I'm currently working my first job as a Software Engineer. Prior to this position I've worked at places such as Wal Mart, Sam's Club, and Circuit City. I'm currently finishing my last two classes for my AAS in Computer Programming. I do have some prior history/experience with programming as well - a friend and myself created and maintain as a hobby a website that's about 8 years old, using PHP and MySQL. Although it's a hobby site, it does generate ~$500/month in ad revenue. While I've been told that it doesn't equate to any real experience, I feel like it's worth something.
I've been working in the position I'm in now since October. I'm making very little ($11/hr) and actually took a pay cut from my previous job to take this job. I took it because I live in a very rural area, where jobs in this field are not common. The company I work for is a small food additive manufacturer. They have approx 25 employees total. The IT Team consists of myself and my supervisor, the "Senior Software Engineer".
I've noticed from day 1 that the company is very disorganized. There's no clear chain of command, and I've seen a few people quit and be replaced just in the short time I've been here. My first personal poor experience occurred a few weeks ago. I returned from lunch one day, and my supervisor informed me that the main boss of the company, let's call him "Bob", had told my supervisor that I was over 5 minutes late that morning, and that it has happened before, and has to stop. Knowing I clocked in at exactly 8 AM, I informed my supervisor as much. He agreed that he didn't think I was late, and suggested I talk to Bob about it personally.
Later that afternoon I went to Bobs office, knocked on his door and asked if he had a moment. He said "sure, what's up?", and I proceeded to tell him that my supervisor gave me his message, but that I was certain I clocked in on time. He looked at his watch and said "is my watch wrong, it's usually right on time" then proceeded to compare his watch time with his computer time, and verified it was right. I explained that I'm certain I clocked in at exactly 8 AM, and verified with the secretary that my punch in time was recorded as 8 AM. He then said that he expects me to be at my desk by 8 AM, that I'm not doing him any good if I'm still walking to my desk during that time. I responded "Ok, I can certainly start clocking in at 7:55 if that's what you'd like". He responded "No no, I just want you at your desk by 8". I'm still uncertain of how I'm not supposed to clock in early, yet make it to my desk by 8 AM (it's at least a 2 minute walk from the time clock to my desk).
He then asked if my previous jobs didn't expect me at my work area by starting time. I explained that every job I've worked has had strict policies about not clocking in early, even 1 minute before your scheduled shift. He looked at me as if he didn't believe me, then started going off on a rant about how if I get stuck in traffic and aren't on time, that's "a you problem, not a me problem". He ranted like this for at least a few minutes, and all I could think in my mind was "...I wasn't late". Finally he started to wrap it up, and said something along the lines of "just for future reference, you should give a warning about what you want to discuss next time. This might be important to you, but it's not to me, and I was very busy". I apologized and went back to my desk. He didn't so much as acknowledge me for the next two weeks.
Then this week my supervisor informed me that we have two new people starting soon, and Bob doesn't want to buy more licenses for our Microsoft Office subscription, so Bob said to give my license to one of the new hires, since I don't use it. The thing is, I do use it. The funny part is I have to use the email to send Bob an Excel sheet weekly of all the work I've performed, broken down on an hourly basis. I now won't have a working email, or Microsoft Excel to be able to provide this. At $12.50 a month, I just don't understand how this is an area chosen to save money, and it kind of made me feel like he thinks I'm not worth that much.
Another unpleasantness that I could write yet another novel about, but will try to keep short, is a woman who was hired about a month ago. I think she's over sales and HR (again, no clear chain of command). She came in and immediately started telling my supervisor and I how she wants our website redone, what she wants things to look like, etc. We are more than open to suggestions, but she had her mind set to exactly what she wanted. She's an older woman, and I don't really think she has a good grip on what modern websites look like. Most of her ideas are at least 10 years out of date, design wise (she actually said she doesn't care what the website looks like on mobile, that she wants it to look really good on desktops - despite our stats showing 90%+ traffic is viewing on mobile). She's also taken over our company's Facebook page, and posts very random stuff every day, with no relevance to our business. The other day she posted a video, titled "Millennials in the workforce", which poked fun at Millennial stereotypes. I felt like this was extremely unprofessional, as did many others in the office. She refused to take it down, saying that it was just supposed to be funny.
I feel like I'm doing a very good job at this company. I'm fixing bugs in our production software that have eluded my supervisor for months. I'm building new production software basically from scratch, on my own. My supervisor seems to think I'm doing a good job as well, based on comments I've overheard him making.
My jobs up to this point have been labor jobs, that didn't really require a specific skill set like this job does, so I'm used to being treated this way. I honestly believed that it would get better when I entered a position that required a specialized skill set. Was I wrong in thinking this? Are the majority of jobs in this field similar to this? I'm fine with keeping my head down and just dealing with it, if this is indeed the norm, but I can't help but feel like this is not a typical workplace environment.