Post # 1
My Fiance just recently got 2 talks from his boss about his job performance.
His boss pulled him aside last week and had a talk with him (he started off the talk by asking the Fiance “do you like working here?” “is everything ok at home?” “you don’t seem to be happy here,”) and literally not even a week later (maybe 5 days,) pulls him aside again and had another talk with him, this time, he included my FI’s other manager, so he could get in on the conversation.
The Fiance said the phrase “tipping-point” was used, referring to his work. (The Fiance is a web designer, and basically his boss is upset because the Fiance is a little slow at producing what he requests of him)
I feel sick to my stomach… the Fiance does too. I’m trying to be the strong one, and encourage him to try harder, and to do the best he can.
I’ve tried talking to him about going back to college, even if it was just 1 or 2 classes, just to polish-up on some areas where he could improve. He always gets defensive and says that he “could just teach himself” and how he doesn’t want to go to college.
I don’t know what else to do, or what else to say to him. I just keep waiting for him to come home, fired from his job. 🙁 Any other bees been in this position before?
Post # 3
That’s tough. I’ve never been in that position, but I do work in HR, and I know that generally talks like that are NOT good. It will take a HUGE effort for his bosses to ever see him in a positive light ever again. He might not get fired, but as far as him moving up/getting raises/etc – it would be very difficult for them to see him in a good light again.
Sorry, I realize that doesn’t help much, but honestly I would recommend that he starts looking for employment elsewhere.
Post # 4
@AquaGrey8962: I’ve been in that situation and SO was recently. He will either have to make a DRASTIC change in his work or, unfortunately, start looking for another job. Just beware: my SO opted for looking for another job and REALLY mentally checked out of the first job before he’d landed another. Thankfully, he found an awesome job that is totally up his alley before anything happened, but I got really nervous there for a few weeks.
Post # 5
@AquaGrey8962: Wow. That’s really tough. I’ve never been in that situation specifically but I have been in situations (yeah multiple times, oy) where Fiance suddenly completely changed his mind about jobs/school and I had no clue what was going to happen, if we would be financially stable, if he would end up being happy, and so on. I wasn’t sure what was best so I was just strong and stuck it through. And then he’d be in the middle of the change and not sure and stressed out. And I would just tell myself to let go. I knew it would all be okay however it turned out. The situation was largely out of my control. I didn’t want him to be in a job he hated. So I just supported him and gave him the space to figure it out.
But when things got too out of control I put my foot down! For instance, he was in school for his doctorate, then he was gonna leave and go back to work, he had a job interview that went great but realized he hated the office, came home and didn’t know what to do, because he felt so conflicted. He thought maybe he’d wait but then he’d have to make up all that school to go back again.That was when I put my foot down and told him that he doesn’t have any of his fantasy choices and he doesn’t have time to dawdle around (he really didn’t in this case, if he missed another day of school he would fail out based on the attendance policy)- his choice is either to work or stay in school. I told him he’d miss out on seeing his kids if he waited for school. I said it was his choice but it’s not going to just resolve itself for him or go away. He needed to take action and decide.
So I guess that’s my approach. Be extremely supportive, be the safe person he can talk to, but at the moment that seems right or demands it, offer a reality check if you’ve got one.
Post # 6
When my SO or past ex’s have confided in me about job issues I have learned that most of the time they just need you to listen and trying to fix it for them just overwelms them more. Thats the experiences I have had. Men can really define themselves by their job. It’s a huge part of how they identify themselves and job failure can really hurt their ego. Its very important to men to succeed. I’m sure your so is really worried and is being defensive because men like to fix things and at this point maybe he feels a little bit like he can’t fix it and is failing. Just keep being there for him and just be there as a listener. Think of ways to take a load of his plate the next few days when he gets home from a stressful day of work so he has one less thing to think about and he can focus on staying late or getting things tightened up at work. Sounds like you are being very supportive and I’m sure he appreciates it.
Post # 7
this is such a difficult and frustrating situation. i agree with the PP who said that your fiance is likely venting/trying to find a safe place for him to tlak about it, rather than advice. i get that is super difficult to try and step out as opposed to fix it… but i believe it”d be for the best
Post # 8
@AquaGrey8962: This is definitely not good. His boss could be documenting these talks to show that he’s gone down the appropriate paths for termintation. I think you need to have a serious talk (which you’ve obviously tried) because it could be a great possibility that he’ll be out of a job soon.
I like your idea of classes. He needs to show his boss that he’s trying to get better.
I agree with PPs that he is venting, but this affects you greatly, as well.
Post # 9
@AquaGrey8962: my SO is in a similar field as yours, and it is absolutely imperative that he take continuing education classes. Trying to teach yourself (which may work if you’re very ambitious) or stagnating is career suicide in the web design/developer world.
What kind of work does your Fiance do – development, idea work, or both? If he’s more in line with a creative designer, then continuing ed may not be as important, but still a good idea to excel. It’s rare for designers to be paid or reimbursed for continuing ed because it’s just expected that they will be brushing up on their skills constantly. This may be the reason that your Fiance is falling behind.
I’ve definitely been in your position, and it’s hard to continue to encourage your guy when they are in such a competitive field. It seems like there is always someone willing to do the same work for less, which is why experience, charisma, and expanding ones skillset is so important in this field.
Post # 10
My SO has past work experience in the IT field. He left the field after 3 years when he realized that he could be replaced very easily by younger graduates with less experience and pay. He pondered about what he wanted to do in 30 years, and that resulted in him making a career change that he could see himself doing until he retired.
I’m hoping for the best for the OP and her Fiance, but I think it is worth thinking about the question if your SO intented on doing web design in 20? Otherwise, I agree with the other bees, just let him vent and offer a reality check when needed.
Post # 11
@StL.Ashley: I agree with that to an extent. I do think that “performance plans” can be effective as a coaching tool if the person generally cares. OP’s partner seems a bit indifferent, so I’m not sure how well that would go over. I have a girl on my team who I had to put on a performance plan and she worked her ass off to exceed the goals I set out for her. I did end up giving her a raise at the end of the year because she made a drastic improvement. Would I make her a manager? No. But if she keeps it up, I would eventually promote her. Maybe she’s the exception.
@AquaGrey8962: Sure, you can teach yourself but that doesn’t look very good on a resume. Explain to Fiance that he can self study, but he needs to back it up with real credentials that will position him for advancement. I could teach myself everything an MBA course offers, but that still wouldn’t give me an MBA from an accredited school. If his managers haven’t suggested a performance or action plan, get Fiance to do so. He needs to show he is dedicated to making marked changes ASAP. In this economy, everyone is expendable.
Post # 12
Thanks everyone. I’ve tried suggesting that maybe he look for a new job, but he’s insisted on staying at this one because he feels like things will work out. :
Some people have told me “if his boss wanted to fire him, he would’ve fired him.” But I dunno… part of me thinks his boss is giving him a second chance to do better, but then sometimes I think his boss is just gearing up to fire him.
Post # 13
Some managers use threats to put fear into employees to “inspire” them to work faster. Has anyone else been getting the same talks? We get a round of “here’s why you suck” just to keep us in line every now and again.
Or, if he is falling behind a bit, then maybe he needs to looks at his performance honestly. Is there some things he could be doing more efficiently? Maybe he really does need a bit of an upgrade? Is he getting distracted? Is he able to take the criticism positvely?
Post # 14
@AquaGrey8962: how long has he been a web designer? Does he work in-house or in an agency?
Post # 15
Depending on the company, and if it’s a union job or not (I wouldn’t expect so, but my husband’s in the web development field at a university and he’s in a union), these series of ‘talks’ may be for documentation purposes…so if they do fire your fiance and if it’s contested by the union, they have all the evidence they need to prove they went through all that red tape first.
Post # 16
@CookieCreamCakes: No union. His boss apparently has done this before. Beofre he started working there, apparently for a few months, his boss was a major jerk to everyone. Everyone refers to it as the “dark period.” His boss has mood swings… one day he’ll be really nice and the next he’s just sh*tting on everything. He seems to target the Fiance the most though.