I work in networking support and have 2 middle managers and a project director, I've been in the company for 3 years and change and I've consistently received praise for my performance, capability and adaptability to supporting new products, but also consistently received negative feedback only about my late arrivals, which amount to about once a week arriving 15 minutes late (unjustifiable but I feel you should know in the spirit of full disclosure), due to this I've been told "I lack compromise to the company".
For the duration of my employment in this company this was the about the only negative feedback I received, even after asking for feedback multiple times all I got was "You're doing great, just don't arrive late", but for the duration of this year, after we've been acquired by a major company, my previous manager was inexplicably let go (its been 4 months and we still don't know why he was let go, an HR lady gathered the whole team and told us to "keep calm" the day he was fired), and I've been pressured in pretty much all areas of my work, such as:

  • How I dealt with customers: If I go the extra mile, its because I went the extra mile; if I don't, its because I didn't go the extra mile and customers deserve better.
  • How I follow process: Processes are defined in a big PDF file and they are to be followed to a fault, except in special cases, defined by whichever manager I speak to, and the everchanging pages of the holy book of processes.
  • Who I talk to: I must go through my manager to get information to and from some people, some not, not subject to any pattern as far as I can tell.
  • How I help my coworkers: I am one of the more experienced members of the team and its expected of me to help them whenever they ask me to, however when I don't help I'm bashed by management for not helping, and when I do and my work suffers I'm bashed for not paying attention to my workload.

I find this inconsistency maddening, especially since I had only been addressed to due to late arrivals, and so I'm thinking of changing jobs, but I'd like to give this a chance and try and learn to navigate this situation. All my compasses are broken and I am punished for seeminly all actions I take, where and how do I start addressing these matters?

  • Please can I suggest that, if that is your real name (or at least part of it), please change your username. You do not want your company to be able to tie this post back to you, especially if they're being nitpicky and looking for any reason to get rid of people. – user25730 Apr 26 at 22:48
  • Might be a good idea @user25730, thank you for the suggestion. – Juan Apr 29 at 0:57

You've been acquired by a larger company.

You work in IT. Do the math. There is no need to maintain two separate IT infrastructures when only one could do.

The longterm plan may be to fire everybody from your department, or harass everyone until everyone from your department quits. In which case, there is little you can do to change their minds.

Has the large company acquired other smaller companies before yours? If so, try to find out what happened to those other companies and their staff.

If I were you, I would update my resume and start looking for a job elsewhere. Thankfully, IT is still an essential function for many companies.

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  • Unfortunately I can't disagree, I suspected this would be the case however it seemed contradictory for me since the people doing the harassment may also be let go down the line. – Juan Apr 26 at 16:19
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    @Juan, Consider that those people doing the harassment may be harassed themselves and given unrealistic targets to cut costs. Has the large company acquired other smaller companies before yours? If so, try to find out what happened to those other companies and their staff. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 26 at 16:43
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    They are a fortune 500 company and so were we before being acquired. I've been reading up and apparently this (now parent) company has been doing acquisitions for a while based on the patents and products owned by their (soon-to-be) subsidiaries and not so much for their human capital. I'm guessing you were right after all. Time to dust off the CV, it was nice while it lasted. I'll mark your post as answer and get on with the job search. – Juan Apr 26 at 16:59

Who is your actual manager? The ONE person who you are accountable to?

If you say that there are two, or three, then you'll never win this battle. On a daily basis, I work with and report to several people - but there is only one person that is my manager, and if there are any issues about what I work on, or the quality of my work, he's the person I talk to - he then fights those battles while I do some useful work.

Might the company be trying to push you out after a takeover? Never attribute to malice what can be assigned to incompetence. It sounds like nobody talks to anyone else, and that this big book a 'processes' is ignored by everyone (because that book should define how and when you communicate with other groups in the company).

For me, however, the most telling part is you being disciplined for being 15 minutes late. In IT, the work is such that a lot of things need to be done out of hours or in emergencies. If your management is so careful about that 15 minutes once or twice a week, I wouldn't be too keen to get out of bed to solve their problems; there are better people out there to work for.

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