I’m an experienced leader and just started a new job–that they heavily recruited me for. I come in with a solid reputation in my field and as a people manager. Three months onto the job, one of my direct reports came to me and said he’d like to move into a different position.

I talked with him about the pros and cons of this job, said I’d support him in whatever he decided, but I didn’t think this was a good career move. I’ve had these kinds of conversations a thousand times in my career. I thought it went well.

To my surprise, my employee went to the VP (my boss’s boss), said I had interrogated him, called him a loser, and that he refused to continue working for me. My boss came to me and instructed me to apologize, based on the instructions from the VP. She said she’s worked with this man for many years and trusts him.

What recourse does a manager have in this situation? We always hear about the employee, but nothing about if a manager is wronged.

I responded:

The recourse is tricky because you have only been there three months, so you don’t have a solid reputation yet.

However, you can go to your boss and express your concern that she did not listen to you.

She assumes the other person told the truth because she knows him and he has been there a long time. But it’s something you need to bring to her attention.

My reader responded:

Yes, that’s what I was thinking, and I did ask for a meeting with the VP, but it wasn’t granted. The VP also told an entire room of people how awful I had been, saying what the [squidlips] were you thinking?

At this point, I’d advise you to cut your losses and run. They wanted you, so assume someone else does too. Because even if you can get to the VP, the VP has already shown her toxic nature. She didn’t investigate. She insulted you in a group setting without talking to you. These are signs of things to come, and it won’t get better.

It can be tough to integrate as the new person, and I can see why the VP trusts the long-term employee–but this was an unacceptable way to handle it. Your direct boss should have insisted on hearing your side of the story as well. I suspect that, overall, this is not going to be a place you want to stay.

So, it’s time to start looking for a new job. Don’t worry about job-hopping. Assuming you don’t have a resume filled with three-month jobs, this is a blip. This was not a good fit. Get out.

When the culture is rotten from the top, you can’t fix it.

Image by Bill Kasman from Pixabay

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