I (Male, 30-35) work for a multinational Australian company in the software industry.
I am really having a hard time dealing with the favouritism from my current manager towards people who are more extroverted (not necessarily more talented). For about two years since I started working at my current workplace, I have faced problems on a daily basis.
The manager, so far has picked two favourites since I started this job. One has left and now the person who has replaced him is his new favourite.
New opportunities, handling the situations when things go sideways
The said favourite appears to be the best buds with the said manager. I conclude this because when I make an effort to ask the manager how his weekend was or any chatter for that reason, his responses are short where as when the favourite asks him the same question, he is always happy to engage in 10 - 15 minute conversations. I feel like this relationship blinds the manger from seeing his favourite's real skills.
For instance: our team had to learn new skills in a CMS. I had already worked with the CMS we are talking about here. During our training, it was quite evident. And yet, the favourite, after following the course slightly, became a self-proclaimed 'new-cms' expert. Our manager does not seem to have a lot of technical knowledge to recognise that he's not an expert. This one instance, the favourite fucked up the database because he was trying to edit the serialised data in the database DIRECTLY. Yeah, that's an expert for you. He carried on about it for 2 days and blamed the CMS for taking the wrong approach. Nothing was said or done about it.
On the other hand, when I have made mistakes, the manager has made a huge deal about it in the public chat room, once with his favourite and him attacking me together.
In the past, I have brought some good ideas to the table that would benefit the company. Ideas that I use on my personal projects and work for me in real life. However, whenever I raise something, it gets minimised at the time I am raising it. The favourite usually says something negative about it, without knowing much about it. And since the favourite is my manager's cornerstone of knowledge, that's the gospel.
It's also not un-common for my old ideas to be buried at the time I raise them, and months/weeks later, manager / favourite would jump on [insert my idea] bandwagon and act like our conversation never took place.
When a group pretends that you don't even exist, it can be quite infuriating to say the least.
When I started, I worked an additional 45 - 60 minutes (without break or lunch) to make up for my slow pace with the new tech. I was also told that when you are using mac, you're on your own, which is fair enough they all use windows, I didn't mind at the time.
When the favourite started, he asked for help for weeks. Everything had to be spoon fed to him and the manager assigned resources to help him out.
More on work hours: a few months after starting, the favourite requested from the manager that he's got a new puppy and he would like to take some time off every afternoon. For the next six months, the favourite took 90 - 120 minutes off every morning after taking a tea break and a breakfast break. Sometimes I would stay back and I did not see him making up for the lost time.
About a year ago, I started working on my own projects and up-skilling, due to which, I started doing strict 8 hours, which some people have done in the past. My manager asked me to start doing 8.5hrs as per our contract. No problems, I start doing that. In order to up-skill, I arranged mentorship session with someone from Europe and he was available only during our lunch break. I asked my boss if it would be OK if I have a 30 - 45 minute session everyday for a month in order to upskill. To make up for this time, I would not take any break at all. I didn't think this would be a big deal since up-skilling has been encouraged in my previous jobs and hey, the favourite's puppy became a dog on the office time.
But, it didn't go well. The manager didn't appear to be happy and asked me to list my existing break times and how I am planning to make up for the lost time, in writing. He said that he's doing this in case HR asks him. However, when I asked if I should forward the email to hr as well, he said that won't be necessary and we don't want them to know!!
Social engagement & meeting invitations
There's a blatantly deliberate attempt to exclude me from the conversations. The only conversations I get invited to are the ones where the critical decisions have already been made. It's like being invited to eat the crumbs after everyone feels great, having eaten the expensive meals.
Behind the back talk
My manager gives me feedback, based on the 'chat he had with' his favourite. I would have thought that in a healthy work environment, the favourite would come and talk to me about an issue he so obviously sees in me but would send the manager to deal with it.
I am left with the feedback and have to work on myself while the favourite can do no wrong in the manager's eyes.
What have I tried so far?
- Coming to a realisation that favouritism exists at workplace and I can not expect things to be perfect.
- I have tried doing everything in my power to ignore all of this and pretend nothing weird is going on.
- I have spelled a couple of disparities to my manager. He has said that he will be careful of this behaviour. However, in a few week's time, things have gone back to ground zero.
I can not give up my job right now due to a few complicated reasons.
Is there a way I can make my situation a bit better? I am open to working on myself as long as it's reasonable.
TL;DR: I can not leave my job right away, how to handle a situation where my manager is more lenient towards his favourite while maintaining (wittingly or unwittingly) a different array of expectations and rules for me.