Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers/New job nightmare
Hello, I need some advice about a job I started six months ago. I work for a city government, and back about 10 months ago I heard that this position might become available. I did a prescreening with the supervisor, and everything seemed great. I knew the position would be available for a few more months, so I took a seasonal position within the city in the meantime to make some lasting connections. When the job finally opened up, I interviewed with a panel that included the supervisor I had a prescreened with. I was offered the job and excepted without hesitation. The problem started on day one of this new job. Everyone else working in the department was a seasonal employee. I asked them how the summer has been going, and they all agreed… It was the worst job they had ever had, and the reason was because of the supervisor. I was brought on to be a year-round employee, and I wondered how they could feel this way when I had had such a good impression of the supervisor. But quickly, I understood why their summer has been so miserable. The supervisor is one of the hardest and worst I have ever worked for. He micromanages everything I do, only provides negative feedback often based out of personal opinion, discounts every idea I have and go so far as sometimes make fun of the ideas that I have, bullies me and forces me to do things that make me uncomfortable, even after I express it to him, and has literally turned my life into a nightmare. The job is not what was described in the interview. In the interview, they mentioned that they wanted the person in my position to develop programs for the department, get involved with the community, and change the culture of the program. This is not at all what the job entails. In fact, I spend more time doing errands for my supervisor that I do my actual job. I've tried talking to my supervisor and asking him for more structure in the job. I have asked him how he defines the success of this job and of my position, to try to better understand how to make him happy and how to perform to the best of my abilities. He will tell me to do A, B and C, and upon doing so well ask me why I didn't do D, E and F even though those were never originally mentioned to me. He is not sticking to the agreed-upon schedule, and expects me to work constantly changing schedule every week. He uses derogatory language, and does not treat me like a professional. I want to quit this job, but I know that it could provide me with great opportunities in the future. I am also afraid that if I quit I will burn a number of bridges, as there are many people who supported me and helped me to get this position. I have consider talking to HR, as well as my supervisors superiors, but the more time passes the more I realize how corrupt the city government is and that I don't know if I can trust the people but I am supposed to be able to trust. I feel stuck, and this job is seriously affecting my life mentally and physically. I know that sometimes you have to do what's best for you, no matter who you might hurt or piss off along the way, but I really would like to try to make this work before I call it quits… I'm just not sure how to handle this problem. Any advice would be extremely helpful. For more information, this article perfectly explains how I feel about this job.
The good news is that you found this out before you spent 10 or 20 years there and were really trapped. If you really like working for the government, start looking internally for another job. People transfer from department to department all the time. However, the challenge that you are having is very common in government work. In many government positions, it is almost impossible to fire bad workers. As a result, a single bad manager like your boss will often cause good workers to quit. The people who quit will likely be replaced by worse workers over time. If you are going to leave eventually, it might be better to do it now than later. If you decide to stick it out, you will need to be more self directed. Figure out what your counterparts in other cities do to be successful, and begin to do those things. Other managers in the city will see your ingenuity, and it will make it easier for you to transfer.