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Could do with a few opinions on this...

13 replies

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes · 09/05/2013 11:15

It's AIBU and WWYD really and I'm usually pretty good at deciding how to deal with things but I'm at a total loss over this.

I'll have to be deliberately vague so as not to out myself and it's a unusual scenario so bear with me.

I'm trying to break into an industry at the moment. There is a person (man) who is tasked with the job of helping people exactly like me. I've met him a few times and exchanged emails and the problem is he doesn't seem to want to help.

I'm not sure if I'm being oversensitive so I'll try to give you some examples. He often doesn't respond to my emails. On one occassion when I chased him up he told me I wasn't his priority. He never says anything positive about my work and when others do he just seems to close up. I had a couple of really exceptionally good accolades. I told him about them and he said he'd ring me. Then he emailed and said he was ill and couldn't speak.

He told me to do something which turned out to be exactly the wrong thing to do. To be honest, I'd have been well withing my rights to point it out to him but I didn't and he didn't say sorry for his mistake.

Most recently I asked if there was a waiting list for an event I want to attend. He said yes there is but didn't say how I could get onto it, or who to speak to. When I followed up by asking how I could get onto the list, he didn't reply.

I'm so tempted to conctact his line manager but I don't know if I have grounds and I worry about being labelled as trouble.

Any thoughts are welcome.

OP posts:

Potteresque97 · 09/05/2013 11:19

Hmmm tricky. Is his line mgr the person who tasked him with trying to help you? If so, I'd discuss your concerns with them, trying not to slate the guy but acting concerned about lack of progress etc/what else can I do kind of thing?


Potteresque97 · 09/05/2013 11:23

Ps how long has this been going on? If a few weeks, the guy could be busy, if a few months then...


fuzzywuzzy · 09/05/2013 11:28

can you join another agency?


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes · 09/05/2013 11:36

Hi fuzzy It isn't an agency/agent. It is an unusual situation, but as I said, I don't want to say too much.

OP posts:

francesdrake · 09/05/2013 11:44

He sounds a bit unhelpful for someone specifically responsible for liaison, but it's quite difficult to say without knowing more about the situation. Is this man an official, trained advisor to new... whatevers? Is the industry really small, so by helping new people in he's adding to competition for his own job? Is it an industry where you have to be quite pushy to get work, or one where being pro-active (calling, chasing emails, passing on accolades) is seen as, I don't know, 'not the done thing'? Is there another avenue you could try, or is this man literally the only person responsible for mentoring within your field?

sorry, my head's flipflopping trying to work out what on earth it is he/you do...


EarlyInTheMorning · 09/05/2013 11:53

To me it sounds like he might have a hidden agenda, perhaps there's someone that he actively wants to get exactly what you're after and you'd be in competition with them?


WilsonFrickett · 09/05/2013 11:55

Is he a mentor who has been told to mentor because it's 'good for his development' but who CBA to actually do any of the work?


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes · 09/05/2013 12:00

Thanks for the answers and sorry about asking you to perform mental gymnastics.

The man's job description and entire reason for his employment is to mentor and bring people into the industry. He's the only person in my area doing this. The industry is very tough and you have to be incredibly persistent.

I would never be a threat to his role specifically but I do get the vibe he's helping his friends more than me.

OP posts:

Cailinsalach · 09/05/2013 12:25

Could you challenge him? Suggest your working relationship is not progressing as you hoped and could he suggest a way forward? Talk to his line manager maybe? (See what I did there?)


WilsonFrickett · 09/05/2013 12:32

Mentoring generally is a bit alchemic - you have to have the right 'fit'. So you'd be perfectly within the normal bounds of a mentoring relationship to say 'let's sit down and discuss how this is working out' and then push him a bit more to do what you need him to do.

Would I be off the mark if I suggested his friends all look the same as him, iykwim? Old boys helping old boys? (Or young boys helping young boys...)


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes · 09/05/2013 12:39

I think I probably do need to have a talk with him and perhaps be honest and say I'm not happy.

It does feel like he's happy to help his friends and those people he can relate to, so in that sense it does have an old boy feel to it.

I was really wondering whether I was being slightly paranoid, but from the responses I've had there clearly is a problem.

Thanks Smile

OP posts:

digerd · 09/05/2013 12:46

No you are not being paranoid - his is blatantly shrugging you off.
Can't advise what to do about it though.


Potteresque97 · 09/05/2013 12:58

yes agree it's a problem - not paranoia, it's just a question of what best to do. is he definitely your only way into this field? It's worrying he's given you bad advice though - it implies he's not well disposed so you may still need to go over his head.

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