My friend is going through a not-easy period at work. She is a sales person, and her performance at the moment, is far from stellar.

She works in a pharmaceutical company, where her results are available from other competitors. From her company perspective, her performance are poor but were good until 3 months ago.

Yet, when she meets competitors from different companies, who are also friends of her, she is seen as one of the top performer of her region (proven with numbers and graphics from these other companies).

From my perspective, her results are skewed by the management of the company yet there are no way to prove it. She cannot use her friends data as they are confidential

Things are not dire for now, but to be honest, I'm concerned

Question is:

If things are getting bad, how can she prove that management cooked up the whole story, in order to make her work more and of course doing that, without involving any of her friends?


  • It could just be that they're planning to let her go and replace her with someone else less expensive or someone else who has been coveting her territory. Also, it may be difficult for her to prove her case if she doesn't know who to trust in management. If the entire management is that bad, I would be looking for another job if I was her. Commented May 22, 2016 at 16:17
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    What changed three months ago? It sounds like three months ago she hit her sales targets and now she isn't, so she's selling less than she used to. You know that she's still doing relatively well in the region compared to her peers, so it's become a tough market and nobody is selling well. So how can management have cooked anything up? (I suppose they could have artificially inflated her sales figures three months ago, but that seems crazy.) Or have I misunderstood the situation?
    – Rup
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 23:56
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    Is her performance poor or is the feedback from the managers poor? Her performance is poor but she's the top performer of her region? I don't really understand...
    – komodosp
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 12:11
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    But those aren't mutually exclusive: she could still be the top seller in the region but not hit her management's sales targets if those targets are overly aggressive or unrealistic given the current state of the market. Why does she need input from her friends - if their companies know the complete state of the market, including her performance, why doesn't her company?
    – Rup
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 15:27
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    @JohnLegas - without a target recipient of the proof, then the question " how can she prove that management cooked up the whole story" has no real meaning. Legal proof, proof to yourself, proof to your next employer - all these would require different strategies. Commented May 23, 2016 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


Unless she can show that she is clearly being singled out for unreasonable expectations, there probably isn't much she can do beyond starting to look for an employer who will appreciate her... or (radical concept) talk to management about where they are getting these targets and whether they are really realistic.

Keeping documentation of all discussions related to this -- on a machine not owned by the company-- might be advisable just in case worst comes to worst.


I absolutely ignore in what consist her job or how performance are measured. But talking from personal experience some bosses are unable to recognize a good worker and will ALWAYS ask for more. As it was said if her results are really objectively really good she probably can move to another company. In my country you can get fired if it is proven that you perfomance get lower so may be that is the reason.

  • Hi @kifli, indeed, your country and in my friend's country and mine too, rules are very similar. We are not there yet but I'm asking , just in case, just in case ... Thanks
    – John Legas
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 15:22
  • I live in Belgium. Happy happy
    – John Legas
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 15:23

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