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American Management Style

American Management Style

Old Feb 7th 2007, 11:46 pm
  #1  
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Default American Management Style

Well, I hope what I am about to impart is not indicative of American Management. Firstly some background.

My wife was employed three months or so ago by a company through an employment agency. She was employed as a secretary but soon found that there wasn't much secretarial work to be done, various other duties included working in the warehouse and occasionally answering phones. But she didn't complain, we needed the money and the job seemed okay.

For this period we were car-less by the way so her travel time, each way came to three hours and four busses. She would wake at 5.30am, leave at 6.30am and return at 7pm if we were lucky. Still, she didn't complain and left for work each day with her usual positive and happy disposition.

Before too long though it became apparent that the two girls she worked with in the so called office, both having been there for years, were quite bitchy toward her, freezing her out, giggling behind her back, whispering away and delegating work that was not hers to do. Basically, the type of small minded types in a go nowhere job who enjoy being mean because their lives are going nowhere fast. I am sure we have all come across these type of workplace bullys. But, again, she didn't complain. Though during this whole time she has been upset most nights and desperately wanted to leave. She didn't of course, she stuck it out despite being miserable.

Now to the chase. Today her manager called her into his office, sat her down and told her that her two female colleagues had been to see him and said that she works too slow and they want her out. This despite the fact that she finishes her work an hour before the both of them after only being there three months.

Well, the manager, who I would have fired myself were he working under me back in the UK - or at least have had him sent on some kind of management course to teach him the basic skills of leadership in the workplace - told her that he was moving her to the warehouse permanently where she couldn't 'do too much damage ha ha' and, as she sat there fighting back tears, all this coming completely out of the blue, he told her that he was interviewing another girl for her job today. In fact, he brought the girl in and introduced her to my wife as she sat there trembling.

My wife finished the day too embarrassed to even speak, sitting with the two colleagues who had knifed her in the back for no reason she can think of, and returned home where she finally broke down into floods of tears. I told her that she should have told her manager to shove his job where the sun dont shine and walked out there and then. That is what I would have done. However, that she didn't and remained professional to the end of the day, which makes me all the more proud of her and angry at her manager and so called work mates.

The fact is, my wife can touch type 65 words a minute with 98 percent accuracy, she is expert at all aspects of MS Office and could easily have run that place alone.

She is now in bed having a nap after the emotional turmoil she has suffered at the hands of her manager, who could surely have been more professional and mentioned to her last week that maybe it wasn't working out in the office, rather than behaving the way he did.

For myself, I am fuming mad and wanted to get this off my chest. I will be calling the manager tomorrow to give him a piece of my mind and my wife will not be returning. I would really like to go down there and tear him a new asshole but as he has one and is one another could be one too many.

I am sure this says something about the US' attitude towards it's workforce but I don't really want to start a debate on that. Rather I wanted to get this off my chest and, if anyone has had similar experience perhaps they could post as my wife's confidence is shaken (despite my insisting that it is they that are at fault) and it may help. I should say that in all the time I have known her I have never heard her say a bad word about anyone. She is a hard and diligent worker who would travel three hours in all weathers, sick or well to attend a job she hated and never still complained. Please forgive this not being very well put, I am far too angry to think too much about grammar and so forth. Thanks for listening.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:12 am
  #2  
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Default Re: American Management Style

Originally Posted by Silly Sod View Post
Well, I hope what I am about to impart is not indicative of American Management. Firstly some background.
.
things like this remind me how fortunate I am for my company to be heavily european, both in staff and management practices
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:23 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

I've been lucky enough to work for company where I have avoided this.

But my wife goes through it daily. Seems people like to worry about what others are doing instead of getting on with their own job.

It seems companies have their own clique which when you are new, is hard to get into.

My regards to your wife, but I'm sure she works the hardest there and that's why the others hate it.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:31 am
  #4  
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Default Re: American Management Style

Tossers get promoted....you'll laugh at this...there's a bloke where the missus used to work, he was in charge of running the company boat, he couldn't sail, didn't have a clue, he even caused a couple hundred K's worth of damage after getting the company sued for running it into the dock and twonking someone out of their boat.

He didn't get fired...everyone expected him to be let go when the company sold the thing...he got promoted to a managerial position, even though he doesn't have a business background and didn't have a clue, run the department into the ground.

Company made a ton of redundancies because of falling profits, this after the big CEO got a $5M bonus...anyway, the guy still didn't get let go...he even got caught in the company carpark beating the shit out of his wife, but nothing came of it, he still didn't get sacked....he's also been caught chatting up young girls in various bars.

He's still there, on $150K salary and the only reason, the chutney ferret is friends with the old owner.

The company, one of the largest credit card providers....gotta love it.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:37 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

My heart goes out to your wife. It is so unfair that such a conscientious and diligent worker should be taken advantage of and kicked around like this.

But - and I hope you don't take this the wrong way - it seems to me that she could perhaps benefit from some assertiveness training. Is she lacking in self-confidence? Is it possible - dare I say it - that she sends out 'doormat vibes'?

There are people in the working world - weak, mean, qualified for nothing much people - who can spot someone like this at once and will kick them until they're down.

I'll keep my fingers crossed - hopefully your wife will soon find a job in a place where she is appreciated.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:41 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

I work with lots of women and I think it is American women. I use to be a manager but now I am in sales when I was a manager every single day I would get some kind of complaint about each other it was insane but with the men I never had any issues as far as these things go. I think your wife suffered because she was new that seems to be what happens they pick on the new person it is very high school. I am not saying all American woman are like this but it does seem to be a lot of them and I think managers sometimes just dont want to get in the middle of it so they just give in or ignore the problems.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:56 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

I have been working as a secretary for the last 40 years and I have to tell you that what your wife encountered is not indicative of American management style. It is one office manager.

Since your wife was hired through an agency, the agency is the place she needs to go immediately. She should write up a report of exactly what her duties were, how she was treated, the harassment she endured at the hands of her co-workers and the dressing down and relinquishing of duties by her manager. She should then tell the agency that she will not be reporting back to work for this company and would like to file a complaint against them. She then needs to tell them that she wants new employment strictly as an office worker and one that does not include warehouse work.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:58 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

I don't think you can really generalise. I'm sure there are also some truly crap companies in the UK. That said, the complete lack of workers rights in most states here (especially if you work for a small company) is a pain and does seem to lead to a lot of hiring and firing. There is definately a lot of companies here that do not at all value their employees; this is perhaps because they know they can ditch them and get another one pronto - the crappy place I work at currently does that.

I have also noticed that they really try it on with employees who they know are a bit short of money, and really can't afford to leave with nothing to go to. I think a lot of the reason I do not get any flak is because I've left the idiot we work for in no doubt as to the fact if he tries any of that shit with me, I'll just walk right out that day, and leave him high and dry.

I'm pleased your wife isn't going back - let us know how you get on chewing him out!

Last edited by Dan725; Feb 8th 2007 at 1:03 am.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 12:59 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

It sounds as if it's the two women working with your wife were the ones who stitched her up and badmouthed her to the manager. I've heard that there's American women like that who get jealous and want to get even if a coworker (American or otherwise). Such women orchestrate a way to make the coworker look bad to others, not just managers.

BTW, your wife should not bother putting this job on her resume. The manager, based on what you wrote, is more than likely to give a poor reference.

There's bad apples in many an American workplace. Unfortunately, your wife had to be lumbered with two stupid bitches in a single job.

I wish her the best of luck in her next job. If she decides to look for employment through the same agency, I would have her ask a lot of questions about the employee turnover at prospective employers.


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Old Feb 8th 2007, 1:21 am
  #10  
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Default Re: American Management Style

Thanks guys. She was actually hired into the company after a week so she has no recourse to the agency. After two weeks customers were calling the management and saying how nice and professional the new girl was. Perhaps this got the other girls backs up.

As I said she won't be going back. She isn't a very confrontational person but I don't see why she should have to put up with this kind of shite just because she is a nice, decent human being. But, we are both realists and are looking on this as a good thing. She is a USC and has never been treated badly in former employment and has made some good friends in the past. I guess, as has been said, she got lumbered with two bad apples and one bad manager. I was under the impression that the manager does the hiring and firing. This pathetic little man is letting the tail wag the dog. Sod em I say. Thanks for the feedback though. It is appreciated.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 1:23 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

I don't think this is an American phenomenon.

There is a certain type of employee who, fully aware of their own inadequacy, will home in on the achilles heel of anyone who they recognise to be better at the job than they are. Once their victim is down, they'll kick and kick, and won't let go until they have driven that person away.

Happens the world over, unfortunately.
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Old Feb 8th 2007, 2:06 am
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Default Re: American Management Style

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
I don't think this is an American phenomenon.

There is a certain type of employee who, fully aware of their own inadequacy, will home in on the achilles heel of anyone who they recognise to be better at the job than they are. Once their victim is down, they'll kick and kick, and won't let go until they have driven that person away.

Happens the world over, unfortunately.
I agree and to a certain extent I don't blame the low level knobjockeys who behave like this. I do strongly object to weak-willed, pishhead managers who let them get away with it though

In this case the manager should have been aware of your wife's capabilities after 3 months. If he wasn't then he's bad at his job. If he was but just didn't have the balls to stand up to the two other women then he's bad at his job. You wife is almost certainly better off out of there anyway, so get her to focus on that.
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