I've been learning new skills to grow at my company, and seemingly successfully, but then suddenly asked to stop by a co-worker (who's been here longer but isn't my supervisor or anything). Story of details inside, but looking for the best response: accept this, or if I can argue against it how best to do so.
posted by blue_and_bronze to work & money (27 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I do pretty well at my job; I was hired on as a receptionist and less than two years later I've created my own position at double the original salary. (We're a v small company) For the past few months I feel like I've plateaued again at my current position, just in terms of personal boredom v creativity, and so wanted to learn some new things for future growth. I work at a web design company in customer service. As basically the only person overseeing QC I see a ton of bugs, and have been learning some basic HTML, PHP, SQL ect so that I can go in and fix things immediately for the customer without having to turn it over to our programming team. So far my clients have been really happy with our turnaround time, our lead programmer is satisfied and encouraging with my work, and I haven't caused any kind of major issues or problems while mucking around. (Out of 50 tasks, maybe 2 had to be looked back over.)
I'd describe it as turning myself into "level 1". We have a "level 2" guy, and our lead programmer is doing "level 3 and 4". The level 2 guy was originally hired on as a designer, not a programmer, and in that position now just because we had Lead Guy doing everything. I used to turn everything into Lv 2, now I turn what I can't to him.
Lv 2 Guy does not like me for personal reasons. I've had multiple other employees come up to me and bring up the fact, ("have you noticed...?!") and reassured me they think it's for completely personal reasons vs work reasons (religion and sexuality, basically - we got along fine if not super friendly-y until I came out). So I know it's not just my imagination. I deal with this by pretending it's not true and being as polite and helpful as I can be. If he didn't like me for work reasons, I would accommodate any requested changes to the greatest extent possible. I haven't otherwise received any complaints about my work output or quality from other co-workers or my boss, nor have I received or overheard any personal complaints about me from anyone else. Everyone else seems to personally like me or at least find me sufficiently agreeable as a co-worker.
Now, just the other day we hired a new programmer - someone to do the level 2 and 3 stuff so Lead Guy could do 3 and 4, working a lot faster and building new things. I had a hand in finding and hiring him and so far Lead Guy really likes New Guy. Yay! Possibly related, Lv 2 Guy tried to have a friend hired for that position who was turned down by Lead Guy.
Just early today, now that New Guy has been here a few days and seems like he's going to be a solid long-term hire, I quietly asked Lead Guy if he thought Lv 2 Guy was going to end up back in design, or stay where he was, or what (unstated: since he's going to have a lot less work to do in the programming side of things very soon). I have to know that for my own work flow and Lead Guy is someone I trust both personally and as a good eye for big-picture company stuff. (Plus it seemed like a rude question to ask of Lv 2 Guy, at least for now). Lead Guy just shrugged his shoulders and said "probably not design, so I really don't know where he'll fit".
Coming to the point here. This afternoon, Lv 2 Guy comes down and asks me to stop doing any kind of HTML/ect work. He said it was better just to send everything to him. I asked if a specific event triggered this, and another co-worker did have a question about something I did - but that was handled between us quickly and co-worker didn't say "you shouldn't be doing the HTML" but rather "man we really need to get you Dreamweaver". It wasn't anything that caused a complaint from our client or a lot of work, just a "huh, *I* don't remember doing that". Nothing out of the ordinary workflow.
I was very disappointed because I'm really enjoying this new work and I think it'll make me a lot more useful to the company. I definitely want to do well here and earn the opportunity I've been given. But of course, if I wasn't doing a good job I should stay out of their way.
I feel like, though, the timing of this seems a little suspicious. Because if I say "okay, this is your way now - here's all the work I was doing for you", well, he has a lot of work to fill up his time when otherwise it'd be a question. I also haven't had any complaints from anyone else but him, and I've directly been told by other co-workers to take what he says about me with a HUGE grain of salt. This new work of mine has been going on for the last three months, minimum, and it's now when he says anything about it.
So I'm not sure what best to do - if I should shrug my shoulders and accept this turn of events forever, pay some online certification to "prove" I know enough to continue in the future, or do something about it now i.e. if there is a polite and work-appropriate way to bring this up to the boss, Lead Programmer, someone. (Note: Since this is a small company we don't really have a hierarchy). I AM about to leave for a month on maternity leave, give or take a few weeks, so maybe I should for now obey this new order and then do something else when I return?
I really am flummoxed and would appreciate any kind of feedback, including "this is a good decision by Lv 2 Guy" if that's the conclusion reached!