I asked for advice regarding a meeting I had coming up. Well, the meeting has come and gone and it wasn't good. I don't know what to do or think.
I asked this
question (most background is there).
I had the meeting this week and it was awful. It felt like an ambush. I don't even know what to think anymore, whether I am paranoid and belligerent or whether I'm being harassed.
The meeting with the two managers ("my" manager and "other" manager) telling me about our new business model and about how they really needed everyone to cooperate with each other. My manager has told us all of this multiple times before and I feel like I do everything I can do go along with this. I will admit that I went into this meeting feeling a little defensive because I don't think the other manager likes me and in my opinion, she targets people that she manages and treats them unfairly if she doesn't like them (example: one of the top performers in all objective senses got a substandard performance review). I was worried I was walking into a meeting where I might be subtly attacked. My strategy going in was just to keep notes (so I could be clear about everything they were saying so I could refer to it later should I get a different message, which is not uncommon) and respond to questions as I was asked. I did that. My manager talked about the new business model, needing our cooperation and all the other things he's told us many times and which I've had long talks about with him before (i.e. I fully agree with the new plan, want to cooperate and do well and will try my hardest to do so) and so when he started telling me again how he thinks people are not on board with everything (he always speaks in generalizations), I would ask if there were specific examples of things I have done that would indicate I was not on board. I asked this kind of question two or three times and the other manager interrupted and said "okay, just stop that. Stop that right now". I tried to object to say I want to understand if I'm not doing something right because I've discussed all of this with my manager before and I believe I have been cooperating. But she would not let me finish and said basically - no, you've been defensive this whole time, you have a chip on your shoulder and a bad attitude. You're giving us one word answers and acting defensive and rude. She then said that other people had said the same thing about me as well which is bullshit because I get along well with my other coworkers and people almost universally dislike the other manager.
- I was giving yes or no answers because I felt really uncomfortable with the meeting in the first place and I didn't think open and honest discussion was possible with the other manager (I have had open and honest discussions with my own manager before and I feel they've gone really well).
- I was also writing down everything they were telling me. Partly because I felt uncomfortable and liked having something to do with my hands and also because I (outwardly) wanted to have a clear record of what they expected from me so I could both try to abide by it but also (inwardly) so I could have a record for myself in case the goalposts were moved later. I think they probably didn't like this.
- I answered the remainder of the questions with just a yes or no because I honestly felt there was nothing I could do at that point that would be right. I felt like I would be attacked by other manager if I tried to object, defend myself or talk about any of my problems with anything. I was really upset.
One of the my client meetings that she attended (details in previous askme) was brought up by my boss as a way to "clear the air". She clearly had already been told by him what happened as she filled in all the details. Then she justified everything she had done (fyi - she acted inappropriately for sure. I asked other people what they thought and they agreed and my own manager even agreed when I originally told him) before I had a chance to add anything (not that I would have) and ended by saying she's been in meetings with other people who had no problem with anything she's done and then said that some people [i.e. me] just need some extra training to know how to effectively conduct meetings in [specific aspect of my job]. She then asked if I had any experience in this aspect of my job. This was just so fucking appalling to me as I have a decade
of experience in my field, I absolutely love my job and I take a lot of pride in it and I'm good at it and my boss knows it and even said as much many times. They then concluded with how they felt there were some people who weren't on board with the new business model and that if people didn't like their jobs then this isn't the right place for them and if people won't cooperate they will need to be issued corrections and warnings. I would have liked to ask if I was doing anything that made it seem like I didn't want to be there (because I have talked about this in depth with my manager before and I think I've made it pretty clear that the new model is a good idea and the right direction and that I'm on board with it) but she had already shouted at me for asking those questions. They then asked what they could do to make me like my job (after I told them at least three times that I love what I do and I like my job and I want to do well).
I was so upset by all of this that I started crying afterward at my desk (I rarely cry and never ever at work) and had to leave a little early because I was embarrassed, but couldn't stop and didn't wanto anyone to notice (no one did). I have always thought (based on what the other manager does with her staff) that she didn't like me and given a chance, would target me and try to push me out. I've had open and honest discussions with my manager in the past about this and he has been reassuring that he thinks I'm excellent at my job and he won't let her do this. He seems to have given up on this though because she kind of railroaded him in the meeting as well. She sharply corrected him a few times and he backpedaled. It seems like he was scared of her (he is senior
to her - the same level as her manager). I'm worried now that she will find some weird way to punish me or try to push me out of my job. It was announced in this meeting that she would have first say on our performance reviews and also that we all have to work 8-5 (she's wanted that since she started a year ago and my boss has always stood up to her, saying we're salaried and he trusts us to work the hours we need to. I usually work 8-4 and don't take a lunch).
I don't know what to do. I'm scared she's going to make my life unbearable and miserable. I've already been looking for a job but this could take a while (my specific job does not have frequent openings).
I also don't know if I'm being unreasonable and awful or not and this is upsetting to me. I feel helpless and victimized but I don't want to be that way if I genuinely am doing something wrong. I'd appreciate your honesty.
I genuinely really love my job, I'm good at it and i otherwise think I've earned a lot of respect at my organization. But a lot of people are in other departments so can't really do anything as she (and my manager) are in charge in my department.
Sorry for the length.