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How do you fight nepotism in the work place?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by matt232, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. I’m loathed to post personal stuff in the forums but I think I need to draw upon some collective knowledge and wisdom here.

    I’ve worked at this company for the last 4 years, and have proved myself over and over again no matter how deep the shit is that they drop me in. There are a number of daughters and nephews that work here and for the most part they have earnt their strips are well and I have the utmost respect for them.

    However for about 3 of those years one nephew (one of the two directors and his own department head are his uncles), we’ll call him Ahmed, has been giving me increasing levels of crap. So far I’ve played it from the back foot and knocked everything he has sent me to the boundary, quite often making him look silly and usually having the last word. The directors regularly say they were impressed with the even handed way I dealt with it.

    Over the last couple of months the attacks have become more frequent and more biting and they are no longer washing off my back, thoughts of quitting and/or beating the living f__k out of him are not too far from my mind. But it would be a shame to quit since otherwise I’ve got a really good position and conditions on a pretty decent wage. Assault charges aren't that interesting either.

    These are the facts as I see them, “Ahmed†will likely give you are different story:

    • I’m a one man IT show (my offsider was 2 months ago downsized, even in the face of increasing work demands)
    • There is a shit load more work to be done than I can get to in any reasonable amount of time
    • Due to the workload decisions need to be made to prioritise things, so far my assessments have been supported by the directors who also have an overall business view, or they have directed me to a new or upgraded priority as required.
    • We have been without a full feature online ordering system, however a rudimentary system has been in place for quite some time.
    • Ahmed is the sales person for the Supply division and also a shareholder of the company
    • I’ve spoken to a number of other department heads that are sick to death of Ahmed and his uncle, the department head, due to inaction, lack of decisions and general poor performance
    • We have a physio arm that flat out refuses to buy crutches from Ahmed because he is unreliable and hospitals are generally not happy when you can’t move a patient out of $1000/night hospital bed over a $80 pair of crutches.
    • Ahmed is faced with dealing with our clients on a daily basis without the support of a full purchasing website when they are demanding one
    • The directors have now made the purchasing website my top priority
    • Without my knowledge Ahmed contacted an outside Web development company who he has a employee he is friends with and petitioned the director that isn’t his uncle to get me to follow it up
    • In investigating their offering I found they didn’t return my calls for at least a week at a time, were unable to answer the question of ‘what do we get for our money?’, failed to keep promises of sending emails, when pushed they responded with a email that questioned my professional capacity in a job I previously did for 3 years, made false accusations about me trying to defame their company, completely changed their splash page (yes a web development company without a website) after I pointed out it has some errors and they claimed the page never had any errors in it and finally claimed their work was unmatched when viewing it was far from a slick job I would expect from people who know their trade. I showed this email to a colleague and her response was “How rude!â€
    • Ahmed was CC’d into the above email and his response was to claim that I had killed the deal for personal reasons (ya I really want to do more work than I have to) and not delivered a purchasing website for the same reason even thought the supply department have been playing musical chairs with their warehouses for the past 3 years and the directors have set other goals. This was the latest of a string of attacks from Ahmed that are getting increasingly more personal in his efforts to get a purchasing website either that or to carry out a vendetta against me.
    • Ahmed’s actions have repeatedly gone over the line of common or professional decency and also the values as stated on the company’s philosophy posted in various spots around the office.
    • If I bite back after one of ahmed's attacks he will immediately report it to one of this uncles, where as I've tended to let it slide, these days he CC's the directors and his department head into all his attacks.
    • As yet I don’t know of any disciplinary action taken against ahmed, however offers of arbitration have been made.
    • Ahmed has made no apologies for any of the false accusations or slurs he has made.
    • On most other matters the directors are even handed and fair.
    • The company currently owes my own business a few grand for computer equipment so I don’t want to burn any bridges.

    So far I believe I’ve been pretty nice about the whole thing and put up with a far too much crap but when pushed have made sure that my point has got across and Ahmed has been put in his place. However the last few days I’ve been seething away and I’m not longer satisfied with taking it as it comes I’m now keen to put a definite end to it all.

    As I see it the business needs me more than I need it and there is probably better money elsewhere but unlikely to be as good conditions. I’ve got massive amounts for sick leave, time in lieu and annual leave up my sleeve. Last guess I think i’ve got at least 10 weeks of leave.

    My thoughts that the moment are if it happens again I’m going to stand up, and say I’m now on sick leave, after that I using my time in lieu and when that runs out annual leave. At least until Ahmed pulls his head in, publicly apologises for all the crap he causes, takes a seriously hard look at his performance within the business and management no longer allows this kind of thing to happen unchecked without some kind of disciplinary action.

    The more petty side of me is just as likely to change his phones label to arsehole (something that he can’t see but appears when others internally ring his extension). Various other ideas of limiting access to the network etc are there too but I’d prefer to keep it professional, I have a position of trust to manage all the information within the business and I don’t want to affect that.

    Another alternative a mate says works for him is to kill the person with kindness but I’m that pissed off at this point that its probably just going to sound sarcastic.

    Ideas of some kind of legal action come to mind but that’s opening up a whole other kettle of fish.

    I was wondering about perhaps talking to APESMA, who I’m a member with, and seeing if they had any advice. But I’m sure you lot are far more creative.
  2. Was going to post some facetious crap, but it sounds like you want serious answers so...

    I reckon you should take the guts of your post, reworded of course, to the directors. State your case calmy and logically, explain everything thats gone on, then state simply that if things don't change for the better then they might just be looking for a new IT department. (I'm assuming you're prepared to walk over this...)

    "Ahmed" will try to twist the situation his way, but if as you said, the others directors are on to his games, they should see what's really going on and do something about it. If not, then you've got a problem. I've always been a firm believer that when the stress and the bullshit of a job outweigh the $$$ and the satisfaction of a job well done, then it's not worth it.

    You can either keep your mouth shut, and let "Ahmed" buttrape you some more (which sounds like you've already made up your mind not to take this option), or you can speak up and take your chances. Either the directors will take "Ahmed's" side and you'll have to walk away with a sore butt but with your head held high, or thy'll see what's really going on and you'll come out of it with your pride, and your job intact...

    Or you could just beat him up...

    EDIT: 's funny, the word buttrape makes it through the filter but **** doesn't...
  3. Fevery1'sI: definition of nepotism

    It's a tricky one, matt!

    I guess my first response to a proper personal attack would be to drag him aside and to his face ask him
    "How far do you want this crap to go?
    You realise you're pushing me and you're being an arsehole, don't you?
    Do you REALLY want an enemy at work?
    You are on your last chance to act professionally towards me or I will make sure whatever you do/say to me is visited back upon you."

    After that, a well worded letter to the directors, pretty much what you've written here,

    "Dear Directors,

    I feel I have become the subject of harassment from this member of the company... etc etc"

    Failing that - work out how to get him in trouble for things that the company can't ignore.
    -Swap his office chair for one with only 4 bars & castor wheels at the bottom: then report him to OH&S.
    -Sneak into his office and e-mail pornography from his computer to a female member of staff.
    -Dial an overseas time & date information service from his phone and leave it off the hook when he's at lunch so his personal call racks up a big personal call bill.

    Frame him for any breach of company policy... you'll know better than I will.

    If you do decide you don't mind leaving - then make sure you get back at him. Don't leave with regrets :grin:
  4. My Advise...
    Keep everything well documented (Especially your complaints about your treatment by Ahmed)
    Keep every thing from your end civil and Profesional.
    If/When you decide you have had enough make a formal complaint about bullying. (Because that is what it amounts to)
    make sure every thing is done in writing.
    And if they don't act then Sue there F#$%ing Arses.

    The simple fact is that you have the right to a workplace that is free of bullying.

    When you bring it up expect to be dismissed (Under Little Johnies new Workplace opprision laws) but if you have raised the bullying claim you can still screw them for letting it hapen while you were there.

    if you are in a union then have a chat to one of there lawers, if not you'll have to seek advice on your own
  5. It's a pretty good IT market out there at the moment.
    You might be surprised - you may be able to match your conditions - or if not get more money elsewhere.

    I'd be updating my resume and getting it out there - and at the same time speaking up at your current office. If they don't do anything about it to your satisfaction - well, by then you may find you have other offers to take up
  6. Thanks Pete, I was just thinking along those same lines, but also speak with the other business unit heads that have had issues and made it less about me and Ahmed and more about "whats wrong with the business" since many other people are having similar problems with the same people. Another catalyst for that idea is one of the directors (the uncle) recently told me that no matter what relationship he had with someone if they are adversely effecting the business then the matter should be brought to his attention.

    I'm all for a bit of cheering up as well, that will do nicely.
  7. thanks guys
  8. Pleasure.
  9. Hi Matt, sounds like he is masking his own low self esteem or lack of sales results with bullying. I fcuking hate wankers like this and have made it my personal vendetta that if I ever have to work with the bullys I have encountered I will make sure their life is hell.

    Mate I think everyone has said it but keep it civil and document everything. Let your immediate supervisor know what is going on. If the company end up supporting him over you then you probably don't wnat to work for them anyway. Conditions and salaries are set by supply and demand and at the moment IT people who know thier shit can do allright.

    Matt don't really have too much advice, just be strong. :grin:
  10. +1 all this from Pete.
    Contary to what I thought for many years, people, especially managers, are not idiots Matt, well not complete idiouts anyway :? . They may have risen to their level of incompetence, but anyone worth a dam will see whats going on.

    You have to call it dude, line in the sand, have your day in court, Directors will either go in their favour, or yours. If his uncle has financial interests or more pull in the biz, me thinks your f*ckd.
    But if you make it emotional or vindictive, it will show and work against you for sure.
    Management by crisis. Thats exactly how they operate at my work, like most others I would say. In 1 case, in a previous job, after endless months of antagnosiation and taunting, and constant threats of violence by 1 memeber of staff, towards all others, an ex criminal, 5 long term employees all together approached management and said they refuse to work with an individual, us or them.
    They did nothing, for months, till finally it all came to a head, the :furious: guy, tried to run over 1 guy, who stood up to the bully, and tried to run him over with the forklift :driver: diving out of the way at the last minute, as he drove the forklift tynes, straight into the brick wall inpaling them. The guy just jumped off the fork and walked out never to be seen again. He had to essentially bait him and put his own safety on the line to put an end to the situation due to managements ineptness to act and take a stance.
    Or, the surest possible way to piss off someone who wants to antagonise you :furious: is to totally ignore them :-w like they aint even there.
  11. If this Ahmed is a shareholder, then he will automatically be thinking he is your boss. I'm guessing he is not actually a director. but given that his uncle is - you take him on, and you take on the whole administration.
    Board of Directors are loathe to start boardroom wars over this kind of thing. They may hate each other but they will always stick together rather than spill blood and profit over an operational matter. It's always better to surgically removed the affected organ (in this case maybe you!) that dismember the organisation, from their point of view.
    I don't know really what you should do, but I would just say that if any senior person offers you support, get it in WRITING from them before you rely on it. If they aren't prepared to do that, then it don't mean sh!t.
  12. 1. I would approach the Directors and see if you can also buy into the company. If you are a shareholder as well it will strengthen your bargaining position.

    2. Get onto your server and find his resume. Post it on every job-search site in the country. In no time flat someone will head-hunt him and he'll be too proud to admit that he wasn't looking for a move, and take it, then he'll be SEP*

    *Some Else's Problem :LOL:.
  13. Bloody clever Paul. Either that or the bosses will find out he's been 'putting it about' so to speak... :LOL:
  14. Well there is the problem & the solution, your not sleeping with the right people in the company, forget the temps you should be doing the offspring :LOL:
  15. yup +1 fpr hornets comment

    or just plain leave. he is family & a shareholder. you are in a lose lose. no matter how you deal with it, he will always be family and will always be in the right, so to speak.

    You don't seem to have much to gain from engaging in a fight, whatever the medium/method and have much to lose.
  16. I kid you not, I know a guy who did that - married into the company, got made a director with substantial shareholding, divorced the daughter, sold out and walked away a multimillionaire. Mission accomplished. :wink:
  17. The more I think about it Matty, the more I reckon it's time to move on. I know that sort of change is hard, but when you say you're in a great position at your company, yet you work 2 peoples' jobs for long hours and you could get better money elsewhere - and you've been so busy you've racked up a million days' leave... That my friend ain't a great job. Not unless you're working for a cause you truly believe in.

    There is a life outside banging on your door. Take some leave, have a look around.
  18. + 1 to Loz.

    If 'Ahmed' was an ordinary employee it might be worth fighting for, but with his relationship to the directors and his direct financial involvement it is likely that you will do nothing other than create an inordinate amount of stress for yourself.

    I worked for a company for 3yrs (visa reasons) where I was continually harassed by people who knew little of their jobs. Eventually (and as soon as I could) I left for another group and never looked back.

    Remember, it's only a job and by all accounts you are talented, committed and would make an excellent addition to any team. Concentrate on you, enjoy your life and be done with a company that ultimately will always look after themselves (as witnessed by the downsizing) before you.
  19. Yer, I've no doubt that they see what Ahmed is doing but I wonder if I pulled all the dot points together onto a couple of pages perhaps it will make more of an impact but I will likely mean I piss off the department head uncle which I've some respect for but its failing fast for his own lack of achievements.

    Which has pretty much been what I've been doing so far but its not really solving anything it seems.

    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head, about his thoughts on relative authority between him and and me. Then again one time when I lost it with him and told him to "piss off" he came back with "You aren't my boss" to which I could only think WTF to and told him to piss off again. I went and sat down to get one with a mountain of work, he mumbled something under his breath, I challenged it with are "Are you finished yet?", his response was "Are YOU finished yet?" to which I replied "Well I just told you to piss off didn't I". (sorry kind of proud of that little exchange and getting a nice solid final word in. Shame it had to end in him dobbing on me but then I tore the department head uncle a new one when he came down and insisted on "grabbing a coffee". Still 2 matt 0 nepotism.)

    Well it looks like I'd be taking on one uncle and the nephew both of which are quite large shareholders and naturally they're going to want to keep that money on the business so i'll be pushing shit up hill.

    Yer thinking about how to approach them now.

    I was offered shares not long ago but couldn't afford it and at the time wasn't that keen to stake my money on they way things were going. At one time there I would have happily done so.

    Seems like a good idea but from what I've heard he is not well liked in the industry so not sure that would work and added to that I don't think he has a resume he was given the position here after he did his own market research to determine if he could have the position with joint financing between him and the directors in the business. Any any resume I'd write for him wouldn't have a hope of him getting a job.

    Well the person who was with one of the daughters who helped start a security devision just got canned and went back home to the USA.

    And yer the comments about finding a new position are making a lot of sense.
  20. Hang on, hang on, hang on.

    You never mentioned that these were yanks you were dealing with... Walk away now, this instant, nothing but trouble...