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I am coming out of a contract with a company that lasted one year and half. In the end I didn't get a new contract, because as a junior I was heavily criticised by a more senior colleague. When I moved to another team with another senior, he was positive about me but the negative reputation I had at the eyes of my manager (who doesn't have any experience in my field) was enough to make up his mind and not giving me a new contract.

The reasons why I was criticised were true even if I disagree with some things (e.g. actual impact on productivity, frequency), but most of them were easily fixable. To make an example: one of the points was that I asked too many questions. He didn't tell me this directly, but he directly went to the manager and put it as if I was an irrecoverable case. Same for all the other criticism: I was working with him side to side but he never criticised me directly, but he was taking notes about my way of working all the time.

All this came out after 1 year in which I had no feedback from my company. To describe how I feel about my colleague, let me make you an example:

What if you find out that someone is keeping a secret balance about you, of which you are not aware and you have no way of knowing if it's positive or negative, and after some time you get told directly that you have thousands of dollars of debit and you should fix it or get jailed? then you fix it, but the negative reputation that you have gets you jailed anyway?

This is how I feel, and I never told my colleague. Now my thoughts are:

  1. Is this a normal way of dealing with a colleague? it is my first job so I have no idea
  2. Even if I am leaving, should I complain with management or HR about my colleague's behaviour?
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  • "Is this a normal way of dealing with a colleague?" - Do you mean the way this senior kept tabs on you?
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 7, 2020 at 17:19
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    The fact that he didn't come to me directly.
    – Boh Boh
    Feb 7, 2020 at 17:22
  • what is the question? You cannot control what others are doing, you can only control your actions Feb 7, 2020 at 18:42
  • Indeed I can control my actions: should I complain about him or not?
    – Boh Boh
    Feb 7, 2020 at 19:43

1 Answer 1

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Is this a normal way of dealing with a colleague? it is my first job so I have no idea

It's certainly not uncommon - many people don't feel comfortable giving negative feedback direct to a colleague that they don't have managerial supervision of. It's hard to say for sure without knowing exactly what the feedback was but in many cases they were doing exactly the right thing - feeding that information back to the colleague's manager.

So I don't really think your colleague is at fault here - if anyone dropped the ball it was your manager. A year is a long time to sit on feedback without taking it up with the employee in question. So any ire you have should be directed towards the manager, not your colleague. Heck, for all you know your colleague was specifically tasked with evaluating your performance.

Even if I am leaving, should I complain with management or HR about my colleague's behaviour?

No.. even if we are talking about making this complaint about your manager rather than the colleague it's a waste of time and effort, and only serves to make you look churlish on your way out. You may or may not ever need a reference from this employer or plan on ever being involved with the company or people ever again, but there's nothing to be gained from metaphorically slamming the door on your way out.

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