. Don't get me wrong, i have nothing against her at all. The disgruntlement is towards boss on the unfair treatment. As for her, i do not particularly like or dislike her. To me, she is merely a colleague.

This lady was hired as a consultant back in year 2008 as my replacement, for i was promoted to Assistant Project Manager and moved to establish a new team taking care of a different system. Over year 2009, i had very minimal contact with her, whether on personal or work level. Work-wise, we only had one or two occasions to work on very minor things, and she did not appear to me as an exceptionally outstanding star. Again, don't get me wrong. She is good, but just not exceptional.

Then this year, after the long-serving manager left us, this lady was selected to fill up the vacancy. She was promoted directly from consultant to manager.

As for me, i was told in this year's performance review that i will be a manager this year too. But then, putting all the puzzles together actually filled me with resentment.

First of all, i was hired as a consultant originally and was promoted to Assistant Manager. I gotta work for more than a year in this post (which actually does everything a manager ought to do) before my title is changed to manager, which coincidentally was at the same time as the lady was promoted to manager. This made me wonder if it was simply because boss wanna promote that lady and he didn't want me to be unhappy about having lower position than her and hence gotta change my title too.

Then, that lady was also hired as a consultant but she was promoted directly to a manager without having to prove herself in the role of assistant manager first as i had to. In a sense, this was as if she is so much better than me that it warrants a direct promotion for her, while i wasn't good enough to deserve the same.

Well, if she was really a star performer, i'd have nothing to say. But then, i did not find her to be that outstanding at all. She was at the most on par with me. Two consultants in my team, after knowing about her promotion, had the exact same sentiments and told me about it (obviously, they weren't happy about her being promoted to manager, considering she was originally at the same level as them). Both of them have had the chance to work with her on some tasks too and weren't particularly impressed by her either.

Lastly, all these aside (which was actually nothing but purely about my silly ego), what pissed me off the most was the pay increment.

When i was promoted back in September 2008, boss told me that i would have to wait for the annual increment in 2009 for my pay adjustment since he didn't have the budget to increase my pay for that year anymore. Basically, it means that i was taking on more workload and responsibilities without any extra pay.

Then in year 2009, the market clashed and the economy was down. The entire company froze increment and boss only managed to get a minimal increase to my pay, saying that he already fought very hard for it. What i got wasn't even a promotional adjustment but more like a normal increment of single digit percentage. And it wasn't backdated to September 2008 either. The new pay took effect from April 2009 onwards.

Now, similarly, this lady was promoted in February and the annual increment is in April. Yet, she actually got to get her pay backdated when i didn't?!!!!

Seriously, this is unfairness. I may be able to get over the resentment aroused from silly ego, but to get passed the disgruntlement of unjust treatment is difficult. Anyone who knows me knows that i have absolutely no tolerance for unfairness and unrighteousness.

This is certainly gonna be another push factor that i'm gonna add to my list.

Labels: ,

as long as you are still in this "cycyle", it will still happen no matter where you go... you have totally no control over a lot of things when you work for someone else.. the only option is to get out of working for someone, do something that will lead you to total freedom...

Haha! I like your angel's comic. But is that what you'll say????
The world is and will never fair. Of course we are unhappy for unfairness, but that's always choices. Try to change it, if can't change, then it's either join it, accept it or leave it.

unfairness always exists when it comes to work - either by luck, or your yardstick is high but not the boss (there's a saying work smart and don't work hard, unfortunately, i just don't know how to put it into practice). to pretend ignorance and move forward are quite foolish, and to use as rant in exit interview by then will be pointless too. your colleagues are not blind, they can see who is the really good performer ( just like blog readers can tell which blogs are really good), and when you got their "respect" and they're willing throw all out for you, work can turn out to be enjoyable and productive. when i try to do my best in work, i always tell myself this is a test for me how far i can go, am i really good and deserve better opportunity outside. at least, you can proudly tell others you come to this level not by sheer luck but on real skill.

sigh, people come and people go in corporate. and it's quite sad when i also saw my close friends and "skilled" people go for greener pastures (and leaving me with all the miserable in my ex-company). but that's working life anyway, one hardly would bind to a company forever unless he/she has a boss who owns a blog like you :). hopefully you and your buddy continue keeping in touch, and you'll learn a few photography tricks from him (and rejuvenate your lost forgotten talent).

Share your cogitation

Saturday, April 24, 2010 @ 4:22 am: Family problem
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 @ 2:55 am: Too sweet
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 2:46 am: At KL
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 2:58 am: Demoralised
Thursday, April 15, 2010 @ 4:38 am: My troop
Thursday, April 15, 2010 @ 4:34 am: Sleeping late
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 @ 3:42 am: I'm so not cut out for this
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:47 am: Summer Bearista
Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 3:27 am: FB Status
Saturday, April 10, 2010 @ 3:46 am: Grandma's condition