I work for a Mobile GIS company in South Africa with roughly 40 or so employees. This is my first job after finishing university. On Wednesday, after working here for about 8 months (and to my immense surprise), I was called into a meeting by the two senior-most members who are also directors of the company.
In the meeting, I was given an ultimatum which basically boils down to 'have this done by Friday morning or we're firing you and finding someone else'. This is in regards to instructions I received bit more two months ago where I was told to 'experiment with' the implementation of a new technology.
- Prior to this, there had been no complaints (at least any I'm aware of) about my work. I was meeting all of my deadlines and making a contribution to the team.
- Absolutely no concrete deadline was given to me at any stage before now.
- Throughout the period I was constantly kept busy with other work. One of the directors even mentioned it in the meeting 'I know you were being kept busy with other work, but...'
- No guidance was given to me from any of the senior developers, or the person who assigned the task. Things such as 'there are plenty of examples available online' were said', even though this is blatantly false.
- The implementation of this new cloud technology has little to do with my informal role as 'Mobile Application Developer'.
- When I was given the assignment they were aware that this is something new which I have absolutely no experience with.
- I (verbally) informed one of the directors in charge of the development team multiple times that I was having issues with this and constantly getting other work did not allow me to spend much time on this.
- One of them told me that "I don't care if you have to work 24 hours a day to keep on top of things. Normal working hours are only for people who can get the job done"
A lot of other things were said, but the entire meeting came down to the two of them running roughshod over me and completely ignoring any (however valid) excuses, I might have had. As I'm typing this I've been awake for about 26 hours trying to get something concrete done, but even if I had someone helping me and worked 24 hours a day for a week straight I would still be unable to meet the deadline, much less have it done a day from now.
Any advice anyone could give me for dealing with this would be sincerely appreciated!
Edit: An update on what happened. Shortly before the meeting I had a long discussion with one of the senior developers about the whole thing, and he agreed to accompany me to 'back me up' so to speak, because he had no idea that this was even going on and felt it was unreasonable in the extreme. The two of us went to the meeting with the report I had compiled. It was extremely unpleasant, to say the least, with a lot of screaming and insulting things being said about 'you developers', which apparently now included my senior colleague.
Reading between the lines a bit, here's what I thought led to this: Director A is mad at B, because B spent money on expensive technology. B, without anything to show for it, decided to shove the task onto me as an 'experiment', knowing I would be unable to make the deadline I was not aware of, so that he had a scapegoat.
In the end, no disciplinary action other than a serious scolding resulted from this. I think they must've wised up since the first meeting and realized that the CCMA would make matters extremely difficult for them if they fired me in this situation.
That result aside, I am already looking for another job and will be handing in notice as soon as I've found something. This is definitely not the sort of environment I intend to spend more time in than I absolutely have to.
Edit: Also - why do people keep flagging this as a duplicate for a question about surviving a PIP? It's clearly not even close to the same situation, I strongly doubt anyone in this company's management even knows what a PIP is.