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I work as a web developer in a big company. Recently, I got moved to a new development team (scrum) inside a project, and I'm feeling as I am not welcome in that team. The team is comprised of developers from different offices. In my office we are 4 developers and the team leader. I feel like the problem is only with the developers that are on the same office as me, and not the ones from the other places (those people seem nicer than the ones working in my office).

According to my previous team leader and the new one, I got moved to the new team because a person from that team, which worked there for more than 5 years, left the company and they needed someone with a good technical skills to help. Actually, I don't feel like my skills are so great, but in the previous team, every task that was assigned to me got completed quickly and without much effort, even if the gave me tasks they considered somewhat difficult, so that may be the reason they think like that.

I remember that the first day I started working with the team, the leader introduced me as someone who had a lot of knowledge about the project and was going to help them do the heavy work. Everything went well from that first day, but about a month after joining I started noticing that, for example, although the team leader told me to take part in decisions about stories o bugs that get developed, whenever I give ideas, no one takes them into account, even the leader. Also I started seeing the other developers try to micro-manage me, and always trying to rush me when I have to work with them, even more when the leader is not present. One situation that got me worried this week was that one of the developers, who got put somewhat in charge of the team due to the team leader being on PTO (that developer is the one that has been working longer in the team), asked me to set up an application to debug it, and about 30 minutes later, while I was setting up that app, that person got up, stood up next to my desk, and started yelling at me (in front all the other people in the office), saying I wasn't doing any work because I had not done what she asked me to do really quick, and started threatening to tell the leaders about that (maybe to get me scolded or out of the team). While she was yelling, I showed I was working and setting up that app as she asked, but she didn't care and continued yelling at me. Earlier that day, that person asked me to do another task, and kept micro-managing me and pressuring me to do it quick, which I did, but it was a really unpleasant situation.

The only problem so far, from my side, is that I have been having problems with my sleep schedules from a couple of months before joining the new team, due to stress (I go to sleep really late an have problems waking up early). Due to that sleep problem, I've been having problems arriving early at the office, and sometimes I miss the daily meeting (which happens at about 9:30). In order to cope with that problem, the new leader (and the previous one) let me skip that meeting if I'm not able to arrive in time, but asked me to get in touch with them and the other team members regarding any new info they may discuss in the daily meeting, which I have been doing. To help solve that sleep problem I'm planning on starting seeing a therapist really soon to help me with this and any other problems I may have, and I have told my leader about that.

Regarding relationships in the team, all the developers in my office seem to work and have good relationships between them, but they cast me aside and don't talk to me unless they really have to, which makes me feel rather lonely in the team (luckily, there are some friends from other teams I have worked on, in the same office, so I'm not entirely alone).

This situation is stressing me out a lot, and makes me feel like I should get out of that team to avoid unnecessary stress (which may impact in my studies and life).

There are other things that bother me about this new position, like the tasks I have to work on (they are boring and not challenging at all), but I can cope with them for some time.

As this is my first job, there are a lot of things I don't know how to handle, and maybe I'm doing something wrong that is making my coworkers upset and treat me like that, or maybe something else is wrong. If that's the case, please tell me, so I can learn.

How do you think I should handle this situation? Is there anything I should do or learn to improve it, or should I maybe look for another team/project within the same company?

  • 1
    Clarification please: "started yelling at me" - do you mean literally yelling? – Underverse Jul 27 at 5:33
  • Are there any other differences between yourself and the people you work with which could cause communication or understanding issues? Aside from being new, for which they should give you one to three months at least of leniency to learn. – Underverse Jul 27 at 5:38
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    "While she was yelling" - This really does sound like bullying or harassment. – Underverse Jul 27 at 5:40
  • Maybe I used the word 'yelling' wrong. No one can speak so loud (like when someone shouts/yells), because we shouldn't do a lot of noise in the office, but she was scolding me using a pretty loud voice. – foobard Jul 27 at 6:04
  • About the learning period, the thing is that this new team is another development team from a big project that works in a web application for the company we are at. The previous team I was in gets tasked with implementing new features into the app; this new team gets tasked with solving critical bugs, and other critical things related to the app. So there is no need to learn anything from the ground up, I already know a lot of things about the app from the previous team. – foobard Jul 27 at 6:04
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The only thing that you seem to be doing wrong from my perspective, and you may have legitimate reasons and the permission from your boss, is missing the daily meeting. Some people hate meetings, so to see you have special dispensation to not attend can make some workers resent you. If you want to be treated as one of the team, you can't really do anything that sets you apart.

I wouldn't read too much into the temporary leader situation. Sometimes even temporary leadership can put people under a lot of stress. It is unacceptable to yell at people though. I wouldn't go to HR, if your end goal is getting on better with the team.

What you do is have a meeting with your manager and see their advice about your performance. While you say that the work is boring, maybe you're not actually doing a good job. Find out from your managers perspective what you can do better.

If you feel like your ideas and suggestions are not being taken seriously, there may be several reasons. If they are suggestions on process, the team may not be receptive to changing their ways, and may resent you suggesting "improvements" in this area. Nobody likes newcomers coming along and telling them how they've been doing things wrong.

If it's suggestions on bugs or stories, maybe you simply lack the context, so while you believe your suggestions are good, you are missing some key element that invalidates it. If it's not clear to you why your suggestions are not followed, you should wait until the end of the meeting and have a very brief conversation with your manager, and ask them to help you understand what you're missing, so you can improve your understanding about the situation.

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    Agreed about the daily meeting, but that was worked out the the actual manager and there is a plan in place to address this issue. So, this problem has a proposed treatment, so can't be held against the employee. +1 for the 'temp team leader' - collect information and have the actual manager deal with it when they return. – Underverse Jul 27 at 5:36
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    There may be no actual issue between the business and the employee with regards to the daily meeting, but if someone feels like they are not part of the team, they should try, if possible, to act like the rest of the team. – Gregory Currie Jul 27 at 7:15
  • The problem is not feeling part of the team. The real problem is when other people make my job more difficult or stressful. I would be really happy if I could work totally alone, but that is rarely a possibility. This job, for me, is just a way to get more knowledge and experience in my area. I also have to attend to university and study, so If I am getting stressed with work, I would prefer to look for a less stressful way achieve what I really want, if possible, to avoid it affecting my studies (which are a priority, as I want to graduate as quickly as possible). – foobard Jul 27 at 8:38
  • About the feeling that I am not being listened to, the times I provided ideas and asked for feedback, I got no answers of any sort, like talking to a wall. For example, the last couple of weeks I have been working with the team leader to fix a bug. A week after we started checking it, I proposed a some possible fixes for that bug, and asked the leader for some feedback about them, but got no answer. Things went on, until 2 weeks later during a meeting he told me to apply one of the solutions I proposed, without even giving credit for the idea or something... – foobard Jul 27 at 8:51
  • ... I don't really care if I get recognition, but he could at least have given some feedback or said something about those ideas, in order for me to get better and be able to be more helpful in the future. There have been other times when I did something similar, and also got no response from the other developers or the leader. That is why I feel I'm not being listened to. – foobard Jul 27 at 9:04
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and about 30 minutes later, while I was setting up that app, that person got up, stood up next to my desk, and started yelling at me (in front all the other people in the office), saying I wasn't doing any work because I had not done what she asked me to do really quick, and started threatening to tell the leaders about that (maybe to get me scolded or out of the team). While she was yelling, I showed I was working and setting up that app as she asked, but she didn't care and continued yelling at me.

  • Arrange a meeting with your boss and tell him about her behavior, and explain that being yelled at is not something which you will tolerate - unless you have a really bad boss, don't be afraid of him/her retaliating.
  • Say that this episode was the most dramatic one, but that the team otherwise also seems not to follow the SCRUM process.
  • The SCRUM process actually put nobody (besides the product owner) in charge of assigning the tasks. Don't you have a SCRUM-Board where tasks are assigned daily? Even if you are not there, your tasks should be set then, and fixed on the board. Nobody should "assign" other tasks to you during the day.
  • Ask your boss for training, and explain where your skills are lacking.
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When someone yells at you, in front of others, the only appropriate reaction is to get up, look at them, and say in a firm voice: Do Not Yell At Me. If she continues to yell, you take your phone and start filming.

The only time yelling is acceptable is in cases of immediate danger.

PS. I would stand up to a woman as a man. You don't yell at me, doesn't matter who you are. I see the yelling as an attempt to be intimidating.

  • I wouldn't stand up to a woman as a man because this can be seen as intimidating. But I would certainly instruct them to desist and start filming. – samerivertwice Jul 27 at 11:04
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    @user334732 I as a man have a pretty un-sexist view on this: If you hit me or yell at me, I hit you back and yell back at you; no matter what your gender, sex and/or identity is. – Niko1978 Jul 30 at 7:12
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    @Niko1978 you're partly right that's the un-sexist approach, but if you make an un-sexist adjustment for size and strength so as to not be intimidating in the workplace, you end up not intimidating women. It's the same thing as not pushing a little guy around. You also have to live in the real world where people will judge your idea of equality as being aggressive towards women, because truth is, we live in a world which is very sexist towards men. – samerivertwice Jul 30 at 7:39
  • @user334732 Sadly, you are correct about our world being very sexist towards/against men. – Niko1978 Jul 30 at 7:43
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    @Niko1978 women have their battles to fight too. It's a shame discrimination against men isn't acknowledged though. Men step up to get dismembered or incinerated first in times of war, do the unhealthy, harmful and risky jobs, have less spending power than women surprisingly, see less of their families, retire older, die younger and are routinely discriminated against in family law. But for some reason it's perfectly acceptable in Western society to vilify the male stereotype. – samerivertwice Jul 30 at 8:15
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+50

I was setting up that app, that person got up, stood up next to my desk, and started yelling at me (in front all the other people in the office), saying I wasn't doing any work...

As this is my first job, there are a lot of things I don't know how to handle, and maybe I'm doing something wrong that is making my coworkers upset and treat me like that, or maybe something else is wrong. If that's the case, please tell me, so I can learn.

What's happening to you now (yelling) is NOT normal or acceptable. At most places I've worked everybody was pleasant & easy going. If anyone dared do that to me I would get in their face and tell them to back the F up. You know who gets treated like a doormat? People who act like doormats.

A manager yelled at me once many years ago. I walked out on the spot. I went back the next day & did not get any punishment but really I should have just quit because there was nothing good going on at that company.

I've had co-workers who tried to bully. I just ignore them until they get the message that I don't care about their problems. 99% of the time their boss would not support their actions and they know it. Also they aren't YOUR boss.

As far as your co-workers not being friendly. There can be many reasons that have nothing to do with you. For example I worked at a place where almost everyone gave me the cold shoulder. Later found out that they had all been co-workers at another company for years before moving to the latest place. Plus many of them had moved from another region of the country before that. So they had a lot in common. It took years for the most stand offish of them to act normal.

I've also had managers who were cold acting yet after I left the company wrote glowing recommendations and were very supportive. So how they acted and how they felt were not the same.

If I'm in your shoes I would spend every second of my free time learning/improving my skills in something I know a lot of companies are hiring for right now. Then I would leave that company. Best case: make sure you have at least 1 friend at that company tho. Someone you will be able to trust to give you a reference. It can be a co-worker. It can even be a co-worker from another department. Make sure it's not one of the people you already know don't like you. Some people will definitely stab you in the back given the chance.

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"starting seeing a therapist really soon to help me with this and any other problems I may have, and I have told my leader about that.

Well done getting help and speaking to your leader. Your mental and emotional health is important and essential in this difficult situation. You may need to have a plan to escalate and do more as your mental health suffers. You may need to see a medical doctor for example.

As the new person to the group, it sounds like you are going through a tough initiation. Reaching out for help in your old team while you try to break the ice with the new team may help. Validation and support may be important while you keep trying to improve the working relationship with the new team. Getting a mentor or a supportive person in a senior position can help as well.

Planning for the worse, you should speak to the leader and higher-ups about the micro-management and anger/increased voice levels. If this is unsuccessful, it is worthwhile to look at the bullying and harassment protocols at your workplace. Unfortunately, most places do not have affirming and supportive structures and you will probably need to make moves to go back to your old team or leave the company at this stage.

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