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Eco-Logic
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« on: November 04, 2004, 10:57:15 PM »

I'm in the Financial Services industry as some of you may know, working for an Advisor with over 400 clients.  One of the main products we sell is an Annual Financial Plan.  We charge anywhere from $700 to $11,500 for them and to stay compliant we have a time frame for when the plans need to be delivered of 1 year after payment.  For one, that time frame is extremely high already.  The problem I am having is that my Boss tends to procrastinate on things and sometimes she even lets the plans slip past the 1 year date.  Which is crazy.  A bulk of the work is complete by me and a coworker normally within a few weeks of receiving payment, with the only thing left to do is for her to review a draft and make any changes so we can print the final copy. (one hour work at the most).  We have all these undelivered plans stacking up in my coworkers office, basically complete, just waiting on the final touches by my boss.  My coworker has talked to her about it a few times and nothing has changed.  In the meantime, business is booming and we are having a contest to sell 20 plans between Sept - the end of Nov-, and we're about to hit 20.  20 new plans...  Not only do we risk punishment from our compliance officer, but we also risk losing the clients.

So, I took it upon myself to email the business manager my concern.  The reason I emailed the business manager is because she acts as the go-between and is in charge of keeping the calendar for my boss.  I suggestion to her was to recommend to my boss to allow her to schedule one whole week for my boss to do nothing but deliver plans.  Reasonable request, right?  The email was to the business manager, who has always been big on trust and what is talked about between us stays between us.  So, here is the email I wrote.

Quote
Biz Mgr,

I don't know if you realize or not, but Boss not delivering plans on time, sometimes up to over 1 whole year late is a big deal and we should do whatever it takes to fix it.  It's going to bite her in the butt if we don't light a fire under her to take care of things.  [Compliance Officer] is going to be on her case about it once he realizes how many are late.  Here we are getting close to 20 new plans (yay!), and we still have a huge number of old, paid for plans to deliver.  Personally, If I was a client who had paid $1,200 or whatever for a plan and it was over a week late, I would get completely out.  Over a year late is completely ridiculous and has honestly made me question some decisions I have to make in the future.  I recommend to you, that you get a week in the future where there aren't many appointments and schedule it solely for [boss] to work on and complete the plans that [cowworker] has finished so that we can deliver them.  If she has a problem with it I would love to speak with her one on one about it.  I almost think she has let the fog and excitement of bringing in over 50 clients this year cloud her judgement and take her eye off her ultimate responsibility, client service.  It's always been this way though so it will be a hard thing to change.  Please let me know what you think.  I will probably talk to her about it as well as it's a really big deal and should be on every one of our lists of things to accomplish as soon as possible.  Thanks.

-C


After receiving the email, she left for the day and called my boss and told her about it.  My boss called me and I explained my concern to her over the phone, and she bullshat me about the reasons and we hung up.  I found out today that my boss asked the business mgr. to see the email and the business mgr gave it to her.

This same manager has talked to me about my boss on various occasions (think venting sessions), where nothing leaves the conversation.  I stand completely by everything I said in the email above but it wasn't worded for my boss and it pisses me off that she showed her.  

What do you all think?  



Now, onto the second issue I have had lately.  I got a call yesterday morning at 6:00 AM from the business manager.  She asked me if I was on my way to a business in town [name excluded] to help my boss setup for a seminar she was doing that morning.  I told her I hadn't ever been told that I need to help my boss setup for the seminar so no, I was still in bed.  She said she told me the day before which is absolutely not true.  She told me when she told me and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she never told me.  She then asked if I could quickly get dressed and go to the business to help her setup.  So, I did, and halfway there I checked my voicemail and there was a message from my boss telling me she found someone to help her  (setting up a projector and laptop for a powerpoint pres) and she would talk to me when she got to work.  Oh joy..

So when she got back from the seminar I went into her office and apologized for any confusion this morning.  She went on and said she has too small a practice for things like this to happen and that she told me about it yesterday bla bla bla.  I talked to her for 5 minutes the day before and the only thing she said to me had to do with the case we were working on at the time and later in the day she said see you tomorrow.  That is all.  Period.  I told her that she didn't tell me to be there and neither did the business manager and to tell me a time when I've ever not shown up to something she told me to be at.  She then said " Well I know you're really excited about your engagement and wedding and you were probably keeping up with the election yesterday but this isn't acceptable".  I just about flipped.  I almost bit a hole in my lip.  Of course I'm happy about my wedding and I did keep up with the election, but that has nothing to do with you dropping the freaking ball and not letting me know I needed to be there.  If I normally go to every single seminar that would be one thing, but I don't at all.  In fact I haven't setup for one in 3 or 4 months.  How the hell was I supposed to know.  I didn't say anything, turned around closed her door, went into my office and shut the door for 2 hours to try and cool off (while working of course).  

I just thank God that I didn't say something I would regret and lose my job.  I hope more than anything that she never brings it up to me again because I don't know if I can hold it in.  

BAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :evil:  :evil:  :evil:  :evil:  :x  :evil:
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Daehawk
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2004, 12:01:29 AM »

Maybe you need a lawyer. Sounds like they are working to make you lose your job because they are losers.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2004, 12:09:02 AM »

Quote from: "Daehawk"
Maybe you need a lawyer. Sounds like they are working to make you lose your job because they are losers.


Seriously?  

I hadn't thought of anything like that.

It's just discouraging because I'm good at my job (which can be measured easily otherwise I wouldn't say it) and like it.  I don't think my boss wants me to leave at all.  In fact, I think she is scared she is going to lose me.
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gameoverman
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2004, 12:09:56 AM »

Sounds like they screwed up the seminar thing and just wanted you to say 'sorry, won't happen again' so they could pretend it was your fault.

The email though, I wouldn't advise anyone to be critical of their boss in an email, unless they didn't care if their boss saw it or not.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2004, 12:30:24 AM »

Quote from: "gameoverman"
Sounds like they screwed up the seminar thing and just wanted you to say 'sorry, won't happen again' so they could pretend it was your fault.

The email though, I wouldn't advise anyone to be critical of their boss in an email, unless they didn't care if their boss saw it or not.


Yea, very good point.

The reason for me going to the business manager first is because she pushes my boss harder than any of us and my boss listens to her more as well. Having nothing to do with the financial planning process, she isn't as up on the situation so my thought was I would explain to her how serious the situation is/will become and what I think would be the best method to fix it. I've gone to my boss on my own about it before and nothing changed. My co-worker has as well as I said earlier. The business manager hasn't ever talked to the boss about it and being the one who takes care of the scheduling and talks to her the most it seemed logical.

I stand behind everything I said in the email. I obviously wouldn't have worded it that way if I had know the boss would read it. Do you think the email is really bad? (wording)
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gameoverman
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2004, 12:41:26 AM »

I don't think your email is worded in an overtly offensive way, however I think it is worded in a way that could easily be taken that way if the boss was thinskinned.

You were clever to insert the part about being willing to talk to her about it if there's a problem, but then followed it up with her judgement being clouded and it always being this way- ouch!  :shock:

It sounds like you won't have much fallout though, if she's worried about losing you.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2004, 01:38:32 AM »

Yeah if she needs you then no worries. It just sounds like you have a incompetent boss that likes to lay blame on others. Id hate to have to work for one myself. good luck.
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McBa1n
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2004, 02:46:10 AM »

request that all further wishes/tasks be sent in email - and keep paper and electronic copies for yourself.
Granted, the electronic copy IS the property of the company - unless you can ninja emails somewhere on the network where no one knows, you'll have a tough time saving them.

I work in the Legal Dept of a Pharmaceutical company. I always do all requests/tasks via email for varification purposes and also to help track chain of custody of where things are at.

You have to protect yourself, because an action such as a boss making something up is something you have to be ready to defend against.

You can kindly ask, so you don't make the mistake again, for a meeting planner or email if your boss should need you to hit a seminar or take care of something.

Also, if there is someone up above your boss - always try to communicate via email in a manner you'd talk to your mother OR your finance's mother - direct, professional and guarded language... And try again about the 'issue' you were having with your boss by emailing her directly - once you get a bs response, send it on up.
Problem solved.:>
I'm a bitch, but that's my job - to serve the customer.

Electronic records are HUGELY important and will be in the future. Right now, most people don't realize it, but they CAN protect you in the court of law.

And no - I'm not a lawyer, I just have spent the past 10 yrs of my life working with/living with/hanging out with them. At least they give good info now and again:>
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Jaddison
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2004, 04:15:41 AM »

I agree witht he paper trail but do you know the employment laws of your state?  In Virginia you can be let go for no reason with no notice, just as you can quit with no notice.

The paper trail covers you if they want to fire you for cause with no severance and also screws you on unemployment insurance.

I can advise that getting into "he said she said" with your supervisor when you have no tangible proof other than your word is just stacking the deck against you even more no matter how right you are.
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2004, 02:54:23 PM »

I didn't bother to read all of that long, boring diatribe up there, but I'm pretty sure it can all be solved in a simple way:  Get her drunk and stick it in her butt!   biggrin
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2004, 04:12:53 PM »

Honestly it sounds like you just need to sit down with your boss and let her know where you're coming from.  I mean... you only sent something to your business manager in her best interest in the first place... you were worried about her performance and how it also can reflect poorly on you.  If she can't see that she doesn't deserve a good employee.

Especially if your boss is worried about losing you I think you would have enough bargaining power to sit your boss down and try to get her to start doing her job more.  Use whatever you can as leveage and try to convince her you're only looking out for her interests.

If it goes for a few months and she doesn't improve.  Walk.  Even if you plan on coming back, chances are she won't call your bluff if you're a good employee.

It doesn't sound like they are trying to get rid of you, but it does sound like it could end up that way if you don't talk it out with your boss.

Hope that helps some...
s
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2004, 04:54:33 PM »

Quote from: "Sepiche"
Honestly it sounds like you just need to sit down with your boss and let her know where you're coming from.  I mean... you only sent something to your business manager in her best interest in the first place... you were worried about her performance and how it also can reflect poorly on you.  If she can't see that she doesn't deserve a good employee.

Especially if your boss is worried about losing you I think you would have enough bargaining power to sit your boss down and try to get her to start doing her job more.  Use whatever you can as leveage and try to convince her you're only looking out for her interests.

If it goes for a few months and she doesn't improve.  Walk.  Even if you plan on coming back, chances are she won't call your bluff if you're a good employee.

It doesn't sound like they are trying to get rid of you, but it does sound like it could end up that way if you don't talk it out with your boss.

Hope that helps some...
s


Thanks Sepiche, I think I'll see if she wants to go to lunch next week to discuss some things.  I appreciate the advice.
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2004, 08:51:08 PM »

It sounds to me like your boss was covering her ass.  She tells everyone that you did not show up in the morning to help after she says she told you.  Just trying to show that she is the boss and can get you in trouble if you try and go over her head again.
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2004, 09:06:07 PM »

Quote
I didn't bother to read all of that long, boring diatribe up there, but I'm pretty sure it can all be solved in a simple way: Get her drunk and stick it in her butt!


No, no nuke the site from orbit...its the only way to be sure.

Ascendent
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Sepiche
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2004, 09:10:02 PM »

Quote from: "Ascendent"
Quote
I didn't bother to read all of that long, boring diatribe up there, but I'm pretty sure it can all be solved in a simple way: Get her drunk and stick it in her butt!


No, no nuke the site from orbit...its the only way to be sure.

Ascendent

You're just a grunt... you can't make calls like that.

No offense. biggrin

s
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2004, 11:54:05 PM »

None Taken.
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2004, 07:44:05 AM »

You are getting yourself into a difficult position. You need to decide right now how important your job is because you are getting set up. You are dealing with people who would frame their own grand-mother if it suited their needs. There is a very bad reason why a slacking, lackluster boss has their position and manages to keep it despite THEIR boss knowing about the problems. You have made yourself into a target. It sucks, it really does but it's the truth. Don't under estimate the lengths they will go to in order to protect their power. You don't sound as if you are prepared to handle this type of battle and learning the hard way will be "unpleasant" at best for you. You obviously care about your work and have honorable motivations. You are a threat and must be dealt with! Sorry to be so negative but you needed to hear it.
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2004, 03:23:34 PM »

I agree with Viggo.  You complained about the boss to the business manager who is probably friends with your boss.  Now your boss is pissed off and you are in the crosshairs.  Things like the presentation slipup....nothing except trouble they can document in your record when they try to get rid of you.  I would go to your HR dept (if you have one) immediately.  Show them the email, explain it was supposed to be confidential, throw an absolute fit it was told and then shown to your boss and explain what you're going through now.   As it is unless you're totally irreplacable you will probably be gone in a matter of months.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2004, 04:13:50 AM »

Well, we don't have a PR department.  Her pratice consists of her, the Senior Financial Advisor, me the Investment Analyst and Trader, a Financial Analyst (who does the plans), a Marketing Director/Business Manager (who showed the email), and an intern.  

My bosse's "Boss", is basically the Compliance officer and the market group vice president.  My bosses annual review is coming up any day now and she has blank signed documents in client files which has led to many advisor throughout the country being fired.  If she's fired, we're all fired.  

I have decided that I am going to call some other offices around town and see if anyone is in need of licensed help.  If I find some offices that are in need I probably wouldn't have a hard time getting a job with them since I already know the system and they wouldn't have any expenses since I'm already full licensed.  

My fiance is pissed at my boss now too since she keeps on bringing up the wedding as if it's affecting my performance.  It hasn't at all and I know that for sure.  

Anyway, I will keep you all updated on what goes down.  Thanks for all the insight.
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2004, 06:16:16 AM »

Yeah, this sounds fishy to me too Eco - CYA.  

You complain and then out of the blue she accuses you of what is effectively slacking and being forgetful?  After the business manager passes on the email? Too coincidental - this is a subtle slam by the boss to I can make your life miserable.  

I'd even go so far as to suggest that she deliberately didn't tell you when to be there so that she could call you on the carpet.  No email or paper trail, so it's he said/she said and she now has a "disgruntled employee" email to back herself up.  Yikes.

I agree with the others that you could have been a bit more graceful in the email - next time (if there is one), I suggest a phone call and state explicitly that it is confidential.  Either way, try and talk to her, but also, do what you thought about, which is find another home to go to.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2004, 03:22:28 AM »

This is my first full-time job  so I'm not completely up on job politics etc.  I do know that my boss and the compliance officer do not have any history at all.  in fact, he just took over as our new compliance guy in July and it's his first time doing the job so he's eager to please his boss.  My boss is already on probation for some type of compliance error so it could be ugly.

I really do appreciate all the insight.  You all have made me think about the whole situation differently.  I'm going to get my job hunting shoes and and see I can find another salary paying job for a fully licensed candidate with experience in the field.  I have no desire to sell right now as consistent income is the most important thing for me now that i'm going to be married soon.  

Part of me wants the compliance thing to bite her in the ass now, which would pretty much prove me email correct.  I'm not going to try and change anything though.  I'll just save the emails I've sent over the last few months addressing the various issues so come the time for the annual review I will have evidence that I tried to do something.  

I will definitely let you all know what happens.  Thanks again!
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