Overworked and Underappreciated

I once worked for a company that was so confused that, not only did I not meet my last immediate supervisor for 6 months, but he didn’t know what I did or who I supported.  He was my supervisor on paper for payroll and organizational purposes only.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does your boss know what you do?

More recently, I was called into my current boss’s office to get scolded for low productivity since  I don’t produce as much as the other programmers.

That’s not my favorite thing to do in the afternoon.  I’d rather spend the afternoon playing Angry Birds improving our software.

In response, I spent the week logging my time.  Before I left on Friday, I sent my boss an email that started out with:

When we spoke on Monday, you compared my productivity unfavorably to the other developers.   I don’t think that’s a fair comparison as I do more categories of tasks than the others.   I don’t think you realize how many additional responsibilities I’ve taken on over the years.

I continued from there with a summary of each day’s work last week.   The short version is that, while being productive, I spend less than half of my time on my primary job function because I’ve slowly taken on a managerial role.

I’m on vacation this week, so it will be a few days before I find out if my email will make a difference.

Now, this scolding was my fault.   I know I spend my day doing much more than just writing code.   I’ve told my boss that before, but I’ve never made sure he understands the scale of the extra work, and I’ve never proven it with a detailed log.

This was poor personal marketing.

In the future, I have to make sure that I keep him in the loop with a summary of the extra work I do, like the training, product demos, sales calls, and estimates I’m involved in.

We’ll see how well that works.

How would you handle a situation like this?  Daily emails?  Whining?  Kicking a garbage can across the room?

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  • 4 comments

    Comments

    1. I used to whine to no one in particular and then produced logs just like yours last week. Now, if the boss doesn’t know how much I’m doing, she can suck eggs. 😉 Yeah, self-employment has its perks. 🙂

    2. I would just make sure to keep a log of what you do (like you are) or have many conversations explaining how busy you are and what you’re doing. Sometimes it is about facetime and showing them you’re busy. Crazy, I know!

    3. I felt most of that at my previous job as well. Unfortunately, submitting a log like you did really didn’t do much for me and I ended up having to leave.

    4. Perception can be reality in the workplace, which isn’t fair at all. Not even close. But, it is what it is.

      I like how you took responsibility for poor personal marketing. You’re now acting on that, and hopefully it gets you where you want to there. Best of luck!

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