I am a new (3 months) software developer in a smallish software company (10 people). I've been given a new project which has complex and poorly documented requirements, and I've been asked to speak to my boss (who is a company director) before I begin work so he can show me what to do. I did contact him, asking him to help me, and he said he would but the appointed time passed and I heard nothing.
We are spread over three sites and the promised monthly company meeting at the head office has only happened once: in January. We may get one in April, if we are lucky. I work at a site with only 3 people including me: we are all new starters and one guy is the project manager.
We have a lot of complex projects for customers in very varying different areas ranging from manufacturing and distribution to service industries. The developers also have to provide support (helpdesk) for the applications and we are currently very busy, recruiting for 1-2 members of staff as we are struggling with the support and taking on the new jobs.
In my previous job I worked for 3.5 years for a disorganised company with a boss who was often unavailable for days and who did things in a chaotic manner with no structure whatsoever. I left because I got so frustrated by the environment there, starting in my new workplace in December 2018.
I am in my mid 40s and have worked in IT for 15 years, 5 of those in programming. The issue is that my background is in desktop applications, and in this new job I have had to learn web development (CSS, ASP, HTML, Razor views etc etc etc). I have found this surprisingly challenging and despite my educational background (PhD) I've been quite slow in comparison to the experienced developers.
My personal life is chaotic as my teenage son has autism/ADHD, I have depression, my teenage daughter has anxiety/depression and my wife has unspecified/undiagnosed mental health issues. She has mentioned feeling suicidal to me several times and gets no real help. The environment at home is physically and mentally chaotic, with frequent crises and lots of extreme stress.
I sent this email to my boss this morning, after trying twice unsuccessfully to phone him. I CC'd four other people: three company directors and the project manager in my office. The purpose of CC'ing them was because previously I have complained to the boss about lack of communication (no company meeting as promised) and what I got was a frustrated verbal reply about them being busy. I wanted to make sure something actually gets done about these issues.
I can't log in to Visual Studio again, so I can't do my job. The same situation existed yesterday. I struggled for maybe an hour myself trying to work out the problem and when I contacted you, you were able to say that it is due to the payment problem which will hopefully be resolved today. It hasn't, which I find quite worrying. I am filling in the time watching tutorials on CSS and reading the spec/documents for ___________.
I was asked to look at ___________ and the plan that I was given was that you would get back to me, but that's not happened. In fact there has been more than one occasion when you said you would get back to me and you have not been able to - the time just goes by without any contact. I guess due to the volume of support that you are all very very busy up at (head office). You have my sympathy and its great that we are recruiting more people. I am under quite a lot of stress in my personal life at the moment and it makes me very anxious when I work in an unstructured environment with poor communication. Its also frustrating that I want to be productive and help you out by completing some of these tasks, but I can't.
Kind regards, Phil
He replied with:
The problem with your Visual Studio account was fixed yesterday, you should have received an email which I have now resent. If you still haven't received it please let me know. I will be in the (your) office tomorrow morning, see you then.
He is not a cheerful person and I am anticipating a bit of a backlash when we see him tomorrow. My question is this: was I wrong in copying in the other directors in the email? Maybe I should have sent it directly to him first.
Edit: I spoke to the boss on the phone today and apologised for sending the email, I said that I overreacted. He said that I did and that we need to have a conversation in person. He also made it clear that I am not being fired.
Edit: The boss agreed with me that what I wrote was unprofessional and that it was a mistake to involve other people, particularly a non-director. He said it looked like I was trying to 'throw him under a bus'. I said it wasn't my intention to challenge his authority and that I let personal stress (without going into detail) cloud my judgement. He apologised to me for the lack of communication but said he is overworked. In future he said if I need to rant, rant to HIM and don't involve others - except in the rare case when I can't get the right answer out of him (which is unlikely to ever happen). He even said I can discuss personal stuff with him if I need a listening ear. It looks like the boss is a LOT nicer man than I thought. So it is a strong unofficial reprimand. I am embarrassed by my lack of professionalism but the only thing I can do moving forward is to ensure I act professionally in future and this will just be forgotten as a 'blip'.