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My bosses are simultaneously demanding I document my work while preventing me from doing any work. I assume they are trying to somehow get around my 3 month notice period. They demand I enter details in my daily timesheets even though they don't give me tasks or are very slow to respond to my questions. Because they don't give me tasks I know that if I enter details they're not satisfied with, they'll claim I'm not working.

It feels like harassment. I want to ignore them but don't know if I'm legally in the right to do so.

I work remotely if it makes any difference.

Update

I'll give an example, without any input from me, my manager will create a jira ticket that needs me to access and store data from an external api of a system I've never heard of. But manager won't provide credentials and api documentation to make sure I use the correct endpoints. They expect me to work on this task yet I have zero idea what the api data looks like because they won't give me the api credentials or the api documentation location. CEO and manager are watching the jira ticket. I leave comments saying that I don't have what I need to do this task. Yet CEO will chase me about work and tell me to update him everyday about what I was able to achieve and what I've done.

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    Document everything. Document all exchanges that you've had with your bosses, in particular those where you asked for more work and weren't given any. Keep written records.
    – Stef
    Sep 18, 2023 at 15:18
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    @Duzii2 I meant, document it for yourself, keep the emails, etc. So that when they accuse you of not working enough you have proof that you did everything you could but they're the ones who didn't want to give you work.
    – Stef
    Sep 18, 2023 at 15:21
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    Then take screenshots of every conversation you have with your bosses on teams chat or Jira. (Don't tell them you're doing this, but do it)
    – Stef
    Sep 18, 2023 at 15:27
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    And by "document everything", don't keep it in slack or email. Upload it to a personal google drive account or something. During the mass layoffs at my pervious company they just revoked everybody's access to everything. I lost very helpful documentation to general tech things I'd written.
    – Nick
    Sep 18, 2023 at 17:18
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    @Nick - Uploading work documentation to a personal email is a horrible suggestion.
    – Donald
    Sep 18, 2023 at 18:21

4 Answers 4

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How about instead of stopping with a JIRA ticket, you use the Teams/Outlook calendar to schedule meetings with involved parties that can give you the answers you need? The rhythm with remote work is a lot different from being in an office. Yes, amending the JIRA ticket empowers you to communicate the deficiencies of actionable information. But likewise, scheduling meetings empowers you to actually correct the deficiencies.

As for your timesheets, do some kind of work related research when you are between tasks. No one can say you're not trying to further the interests of the business. There are myriad subjects you can pursue and learn about.

Maybe these things above are proactive approaches that your bosses are looking for, instead of you sitting and waiting for direction at every step.

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    I already mentioned that I was excluded from all meetings, even dailies. Whenever I tried to schedule a meeting, my manager refused.
    – Duzii2
    Sep 18, 2023 at 16:19
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    There's nothing stopping you from continuing to send meeting requests. But overall, you're on a notice period. I don't know how this works in Germany, but if they're legally required to keep you employed during the entire notice period no matter what AND behaving this way, why aren't you focusing on getting your next job lined up? It seem to me that this would be a better use of your energy right now.
    – Xavier J
    Sep 18, 2023 at 16:25
  • @Duzii2 Where did you mention that ? I don't see any mention of this in any of your comment nor in the question body. I see that you've asked a question about being excluded from meetings previously, but you shouldn't expect people to fish through your profile to look for relevant information. As a rule of thumb, if you feel that an information is relevant to the question (and in this case, being excluded from meetings is relevant, I'd say) you should include that information in your question body, it will help people to give you an answer that's a better fit to you
    – user3399
    Sep 20, 2023 at 14:36
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Play along with their game. If you need credentials, ask for them. If you need a document, ask for it. Don't just put a comment in a ticket, proactively ask for what you need.

Until you get what you need, put down in your timesheets what you are waiting for. "Waiting for credentials to fix ticket #123", or whatever.

Unless they can show that you are doing something wrong, there's not a lot they can do.

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Sounds like they're setting you up to fail.

It is worth being proactive in this instance and nag them for work. Also, timesheet the time it takes to do your timesheet, and any admin, and any random meetings you get pulled in to.

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Update: My apologies, I did not realize that they had already given notice of your termination. You have every reason to presume that they are trying to find a reason to terminate you early or get you to resign.

I stand by my advice about documenting your work and finding ways to get past the roadblocks and deliver good work.

Out of prudence, you should also:

  1. Document everything, in the tickets and in a file or notebook outside of their systems that you keep.

  2. Mention in the daily update to the CEO what the roadblocks are and what you are doing to get past them. If the update is verbal, make notes of it for yourself.

And, if they are succeeding in making you miserable, consider negotiating. Offer to leave immediately if they will pay you for 50% or 75% of the remaining notice period.

Good luck.

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Requiring that you document your work is not unreasonable. Keeping records of what you do is a basic business function and is part of being a professional. Record what you are doing. If you have nothing you can do for some time, note that.

Is it possible that they want you to take more initiative to get over or around the hurdles? Don't just make a note in the ticket, take action. Research, inquire, experiment. As a manager, nothing is more frustrating than an employee who has to be spoon fed every detail and who throws up their hands when I don't give them everything they need. Maybe they want you to just figure it out.

In your example .. have you reached out to org that hosts the api you need to use? Have you gotten on their support web site? Perhaps you need to register or obtain a subscription. Have you contacted your manager directly and asked him to help you get credentials? Have you written the code including the api call, so that when you get the credentials you can just wrap it up? Maybe you write a simulator of that api so you can test your product while you wait.

In short - don't sit around waiting, do something to solve the problems.

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    There's always 2 sides to a conflict, but if the communication is this bad AND they're asking you what you're getting done, then I might start looking for a different company to work for. They don't seem too busy if they are reaching out to you daily to ask what you've accomplished.
    – Nick
    Sep 18, 2023 at 17:09

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