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You know when you thought everything was going OK, only to find out it wasn't...?

(68 Posts)
AgentZigzag Tue 26-Feb-13 14:57:50

How do you not let it crush you?

I've been working from home for the last three months after not being in a paid job for 14 years, I had the first feedback from them today and it's not good at all, but I thought it was going alright and I'm struggling to get my head round it.

There have been similar things at other times in my life as well, like I thought a relationship/friendship was going well only to find out I must have misread or misunderstood what I thought were the indicators that everything was fine.

I wonder if I generally just don't 'get it' (whatever 'it' is) and have to accept it's always going to be a mystery and should carry on trying to avoid stuff so I don't get in these situations because it makes me feel like such a failure and I can't cope, especially when I think I might get the boot at work and totally let DH/DDs down.

It would be unreasonable to deal with it in a gin/blubbing heap/self-pity fest way, tempting as it is, at work they're looking at it again in just over a week, how do I carry on working in the meantime?

HerrenaHarridan Tue 26-Feb-13 16:17:42

An iron will you have got smile

There is so many positives to focus on, they are in no way diminished by some ill though out feedback

What are you going to get with you next pay packet? Have you something nice planned for yourself? I think you should wink

Sallyingforth Tue 26-Feb-13 16:20:32

OP please tell us what this job is.
There are a lot of home-working scams about and I hope you have not been caught up in one.

TheCrackFox Tue 26-Feb-13 16:21:40

I thought I'd give you a hug for getting a job and for making it through a shot day at work (everyone has shit days - even the fabled Xenia.)

Was all the feedback negative or was it just one small element? I know I have a terrible tendency to focus on one small criticism whilst simultaneously ignoring any compliments.

Try to not see negative feedback as a totally bad thing as you can make the necessary changes and still succeed in your job. Try to keep the lines of communication with your line manager open.

Good luck.

Spoonful Tue 26-Feb-13 16:23:52

Even if you are maybe not right for this company, this job, it doesn't make you a failure- sometimes people just don't fit the specifics of what a certain company is looking for. It's never nice to get bad feedback, but don't feel too bad.

I have had moments like you mean though, like when I realised my SIL can't stand me, when I had always thought we got on Ok for people with not much in common. It is a shock, you feel like you were silly not to realise earlier. I guess it happens to us all sometimes.

Press again for specifics on what isn't working, three months isn't that long really. They may be able to improve their communication and you can change how you are doing things accordingly. Best of luck!

ModernToss Tue 26-Feb-13 16:24:44

Can you be any more specific about the nature of the negativity? It's hard to make helpful suggestions otherwise.

CartedOff Tue 26-Feb-13 16:33:34

I think you're taking it too much to heart smile Whoever you're working for doesn't sound very good if they can't offer proper feedback that shows you where they'd like improvement or changes. And the friendship/relationship issue happens to everyone: people break things off at seemingly arbitrary moments or for odd reasons. It's hard but it's the way of things. It's definitely happened to me and I was having a talk about it with someone else the other day who had recently experienced it.

I think because your self-esteem is feeling fragile at the moment things like these seem much larger than they actually are and like they're part of a horrible pattern, but they really aren't!

Nicolaeus Tue 26-Feb-13 16:46:23

Everyone misreads relationships at some point in their life so I really wouldnt take that as an indicator of anything more sinister :-)

As for the work- is it purely a subjective evaluation or an objective one? Do you have targets? Are you hitting them?

I've had a couple of bad feedbacks that have stayed with me for years because of making me feel sick and also because I found them unfair (and I'm evaluated in detail by several people every 6 months so have had tonnes of feedback/evaluations but the bad ones always stick with me longer than the good ones).

Allow yourself to feel angry/disappointed/upset - have a good rant then turn the page. Ask for constructive feedback. Have you had the necessary training? Can they offer you more?

DB once worked for a cold calling company where the target was 5 sales per month.... And no one hit the target! Very demoralising but DB stuck with it until he found a new job and realised just how awful the last one had been - it wasnt that he was a bad salesman, just that the company and products were crap.

AgentZigzag Tue 26-Feb-13 16:58:39

I'm sorry but I really can't say what it is, which sounds a bit furtive, but it's definitely not a scam and is relatively well paid for what work experience I've had i.e. zilch.

The feedback was a %, I've no idea how to take it at all, but you've said things that DH has also said and he knows the ins/outs of it.

Thing is, I have to take who I'm working for as they are because that's how they work. I'm so grateful for working this long given the alternatives and I enjoy the job, but as it goes with all jobs, it's worth so much more than just the employment and money.

Maternitygold Tue 26-Feb-13 18:03:52

Maybe you can just take it as a one time feedback and try to distance yourself and just go through your performance in your head again. Like you said they haven't booted you out so it could be just due to not working for a long time. Don't worry things will be alright soon. You can also set your objectives ahead of any new work and get yourself appraised against only those criteria so you know what to perform and their feedback is also objective.

LeChatRouge Tue 26-Feb-13 18:13:07

Don't forget working for an organisation is a two way relationship. Their part of the deal is to make sure you have the knowledge, ability, and support you need; your part is to do the work to the best of your knowledge and understanding.

When you look back, can you see if they have failed to impart knowledge or support to you, or do you think the work is out of reach of your skill set?

Can you speak to someone at the company and tell them that you wish to improve the % over the next 4-6 weeks and you need some more information/support?

catgirl1976 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:54:30

I do know the feeling and it@s rough

I@ve had very simialr at work myself and its knocked me so hard I am off sick on anti depressants

I would drink gin and cry tonight only

Tommorow ask for proper clarity
Mention you lack of proper brief

Dont let the bastards grind you down x

Mandy2003 Tue 26-Feb-13 19:52:26

Can you talk to your MH worker about how this has affected your self esteem and your feelings surrounding that?

I remember having anxiety and depression problems years ago and getting into situations where I felt although I didn't know "the rules", that I was getting it wrong but as I didn't know the rules I was getting it wrong and...

It's a horrible situation to be in, and it can make things wind round and round which end up making you feel much worse.

{{unMumsnetty hugs}} to you for getting so far with this job and beginning to appreciate the rewards thanks

Lucyellensmum95 Tue 26-Feb-13 20:00:01

Agent - just wanted to post some support, no advice but have found myself in very similar situation just now.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 26-Feb-13 20:12:03

I have just sent you a PM - don't worry, I don't bite!!

In short - it's the old chiche with a twist - 'It's not you, it's them'!

No matter how well or not you have been doing, they have handled this terribly. They are failing, not you. I know that doesn't help you to hold onto the job if you aren't in a long term contract role (which I suspect is the case)... BUT don't let them grind you down in the process.

I know it's hard to find a job and especially is you have other restrictions (physically or mentally or not a lot of experience etc) but you got this one, you will get another one - OK!


Don't drink - it always seems like a good idea, but it never helps and often makes things worse.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 26-Feb-13 21:00:02

OP, are you getting any support in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? It may help if you find that setbacks really set you back too far. Like, if you take criticism a little too hard and interpret it in terms of "I'm a worthless loser who never knows what the Hell I'm supposed to be doing. I'm a freak and no wonder nobody likes me!" (to give a sort of generic example.) CBT trains us to catch those thoughts and nip them in the bud so that we aren't made miserable by them.

AgentZigzag Tue 26-Feb-13 21:56:55

Thanks again for all the very wise advice, and the PM MyHead, I'm a little bit less dazed and gradually getting a grip and some perspective.

I dropped them an email earlier (ta for the suggestion LRD) but I don't think I'll get a reply very quickly or it be anything that'll answer what exactly they expect from me.

The positives are that they haven't dumped me as yet, so I'll worry about getting another job as and when. I have had three months of getting paid, which the alternatives of trying to get on with freelance work would have been impossible, plus I've got it on my CV now.

DH has reassured me that it'd be impossible for me to improve without them telling me what it is they want me to do exactly, so if they do let me go the blame wouldn't lay with me. Although I'm not totally sure of that, I feel better knowing he wouldn't think I'm a useless failure and it was all my fault. (not that I thought he'd think that, but, y'know, it goes through your mind).

I'm not having any psychiatric (or whatever it's called) treatment/support at the min, I haven't for quite a while, but I have found CBT helpful in the past. I was starting to have the same old destructive thoughts I used to have, but I don't want to get into all that shit again, the suggestions here are a great starting point to deal with it in a different, more constructive way.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 26-Feb-13 22:13:36

Do they expect you to be fantastic when you're relatively new to it? I hate this type of behaviour, how awful for you. It doesn't sound like a very nice company to work for to be honest. If I were you I'd stick at it but look around for something else in the meantime. Treat it as a stepping stone back into work.

If it's any consolation I have just started a new job in a field I haven't worked in for 15 years. I feel like a twit most of the time at present but I know once I learn the ropes I won't. I just keep asking what their policy is on things etc. and address any glitches with positive questions.

monkeymamma Tue 26-Feb-13 22:28:10

AgentZig, you are AWESOME for getting on and doing this in spite of difficult circumstances. The feedback today might feel devastating but actually it's a small part of a bigger picture where you are doing brilliant things. Anytime you feel like this setback might knock you off course, just remember we are all rooting for you and whatever happens you've done well just by being brave and giving it a go. This company is damn lucky to have someone as bright and sparky and wise as you (long term lurker here, have read lots of your posts!) not to mention someone who cares so much about getting it right.

Cherriesarelovely Tue 26-Feb-13 22:36:22

I really feel for you. Even a bit of poor feedback can be so upsetting and undermining, I am hugely over sensitive to criticism so know what you mean about it really getting to you. You are right though, they have kept you on and hopefully they will give you more specific feedback soon. Very unfair not to give you anything constructive to work on. Well done for keeping it together.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Wed 27-Feb-13 10:07:37

How are you doing this morning? Do you work everyday?

It is great that your DH has said that, it takes the pressure off you a bit doesn't it.

I'd still like to kick them for being such bastards - that is SO unprofessional & shit of them.

Still, keep your chin up and hang in there!

AgentZigzag Wed 27-Feb-13 14:40:24

Hi MyHead, not doing to badly today thanks smile (and thanks for the far too generous post monkeym blush) I've got on and done some work, which is what I was most worried about doing. I just did what I normally do and ignored the shitty bits and concentrated on trying to do the best work I can grin

I won't ignore the feedback, and there are some things I can look at again to try and improve (once they tell me which bits they're talking about), but I'll ignore the possible impending boot until it comes.

I have to do between a minimum and maximum of hours a week, and can fit them in whenever they're available, which means I can do all the things I'd normally do, very handy.

I've not heard back from the email I sent and the feedback still isn't there, but there isn't anything I can do but try and get the hours in, if my work is that crap it's up to them to stop me doing it!

Well done on the job Clipped, 15 years goes past in the blink of an eye doesn't it? shock I'm sure you don't look a twit at all.

dothraki Wed 27-Feb-13 15:33:59

Well done AgentZigzag - if they had major concerns they would be letting you know quickly, now you can get back to work (and we'll shout if your on here toomuch when you should be workingsmile)

foofooyeah Wed 27-Feb-13 15:42:30

Hi there, I was going to say try to turn this to your advantage by asking for a mentor and a detailed improvement plan ie: certain key things they want to see you achieve - that would take away any ambiguity and make you able to focus on what they think you need to improve on - but given your work situation it sounds like they would not be forthcoming with this sort of plan.

Very hard to do but try not to take it too personally - they are probably just looking at stats and figures and not seeing the person behind them.

Glad you are feeling a bit better today.

EldritchCleavage Wed 27-Feb-13 15:50:50

Sorry to hear about this.

Do bear in mind it may just be the person you are dealing with is just rubbish at this. My little sister is now a high-up and one of her great on-going managerial problems is how bad some of her team members are at appraisals and feedback. She has recently spent a lot of time having to sort out issues caused by exactly the kind of thing you're experiencing ("It's not good enough-no, I haven't got the time/guts/insight to tell you why, just get on with it" etc).

So while it is important to be able to take criticism, please don't take all of this on yourself unless and until someone comes along with a very well-argued and reasonable account of why you should.

sazpops Wed 27-Feb-13 16:55:18

This sounds a horrid situation, and leaving it 3 months to give you any feedback seems ridiculous - so all that while you were merrily doing your job, thinking all was well, when a little intervention earlier on could have prevented this bombshell.

I hope you get some response to your email so at least you can decide if you think the feedback is at all justified and if there's anything you can do about it . Otherwise, hang on in there and listen to all the wise people here who've said it's not you, it's them.

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