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In the organization, there are 3 levels of managers, L1 (my direct reportee), L2 (middle management), and L3 (C-suite). I've been performing well since the day I joined the organization (1,5 years), and I was put up for promotion since 1 year ago, but the previous L2 manager was rejecting it due to some reasons.

I raised the issue with the L3 manager, to which they replied that my performance is acknowledged by the company, and I will be getting a double-promotion when the performance review cycle is finished.

Later on, a new L2 manager was hired from inside the company with whom I've worked with before on an assignment. My L1 manager reported that the new L2 is blocking my promotion, so I reached out to him, asking for feedback.

The L2 manager initially refused to give me any feedback, asking me to send them a justification letter along with sponsorship letters from the clients. When I insisted, they said that "it'd be weird to promote someone your age this quickly". So I prepared what they asked for, and sent it to them, requesting them to review it. They instantly replied back that they're not going to consider it, as the decision is already made.

On their irritating behaviour, the L2 manager has started acting strange as well. Whenever they see me passing by in the office, they warmly greet me as if I'm an old friend. They keep on throwing beers and drinks my way during Friday drinks, they regularly come up to my desk, and tell me random stuff about their children and family, which I really don't feel comfortable with. (we're the same sex, by the way)

I've decided to raise this to the C-suite, not as a bargain for promotion, but rather to give them honest feedback about their recent hire, as I've already made my mind about quitting, and my self-esteem was hurt pretty badly, but I'm really confused about what to make out from this situation, and how I can report it.

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    If you've already decided to quit, personally, I don't think you should spend brain power worrying about this stuff. May 30, 2023 at 6:02
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    Did you ask L3, why L2 is blocking what L3 promised last year? That might have been the way forward. Or maybe not.
    – nvoigt
    May 30, 2023 at 6:10
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    @Kinen How is it risky given you've already decided to quit? May 30, 2023 at 6:18
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    That is not what I would describe as "irritable".
    – keshlam
    May 30, 2023 at 8:09
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    Sanity check: You do understand the difference between irritable and irritating, right? Not that I see why this would be especially irritating either.
    – keshlam
    May 30, 2023 at 23:13

2 Answers 2

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The L2 manager doesn't want to you to be promoted, for whatever reason. Could be legitimate reasons, could be illegitimate reasons.

Aside from that, they want a good working relationship with you, and for you to feel like a valued member. They know that refusing a promotion can cause problems, so they are doing what they can to try to make you feel valued.

It would be more unprofessional of them to decide to treat you in a cold manner because they have an option that you should not get promoted.

How you wish to proceed is dependant on the outcome you want. Given you are leaving, I suppose the best outcome is to leave on good terms. In such a situation, I would merely recommend tolerating their behaviour until you are gone.

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  • How would someone feel valuable at work if their manager let them know too much information about their personal life at home?
    – Kinen
    May 30, 2023 at 6:16
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    @Kinen What you would classify as "too much", someone else would classify as "being friendly with a colleague". Maybe they overstep and are too friendly, but people make mistakes all the time. May 30, 2023 at 6:18
  • @Kinen: Getting TMI feels good to manager types. May 31, 2023 at 3:03
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I will be getting a double-promotion when the performance review cycle is finished.

Has that review cycle finished?

On their irritable behaviour, the L2 manager has started acting strange as well. Whenever they see me passing by in the office, they warmly greet me as if I'm an old friend

How is this behaviour irritable?

It's up to you to decide whether you've been delayed (or even deceived) too long on the promised promotion.

It sounds like your performance in your current position is acknowledged to be great. The underlying reasons for delays and refusals may have nothing to do with that.

It may be the difficulty of the organisation absorbing you at the higher grade - for example, what they might have believed would soon be a vacancy for you, may not have materialised.

Another issue may be that you're not yet thought to have enough social gravitas necessary for the role you want to fill - that might be what they mean by reference to your age.

A third possibility is simply that they've dangled many other managers along for many more years before providing promotions, and they'd cause annoyance amongst that existing cohort if they now promoted you so quickly. There may also be other people already ahead of you in this queue for promotion.

When your performance is much better than the norm of the organisation you're in (and if you're in an occupation where there can be a wide range of ability), it's often much easier to seek promotion externally, because the web of promises and expectations that constrain systems of internal progression don't then apply.

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  • "dangled many other managers along" -- OP doesn't seem to be a manager
    – Ben Voigt
    May 30, 2023 at 15:41
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    @BenVoigt, no but he talks of "promotion" and of three levels of management existing, so I'm assuming he's looking to enter at least the first level of management. And I'm of course talking about those who are now managers, but may have been strung along for much longer in order to become managers. If the norm is to make people wait say 8 years, and they promote someone in 1.5 years, the older hands might get narky.
    – Steve
    May 30, 2023 at 16:00
  • There's nothing in this question that makes me think OP is trying to enter management. All your points are equally valid applied to senior whatever-track-OP-is-on employees.
    – Ben Voigt
    May 30, 2023 at 16:18
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    @BenVoigt, given that his conversations are with "L2" and "L3" (not "L1", who obviously wouldn't have authority to promote to his own level), and given that he describes it as a promotion, and given all the difficulty, that's what led me to think he was seeking a managerial position.
    – Steve
    May 30, 2023 at 17:57
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    @Kinen, I see, good grief! Thanks for the clarification. Little of my answer probably applies then. I'd suggest the only likely explanation remaining, is that they just want to try and hold your pay down. If so, leave.
    – Steve
    May 31, 2023 at 8:37

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