October 28, 2008

Is my manager's conduct fair?

Anonymous Anonymous asks...

I had a staff development review recently. My manager refused to fill in the section on overall performance.

I am a researcher. He cannot prove anything againts me and he cannot understand my work, but the funding body, a private company, repeatedly made comments on my work over the last year that were proven to be wrong after fighting my corner.

Can someone please advise if my manager's conduct is fair


Anonymous said...

Soon after I convocated with a brand-new engineering degree, I saw the following rules for work:

1. The boss is always right.
2. If the boss is wrong, see rule #1.

In other words, truth doesn't matter in circumstances such as yours. It's what the boss says that counts.

Anonymous said...

If your manager is not in a position to make some professional judgement on your performance, then why is s/he carrying out the appraisal?

Anonymous said...

Because he or she either can or has to. Of course it doesn't make sense and isn't just, but I learned over the years that logic and justice are terms that don't apply to management.

Anonymous said...

A quick update, my manager provided some feedback today, I challenged him about it and got the comments that I thought were fair but afterwards he told me not to expect to be in his research team in the future.

Anonymous said...

Remember those two magic rules about the boss!. When working for someone else, one either has to howl with the wolves or become so big and mean that the pack howls along with one's tune.

I found out both in industry and in academe that when going up against the boss, the boss will always win. Maybe not right away, but certainly later on.

I'll use an example. When I first started grad studies nearly thirty years ago, I heard of a supervisor who, apparently, published data for which one of his students did all the work. That would have been all fine and good but the supervisor did it without the student's permission or even giving credit to him.

The student eventually caught on and the situation became quite messy afterwards. The matter went to the senior administrative level and there was, apparently, even talk of litigation.

The student eventually got the degree but it probably wasn't worth much if he ever hoped to used that supervisor as a reference.