Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Why Can People Not Understand?

  1. #1
    Member Dynamic's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    76

    Why Can People Not Understand?

    I work for a financial startup. All of my co-workers are very intelligent, professional people (with 1 exception), and everything has went splendidly for the 6 months we have been going. I was the 5th person to join our team, with the 2nd being one of my close friends that was one of my business partners for years. At this point, the company has grown to around 30 people, with quite a few other temporary contractors assisting in various places.

    My job, according to my contract, is Community Manager and VP of CS, which does not fit me at all in person, but fits me very well when I can communicate through writing.

    However, we have not launched yet, so there is no community, and there are no customers that need service. So, I have taken on an additional role working with our VP of Marketing. I write blogs, have them translated into multiple languages, and distributed across close to 100 websites. When I am not doing that, I do odd jobs that other people do not want to do, or that are time consuming, but not specific. I've always been a jack-of-all-trades, but I have no mastery in any specific area, except for maybe the ability to determine what someone needs to hear, because I had years of practice dealing with uneducated, crazy people in my previous business, so I developed a talent for that. (which works well for customer service or dealing with the community).

    So, I have been working my ass off, but not in the same way that other members of our team have. Our developers have been building this amazing system, that I am so excited to see go live. Our VP of marketing has made these intricate diagrams (that really are over the top, as they could be much simpler and still convey the same message), and this seriously long outline for what we will do, in terms of market. Of course, there is no way it will all be implemented, but again, it looks impressive. In comparison, what I am doing is not impressive at all. It is not flashy, and even when it goes well, the credit goes to our marketing department, because it is in their system...even if ALL of the content was created, or found, by me...

    But, that is fine. That is not what my job is suppose to be. I am only doing this because I am a skilled writer when I take the time to try, and there is no one else with the ability or time to do it. I enjoy writing, and I am happy to do it. The only issue is the limits on budget. I can work with them, but they mean that I can only put out a certain amount of content, because everything I do MUST be translated, according to our marketing, or it cannot be used.

    I limit my writing to that, and instead of producing huge amounts of content, I focus on producing a smaller amount of high quality content. I spend hours researching, digging, and sorting information to find the best of the best. I find the information that others miss, or get wrong, and I correct it. I make it easy to digest, and unique, in a way that has had great feedback from everyone I have had proofread it for me. It cannot be released yet, because the marketing developers have not finished their side, but it is ready from mine.

    Then, when I do not do that, I become involved with the community. I have been finding the enthusiastic niches in the larger market, and working to build my own reputation within them. I am finding out what they are concerned with, and what our competition is doing wrong, so that I can help steer us away from that, and avoid making the same mistakes when I deal with them from a professional standpoint. I have built myself into an expert in this field, and I know that I know more than 99% of the people involved in the market, even though I have been studying it for less time. Most of my time was going toward building myself into the best Community manger I can be, even before we have a Community.

    All was going well, until yesterday. I received a phone call from my friend, and there was a problem. I was informed that I was not being productive enough, and that I would no longer have a job...though I may have it back in a month or so? Because, right now, we have no customers to support, my services were not needed (not his decision, but the President of the company had him come talk to me), and that no one was really sure what I was doing. The fact that I had only produced 9 articles in 3 weeks was a problem, because I was suppose to be producing 1 per day...except, that is not true. The original idea was 1 per day, but the President of the company himself had told me two weeks earlier that we could not even afford 5 translated articles per week, which is the reason I went with the quality over quantity to begin with. Had I been asked to do 1 per day, and been allowed to have them translated, or even 2, 3, 4, or whatever amount per day, I would have. Writing is easy, and I can pump out incredible amounts of bullshit if that is what was asked of me. It would be just that...bullshit...because the current event idea we are going for has it's limits, but I can do it easily. I wasn't asked to do that.

    I keep my equity earning, which is the important part for me, but no cash. Luckily, my friend is paying me out of his own pocket to keep me working until launch, which is suppose to be within the next month...at which point my actual job will be needed, but this shit pisses me the fuck off. Our President is a smart guy, and usually very professional, but the fact that he would act like this is beyond me. I know cash is tight, and that we were suppose to have launched already, but that is out of my control. I am not a part of the development team that is responsible for that. Prior to this job, with my previous business I was making 6 figures per year. I had wanted to actually start a company doing something very similar to what the one I am working for now is doing, but I decided not to when I found out that my friend was involved with one doing this. Instead, I made it a point to get involved with this company, because I know his capability, and I did not want to compete with someone that I care about. I accepted pay that was barely enough to cover my, and my son's, basic living expensive, with as much as I could handle put into equity instead, because I knew funds were limited. I believe in the idea behind it, and understand the market better than anyone else in the company. Even our marketing VP has almost no idea about this specific market...his ideas are all cookie cutter, bland, wide strokes. They will work, but not as well as he expects. But, that was fine for me. He does his thing, and gets people that are not in this market, and I integrate myself in the community, and pump up the people that will actually be immediately important. GAH!!!!!!

    I would just walk away, and say fuck it all, but I know this company is the best chance to advance my ideals. I actually believe in it's purpose, and want to see it succeed.


    TL;DR
    People don't understand the bigger picture, and only look at immediate results. Uncoordinated management is confusing, and irrational. RAGE RAGE RAGE RAGE

  2. #2
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
    Type
    ENTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,494
    They shouldn't have brought on a community manager so early on, if the job role didn't have a measurable / definable purpose until much later. Perhaps you are perceived as being "a friend of a friend", so people resent what they perceive as your inappropriate position there.

    But mostly, this is a matter of not marketing yourself. If you were viewed as an important contributor to the team, this wouldn't be happening - but you've somehow managed to be exploited and used by others.

    I have no easy answers here. This might just be a learning experience for the future about the importance of clearly defining your role from the outset, finding ways to demonstrate your value and market yourself to your peers, and selecting a job role where you can immediately contribute.

    EDIT: And re-reading your post, it sounds like you're retaining your equity share, so if the project succeeds, you'll be amply rewarded. I'd consider just swallowing your pride and trying to think through ways to salvage the situation. Perhaps after launch, if/when they bring you back on, once you've been there for a while again and worked hard and established your value, you might try interfacing directly with the President, acknowledging what happened and how it impacted you, and reaffirming your commitment to the team. Ask him to mentor you, to help give you tips to become a better contributor. It sounds cheesy and self-deprecating, but that kind of approach is amazingly successful when well implemented.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  3. #3
    Member Dynamic's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    They shouldn't have brought on a community manager so early on, if the job role didn't have a measurable / definable purpose until much later. Perhaps you are perceived as being "a friend of a friend", so people resent what they perceive as your inappropriate position there.

    But mostly, this is a matter of not marketing yourself. If you were viewed as an important contributor to the team, this wouldn't be happening - but you've somehow managed to be exploited and used by others.

    I have no easy answers here. This might just be a learning experience for the future about the importance of clearly defining your role from the outset, finding ways to demonstrate your value and market yourself to your peers, and selecting a job role where you can immediately contribute.

    EDIT: And re-reading your post, it sounds like you're retaining your equity share, so if the project succeeds, you'll be amply rewarded. I'd consider just swallowing your pride and trying to think through ways to salvage the situation. Perhaps after launch, if/when they bring you back on, once you've been there for a while again and worked hard and established your value, you might try interfacing directly with the President, acknowledging what happened and how it impacted you, and reaffirming your commitment to the team. Ask him to mentor you, to help give you tips to become a better contributor. It sounds cheesy and self-deprecating, but that kind of approach is amazingly successful when well implemented.
    Well, "friend of a friend" is not accurate, because my friend is not just a team member. He is the 2nd largest equity holder, and only owns slightly less than the president. He is also one of my closest friends, and is in the position he is in due to my own investment, when I was younger, into a previous idea that I put everything I had into. Of course, I also owe my own success to his idea then. I do not trust anyone blindly, with the exception of him, and, it paid off. At 20 years old, I put ~$8,000 behind him, and all of my time, and got hundreds of thousands back. But, now, I am in the position that my skills have been honed toward business from working with him, and I neglected my education while doing so. I am a senior in microbiology, if I want to go back and finish it, but I would have a degree in chemical engineering if I had never stopped to work.

    I was brought in when there was an actual purpose for customer service, as there was a beta system out. The original project was suppose to release a product that would allow for arbitrage in the current market, and promote our brand until the primary launch. Unfortunately, the original development team was not hand picked, but rather was a recommended software firm that ended up being incompetent. Lots of money wasted for a bloated, slow, broken product that had to be taken down permanently after beta.

    While that was up, customer service was a big issue, because the product was so broken that tickets were overflowing. I wasn't the first person brought in to take care of it, but no one else was able to handle it. Once I was brought in, I immediately took control of the situation, and turned angry, frustrated users into useful beta testers. That is how I earned my spot, as I received a lot of positive feedback from everyone else on the team.

    This would not bother me if it had happened directly after that system went down. In fact, I was offered a spot at another company directly after that, through my friend, and I thought it was because I was no longer needed (at least, for a time), but when I asked if that was the case, I was told no, and that I could be useful doing what I am doing now. The other company needed CS, but it had less potential, and was in a field that I have no interest in. Honestly, that may still be available, but I am really not interested in it.

    The issue is the timing. The system is suppose to be launched within the next month, which means customers will be coming in, and we will be actively interacting with the community. That means my original job will be needed once again, and I have even been told that I will likely be rehired then. It just makes no sense whatsoever.

    Of course, I do not know what the actual balance is in the company account, so maybe it is so desperate that my meager salary is going to break the bank. The business plan is guaranteed to make a very large amount of profit, barring catastrophic security issues, but it has to be fully implemented before that happens, and last I heard, the total investment was only around $1 million (but, total valuation of $3 million, which will go to $30mil+ following a successful launch).

    I'm honestly not that hurt by this, but it pisses me off from a logical standpoint. Even without a "need" for a community manager at this point, I have been paid for long enough, and been involved long enough, to guarantee a positive reaction from the community as long as I have my position. On the other hand, if I do not have my position, I know how to do a much simpler idea that would be competitive, but still utilize the knowledge I have built...I mean, I only joined because I already wanted to do this. My friend was just already doing it, so it made more sense for me to join him, rather than try to compete with a friend.

  4. #4
    Sysop
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    3,729
    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamic View Post
    I
    TL;DR
    People don't understand the bigger picture, and only look at immediate results. Uncoordinated management is confusing, and irrational. RAGE RAGE RAGE RAGE
    I can only commiserate. And offer the suggestion: get used to it.

    Best of luck, otherwise. With all due respect, it sounds like you'll need it. Not for your part in this, but for theirs.

  5. #5
    Member Dynamic's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    I can only commiserate. And offer the suggestion: get used to it.

    Best of luck, otherwise. With all due respect, it sounds like you'll need it. Not for your part in this, but for theirs.

    I am used to it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it

    I'm not too terribly worried, as I know I will be there after it launches, and that should be very soon. It just gets under my skin when I know that all of this could have been avoided by a little bit of communication.

    My rage post was just drunk me venting, and now I feel much better. Even if I was not needed again, I would be fine with the equity, as I am quite confident that will be worth a bit in a few years.

  6. #6
    Member
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    gone
    Posts
    920
    I've been involved in three start ups. Eventually, they all worked out fine, but in the beginning, everything was crazy. You've got your equity so hang in there and try not to personalize anything--be stoic and control your emotions, something some in your company don't seem to be doing very well. That is, don't get caught up in the fray. Furthermore, learn to market yourself and document everything. If you can't do it verbally, do it in writing like the introvert you are. When your boss tells you that there isn't enough money to translate every article, write a memo back to him confirming that you understand this and then tell him about your productivity. Keep it short and impersonal. You can even write memos to yourself. When a lot of money actually starts pouring in and the theoretical becomes actual, that's when people reveal themselves. It's always useful to have documented everything, especially if litigation happens. In the meantime, hang on to your equity, whether you work there or not. I've been through this, I've done it, and I know what I'm talking about.

  7. #7
    Member Dynamic's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by Thevenin View Post
    I've been involved in three start ups. Eventually, they all worked out fine, but in the beginning, everything was crazy. You've got your equity so hang in there and try not to personalize anything--be stoic and control your emotions, something some in your company don't seem to be doing very well. That is, don't get caught up in the fray. Furthermore, learn to market yourself and document everything. If you can't do it verbally, do it in writing like the introvert you are. When your boss tells you that there isn't enough money to translate every article, write a memo back to him confirming that you understand this and then tell him about your productivity. Keep it short and impersonal. You can even write memos to yourself. When a lot of money actually starts pouring in and the theoretical becomes actual, that's when people reveal themselves. It's always useful to have documented everything, especially if litigation happens. In the meantime, hang on to your equity, whether you work there or not. I've been through this, I've done it, and I know what I'm talking about.
    Yeah, this is my second one, and the first one was messy as fuck, and I feel like I got screwed in a way...but, I also made a lot of money, so I hold no hard feelings there.

    It seems the problem was that I do not share my documentation with everyone else. I always make notes for myself, but they do not make much sense for other people. When I make something for other people, it tends to be in spreadsheet form, but usually gets tossed to the side before it is completely filled in, as everyone moves on, and it becomes irrelevant.

    What really sucks about the situation, is that I am the immobile one. I have a child, so my range is limited...which should be fine, since everything we do is online, but it also allows for manipulation through personal contact with others. The oldest in the core team is also the most childish and manipulative, but it seems I am the only one that sees it. Due to certain emails that were not meant for me to see, but I accidentally had access to (forwarding), and instances of crucial information not being sent to me, or not flowing through him to others as it was suppose to, I can see that he has been trying to work against me, for some reason. I'm not really sure why, because I really wanted to work with him, but he seems so emotional all the time, and takes everything that is said to him personally. I guess I am the only person on the same level as him that he works with on a daily basis, so he cannot dictate to me, which is what he does to those under him, but he doesn't have to suck up to me, as he does those above him. Actually, I think I just figured out his problem. Fucking douche bag.

    It is a sad situation, because I get along with everyone else I work with. But, luckily, today was a good day, and things seem to be getting worked out. And, I have a different approach to the entire situation now, so this will not happen again. Our founder wants to see productivity, so a wall of productivity is coming from me now, even if it is bullshit and not worthwhile in my opinion. And, I am not longer giving the older guy the time to screw shit up. Previously, I had an agreement to allow him to review and edit things I do, because I am actually working in his area until launch. However, now, the time he has to do that is limited. I'll still give him the chance, but I will not delay any timeline on his behalf. It will be done, and he can answer for it if everything doesn't line up.

    So much bullshit. I hate dealing with people who are not straightforward and clear about what is going on. And, I hate that I now have to fucking play games, when I would much prefer to not.

    Once again, RAGE RAGE RAGE! Lol.

  8. #8
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
    Type
    ENTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,494
    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamic View Post
    It is a sad situation, because I get along with everyone else I work with. But, luckily, today was a good day, and things seem to be getting worked out. And, I have a different approach to the entire situation now, so this will not happen again. Our founder wants to see productivity, so a wall of productivity is coming from me now, even if it is bullshit and not worthwhile in my opinion. And, I am not longer giving the older guy the time to screw shit up. Previously, I had an agreement to allow him to review and edit things I do, because I am actually working in his area until launch. However, now, the time he has to do that is limited. I'll still give him the chance, but I will not delay any timeline on his behalf. It will be done, and he can answer for it if everything doesn't line up.
    This is my general guide to not getting screwed:

    1. Conduct everything over e-mail. Even when agreements are made in meetings, phone calls, or at your desk, send an e-mail recap that specifically outlines what was agreed to. This is more than just CYA - it actually helps prevent genuine misunderstandings too. Every e-mail should contain:

    a. A headline. The first sentence or two should contain a quick summation of what the e-mail says. such as: "Just wanted to send a quick recap of our conversation today about implementation of the XYZ. Based on our conversation, we've identified six action items, and once those are complete, we should be able to launch on 3/1."
    b. Intent. A concise summary of what you're after, where you're coming from, what the purpose is.
    c. Action Items. Most important - this is a record of what was agreed to, specifically outlining expectations and deadlines.

    2. Complete your work on time. If there are dependencies which prevent that, they should have been outlined in the e-mail / agreements. If they were, then you can forward the e-mail, citing specifically what needed to be done, and asking for an update. You can then remind them that your work is dependent on the completion of their work, and that any delay may impact delivery of your action items. This works even better when you followup ahead of deadlines, because it increases the chance that you'll actually get what you need to move forward, avoiding a problem altogether. Copy your own boss on these communications.

    3. Send status updates to stakeholders and managers. Anyone who's impacted by the project. By sending the status update you accomplish two things:

    a. Establish accountability.
    b. Controlling the conversation.

    4. When you aren't getting what you need, escalate the matter to someone in a position to move things forward. This works even better with number 5......

    5. Always tie your actions and words back to the common goals of the organization. Everything you do should source from that. In theory, if everything you do ties back to the ultimate customer or goal, there's no opportunity to be thrown under the bus. If you're doing work that doesn't tie in some tangible way to the ultimate customer or goal, don't do it, even if it's your "job" - because jobs that don't tie back to the customer or goal in a meaningful way are expendable.

    I'm not sure anything I just said applies to your situation in any way. I just felt like typing. I hope you're drunk again tonight.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  9. #9
    Member Dynamic's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    This is my general guide to not getting screwed:

    1. Conduct everything over e-mail. Even when agreements are made in meetings, phone calls, or at your desk, send an e-mail recap that specifically outlines what was agreed to. This is more than just CYA - it actually helps prevent genuine misunderstandings too. Every e-mail should contain:

    a. A headline. The first sentence or two should contain a quick summation of what the e-mail says. such as: "Just wanted to send a quick recap of our conversation today about implementation of the XYZ. Based on our conversation, we've identified six action items, and once those are complete, we should be able to launch on 3/1."
    b. Intent. A concise summary of what you're after, where you're coming from, what the purpose is.
    c. Action Items. Most important - this is a record of what was agreed to, specifically outlining expectations and deadlines.

    2. Complete your work on time. If there are dependencies which prevent that, they should have been outlined in the e-mail / agreements. If they were, then you can forward the e-mail, citing specifically what needed to be done, and asking for an update. You can then remind them that your work is dependent on the completion of their work, and that any delay may impact delivery of your action items. This works even better when you followup ahead of deadlines, because it increases the chance that you'll actually get what you need to move forward, avoiding a problem altogether. Copy your own boss on these communications.

    3. Send status updates to stakeholders and managers. Anyone who's impacted by the project. By sending the status update you accomplish two things:

    a. Establish accountability.
    b. Controlling the conversation.

    4. When you aren't getting what you need, escalate the matter to someone in a position to move things forward. This works even better with number 5......

    5. Always tie your actions and words back to the common goals of the organization. Everything you do should source from that. In theory, if everything you do ties back to the ultimate customer or goal, there's no opportunity to be thrown under the bus. If you're doing work that doesn't tie in some tangible way to the ultimate customer or goal, don't do it, even if it's your "job" - because jobs that don't tie back to the customer or goal in a meaningful way are expendable.

    I'm not sure anything I just said applies to your situation in any way. I just felt like typing. I hope you're drunk again tonight.
    I am not drunk again tonight, but what you said does apply to me in many ways. I really appreciate it. I can actually see how I could have avoided all of this by taking action in ways I have noticed over the past few days, plus the ways you have just mentioned. I will not get caught off-guard again. I think I had a false sense of security with such a close friend as one of the majority owners, because I knew that I could explain things in my own way to him, and he would understand (I would guess he is ENTJ or INTJ. I and E are close, but he is an extreme J to my extreme P...has always worked well). I didn't take into account the other people who may not be able to quite grasp what I am saying.

    Anyway, it seems you have a decent amount of experience in this area, and I am very glad to have your advice. If it is ok, I may come to you in the future, because I am sure I will have more issues. I am great at dealing with people that I do not know, but I am horrible at working out the details of the people I do know.

  10. #10
    Member
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    gone
    Posts
    920
    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    This is my general guide to not getting screwed:

    1. Conduct everything over e-mail. Even when agreements are made in meetings, phone calls, or at your desk, send an e-mail recap that specifically outlines what was agreed to. This is more than just CYA - it actually helps prevent genuine misunderstandings too. Every e-mail should contain...
    I agree with what Polemarch wrote above. He knows what he's talking about and it seems like he has real personal experience.

    To me, the purpose of documentation is to continually establish your presence, continued commitment to your work, and to let others know what you're doing and accomplishing (this is essentially internal marketing). An important principle in marketing is to keep your name and existence consistently in the minds of your audience. You do this through regular communication--using a variety of different media is important. Email is a haven for introverts and it has been for me. But, people do business with people, so force yourself to pick up the phone and have a real conversation with people. This is really important to F personalities. You're just going to have to accept discomfort now and then.

    Another critical reason to document is that it can save your ass if you ever get into litigation, which I've had the misfortune to experience multiple times. So, save everything.

    So much bullshit. I hate dealing with people who are not straightforward and clear about what is going on. And, I hate that I now have to fucking play games, when I would much prefer to not.
    Unfortunately, this is a reality you'd best adapt to without squeezing your adrenal glands. Most people are sloppy thinkers and playing games is all they know how to do. Getting emotional about this may make you a sloppy thinker, too. So, sometimes, you just have to play along and get on with it. The more you fight this reality, the more you will suffer. When I was finally in a position to liberate myself from managing people, it was a great relief. The petty, puerile crap between supposed adults was particularly irritating--I used to tell people, "I have kids at home, I shouldn't have to deal with kids at work. You know what you have to do--just do it!" Didn't work, didn't change a thing.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-25-2014, 08:23 AM
  2. How do people make friends?
    By Dot in forum The Pub
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 02-14-2014, 03:43 PM
  3. Why don't you understand typology?
    By Mr Write in forum MBTI & Typology
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 02-14-2014, 12:52 AM
  4. Society and Very Short People
    By Ludvik in forum Psychology & Sociology
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 01-27-2014, 02:27 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •