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Is there any way to file a complaint against a higher up?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
For anyone that works in corporate america, there is always a year end review of the past year's performance. Typically, it is your immediate manager and his manager giving you a review. I find this is one-sided. How would one progress a complaint towards a higher up then one is of the rank and file? I did an extensive google search on this subject and found the odds are stacked against the rank and file. Typically the result is this: Since it considered a breakdown and trust of communication, the rank and file person is always the one to be let go. Obviously if this involved blatant harassment on the part of the higher up, it would be different story but when the problem is that the higher up is incompetent, lacks management skills/people skills, has blantant favortism, a micromanager, is stubborn like an ox, and/or puts down his staff, what is the recourse for someone that is a rank and file to do?

I am looking for the best way to deal with this and not just the simple, Get and up and leave attitude.
post #2 of 27
nm
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
For anyone that works in corporate america, there is always a year end review of the past year's performance. Typically, it is your immediate manager and his manager giving you a review. I find this is one-sided. How would one progress a complaint towards a higher up then one is of the rank and file? I did an extensive google search on this subject and found the odds are stacked against the rank and file. Typically the result is this: Since it considered a breakdown and trust of communication, the rank and file person is always the one to be let go. Obviously if this involved blatant harassment on the part of the higher up, it would be different story but when the problem is that the higher up is incompetent, lacks management skills/people skills, has blantant favortism, a micromanager, is stubborn like an ox, and/or puts down his staff, what is the recourse for someone that is a rank and file to do? I am looking for the best way to deal with this and not just the simple, Get and up and leave attitude.
Has the person broken any laws or done anything that goes against stated company policies? If not, it will just come across as an inter-personal issue (ie. that you simply don't like your boss) and top management will either ignore it, get rid of you or, if they feel that you are valuable, transfer you somewhere else. If you are a real superstar money-maker for the company then you might have more options.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
For anyone that works in corporate america, there is always a year end review of the past year's performance. Typically, it is your immediate manager and his manager giving you a review. I find this is one-sided. How would one progress a complaint towards a higher up then one is of the rank and file? I did an extensive google search on this subject and found the odds are stacked against the rank and file. Typically the result is this: Since it considered a breakdown and trust of communication, the rank and file person is always the one to be let go. Obviously if this involved blatant harassment on the part of the higher up, it would be different story but when the problem is that the higher up is incompetent, lacks management skills/people skills, has blantant favortism, a micromanager, is stubborn like an ox, and/or puts down his staff, what is the recourse for someone that is a rank and file to do?

I am looking for the best way to deal with this and not just the simple, Get and up and leave attitude.

ok, first issue is that yeah, you are pretty much fucked.

if you are in corporate america, a publicly traded corporation, it is basically about how much money your boss makes for the corporation and how happy he makes his boss and his bosses boss.

I am pretty tough on my reports. one of them once tried to get me fired. he prepared a large file with copies of all the emails that I had written him that he felt were abusive, then he came for a meeting with my CEO. I produce well, and most of my "abusive" emails were along the lines of "you have been promising to do X for 90 days, now do it or you are in trouble!".

anyway, he got fired.

if he had been able to present a case that my CEO could identify with, that I wasn't productive, that I was doing something illigal or immoral, if I was exposing the company to lawsuits, then maybe it would work. as is, your issues are not about his ability to produce, but that he is an A-hole. now, if he isn't a good manager then he isn't doing his job, and that is an argument.

has anybody else complained about the boss? if he has a record of several people complaining about him, or quiting, that is some leverage.

another alternative is to ask to be transfered to another department.

good luck
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
ok, first issue is that yeah, you are pretty much fucked.

if you are in corporate america, a publicly traded corporation, it is basically about how much money your boss makes for the corporation and how happy he makes his boss and his bosses boss.

I am pretty tough on my reports. one of them once tried to get me fired. he prepared a large file with copies of all the emails that I had written him that he felt were abusive, then he came for a meeting with my CEO. I produce well, and most of my "abusive" emails were along the lines of "you have been promising to do X for 90 days, now do it or you are in trouble!".

anyway, he got fired.

if he had been able to present a case that my CEO could identify with, that I wasn't productive, that I was doing something illigal or immoral, if I was exposing the company to lawsuits, then maybe it would work. as is, your issues are not about his ability to produce, but that he is an A-hole. now, if he isn't a good manager then he isn't doing his job, and that is an argument.

has anybody else complained about the boss? if he has a record of several people complaining about him, or quiting, that is some leverage.

another alternative is to ask to be transfered to another department.

good luck

That's the issue. Being incompetent as a rank and file can get you fired. Being a-hole as a rank and file can get you fired. Manager hates your guts can get you fired. But the opposite is not true. There is no review process for bottom-up only top-down. That is quite unfair because there is no formal process to remove a manager unless that manager has shown some form of over the top harassment. Being incompetent,a-hole,abusive, destructive etc is not enough because there is no formal way of rank and file to rate the manager. I know of many co-workers and lower managers that feel the same way but all of them won't say anything because they have mortgages to pay and mouths to feed. Some just don't care and just do what they are told. This said manager has been known to overstep and even make a fool out of himself but he is just one level below the big boss of the entire department. I mean there is definitely prejudice and favoritism on his end, it's well-known but can it be seen as coming close to racial prejudices, I can't prove to a conclusion yet. I have never been much to rock the boat but I do hold firm to my beliefs and not follow orders when I clearly know the direction taken is wrong. However it's getting to the point that this manager is creating a huge moral drain on the department. Looking at the bigger picture, there is no question that a bad manager is by far worse then a bad rank and file. At the end of the day, management is the key to success or failure. A good manager can get decent results from mediocre rank and file but a bad manager will get poor performance from even the best of rank of file.

Please let me know your thoughts!
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post

Please let me know your thoughts!

essentially, you are fucked.

look, I basically agree with you, but that is the way the world works. good luck
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
That's the issue. Being incompetent as a rank and file can get you fired. Being a-hole as a rank and file can get you fired. Manager hates your guts can get you fired. But the opposite is not true. There is no review process for bottom-up only top-down. That is quite unfair because there is no formal process to remove a manager unless that manager has shown some form of over the top harassment. Being incompetent,a-hole,abusive, destructive etc is not enough because there is no formal way of rank and file to rate the manager. I know of many co-workers and lower managers that feel the same way but all of them won't say anything because they have mortgages to pay and mouths to feed. Some just don't care and just do what they are told. This said manager has been known to overstep and even make a fool out of himself but he is just one level below the big boss of the entire department. I mean there is definitely prejudice and favoritism on his end, it's well-known but can it be seen as coming close to racial prejudices, I can't prove to a conclusion yet. I have never been much to rock the boat but I do hold firm to my beliefs and not follow orders when I clearly know the direction taken is wrong. However it's getting to the point that this manager is creating a huge moral drain on the department. Looking at the bigger picture, there is no question that a bad manager is by far worse then a bad rank and file. At the end of the day, management is the key to success or failure. A good manager can get decent results from mediocre rank and file but a bad manager will get poor performance from even the best of rank of file.

Please let me know your thoughts!

If he is high up and pleasing his bosses then, yea, you are fucked.

Personally, I would try to change departments. Does your company have a career development process? Perhaps you could speak to someone in HR and ask about options to move up the corporate ladder by transferring to another department. You could mention that one of the reasons is that you feel your motivation is down due to "management problems" without actually naming any names. It is cheaper for a company to retain employees than it is to hire new ones so if you have any talent then they may consider other options for you.
post #8 of 27
Depending on the laws in your jurisdiction you can file sexual harassment/human rights complaint with an arms-length tribunal. There is often no-reprisal protections built into the legislation, so if you are looking to cause some grief go for it, getting fired usually only helps your case.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post
If he is high up and pleasing his bosses then, yea, you are fucked.

Personally, I would try to change departments. Does your company have a career development process? Perhaps you could speak to someone in HR and ask about options to move up the corporate ladder by transferring to another department. You could mention that one of the reasons is that you feel your motivation is down due to "management problems" without actually naming any names. It is cheaper for a company to retain employees than it is to hire new ones so if you have any talent then they may consider other options for you.

Yes, I am actively doing such a thing. I do feel that being the person that he is, he is surely have negative things to say so he would definitely hurt my chances of movement. However I believe I have much deeper issues with this. I hate running away from problems so there is almost a moral prerogative to stick around and try my best to make it better for the department by being the only mouthpiece to voice my concerns. From a practical standpoint, this probably is self-defeating but I never been much a practical person when it comes to matters like this where I feel there is a dis-justice being enacted. However,you and Mr.globetrotter are on the money when you say I am fucked. Being fucked has never stopped me from doing what I feel is the right thing to do even though I may lose out because of standing up to such incompetence and utter disregard for others. Another issue is that he actively and from my understanding practically begged for that position when it opened up. To desire a position so much and be so bad at it is just unfathomable in my book! If I am able to move to a different department, perhaps I can affect more change then at my current position.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVoer View Post
Depending on the laws in your jurisdiction you can file sexual harassment/human rights complaint with an arms-length tribunal. There is often no-reprisal protections built into the legislation, so if you are looking to cause some grief go for it, getting fired usually only helps your case.
He is not doing anything close to sexual harrassment but he's known to have a dislike of a certain race and blatantly shows favoritism to those that don't raise issues/challenge him. Personally, I hate to rock the boat but there is a limit to the amount of bullshit I can take especially when he is doing to others that don't deserve it. Whether it is his intent or not, he just rubs everyone the wrong way because of many reasons that are not limited to his incompetence and lack of/nonexistent leadership/people skills.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
He is not doing anything close to sexual harrassment but he's known to have a dislike of a certain race and blatantly shows favoritism to those that don't raise issues/challenge him. Personally, I hate to rock the boat but there is a limit to the amount of bullshit I can take especially when he is doing to others that don't deserve it. Whether it is his intent or not, he just rubs everyone the wrong way because of many reasons that are not limited to his incompetence and lack of/nonexistent leadership/people skills.
Your best bet is to leave the department or leave the company. Unless your peers are willing to go on record with you to complain about him, then your complaints are likely to have a negative impact on you, not him.
post #12 of 27
Between your screen name and the title of this thread I had expected something much more interesting.
post #13 of 27
Actually, a company I used to work for had a performance review process each year that included a full 360 degree review of all employees, so supervisors had to choose subordinates, peers, and their own managers. Of course, nothing prevented that person from selectively choosing their subordinates to increase the probability of positive reviews, but the system allowed for unsolicited feedback as well.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnatty8 View Post
Actually, a company I used to work for had a performance review process each year that included a full 360 degree review of all employees, so supervisors had to choose subordinates, peers, and their own managers. Of course, nothing prevented that person from selectively choosing their subordinates to increase the probability of positive reviews, but the system allowed for unsolicited feedback as well.

we use that too, but in the end what is important for people in my position is performance by numbers, which saves my ass.


OP - a few years ago I had a boss who was a real animal. too examples - I put in a request for a vacation and he didn't say anything. a few weeks later I go on vacation, and he calls me when I am in the airport with my family, asks me where I am and when I say I am on my way to a vacation, he says no, come back, you can't take vacation now (there was no specific reason why I couldn't take a vacation then, and I hadn't had a vacation in 3 years). he told me to come back to the office or I wouldn't have a job waiting for me when I came back. 2 weeks later, when I came back, he didn't say anything about it. another example, he wanted somebody to present at a 3 day training seminar that he was having. it started the day after a major jewish holiday. the guy wanted to present on the second day, so that he could be home for the holiday (he would have to fly halfway across the world to present). the boss made him present on the first day, for his own convenience, which made him miss the holiday with his family.

anyway, this guy was real evil. those are just a few examples. but he produced well. I quit the company rather than stay with him. as did several others. he stoped producing, and now he has a much worse job. so things did catch up with him.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
we use that too, but in the end what is important for people in my position is performance by numbers, which saves my ass.


OP - a few years ago I had a boss who was a real animal. too examples - I put in a request for a vacation and he didn't say anything. a few weeks later I go on vacation, and he calls me when I am in the airport with my family, asks me where I am and when I say I am on my way to a vacation, he says no, come back, you can't take vacation now (there was no specific reason why I couldn't take a vacation then, and I hadn't had a vacation in 3 years). he told me to come back to the office or I wouldn't have a job waiting for me when I came back. 2 weeks later, when I came back, he didn't say anything about it. another example, he wanted somebody to present at a 3 day training seminar that he was having. it started the day after a major jewish holiday. the guy wanted to present on the second day, so that he could be home for the holiday (he would have to fly halfway across the world to present). the boss made him present on the first day, for his own convenience, which made him miss the holiday with his family.

anyway, this guy was real evil. those are just a few examples. but he produced well. I quit the company rather than stay with him. as did several others. he stoped producing, and now he has a much worse job. so things did catch up with him.

Wow, that's fucked up..... Thanks for acknowledging what I basically know. The higher up holds all the cards!
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