Advice please rof

Imagine you work in a team where people at the same level of seniority work a lot less hard than you, regularly outsource a lot of their work (which you don't) and constantly bang on about their "achievements" (which you don't).

Your boss then tells you s/he is happy with the team and the status quo and that noone asked you to do what you do. 

 

Do you:

1. Start behaving like the others?

2. Start looking for a new job?

3. Something else?

 

"and that noone asked you to do what you do"

What does this mean exactly. Your boss doesn't know what you do and didn't inquire as to how you fill your days?

 

Your boss then tells you s/he is happy with the team and the status quo and that noone asked you to do what you do. 

In what context? Did you moan to your boss about no one else working as hard as you?

I didn't moan. It's appraisal time and I've listed what I have done although my boss is already aware of that. I simply stated that there should be adequate recognition.

They got v defensive.

"I didn't ask you to do that" is a shit comment in any event, if your boss would appreciate your contribution he would go "yeah it's great .... but I cannot give you more money this time around, but good work anyway"

It means you're not getting a promotion any time soon and you should kiss arse more if you want to advance/get promoted.

In other words, you're stuck and it's up to you if you can live with that. If yes, than slag off a bit, maybe spend more time with kids and milk it for a few years. If not then either kiss arse or bugger off.

Yup. Was the boss comment on a friendly way or in a ‘you idiot don’t rock the boat’ way

The outsourcing point is a bugbear. I don’t reward my team for hoarding their work at too senior a level. 

Tricky, your staff gave you a good appraisal, right? Is your advice to people who want to get promoted to kiss a lot of arse? Do people have to?

I was basically saying I hoped that any salary reviews and/or bonuses should be proportionate to actual work achievements.

 

Boss is very protective of the others .... Starting to feel I am a thorn in their collective side and their cushty gigs

This is ROF, no place for nuance. 

In my experience, promotions up until about age 40/45 ish and middle management can be earned without much networking (let's call it that. Kiss arse is so negative.). You do a good job, you get recognises. 

If you want to move to senior leader levels (VP and above, except when you're in a bank where everybody including the janitor is a VP), you are going to need more. You need to get good rapport from the business, you need to have right expertise, senior leaders must know you/your work and like you and you must have a bit of luck. 

Funnily enough a good rapport with your team members is never a requirement for advancement to senior levels.

 

Look for a new job then. It will get more annoying to you the longer you stay.

This is the wrong way to go about things.

If you think you deserve a promotion or a pay rise, say so, and justify it by reference to what you have achieved. 

If you feel the need to run other people down to show how good you are, you aren't as good as you think.

If your boss doesn't agree with your assessment of how good you are and doesn't think you're worth a promotion or a pay rise, feel free to look elsewhere and see whether another employer feels differently.

Ah yes. Asking what other peoplE do of your manager is not a good thing. Unless the challenge is a direct ‘you must fight each other for this bauble’ 

There's no disagreement about how good I am. Their view is that I don't need to be as involved, responsive, hardworking, etc and that I am creating unnecessary pressure on myself and the team.

That producing 110% is the same as producing 150%. That I need to slow down.

 

All very odd.

Set up on your own. You’re being held back. Become one of the receivers of outsourcing to begin with. 

So what exactly is it that you're after?

If this is in the context of an appraisal then presumably it means that you aren't getting the promotion/pay rise this time round.

Perhaps what you're being told is that in order to get a promotion/pay rise, you need to do the things they want you to do rather than the things you think you should be doing. Perhaps they would rather you did 110% and didn't moan about your colleagues rather than doing 150% and expecting everyone to pat you on the head constantly.

It sounds like at least one person has actively complained about you interfering in their work and your boss thinks you're about to be the cause of a grievance / harassment claim. 
 

I would pay attention to the feedback if I were you 

Yeah, broadly speaking, everyone hates you, so better just shut up and pipe down for a while

Lady P, what I really want is the occasional acceptance that we are not all equal in productivity, rather than pretend everyone is fantastic. This includes this being shown in salary and bonus reviews.

I do think my boss would prefer I did 110% and shut up. 

 

Linda - unlikely as I don't really work on the same projects as the others. 

Then why are you aware of what they are or aren't doing unless you're poking your nose in?

are you a lawyer? It could be that whilst your figures look good from a billing POV, you're expensive and likely to cause problems with the client by the amount you're billing 

Lady P, what I really want is the occasional acceptance that we are not all equal in productivity, rather than pretend everyone is fantastic. This includes this being shown in salary and bonus reviews.

This doesn't make any sense. Surely the part that should matter to you is the salary and bonus reviews. The rest of it just comes across as you needing to have your ego stroked, which is irritating at the best of times, and perhaps your boss just doesn't think you're as amazing as you do.

But even if they did, what would you really gain from your boss saying, "Yes Cuy Cuy, you're SO much more productive than Steve?"

Fuck all, unless there's extra money in it for you.

I do think my boss would prefer I did 110% and shut up. 

Do that then?

Whilst it might sound flippant, what do you want? is a pretty good place to start. If you don’t know what you want to achieve by raising these things, then you have less control over the outcome.

But on your points:

1. In what way do you work harder than others at your level of seniority? Is it purely more billable hours? How do you know what they are doing?

2. By outsourcing do you mean delegating? If so should you be delegating more as well? If you’re in private practice hoarding work that could be done at a more junior level is denying those juniors the opportunity to develop and potentially damaging profitability.

3. The banging on about achievements sounds irritating but there will always be people who are great self-promoters/billy bullshitters. If you’re not one of them your best bet is to filter it out. Appraisal season is the time if there is ever one to big up your achievements though.

Realistically if your line manager doesn’t think there is a problem with the other members of the team and you feel you’re getting a raw deal as a result chances are that won’t change without a change of personnel and therefore you either need to learn to live with it or look elsewhere

 

Wot Anna said (and wot Linda said about listening to feedback). If the appraisal hasn't gone as you expected this time, perhaps it would be helpful to have a frank discussion about what you need to do to make sure it does go better next time.  It might be just that you need to invest some of your effort in demonstrating your value to others in the organisation beyond your boss (which may make it easier for your boss to fight your case for a promotion, bigger bonus etc).  And generally, it might pay dividends to follow the example of your good for nothing colleagues and bang on your own trumpet on a regular basis, instead of presenting your boss with a list of accomplishments at the end of the year when it may be too late to have a significant influence on promotions or comps.

Yup. You need alignment of expectations and then work out of that is for you. 

It might be that your boss is trying to manage expectations / petition for more resources with the business / management, and your working 150% of the hours (if that is what you are doing) of others in the team is undermining that.

Are you sure your colleagues are blowing their own trumpets excessively, or that it just annoys you excessively because they're not putting in the same effort you are?

I would be thinking about this quite differently depending on whether this is in-house or private practice.

I would also ask your boss why this is a problem: in what way is it putting pressure on the team? Am I spending time on the wrong stuff? etc. It sounds like you can't see your boss's perspective which might be that you're not listening, but might also be that they're not articulating it explicitly and you could push on that.

Decent chance LindaRadlett is bang on the money too so don't discount that too quickly.

Honestly OP, the answer to your original question is 1, become like them. People always assume that colleagues who swan through life over-promoting their achievements and getting others to do the hard work and thinking will get caught out eventually. Maybe they do but not before they have been promoted quicker and faster than you, have earned more money and have a C.V. that allows them to go to another job at the same level.

You can either play the game or not play the game but unless you're a wunderkind it's a lot easier to play

It's an inhouse role.

By outsourcing I mean external counsel.

"Are you sure your colleagues are blowing their own trumpets excessively, or that it just annoys you excessively because they're not putting in the same effort you are?" - Bit of both

There seem to be 2 basic approaches to work.

Some (esp. lawyers but not exclusively so) feel a need to try to produce/show 98-100% achievement on their tasks, but with this taking up 100% of effort and time to get there.

Most recognise that  a 70-90% achievement is absolutely fine, and if you can cut loads of corners and get this with only 50% of effort, then happy days.

I am very much in the second category.

Despite 32 years of my pleading, Mrs Hall is in the first...🤔

"By outsourcing I mean external counsel"

this is appropriate thing to do a lot of the time 

Sometimes the job is manageable and nobody is looking for an hero: it just gives more senior management the idea that they could cut a team member and get the same result. 

It might be that your boss is fed up because whilst you work well then maybe you put a bit too much emphasis on it and there are other areas you need to improve.

Much more likely he is just a bit of a wanker.

If I was managing a team of 3 people where:

 - 2 are working efficiently, delegating to external counsel and managing the required work effectively to delivery 

- 1 person who insists on doing everything themselves, doesn’t communicate so that I don’t know what they’re doing and acts like a martyr at review time

i know which of them I’d want to get rid of. I have worked in-house for abar 15 year btw 

cuy cuy, rof mail me.

I will help you outsource your problems for 50% of what your colleagues are paying thus making you look like a model of efficiency and control and ensuring you get a whopper of a bonus and a promotion next yr.

Yeah but the plus side of working in house is that you don't have to work in private practice. 

Who would want to work in a job where you get charged out to clients by the hour and the more hours you do the richer your pimp boss gets? Not me. 

Who would want to work in a job where you get charged out to clients by the hour and the more hours you do the richer your pimp boss gets? Not me. 

Who would want to work in a job where you get charged out to clients by the hour and the more hours you do the richer your pimp boss gets? Not me. 

Biggie has transcended the first person.

I call it Biggilleism.

The more senior you become the more the whole purpose of the role is to delegate and manage others doing the work. 

you seem to have missed that bit. 

but also maybe it’s not your work they have a problem with ... maybe it’s just you

given your other historical postings... 

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Is this a sackable offence:

An employee insults another employee and makes physical threats but the second employee doesn't complain to HR although several colleagues are witnesses to this and HR now are aware?

 

Are you also the one who constantly whinges on here about a female colleague who does nothing? 
 

or is that someone else.. 

Been there. I left. The shirkers stayed and are still there, stagnated and doing the same old in an ever decreasing niche and taking the same people out to lunch. They have a dull but cushy ride. I have learned a shit ton more, expanded practice area and earn more. So depends what you want and if you’re easily bored or not - for some people, not rocking the boat and staying the same works for them. At least you know that nobody is giving prizes for effort so you can adjust approach accordingly until you decide if you want to leave (take sick days if you feel sick ffs. I never did and thought that was somehow a good thing. Stupid) . Depending on yr industry, the ones who are outsourcing everything may find themselves unemployable elsewhere if they’re turfed. Of course they may not be turfed and the skiver  may inherit the earth but that’s not really your concern.

V good point from Escaped about peps who outsource all becoming de skilled 

OP have you tried one of the many  Life Coaches out there?

The universe seems eve trying to tell you sommit that you don’t (quite) seem ready to hear . Maybe paying for the advice will turn the volume up.

Don't buy that incel manifesto recommended by Mac. It is a recruiting tool for the proud boys and targets inadequate people. You are definitely susceptible based on the OP.

Very kind, but I am immune from JBPs incel siren song. You can work out for yourself why that might be. Are you fully lobster now?

’You are definitely susceptible based on the OP.‘

Heh.

 

@all washed up. There is something to the deadwood point. The problem is i am doing everything faster, better and in-house. This is the business feedback. I don't criticise my colleagues. The question then is about budget. We are paying people to do less and external counsel to do what they could do. It's becoming noticeable by several business colleagues. 

The fact that my boss then claims we are all equally good is becoming problematic because it's not true. 

To worsen matters they want to recruit more people for the other areas of work yet claims are made that the budget is restricted for salary increases.

I'll just move, i guess

Are you also the one who constantly whinges on here about a female colleague who does nothing? 

or is that someone else.. 

No, I think that's jp1997 who is, as it turns out, still a trainee.

There is something to the deadwood point. The problem is i am doing everything faster, better and in-house. This is the business feedback. I don't criticise my colleagues. The question then is about budget. We are paying people to do less and external counsel to do what they could do. It's becoming noticeable by several business colleagues.

You sound like you really look down on your colleagues though, and that will be coming across loud and clear from your interactions with them.

Being a valued member of the team is about more than just the work you churn out.

I'll just move, i guess

I suspect their reaction will be "don't let the door hit you on the way out".

Cuy Cuy - if you outsourced more you would get more done. Perhaps its time to rethink your approach. 

Haven't read all of this but the answer sounds like do what everyone else does and put your feet up and take it easy for a while.

"That producing 110% is the same as producing 150%. That I need to slow down."

I think that the problem is that you're an annoying deluded ass-hat. No need to thank me. 

LP my issues are with my boss. My colleagues are perfectly pleasant people.

Sails i am already relaxing. I am not even at 50% of my private practice work rate or levels. But i like to be busyish.

I am just not the right fit for them and vice versa. This is my first real in-house job.

I've looked at going in-house a couple of times and always ask the question "is this a job that's just about overseeing external firms and managing them or is it one where I'm expected to do most of the work and just farm out the stuff I'm not qualified to deal with?".  In my experience in-house legal departments are either one or the other.

Sails i think the firm is scenario 1 whereas i seem to have fallen in scenario 2. 

I am not sure i can do scenario 1. Not yet anyway

I wonder if you're clear on what your role is as an in house? Your support to the business is no longer measured in terms of how many documents you blozz.

Escaped, the feedback from the business is very good as confirmed to me recently by 2 directors. Not for blozzing docs but for getting stuff done in a commercial, pragmatic and speedy way. For providing accessible and easy to understand advice etc.

My issue is not the value add or that i am not appreciated widely.

It's more of a "fit" within the legal team. Inadvertently i have put them under pressure. 

 

If you are not the right fit within the team, I very doubt it is because you are too good at your job. It is because people find you annoying.

This has to be trolling 

no one is this lacking in self awareness outside of The Apprentice

Wow....

You sound very narcissistic if I’m honest, you really do overly rate yourself whilst putting others down (and I’m trying to be kind here), which is unfortunate as nobody else seems to think you are that great clearly!   You seem to have some excessive need for someone to agree you are better than everyone else.  Quite an exhausting type of person to be around. 

Options, as I see it, are to fall in line and wind your neck in or jog on.....I don’t think you are capable of letting go of your ego to do the former, so I’d look elsewhere whilst the going is still good for you...

What do their timesheets say? If they aren't recording chargeables then your boss defo will pick up on it and not happy.

All 3. On 3, slurp noodles loudly when the bad teammates talk.

There used to be stories where factory workers overachieved and showed their workmates up

It never ended well 

Lots of others have already implied that the problem might be you; but, trying to be helpful, I left my last role because I had a much bigger workload than the rest of the team - and I got on with (almost) everyone, including my boss, who acknowledged that I had a bigger workload.

I always received positive feedback throughout the business, but practically speaking, I was dumped all the time i.e. if one of the other lawyers could not handle whatever it was that came up it was re-allocated to me.  In a way, consider it a pat on the back - people trust you to do your job.  But the impact was that I couldn't then keep on top of everything, and I felt I was providing the business with a poor service, which I found frustrating.  The thing is, if that is the position you are in, it is unlikely to ever change, and therefore, you are better off leaving - which is what I did - and I am a much better position today, which is a split of doing work, but also delegating to externals where necessary. 

Interestingly, my last place then hired two people to split my role. 

Thank you Glasserz. My situation is similar with the difference that my boss doesn't seem to want to admit what's happening.

This has nothing to do with narcissism and all to do with fairness. 

I've just got on with my stuff quietly but with overall good business feedback. The issue, as above, is that the more i do, the less it looks like the others are doing. And that's not my view. It's just been repeated to me a lot in the 2 years I've been at the place. I find there is truth to it to as i get to have more and more visibility of what the team does. 

This is why i raised it with my boss. They clammed up and/or became extremely defensive. That worries me hence the post. It's unusual for me. Am no troublemaker. Usually am a very sociable part of work teams. 

I'll take some of the advice on board. It's not like they'll change. So short term put up and long term get out. 

The issue, as above, is that the more i do, the less it looks like the others are doing. And that's not my view. It's just been repeated to me a lot in the 2 years I've been at the place. 
 

Who is repeating this to you?  If this was anyone of importance (the 2 directors you mention) then you are getting the recognition you speak of, isn’t that enough? Why must your boss also tell you that you are better than the others? 

I think what’s happening here is the job requires x (as an expectation) and the others are meeting those expectations.  If you chose to go above and beyond that effort, that’s obviously fine, but you are clearly not going to get a gold star from them for doing so as it’s not required of you and not impressing anyone - that seems to be what you are getting told.  What you are doing (over-performing) could be affecting how the other teams productivity is seen and not in a way they want. 

My advice remains the same, conform and accept or move on as it will not change.  
 

 

Thank you Glasserz. My situation is similar with the difference that my boss doesn't seem to want to admit what's happening.

What do you actually want your boss to do? Announce over the PA system that you are better than everyone else? It's not clear.

 

I remember one boss asking me to be the role model 9-5er, to try to stop the rest of the team working late.

Best. Boss. Ever.

You will probably find that there simply isn't the money to offer a pay rise, and also that simply working harder than everyone else isn't actually a metric on the company's performance management system.

Sounds like you are doing a job you think you need to be doing, rather than the one you actually need to be doing.  

 

BonBon I entirely agree with your post, esp this " What you are doing (over-performing) could be affecting how the other teams productivity is seen and not in a way they want.".  The whole thing has been accidental. I took this inhouse role because I wanted to work a lot less. This has certainly been the case. However, everyone else is doing a hell of a lot less for equal credit. My workrate has made this apparent. This was certainly not an aim of mine. I just wanted and want a quiet life.

All I wanted was for my boss to reward me financially for the extra achievements, even if it's not more than a token amount, just as a nod (as I like being busy). This is also my answer to LP.

They've made very clear these achievements are unnecessary. So I have to conform and/or leave. 

Delta, I would go mad if I had to twiddle my thumbs all day and let others do the harder work. I like some parts of lawyering and am too young at 40 to feel semi retired.