I recently was hired on as a contract temp at a company to do web design. When I arrived, my team consisted of a full-time employee of the company and another temp who'd been there for about 3 months.

We both worked hard and busted our tails for the company, but someone higher up must've liked me because after about 3 months, I was strongly encouraged to apply for the same job with the company. I did immediately and after a week, I was offered a full time job, which I accepted immediately.

Soon after, I realized that WE weren't being hired on, I was. I didn't think I was too far ahead of the other guy, and in fact I think we're even. That's not my problem.

My problem is that I start full-time in one week and no one has told him. This is important because I'll have to go through a 2 day orientation at the same time that our other team member AND manager are on leave/PTO, leaving him to do 3 people's work with no backup for two days (We primarily field questions from our clients about fixing sites we've done). This is on top of him being leapfrogged for a full-time position.

What's the best course of action for me in the face of this? I'm definitely waiting for our senior manager (manager of my manager) to announce my hiring I don't want him to become bitter or spiteful at me due to circumstances outside my control. Things have a potential to get really awkward due to us working immediately next to each other, as well as me being very social and well-liked among our coworkers in other departments, which could lead to things like random congrats at my desk when he's around.

I don't really know the guy, but I also have to deal with him on my team for as long as our manager and coworker are on leave. We have a cordial work relationship, joke around, and have went out for drinks with our other coworkers.

Basically, how do I act in this situation that keeps our working relationship intact?

  • 3
    Have you asked your manager when he or she plans to inform the team? What was the answer? – Justin Cave Mar 14 '15 at 4:14
  • 1
    Is there some reason you are assuming you were preferred over him for the permanent role? Maybe he was offered the role first, but he turned it down, so they asked you instead. Do you know with absolute certainty that this didn't happen? – Masked Man Mar 14 '15 at 4:37
  • @JustinCave My manager has said he'll inform the team, but he hasn't yet, not even via email. We only have a week to get everything squared away for me being absent for 2 days. – 9Deuce Mar 14 '15 at 4:49
  • When did your manager tell you he would inform the team? Have you followed up with him? Have you specifically mentioned the 2 days your coworker is going to have to cover for both you and your manager in these discussions? – Justin Cave Mar 14 '15 at 4:51
  • @Happy I'm certain. I've spoken to the other coworker about the situation and he knew that they were hiring me. He also alerted me that this is one of the things they're known to do, not really give temps any regard as far as seniority. There are other departments where someone is a temp and they've brought in externals to do the same job immediately as employees. Also, it wouldn't make sense for him to pass it up. The job pays well and he signed a lease on an expensive apartment. – 9Deuce Mar 14 '15 at 4:52

Communication is key. That's what your manager should be doing, but if he doesn't, you can prompt him. Talk to your hiring manager and share your concerns. Suggest that the manager has private meeting before the official announcement where he explains, what's happening, why it's happening, how it will affect the other person and what specific plans are in place to deal with the change. Then allow the other person so speak and bring up any concerns or worries. Just allowing to get it out, can help a lot accepting a situation like this.

After that's done, you should have a private meeting. "Hey, boss told you that I'm getting a permanent gig here, I really value our co-operation want to make this work. I was wondering how you feel about the whole thing, if you have any specific concerns, and what I can do to make life easier and better for you". Then let him/her talk and listen.

This shows the other person that she/he is valued, that other people care and that this is a good environment to work in. This feels a lot better than just having it shoved down your throat, even if the outcome is exactly the same

  • I definitely think the one-on-one chat is a good idea. – 9Deuce Mar 14 '15 at 14:32

Well, hiring is usually based on the merit of the potential employee (as perceived by the potential employer), rather on 'time served' as a temp. Promotion these days (and this is kind of like a promotion) is not usually based on 'seniority' - the days of 'dead men's shoes' ended about 50 years ago.

So it seems that the employer just thought that you were a better (potential) employee, for this particular role, than the other person.

You don't have anything to feel bad about or apologise for here, but I can see that it could be socially awkward.

I'd suggest that you imply to him that if the decision had been yours then you would have wanted to see him hired as well. I.e. imply that while you're glad the company has chosen to employ you, you're sad that they haven't chosen to employ him as well, both because you like him and because you think that the company is underestimating him, and he would make a good employee. (All of which actually does sound like it's the case).

Then it's really up to him whether he reacts bitterly or not - that isn't something you can control.

Bear in mind that he might actually prefer to be employed on a short-term contract - he may well be being paid a lot more than he would as a permanent employee (here in London that would usually be the case).

  1. What makes you think that the other guy won't be bitter when the senior manager announces your hiring?

  2. The other guy will be by himself for two days doing the work of three peple as you and your colleague go through orientation. Is there anything you can say or do, short of turning down or postponing your full-time job offer, that will change that?

It's one thing to be concerned about things you can do something about. It's another to worry about things you cannot do anything about.

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