Okay, so I have been working for Company P (Parent company) where I am assigned to Company C (Client company). I have been with the parent company for 3 years and have recently been assigned to client C.

Things have been pretty smooth and relaxed. I am generally very happy with my parent company and client company both since there is no work pressure, the work environment is relaxed, and nothing weird is going on. We just have one daily standup. I am also able to work from home which is a plus. I am a fully committed person, though, and give my 100% to the job. I love learning new things.

When I was assigned to the new client, I underwent various trainings (work harassment/bullying, etc.), where they teach you to report bullying, work harassment, and things of that nature. I also underwent similar training from my parent company. These training are mandatory these days. My questions are somewhat revoles around these.

While everything is going great, there were some 'minor' problems. I have a manager from my Parent Company as well as one from my Client company. Usually, if there is feedback from the client, they will let my Parent Company Manager know, and then he will discuss it with me (we have other people in the team also).

I am mentioning this because there have been 2 instances in my short stay so far where my client had some feedback and my parent manager has to discuss it with me.

First feedback was that I am 'bossy'. Parent company manager and I discussed it i. I have assured him that this is not in my nature and that I will be careful. We had a relatively good conversation where I decided to just not give my opinion unless I am asked for it. Just to be clear I am not a bossy person at all and my client side manager is also very nice person and handles meetings very well with some jokes in it. However, I never met him since it is just a WFH situation. I think it could be a simple misunderstanding.

Yesterday my manager reached out to me again "are you free to talk" and here came another feedback/escalation, this time it was from Team Lead. The complaint was that I do not follow directions and maybe can not follow directions. I will explain it below

I completed a task in agile board and moved it to Code Review. This was my first ever task I worked on with this client. The code was approved by Team Lead, but he had an issue moving it to QA, so he moved it back to the development and asked me to move it to code review with some other explanation. I simply did not fully understand that part (I was busy with other things - he advised me to read documentation) so to make things move faster, I asked my senior college what it meant and my colleague advised me to simply move the story to QA (which takes 5 secs) which I did and I also informed my Team Lead that "I moved it to QA. I hope it is fine". This basically became the first item in the escalation that 'I could follow simple order' that is to move the task to Code Review.

The second item in the feedback/escalation was the fact I was working on a new item which was the first ever task assigned to me in this new role. I am still learning things. I already completed the coding part but was asked to write additional unit tests. Since this was totally new to me, I asked for some guidance and was told to "follow that other code and just use that code". I did but I am still new to code and trying to make sense of things. To expedite things, I shared my approach with the Team Lead that "I am doing it this way, where I shared my code, commented where I needed help". He advised me that I am making these mistakes and it should be done this way. I followed his explanation which was a big help and completed that task in the next hour. So the second item in escalation was the fact that "I could not follow directions" and since he told me to use that other code, it should have been a very simple task. Keep in mind that this was my second day on that task and it was my first time I am using this framework which is totally new to me.


Since there have been two escalations in a relatively short period for really small things, I do think the work environment has become hostile enough. Actually, it has become disrespectful esp the way these issues are brought to methat I am doing something wrong and there are issue with me. They are not firing me but it is more of schooling me like a child that I am not doing these basic things wrong.

The issue is twofold. First, I do not think such small issues should be escalated knowing that I am completing my tasks in a timely manner and am very friendly and polite with everyone in the team and learning new things + these escalations take your time to resolve. Second, the way my Parent Company manager brings it up to me is not very professional. He brings it up more like I am doing something wrong rather than he is genuinely interested in hearing my side of the story or asking for information. To be honest it becomes very insulting when someone talks to you like that. They talk low of you, and they do not fire you, but they will say things that will simply hurt your feelings.

Since I work for two companies (parent and client), I could care less about the client company; my parent company is the one that pays me. My question is where should I report these issues or should I report them at all? I received training from both company's, which advised to report such issues. Can this essentially backfire and affect my reputation in negative way? I do not want to make things worse.

More Information

To give you some more background, my parent company manager is relatively new in his role and part of the problem lies with him I guess because he 'escalates these things to me' as if they were real escalations and as if I did something wrong. It is more like lecturing me. He is not interested in hearing my side first, what happened for example? I think it is the lack of experience.

Also, my Parent company (not the client) has recently requested me to start coming to the office even though there is no such requirement from the client company, which is not very friendly. They want me to move to a different state so I can work from the office location.

So all in all, I think the 'bossy' issue can simply be a misunderstanding. I have since pondered over it and am just being careful. But the other issues, I do think, were too small to be reported, which is more like creating an unpleasant work environment. I felt very disrespected by the way it was talked to me, but I simply do not want to make things worse. I am Ok with being fired but I am not OK with being talked like that. Real-world answers from experience would be appreciated. I am not expecting to win from establishment by complaining but I want to protect myself legally. Are these worth reporting? What procedures should I follow?

  • 1
    I would think you should let both of these instances go. Try to get this job done, and move on to the next clients, who may be nicer to you. Commented May 6 at 3:56
  • I'm not convinced "firebase" is the word you were looking for.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 6 at 4:00
  • @keshlam, lol, the auto-correct worked in a weird way. Job_sept, that is a clear way forward, but I wanted to know if reporting these would be beneficial since I received these training recently, which were exactly for this purpose, and you want to do the right thing to get peace of mind.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented May 6 at 4:34
  • @TheTechGuy, "Firebase" is a very popular online testing tool for mobile apps. This business belongs to Google. So, I guess auto-correct just grabs "Firebase" as one of the words because it is popular. :-) Commented May 6 at 5:27
  • @Job_September_2020 haha yes and I know it very well :)
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented May 6 at 11:59

2 Answers 2


People not liking how you work isn't a "hostile work environment." There is no harassment, nothing that you should have learned about in those training sessions. What would you have HR do? Tell your clients to be nice to you? Note that there is no legal requirement for your client to like you or have anything good to say abut you. Things are illegal if they are done to you because you are the member of a protected class. Being @TheTechGuy is not a protected class.

If you think you are receiving unfair feedback then first I urge you to figure out why that is. Do you threaten someone's job? Do they just not like you? Then decide if it's okay with you. If it isn't okay then you leave, either by getting your company to move you, or by quitting and finding someplace else. Initiating a "hostile workplace" complaint will get you labeled as a lot of trouble both at your company and in your industry, not to mention having the client immediately cancel your contract.

  • 1
    Hostile environment here is "humiliating someone," "belittling him," and making him feel he can't do the basic things right without hearing his side of the story. Obviously, I can't narrate "how" exactly these things are brought to me. It is in a very derogatroy way. Not liking is not an issue, it is the treatment and 'minor' escalation that is the issue. Your last para is helpful, though; escalating these would probably cause more problems, which I will take as advice.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented May 6 at 11:57

It is a red flag that:

Since I work for two companies (parent and client), I could care less about the client company; my parent company is the one that pays me.

Working remotely misses out on personal interaction that helps bring a new team together.

Is it possible that you are being misread in your attitude? Why would a client company want somebody that they think doesn't care? They are going to hold the parent company accountable.

Even if you do actually care about your work, but just not the client, consider how you might be viewed by the client company.

It isn't reasonable to expect you to move to another state for this job. But if you are local to the office (parent or client), it might be something to consider to get some 'face time' with the team.

From my own experience, I was on client call a few years back. Their manager said in the middle of the middle about one of our most talented techs "I can feel the attitude coming over the wire". This guy was completely off base. But it was what he felt.

Your choice is ultimately do you want to be right or do you want to figure out how to solve the problem.

  • No, I care about both clients and parent companies; both are important to me. But with the signals I am getting from the client, I could care less about them in raising complaint there since it is only a month long relationship. My parent company is where I worked the most so that is important to me. I wanted to ask which company is the right platform to raise the complaint and if I should raise it at all.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented May 5 at 17:53
  • @TheTechGuy It is very easy to misread in a new working relationship someone's intent. Our conversation is a prime example. Consider that you are much more comfortable with your abilities and work quality than they are. While it is completely unfair, personality plays a big part in new working relationship's getting off on the right foot. So, yes I am suggesting that you reach out to them to show that you'd like to fit in better. But remember it is your life - don't put too much weight into random internet people's opinions.
    – DogBoy37
    Commented May 5 at 19:23
  • @DogBoy37 Yes, small misunderstandings can happen, but here, they escalated these 'small things'. I have been very thorough in my question to give a complete picture.
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented May 6 at 4:46
  • 1
    @TheTechGuy, No, you should not raise these issues, unless you want to get yourself fired. This not an "hostile work environment". Getting negative feedback is perfectly normal for someone doing new tasks that they haven't done before. You need to take that feedback and learn from it. If you can't do that, you need to find a different profession for yourself. And no, it doesn't matter if the client relationship only lasts one month (or even one day). Their feedback is still important to your employer. Commented May 6 at 7:24
  • @TheTechGuy Halon's razor - It almost sounds like that you are taking offense. Are you doing your best to ask questions?
    – DogBoy37
    Commented May 6 at 12:36

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