• Corporate Gaslighting

The Painful And Pointless Review Process

I'm an INFJ [rare personality type] with a creative function within a sales organisation.


I am the only one of my "kind" here - I work solo, no team.


I joined in January this year and had just gotten my first taste of what a review here is like... and have 3 more to look forward to this 2019 as they do this quarterly. 


This is a summary of that conversation, broken down into the different aspects covered in the review for context, with excerpts. Please bear in mind that this was edited for brevity, but the quotes read almost like a transcript, verbatim:


Part 1 - I asked for more money.


As a woman, I know I'm paid less than males here, but I'm also Asian in an European company. There's a huge pay disparity between locals and expats. Double whammy. I know this to be a fact because I had access to see who is paid what.


Me: Well, I would like to be paid more because ...


Bossman (interrupting): No. That's not gonna happen.


I was going to go on and rationally list out the reasons why I should be paid more, such as 1) My predecessor was paid 25% more, for doing 50% less of the work and 2) I'm also providing a niche service via social media that would have cost the company $7,500/month from an agency outside. Needless to say, I'm paid less than that.


Part 2 - They asked me if I was happy!


If you have to ask, then you know there's something not quite right. It's either that or you're simply asking to go through the motions with zero interest in actually finding out if someone really is happy.

Bossman: Are you happy here? What can we do to help you achieve success? 


Me: Well, there's pros and cons. I like the fact that I can action on items and do things that I want to, because you're (the company) small enough to be agile in that sense. For example, the website revamp.But I feel like there's a difference in mindset. I think the team is very concerned with numbers, and while I understand that's the nature of the business, and they have big KPIs to hit, I think it would be good for them to have a more creative and agile mindset.. you know, think out of the box more and try different approaches because... 


Bossman (interrupting): Okay let me stop you right there. All I hear is about 'them' but this review is about you...


Me: (?!?!?) Yes, I understand that, but I'm trying to tell you the 'con' and what I find challenging here, as I feel there's no support for marketing, which I need. It's for social sharing and your branding because...


Bossman (interrupting again): Yes but have you tried to be more friendly and approachable? Have you tried talking to them? Are you saying that in three months you have gotten to know everyone in the organization? 


Me: ?!?!? 

For context:


1) There are only about 20 people in this place, and they preach "family" values. i.e. we're like family here. Personally, I fail to see the support that one gets from a family.


2) Yes, I think 3 months is enough to get to know a team that's only 20 people strong. Especially since I'm here for 90% of the weekly Monday breakfast meetings and Friday BBQs.


3) Me being friendly and approachable i.e 'popular' should have nothing to do with how your staff interact with your brand online. The person who does social posts and curates content should not be a factor in your staff sharing / reposting and getting behind your brand as a whole. Especially if you preach family values.


4) I was also hired in a senior capacity, and in almost 20 years of working, have never been asked to, nor had to, go round telling people - please like the social post, please follow the company's pages, etc.


5) I'm actually pretty nice, just introverted.

Part 3 - I need to ask myself... If I really want to be here ...


Bossman: Well we're a sales organisation and that's never gonna change so you need to ask yourself if you really wanna work here.


Me: ?!?!?


1) Being a sales organisation doesn't mean a sales-only driven mindset. Agility, flexibility and creativity goes a LONG way to an organization's longevity. Does no one ever read anymore?


2) I didn't ask the core to change. I'm asking for more support and for people to perhaps think of different solutions and approaches. I don't know what's worse - asking for money or for the support they supposedly would like to give.


3) Apparently, I'm the problem?


I am unsure of what I was expecting, but to be told that I need to ask myself if I really want to be here after passing probation and given confirmation, has me confused. For the record, I've managed to arrange for meetings with various potential clients through outreach. I haven't even tried content marketing yet, which is my strength. I don't know what people in the room took away from that review (HR was there taking minutes), but for me, the only thing I agree on is - I need to ask myself if I really want to be here.

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