I'm currently working as a team with a couple others. We have a PM which does the job quite well, gets the job done really well and produces great documentations, defines the features and requirements very clearly. Also doubles as the QA.

We have a client, which we worked on for over one year. This is the one of the clients we work together on. Usually we ship once in about two to three months for this particular client, based on the difficulties and the scale of the cycle.

All goes well, but not for this time. For this time, it's like a complicated billing system due to the client's unique requirements, and the specs are really long. We did however, have discussed this project over a few times before the starting.

But I got admitted into a contest which I attended a few months ago, and after I finished on the contest, it's already like ~50% behind the schedule.

So I panicked and tried to keep up with the schedule, working very much longer than usual and trying to keep up with the target. I skimmed through the specs while working on the project, and missed a couple of details and had much more bugs than usual. We did hit the deadline, but it's after 2~3 days of QA-patch cycle.

On the last day, after we shipped and I saw the PM wrote this on the social network, when we're working before the deadline:

Wow. Our developer finally read the specs on the day of deadline.

I was shocked. Sure, there's the freedom to say so but I don't understand why such sarcasm while we all are working really hard. I did messed up this time, but I really don't understand.

Yes, I did quite bad and it could be my last project working with the team.

But if that is not the case, and I have the opportunity to work with the team again, I don't know how should I think about this, and how to work together with the PM afterwards. Is me overreacting? And is there any suggestions of preventing this (the not-so-effective-cramming part) happening again?

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    which social network a public one like facebook or an internal one like yammer Jul 25, 2017 at 22:33
  • you say you are working on a team and the comment mentions developer, is that the real comment? or did you remove your name? are you sure this is about you and not another developer?
    – user69461
    Jul 26, 2017 at 1:30
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    "But I got admitted into a contest which I attended a few months ago, and after I finished on the contest, it's already like ~50% behind the schedule.". You sacrificed your work project to be in a (presumably non-work) contest? If the worst thing that happens to you is some bad comments on social media you are very, very lucky. Jul 26, 2017 at 3:20
  • 1
    @esfy Posted publicly or was it friends-only and he forget that you are connected to him? Either way, this is the default approach to use when a colleague or manager is venting about you online.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 26, 2017 at 6:44
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    Tell us more about this contest. Did your manager approve this and account for the extra time it would take away from your work? Why did the contest take priority over your project?
    – Seth R
    Jul 26, 2017 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


Ignore it. Don't mess up again.

I just don't see any way for you to "fix" this without coming across as whining about how your PM said you weren't doing your job, when all you did was not do your job. Waahh!

According to you what he said was factually correct, and he didn't even mention you by name.

Unless this was a formal announcement on a formal channel everyone who sees it (except you) will think of it as a little bit of venting of frustration. Anyone who thinks it is unprofessional will think your PM is the unprofessional one. Noone will know it was about you unless you complain.

You could apologise to your PM, without mentioning the tweet(?), and possibly ask if he has any tips for avoiding it happening again.

What you did wrong was panicking and try to work frantically to fix it. Down that road there are only mistakes and hardship.

As soon you start doubting the deadline bring it up and continue working at the pace where you are comfortable. Longer hours are an option, but pace yourself and don't cut corners.

You were not wrong to go on the contest, the company approved that time off.

  • Actually I went to have a chat with the boss and we came to the conclusion that the PM did not mention me by name, and yes the post on the social network was factually correct. Even it's a "name and shame" type of post, it is still factually right. Also, I had talked to the PM. PM actually acknowledges (and is polite in the meanwhile) that I was having a difficult time, and we agreed upon that I should learn about not making the same mistakes again.
    – esfy
    Jul 27, 2017 at 10:35

This is an interesting issue, however lets look at it as simply as possible. There are usually a lot of rules around publicly discussing a company that you work for on social media. A lot of companies have fairly robust social media policies that staff must adhere too. Usually they prohibit an employee talking about other company employees and the work that the company produces. Firstly I would advise finding out if your company has any such policy in place.

Your PM in a public forum has made an inappropriate comment that no matter their intention reflects negatively on both you, and by extension the company you both work for. It's really not acceptable for any employee of a company to use social media to vent, or discuss company issues unless specifically directed to by the company.

Now you could do one of two things, you could discuss the matter with the PM, and respectfully advise them that this is inappropriate and ask that they remove the comment. Or alternatively you could try to arrange a meeting with your direct line manager to discuss the issue formally should you believe it to be a significant issue.

If it was me, I would usually try to discuss it with my co-worker first, and if they refused to remove it, or did not apologies then I would likely take it up with my manager. It is beyond unprofessional to use a public setting to cast negative remarks, no matter what the underlying intention.

  • Or talk to HR. This issue sounds right up their alley. Jul 26, 2017 at 11:43

I think the important lesson to learn is this: If you rush it, it takes longer.

When you are behind (50% behind schedule), the first thing to do is to tell whoever is in charge that you are behind. Then it's their problem, and you can focus on your work. Most deadlines are movable. Some things are not as important as they seem. A manager might find someone to help you. Or be able to reduce the scope of work to be done. And in any case, reduce the negative impact of being late if he or she is prepared for it. The two bad things are rushing and doing a bad job as a result, and surprising the person in charge when you are late.

So then the second thing is to focus on your work. I suppose you know that by now (but worth repeating for anyone in the same position). The next time you are in that situation, you will calmly examine what needs to be done, and then you do the first thing to be done, and then the next thing, and so on. Do without Facebook, eBay, or long cigarette breaks and chats with your colleagues until the situation has improved. All without rushing, but also without wasting time.

All that said, your product manager was rude and unprofessional. If that was an internal site, it was bad. If it was open to the public, it is totally unacceptable.

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