Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Help Brian with His Work Problem (Serious Post)

Alright so the NFL post is hold on for a bit so I can type this post and hopefully get some opinions from the trusted interwebs on how to handle my situation. Please note, yes I was very naive and way too trusting of certain people. I tended to believe someone does (especially my direct management) have my best interests in mind and they wouldn't screw me on purpose (i'm a poker player and i thought this, go figure). The reason I say this is because I know where I went wrong in trusting/not-acting, I'm only looking for solutions or suggestion on how to navigate the issue now.

First some background:
I work for a global financial services company, im going to be all private like just in case... I have been with the company in the life insurance department (not sales) for 7 years and have worked my way up the chain of command.
My department is a BCP (Business Continuity Plan) for the main location which is located in the mid-west. Because of the location, similar positions had different titles.It gets very confusing, but the key is East Coast (where I reside) has no position titled TEAM LEAD.

Example: East Coast Title                   Mid-West Title
                Supervisor                             Team Lead
                Manager                                Supervisor
                Director                                 Manager

The trouble starts way back in March 2006 when my original Manager had left, my Supervisor was promoted to Manager and the Supervisor position was open to be filled.

I applied for, and obtained the role of Supervisor. At this time I had 0 direct reports, and had no ability to hire, fire, promote, compensate, or place individual contributors on corrective action. My role was of support, knowledge, and training of new hires.

In March 2008, my Manager abruptly left our department with little notice which led to a hectic period. My Director sat me down and advised that I did have not enough experience yet to be promoted to Manager and he was going to search for a replacement, in the interim I was to take over the duties of Manager and then train the new Manager once they were hired.

After a few months, and many people turning the job down (most of them telling my Director that they felt I was capable of running the team) the position was on hold and I retained my current roles as Supervisor and taking on the additional roles of Manager. No compensation was given for the extra work, and i was repeatedly told this was temporary. I did not receive at any time, proper or official people management training. I was however responsible now for all that I mentioned above regarding hiring/firing etc etc.

Then Lehman happened in September 2008, company scaled back all budgets, layoffs occurred, and I took the high road of thanking my stars I still had a job over pressing the issue about promotions. In my end of the year review for 2008, I made mention of how I was performing 2 jobs, my Director notated in my review that I was doing an excellent job in the difficult situation I was placed in. I was rated a "1" which in company speak is super-outrageous awesomeness extreme. I was always told NOBODY ever receives a 1 (or a 5 for that matter which is the worst) and yet I did. I received a raise at a time where very few people received a raise. And again, because I was being treated fairly in a difficult economy I did not press the matter of promotion.

2009 Annual review time comes around, the company started doing better 4th quarter of 09, budgets began growing again (team outings were reintroduced) so I figured certainly I would be promoted. When I met with my Director in March of this year to discuss the year-end 09, I was told I was not being promoted again for budgetary reasons and that my current salary was comparable to Managers in my location in other departments. I was assured a promotion was still coming. I was rated a "2" even though I received the same high praise as the year before, but I received substantially less compensation than year ending 2008.

I had a heart to heart with my Director in May of 2010 regarding a promotion again and I was told he was working out the details with his boss, and that it should happen sooner than later.

I hadn't heard anything by August when the first big news came out, my Director's boss had been promoted and he was applying for the new position opening up. This turned into a situation where as it turns out he was never a candidate for the position and that they were eliminating his job.

To interject one second before I continue on, I noticed that at some point between Dec 09 and Sept 10 that all the org chart documents had been changed. Where once it stated my Manager's old position was open, and I was the Team Lead (Supervisor) now read that I was the Supervisor (Manager) and I had no Team Lead (Supervisor).

 Today, a new org-chart was rolled out and my new boss told us to send any errors to her. I emailed her that our team should read as SUPERVISOR(Manager) - Open and Team Lead (Supervisor) as me. She said I have the same job code and title as my peers in the Mid-West office have. I explained to her that East Coast office has no Team Lead position so when I was promoted back in 06 I was given the title of Supervisor and reported to a Manager. My new boss was very confused and said that its possible since we are aligned by business unit that the Manager position was no longer available. I let her know that in our office my peers have the title of Manager still, and she said she would look into the issue.

Other than the fact that if they are saying the Manager position is no longer available to me then I am at the ceiling of my career growth in the department, I really need to know how they can explain:

1) If they don't use the East Coast office title hierarchy, then how can my title be the same for 4 years where the first 2 I had no direct reports, but the next 2 I had 12 direct reports?

2) Can you become a manager of people without applying for the position?

This may seem silly just for a "title", but its more than that. With that position I am entitled to a high bonus percentage as well as a higher salary ceiling. With my current title, id have at max 3 years before i hit the ceiling and would not receive any raises unless company raises cap...

My thought process is that if I dont get any satisfaction from my manager I could consult HR, but Im not even sure they can help me.

Do I have any legs to stand on at all?

Thanks for reading and any help you can generate.....


SirFWALGMan said...

Tell em to fuck off mate. LOL. WTF you doing asking me for advice?

Honestly I think your situation is typical.. I mean why should a company pay more for your services and stuff like that if your scared and willing to do the job for free.

I see it all the time.. people throw in 60 hours instead of 40 and it is expected so why should companies hire another person if the slaves they have are willing to cover the time.

This is why I am a contractor. Ten years straight. No days out of work. Not a bad gig.

Good luck with your situation.