When my boss Burt calls a meeting with me, Ernie (one of my peers) is always invited. Sometimes Ernie has a good reason to be in the meeting, but often there is no reason at all for them to be there.
Every time Burt says something, Ernie agrees. Every time Ernie speaks Burt disagrees and explains how stupid Ernie's suggestion is. I can't help thinking Ernie is there to make what Burt is saying sound more reasonable.
Two weeks ago Burt called me into a meeting at the end he criticized my performance. Or rather Ernie criticized my performance then Burt explained how Ernie was full of hot air, then Burt explained why he thought my performance was lacking.
He explained if Adam and David had been given my current project they would have completed it in a tenth of the time. However Adam and David do have a project almost identical to mine and they are behind schedule. The project is so far behind that Burt has authorized three other engineers to assist them, pulling them from other projects.
I pointed this out. Burt insisted that they were almost finished and that their project was much bigger than mine. Adam and David are my direct reports and I know exactly what their progress is and they are less than half done. Their project is slightly bigger, but it is not five times bigger and there are five times the engineers working on it, except it is also my project because I am their supervisor and I have been helping out when I can.
So basically I am competing with a team that includes myself.
At no point were my managerial duties addressed. It was as if I had been demoted from supervisor to individual contributor without my knowledge.
I took a good look at myself and realized I had been working unpaid overtime and neglecting both my family and my managerial duties towards my team. I corrected this, rebalancing my life.
Burt has been nice as pie since the meeting. Adam and David still have not finished their project. Burt still insisting that they are almost finished, they are not.
No-one has suggested that I have been demoted from the position of being Adam’s and David’s supervisor. Why is he acting as if he is their manager? Shouldn’t I be focusing on helping them complete their project rather than spending the majority of my time as an individual contributor.
Why does Burt think it is a good idea to promote a sense of rivalry between me and the people I am coaching, training and mentoring?
Perhaps he blames me for the schedule slippage and that is why he no longer acts as if I am their supervisor. If so, he has a strange way of communicating that or rather not communicating that.
I feel this is the calm before the storm. Burt demanded that I increase my engineering output and I reduced it to a quarter of what it was before. I increased the amount of team management to partially offset this, but he doesn’t seem to think I am a manager.
However, I don’t feel I had a choice. Meeting his demands was impossible and finding a new job while I was burnt out would have been difficult. Conducting a job search while I am clear headed and focused is a better outcome than trying to do so while exhausted.
Am I being paranoid? I feel this job is done. Am I wrong?