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Recently my boss told me privately a new coworker would be joining us shorty. In this talk, he revealed to me that the tasks this new coworker would perform would be traveling abroad to meet clients and schedule project-specific technical details.

These are tasks that I was told I would perform in all three interviews I passed to be hired by my company, two of which were performed by my boss' boss and in one of which my boss was present, as well as he himself told me so back when I joined the company (about 6 months ago).

As I was a new person joining the company, I didn't expect to travel abroad right away; but upon further asking, about 3-4 months ago, my boss told me that I would be traveling for the first time with him shortly.

That did not happen, but I didn't say anything, as I trusted my boss to schedule my responsibilites so I could take on them in the best manner for both me and the company.

However, now I feel betrayed, as I took on a position I wasn't really keen on, and on a workplace for which I have an extremely long commute (I lose more than 4 hours everyday on my commute), because I was promised to be able to travel abroad.

I had no communication from my company that this would happen and I don't know how to approach my boss over this, as I do NOT like the current situation and I tolerated it because of this expected benefits, which have now been removed from the table, as my boss explicitly told me that since this new person was hired to travel, I wouldn't be traveling at all, and that he wanted me to remain on site to attend to technical queries.

If I won't be getting the benefits of my desired tasks, at least I would like to be able to get some benefits, for instance, being able to work remotely.

Considering I have a positive but strictly professional relationship with my boss, how could I approach him over this issue?

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    where exactly did he go behind your back? am I missing something? – SaggingRufus Oct 30 '17 at 15:25
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    @SaggingRufus - If, in your interview, you were told "In addition to scrubbing out the toilets with a toothbrush, we're going to have you, down the road, be our person to taste-test French Champagne and Russian Beluga caviar," and then were specifically told your first tasting jobs would be coming up soon, and they don't, shortly followed by the announcement of them hiring someone else to test bubbly wind and fish eggs, would you not feel like your were misled for the purpose of getting the toilets cleaned? – PoloHoleSet Oct 30 '17 at 15:41
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    From what I can tell, it's a rite of passage to have been duped into doing a job you don't want to do with promises of a job that you do want to do at some indeterminate date down the road. Most professionals with a 10+ year career I've talked to have had something similar. – corsiKa Oct 30 '17 at 19:47
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    Why do you ask this question? You are very capable of clearly descripting your situation, so you are capable of expressing yourself in a written way. Are you asking this question because you lack the persuasion skills, are you afraid you might get angry when confronting your boss, ...? Is there another issue (e.g. you fear that your boss might answer "If you don't like it, find another job" while you have problems finding other employers), ...? Another point: you talk about your boss, but does (s)he have a boss? Are there other people (like HR) you might address concerning this issue? – Dominique Oct 31 '17 at 10:46
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You should discuss this with your boss, I would however approach it from a professional angle rather than a personal position of feeling betrayed or similar. While I can understand why you might feel that way raising these feelings with your boss is going to be counter-productive and will come across as quite juvenile.

Essentially what has happened is that your role definition has changed from what you were hired for (assuming that the travel abroad would have involved doing different duties from what you do when you are in the office) and while that happens and really isn't that unusual as businesses operate in a world where things can and do change. It's not unreasonable however for your to address these changes with your boss if you aren't happy with them and ask for a different solution.

Something like:

Hi [Boss], I understand with the [New hire] starting that the on-site visits to clients aren't going to be part of my remit, is this right? I ask because this is an area I was keen to develop in professionally and it was a big part of what attracted me to the role. Is there any way you could see for myself and [New hire] to share those visits as that way I would still get the experience I was looking for.

What I would stress though is that there is no way you can make them give you the duties you expected (in this case the travel) so you need to decide how serious this is for you - from your post it sounds as if this was a large factor in you agreeing to take the job. So if it really is that important to you then before you talk to your boss I think you need to decide whether this is going to be a deal breaker for you. If it is then you need to be prepared to start quietly looking for a new role that will give you what you want.

For what it's worth travelling for work is never as glamorous as it sounds - unless you are a fan of cheap hotels, overpriced "food" and long hours spent in airports it pretty much sucks. If you think a two-hour each way commute is a drag then believe me that has nothing on the time you lose traveling for work!

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    I would slightly change the script to start by asking the boss for the boss' view of the OP's future role. If it turns out not to be one that suits the OP, then explain about wanting to travel. – Patricia Shanahan Oct 30 '17 at 15:45
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    Yes, better to bring it up as something you wanted professionally... If they think you are going to treat traveling as a junket (expenses paid holiday), they really won't want you to travel. – user3067860 Oct 30 '17 at 19:35
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    Your boss may say yes then just delay. I would add that you two should come up with a time in which this I'd going to happen. A previous (<-emphasis) employer once tried the yes-then-delay tactic on me. – Nathan Cooper Oct 31 '17 at 15:13
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Considering I have a positive but strictly professional relationship with my boss, how could I approach him over this issue?

It's perfectly reasonable to ask if and when you will be travelling with your boss. Find a quiet time and ask privately.

Do not use the phrase "behind my back". Don't talk about "feeling betrayed". Don't indicate that you feel you were owed "communication from my company that this would happen". And don't bring up the new hire.

Just concentrate on your role and your career path, so that you don't come across as whiny.

If you learn that the plan for your role has changed in a way you don't like, then you can decide if you should stick around or find a new job and move on.

Roles and responsibilities can change. While it would be nice if your boss was more open and communicative, unless you are in a union or your local laws state otherwise, your employer can change your role without your permission. That said, we can all choose to accept those changes, or find a new job that more closely meets our needs.

If I won't be getting the benefits of my desired tasks, at least I would like to be able to get some benefits, for instance, being able to work remotely.

If you want to work remotely, ask your boss if you can work remotely. Provide reasons why it will benefit the company as well as you.

But try to talk about it separately, not as compensation for feeling betrayed. You'll just weaken your argument and be less likely to get what you want.

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However, now I feel betrayed, as I took on a position I wasn’t really keen on, and on a workplace for which I have an extremely long commute (I lose more than 4 hours everyday on my commute), because I was promised to be able to travel abroad.

So basically you took a job you don’t want at a commute you cannot tolerate simply for a perk that was hinted at but not promised?

Look, I don’t know what your job entails—or what your company does—but I have worked for some clients who have attempted to “seduce” me into doing work for them by dangling “perks” like this in front of me. For the record I do work as a web developer and Linux systems administrator and these clients were fairly well entrenched in a culture where wining and dining and offering trips was a part of the culture.

Guess what? I never went on any trips either. I too was a tad disappointed but at the same time I don’t think I would have enjoyed being flown on a moments notice from New York to Europe to then just sit in front of a computer and try to get work done on demand under a circumstance like that.

In general, you should always look at anything being offered to you as a “perk” or “freebie” as something that benefits the company more than it will ever benefit you. Like in my case, all of these gigs lasted years but… They were gigs where I was paid but had utterly no benefits and not security or stability in my job.

I mean yes, it sounds fun to tell friends over beers that you did X, Y and Z overseas. You sound like a jetset world traveller. But I assure you, unless the compensation or job experience is really amazing you will be flown to places you have never been to do miserable work while jet-lagged, never to enjoy the locales for fun and then fly back home to do more miserable work.

If this is really a perk you want, make sure your next job includes something like this in writing… But like I said… Be careful what you wish for!

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    I feel like most of this answer is just trying to convince OP that they don't really want the sort of job they say they want. Technically it is a way to solve the problem, but still, it doesn't seem particularly helpful. – user812786 Nov 1 '17 at 12:52
  • @whrrgarbl The original poster says this, “However, now I feel betrayed, as I took on a position I wasn’t really keen on, and on a workplace for which I have an extremely long commute (I lose more than 4 hours everyday on my commute), because I was promised to be able to travel abroad.” It is very clear they took the position solely for the perks and not the job itself. In that context, my answer lays it out pretty clear: Perks are perks and not much else. And they might happen or not. – JakeGould Nov 1 '17 at 14:52
  • I agree with you on that part. I was simply pointing out that a couple paragraphs of your answer were focused on "you probably don't really want to travel for your job anyways". – user812786 Nov 1 '17 at 15:21
  • @whrrgarbl Fair enough. But I can’t disassociate the two. The reality the idea of travel seems to be the biggest draw the original poster has to this job they clearly don’t like, so my answer is, “Why would you think travel for work is a good thing?” – JakeGould Nov 1 '17 at 15:23
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Most of jobs are a lot less glamorous in reality than they are depicted in job descriptions. Is anybody at the company actually "travelling abroad" at all?

BTW travelling on company business is not like taking a vacation. Usually all of the time is spent doing business stuff. Also, usually "clients" are not located in tourist destinations. Ever been to Manchester, England? Not a pretty place. Even in places like London and Paris, the interesting parts of those cities are like 1% of the total and unless you are working for Goldman Sachs the odds that you will be going anywhere near a place you would want to stroll around are about 0%.

Anyway, you could look for a different job, but in all honesty you will run into the same kinds of bait and switch problems at any company.

protected by Monica Cellio Oct 31 '17 at 17:00

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