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Search - "toxic workplace"
toxic workplace; leaving
I haven't wanted to write this rant. I haven't even wanted to talk to anyone (save my gf, ofc). I've just been silently fuming.
I wrote a much longer rant going into far too much detail, but none of that is relevant, so I deleted it and wrote this shorter (believe it or not) version instead. And then added in more details because details.
On Tuesday, as every Tuesday, I had a conference call with the rest of the company. For various, mostly stupid reasons, the boss yelled at and insulted me for twenty minutes straight in front of everyone, telling me how i'm disorganized, forgetful, how can't manage my time, can't manage myself let alone others, how I don't have my priorities straight, etc. He told the sales team to get off the call, and then proceeded to yell and chew at me for another twenty minutes in front of the frontend contractor about basically the same things. The call was 53 minutes, and he spent 40 minutes of it telling me how terrible I've been. No exaggeration, no spin. The issues? I didn't respond to an email (it got lost in my ever-filling inbox), and I didn't push a very minor update last week (untested and straight to prod, ofc). (Side note: he's yelled at me for ~15 minutes before for being horribly disorganized and unable to keep up on Trello -- because I had a single card in the wrong column. One card, out of 60+ over two boards. Never mind that most have time estimates, project tags, details, linked to cards on his boards, columns for project/qa/released, labels for deferred, released to / rejected from qa, finished, in production, are ordered by priority, .... Yep. I'm totes disorganized.)
Anyway, I spent most of conference call writing "Go fuck yourself," "Choke on a cat and die asshole," "Shit code, low pay, and broken promises. what a prize position," etc. or flipping him off under the camera on our conference-turn-video-call (switched due to connection issues, because ofc video is more stable than audio-only in his mind).
so, so done.
I did nothing the rest of the day on Tuesday, and basically just played games on Wednesday. I did one small ticket -- a cert replacement since that was to expire the next day -- but the rest was just playing CrossCode. (fun game, fyi; totally recommend.)
Today? It's 3:30pm and I can't be bothered to do anything. I have an "urgent" project to finish by Monday, literally "to give [random third party sales guy] a small win". Total actual wording. I was to drop all other tasks (even the expiring cert lol) and give this guy his small win. fucking whatever. But the project deals with decent code -- it's a minor extension to the first project I did for the company (see my much earlier rants), back when I was actually applying myself and learning something (everything) new, enjoying myself, and architecting+writing my own code. So I might actually do the project, but It's been two days and I haven't even opened single file yet.
But yeah. This place is total and complete shit. Dealing with the asshole reminds me of dealing with my parents while growing up, and that's a subject I don't want to broach -- far too many toxic memories.
So, I'm quitting as soon as I find something new.
and with luck, this will be before assface hires my replacement-to-be, and who will hopefully quit as soon as s/he sees the abysmal codebase. With even more luck, the asshole king himself will get to watch his company die due to horrible mismanagement. (though ofc he'll never attribute it to himself. whatever.)
I just never want to see or think about him again.
(nor this fetid landfill of a codebase. bleh.)
With luck, this will be one of my last rants about this toxic waste dump and its king of the pile.
Fourty fucking minutes, what the fuck.35
Story time. My first story ever on devRant.
To my ex-company that I bear for a long time... I joined my ex-company 3 years ago. My ex-company assigned me and one girl teammate to start working on a brand new big web project (big one - two members - really?)
My teammate quitted later, I have to work alone after then. I asked if someone can join this project, but manager said other people are busy. Yea, they are fucking busy reading MANGA shit everyday... Oops, I saw it because whenever I about to leave my damn chair, they begin chanting some hotkey magic and begin doing "poker face" like "I'm doing some serious shit right here".. FUCK MY CO-WORKERS!
My manager didn't know shit about software development, and keep barking about Agile, Waterfall and AI shit... He didn't even fucking know what this project should look like, he keep searching the internet for similar functions and gave me screenshots, or sometimes they even hold a meeting of a bunch of random non-related guys who even not working on the project, to discuss about requirements, which last for endless hours... FUCK MY MANAGER!
I was the one in charge for everything. I design the architecture, database, then I fucking implement my own designed architect myself, and I fucking test functions that I fucking implemented myself based on my fucking design. I was so tried, I don't know what the fuck I am working on. Requirement changes everyday. My beautiful architecture began to falling off. I was so tired and began use hack fixes here and there many places in the project. I knew it's bad, but I just don't have time to carefully reconsider it. My test case began becoming useless as requirements changed. My manager's boss push him to finish this project. He began to test, he start complaining about bug here and there, blaming me about why functions are broken, and why it not work as he expected (which he didn't even tell my how he expected). ... I'm not junior developer, but this one-man project is so overwhelmed for me... FUCK MY JOB!
At this time, I have already work this project for almost 2.5 years. I felt very upset. I also feel disappointed about myself, although I know that is not all my entire faults. The feeling that you was given a job, but you can not get it done, I feel like a fucking LOSER. I really wanted to quit and run away from this shithole. But on the other hand I also want to finish this project before I quit. My mind mixed. I'm a hard-worker. I keep pushing myself, but the workplace is so toxic, I can feel it eating up my motivation everyday. I start questioning myself: "Is the job I am doing important?", "If this is really important project, didn't they should assign more members?", I feel so lonely at work... MY MIND IS FUCKED UP!
Finally, after a couple months of stress. I made up my mind that no way this project is gonna end within my lifespan. I decide to quit. Although my contract pointed that I only need to tell one month in advance. I gave my manager 3 months to find new members for project. I did handle over what I know, documents, and my fucked up ultra complexity source code with many small sub-systems which I did all by myself.
Well, I am with a new employer right now. They are good company. At least, my new manager do know how to manage things. My co-workers are energy and hard-working. I am put to fight on the frontline as usual (because of my "Senior position"). But I can feel my team, they got my back. My loneliness is now gone. Job is still hard, but I know for sure that I'm doing things on purpose, I am doing something useful. And to me that is the greatest rewards and keep me motivative! From now, will be the beginning for first page of my new story...
Thanks for reading ...12
Hands down this year.
10 months ago I left my boring fulltime job and opened my own ltd.
I also had to relocate to another country and basically start my life from 0 (got a nice apartment, new car, new gf and got new exciting remote projects).
Now Im happy, actually never been more happier. I have full control of my life and I dont need to deal with idiots.
I left a boring workplace where no one has an opinion because everybody is trying to stay politically correct meanwhile shit doesnt get done. I also left a toxic relationship where my spoiled by parents gf was constantly nagging me and nothing I would do was ever enough for her.
So my advice is a cliche but follow your gut instinct. Somehow deep down you already know what you are worth, so all is left to do is plan and act accordingly. Take risks. Sooner or later you will get where you want. If not then thats fine, making mistakes means that you actually lived instead of existed like a mindless puppet controlled by strings of outside circumstances.6
Best carrier choice: leaving the old company I worked for...
TLDR version: I yelled at owner/director to shove it..got layed off the next day. Never regreted that day!! EVER!!
Long version: I was asked to implement storing of CC numbers (yes, the whole lot) & their matchig CVC numbers..plain text, no encription.. company didn't even fulfilled standards to store last four digits.. so I yelled at the 'big boss' that he is crazy and that I won't do it.. Next day, I got handed a letter that said they have to lay me off due to lack of work and that my position is redundant & no other workplace for me.. Never been happier in my life!!
I wanted to quit for some time, due to crazy stuff they asked me to implement & how!? & toxic personel. I was called Hitler (& am actually proud of this!!) cuz I was work oriented & didn't kiss mrs.Director's ass.. I wasn't slacking like the rest of them did, so of course, I was the bad guy..
Anyhow, fast forward 6 months, got the best job ever & am now here for 5yrs+.7
So this happen on my previous workplace. I worked there for 4 years and quitting was the best decision I made while was there.
One manager/owner there was the most toxic, piece of shit, disrespectful cunt I have ever worked with. The type of guy that comes in and every person's productivity goes down in a heartbeat.
As he was a owner he usually came in later. This one morning it was 11-ish and a meeting with a client was happening and it was an open space.
He comes in.
He puts his laptop down.
He screams of the top of his lungs:
- WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?
- ANTS ALL OVER MY DESK!!!
- I CAN'T WORK LIKE THIS.
He leaves for about 30 min.
He came back with a can of spray, and literally intoxicated the office and everybody had to stop working.
And there you go one of my last place's beautiful stories.5
Two places: At a major NYC firm, I was in charge of social media. I was also involved with an intranet community. Something went bad with the intranet community project politics and I got blamed for it even though I had emails to prove I hadn't said/done what I was accused of. But to assert their dominance, my bosses called me to their office, sat me in literally a corner of the room, and interrogated me for 2 hours. The only thing missing was the bright light in my eyes and the "good cop" part of the routine. I'm ashamed to say they "broke" me and I just gave up and did what they told me to do to "fix" it even though I hadn't done anything wrong. The bosses were old enough to be my parents, so I wonder how much of that worked its way into the psychology of it all.
The second toxic workplace was where each month the boss would come from his home by the beach to tell us plebes what new ideas he wanted us to work on. We would just get done reporting on the results of his delusions of grandeur from the month prior and he'd pull the rug out and start us on some new thing. Never got any consistent traction on anything. He was the ultimate seagull manager: fly in, make a lot of noise, poop all over everything, and leave us cleaning up the mess. Oh, and we had to change the locks because we had to fire a customer service guy who was a little bit on the ragey side of things. Because of high turnover, I had seniority within 4 months of starting there.1
I am tired of toxic politics at work.
Signs of a toxic workplace:
* (good) decisions are discouraged rather than encouraged.
Someone wants to introduce a great optimization and guess what the reply is (often from someone IT-ignorant): wait a minute, you can't do that because we have all these nifty little hacks and if you dare to suggest change to our shitty system, we could not allow that! We want to stay in our comfy zone, no no!
* no one can make a decision unless Mr. favorite-developer-everyone-likes says it's a good idea. And even if he's wrong, no one cares to listen to anyone else's idea on it. Stupid Feudalism. One man decides over the entire codebase. That's just idiocy. Where's TEAM in there?
* thinking years of experience equals intellectual capacity. It certainly does not! There are senior developers with 15 years of experience who don't even know how to open commandline, or they didn't even know about Chrome developer tools, or how the HTTP spec is built. That shit just makes me cry inside. How can you give these peoples the title of senior when they know less than a freshman year kid?!
* ignoring people's education and/or capacities. "You just graduated, so you're a noob". Right, I know more than you, you idiot. You've demonstrated your ignorance often enough. Stupid ignorant colleagues.
* blaming politics (every team blames the other team and there's constant tension)
* roaming ignorance (no one in the company, and I mean no one, besides me, knows enough about Information Technology to make competent decisions or analysis)
What gives testers the idea that they know more than other members of the team? Why do they treat devs like they are mentally challenged?
What gives PO's that same idea?
What gives managers the idea that they can just yell at developers and threaten them with time pressure? Yeah, because the customers are breathing down their neck.
Just because I am a Junior Developer, that makes me stupid? I am tired of no one caring to listen to my ideas. I could save the company at the snap of a finger but everyone ignores my opinion (and often facts) on things.
People come in and instead of asking me for help, they ask everyone else for help, including the people who don't know shit about IT; now that's insulting.
Anyway, toxic politics.3
This was not exactly the worst work culture because the employees, it was because the upper level of the organization chart on the IT department.
I'm not quite sure how to translate the exact positions of that chart, but lets say that there is a General Manager, a couple of Area Managers (Infrastructure, Development), some Area Supervisors (2 or 3, by each area), and the grunts (that were us). Anyway, anything on the "Manager" was the source of all the toxicity on the department.
First and foremost, there was a lack of training for almost any employee. We were expected to know everything since day-1. Yes, the new employees had a (very) brief explanation about the technologies/languages were used, but they were expected to perform as a senior employee almost since the moment they cross the door. And forget about having some KT (Knowledge Transfer) sessions, they were none existent and if they existed, were only to solve a very immediate issue (now imagine what happened when someone quit*).
The general culture that they have to always say "yes" to the client/customer to almost anything without consulting to the development teams if that what was being asked to do was doable, or even feasible. And forget about doing a proper documentation about that change/development, as "that was needed yesterday and it needs to be done to be implemented tomorrow" (you know what I mean). This contributes to the previous point, as we didn't have enough time to train someone new because we had this absurd deadlines.
And because they cannot/wanted to say "NO", there were days when they came with an amount of new requirements that needed to be done and it didn't matter that we had other things to do. And the worst was that, until a couple of years (more or less), there was almost impossible to gather the correct requirements from the client/user, as they (managers) "had already" that requirement, and as they "know better" what the user wants, it was their vision what was being described on the requirements, not the users'...
And all that caused that, in a common basis, didn't have enough time to do all this stuff (mainly because the User Support) causing that we needed to do overtime, which almost always went unpaid (because a very ambiguous clause of the contract, and that we were "non-union workers"**). And this is my favorite point of this list, because, almost any overtime went unpaid, so basically we were expected to be working for free after the end of the work day (lets say, after the 17:00). Leaving "early" was almost a sin for the managers, as they always expected that we give more time to work that the indicated on the contract, and if not, they could raise a report to HR because the ambiguous clause allowed them to do it (among other childish things that they do).
Finally, the jewel of the crown, is that they never, but never acknowledge that they made a mistake. Never. That was impossible! If something failed on the things/systems/applications that they had assigned*** it was always our fault.
- "A report for the Finance Department is giving wrong information? It's the DBA's fault**** because although he manages that report, he couldn't imagine that I have an undocumented service (that runs before the creation the report) crashed because I modified a hidden and undocumented temporal table and forgot to update that service."
But, well, at least that's on the past. And although those aren't all the things that made that workplace so toxic, for me those were the most prominent ones.
* Well, here we I live it's very common to don't say anything about leaving the company until the very last day. Yes, I know that there are people that leave their "2-days notice", but it's not common (IMHO, of course). And yes, there are some of us that give a 1 or 2-weeks notice, but still it's not a common practice.
** I don't know how to translate this... We have a concept called "trusted employee", which is mainly used to describe any administrative employee, and that commonly is expected to give the 110% of what the contract says (unpaid overtimes, extra stuff to do, etc) and sadly it's an accepted condition (for whatever reasons). I chose "non-union workers" because in comparison with an union worker, we have less protections (besides the legal ways) regarding what I've described before. Curiously, there are also "operative workers", that doesn't belong to an union, but they have (sometimes) better protections that the administrative ones.
*** Yes, they were in charge of several systems, because they didn't trust us to handle/maintain them. And I'm sure that they still don't trust in their developers.
**** One of the managers, and the DBA are the only ones that handle some stuff (specially the one that involves "money"). The thing that allows to use the DBA as scapegoat is that such manager have more privileges and permissions than the DBA, as he was the previous DBA2
@Owenvii made a post over at (https://devrant.com/rants/2359774/...) and I want to write a proper response.
The biggest thing you have to look out for as a new dev is the jobs which you accept to begin with.
This isn't minimum wage no more, this is "big league", well, maybe not apple or google big league, but it's not $9.25 an hour either.
Basically you don't want to work anywhere where 1. your labor will be treated as a highly disposable commodity. 2. where the hiring manager doesn't know how to do the job themselves.
The best thing you can do is, if you're new, and just breaking through (and even if you're not), is ask them common questions and problems/solutions that crop up doing the work. If they can answer intelligently that tells you the company values competence (maybe), enough to put someone in place who will know ability from bullshit, merit from mediocrity, and who understands the process of progressing from junior dev to a more involved role.
It also means they are incentivized to hire people who know what they're doing because the training cost of new hires is lowered when they hire people who are actually competent or capable of learning.
Remember, an interview isn't just them learning about you, it's your opportunity to interview *them* and boy, you'll be making a BIG mistake if you don't.
Ideally you want them to ask you to pair program a problem. If your solution is better than theirs then they aren't sending their best to do interviews, and it tells you the company doesn't fire incompetents. The interviewers response can tell you a lot too, if they critique your work, or suggest improvements, and especially if they explain their thinking, that is an amazing response to look for, it says the company values mentorship and *actual* teamwork (not the corporate lingo-bingo 'teamwork' that we sometimes see idolized on posters like so much common dogma).
Most importantly, get them to talk about their work and their team. If they're a professional, it'll be really difficult to pry anything negative about their co-workers out of them, but if they're loose-lipped and gossipy thats a VERY bad sign, regardless of what they have to say.
Ask to take a tour and do a meet n' greet of who you will be working with. If they say no, then it's no thank you to a job offer. You want to take every opportunity to get to know everyone there, everyone you'll be working with, as much as possible--because you'll be spending a LOT of time with these people and you want to rule out any place that employs 'unfireable' toxic assholes, sociopath executives, manipulative ladder climbing narcissists, and vicious misery-loving psychopathic coworkers as quick as possible. This isn't just one warning flag to look out for, it's the essential one. You're looking for the proper *workplace culture*, not the cheesy startup phrase of "workplace culture", but the actual attitudes of the team and the interpersonal dynamics.
Life is really short, and a heart attack at 25 from dipshit coworkers and workplace grief can and will destroy your health, if not your sanity, the older you get.
Trust and believe me when I say no paycheck is too grand to deal with some useless, smarmy, manipulative, or borderline motherfuckers at work constantly. You'll regret it if you do. Don't do it. Do you fucking do it. Just don't.
Take my words to heart and be weary of easy job offers. I'm not saying don't take a good offer that lands in your lap, I AM saying do some investigating and due diligence or the consequences are on you.1
People always brag to me about how they put up with bad working environments. I really have low tolerance and low respect for bosses who are less transparent and egotistic (about their opinion). It's so damn difficult to find good leaders. Sometimes, I get a feeling that maybe it's me who is overthinking and should probably be more patient.2
Just got made regular at my current employer, but the last month or so I've been threading the needle on whether or not to take it (unfortunately, financial woes made the decision for me, but I digress). Thing is the company culture rewards dishonesty and is slightly toxic with middling managers, even if the work is good.
That said, given the circumstances above, how long would you consider it reasonable to stay at such a company before resigning or interviewing for a new job? Give it a year, or six months, or wait for a dealbreaker like a delayed paycheck?
I don't want to be a jerk just because I work for jerks, but the lack of positive change in our workplace is just demoralizing. Being offshore as well doesn't make it easier.3
So late last yearI was made reduantant. Admittedly at the time I was exceedingly conflicted about the whole thing. One one hand it was a toxic dump of a workplace. On the other, I suddenly had no work, a place I'm not overly familiar with.
So a very stressed me started the ring around, posting resumes, meeting with the giant waste of oxygen that is recruitmemt agencies etc etc. Finally, after talking with yet another recruitmemt agency, I had a phone call with my current boss. He informed me that he didn't really have any work but asked me to come in for a chat anyway.
Figuring I had nothing to lose so I drove 1 hour and 15 minutes to meet with him and the senior developer. I was asked 20 questions to assess my technical skill level, of which I got 19 correct. In the end they were so impressed by me that they gave me a position they weren't hiring for. Needless to say I was quite chuffed with myself! 😉