Biting your tongue at work

Joined
16 Sep 2006
Messages
3,139
Reaction score
528
Location
Fife
Country
United Kingdom
I've been in my current role for around 15 years. Used to have a lot more autonomy and, as a consequence, built up a lot of experience in seeing certain tasks through end to end.

Back in 2019 I was tasked with something so got the ball rolling. I (quickly) engaged with 3 companies that I knew were qualified to complete said task. They quoted and, along with a couple of colleagues, we identified a preferred supplier.

At this point there were some changes at work ...

'No no no' I was told 'who are you to decide such things, what experience do you have in these matters, this needs to go through a formal procurement process.'

Fast forward to present day, more than 2 years later. I had a chat with the project manager last week (I think they've forgotten I was originally involved) and they advised me a company was eventually awarded the contract after some delays 'aligning the works to a framework.' Work then commenced, said company weren't up to scratch so were shown the door.

Guess who they've now awarded the contract to? The supplier I selected back in 2019! Little old me with no experience.

Although I agree with processes and policies being in place e.g. to avoid underhand tactics, I do sometimes have to bite my tongue when processes I used to do myself now involve numerous people, numerous teams and take weeks, months or even years longer ... and they frequently end up doing what I would have done if left to my own devices!

Ah well, that's progress.
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
22 Aug 2006
Messages
3,714
Reaction score
333
Country
United Kingdom
Might there have been some additional factors when the original procedure was gone through which you wouldn't have known about?
If you imply someone got it wrong when you wouldn't have known about XYZ, you'll look a díck.

Reminding any "guilty" folk now certainly won't do you any good.


If therer's someone who remembers what went on and agrees with you, you could remind them about it over a laugh and let them spread it if they want to, if that makes you feel better, but the above could still apply.

And you would get asked why if you're so clever, you aren't running the company....


Best bottle it probably.
 
Joined
24 May 2016
Messages
3,612
Reaction score
660
Country
United Kingdom
To a lesser degree I`ve been there, done the donkey work and have the T shirts, after the third time I took the "sod em" approach.
 
Joined
20 Feb 2008
Messages
1,699
Reaction score
150
Location
Hull
Country
United Kingdom
I've seen the reverse happen, where a new supplier was brought in without due process, and the stock they supplied wasn't up to scratch, and cost a great deal in money and reputation.
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
16 Sep 2006
Messages
3,139
Reaction score
528
Location
Fife
Country
United Kingdom
Might there have been some additional factors when the original procedure was gone through which you wouldn't have known about?
If you imply someone got it wrong when you wouldn't have known about XYZ, you'll look a díck.

Reminding any "guilty" folk now certainly won't do you any good.


If therer's someone who remembers what went on and agrees with you, you could remind them about it over a laugh and let them spread it if they want to, if that makes you feel better, but the above could still apply.

And you would get asked why if you're so clever, you aren't running the company....


Best bottle it probably.
Tbh no. I think it was as much an internal political thing than anything else. i.e. he shouldn't be deciding these things in isolation, they should be going through the formal process.

I get that. However it's nevertheless frustrating when your end to end experience seems to count for less and less due to more and more people/teams being involved in the process.

Yeah, I don't bottle it as such these days, I try to just let it go. Not worth the hassle/stress.
 
Joined
31 May 2016
Messages
9,200
Reaction score
1,177
Country
United Kingdom
Your employer may have had existing contractual obligations to offer the work to the framework supplier. There may even have been statutory obligations. Further the other company may well have had favourable terms that (as in this case) meant the contract could be terminated.

hopefully the original supplier put his price up, to compensate for sloppy seconds.
 
Joined
30 Jun 2008
Messages
15,529
Reaction score
1,811
Location
Suffolk
Country
United Kingdom
A number of years ago I was based on a clients site as Engineering Site Manager. I was basically autonomous with the brief, "Whatever it takes to keep the plant running just do it." For 18 months or so everything was running smoothly and both customer and my base were very happy. Then my old boss retired and his deputy took over. He wanted to get involved but I managed to keep him at arms length until the supply chain of my employers took up a position on the clients premises and started 'muscling' in and telling me I had to run purchases through them. I refused because, although I would still be able to negotiate good prices for my side, they would put their 'costs' on top and the client would end up paying more. I got fed up with the back stabbing, especially from my own base manager who was a two-faced git, that I walked away from the client after telling him I was not happy with the direction things were heading, (on very good terms I must say), and went to work at another branch of my employers for a few months. I'd tried to tell my original manager they would lose the contract but he ignored me, (..."after all, I have a degree in business management whereas you are just an engineer"....). 3 months later they lost the contract and the supply chain department was also kicked off site.
Did I get angry or lose sleep over it? At first yes, then a mate told me to think of myself above anyone else and leave them to sort their own mess out. Shortly afterwards I transferred across country to another branch and discovered my original branch had sacked the manager responsible and had 2 other managers after him who didn't come up to scratch. Now, 10 years later, one of my 'bench' colleagues is running the branch and making a very successful job of it.

The biggest fault with all companies is, they will always remember your last mistake but forget all the good you did prior to that mistake, no matter how big or small it may be.
 
Joined
16 Sep 2006
Messages
3,139
Reaction score
528
Location
Fife
Country
United Kingdom
The biggest fault with all companies is, they will always remember your last mistake but forget all the good you did prior to that mistake, no matter how big or small it may be.

A colleague of mine once said 'you're only as good as your last kick of the ball ...'

Very true.
 
Joined
15 Sep 2017
Messages
30,994
Reaction score
2,508
Location
S. Uplands
Country
United Kingdom
Although I agree with processes and policies being in place e.g. to avoid underhand tactics, I do sometimes have to bite my tongue when processes I used to do myself now involve numerous people, numerous teams and take weeks, months or even years longer ... and they frequently end up doing what I would have done if left to my own devices

here’s what you do….you tell the senior management what a fantastic idea it was of theirs to engage the supplier they eventually chose.

Then you sit back and wait for promotion.
 
B

Brigade77

To be succesful in business you need to have 3x basic talents, they are called buying, selling & accounting.

If you think luck comes into it, then tell anyone successful they are just "lucky" & we'll tell you that it's damned hard work being this lucky.

If/when you become successful you soon realise you cannot do it all yourself, you simply cannot 'micromanage' everything. We call it "delegating" & there is definately an art to it.

Whenever you 'delegate' a task, it needs to be to a person you "trust".

Hear me now, the single most basic foundation of any relationship is "trust", whether that relationship is business or personal.

Without trust there can be no relationship.
 
Joined
30 Jun 2008
Messages
15,529
Reaction score
1,811
Location
Suffolk
Country
United Kingdom
When my wife worked for the Civil Service a number of years ago she was told all managers had to attend a seminar on delegation. After the seminar was finished a number of managers would be put forward for promotion. She sent her under manager to the seminar in her place. Afterwards she was asked why she didn't attend. Her response was, "The seminar was about how to delegate. I carry that function out on a daily basis so delegated my deputy to attend on my behalf." My wife got promoted. :)
 
Joined
22 Aug 2006
Messages
3,714
Reaction score
333
Country
United Kingdom
It can be bloody difficult.
A soon as you care, you get hurt.
Hence psycopath-type mechanical managers sometimes do well.

Even on a soppy web forum where nobody knows you, it's easy to get reeled in to an impassioned frenzy. I think I remember one on here once... o_O
One defence online is unfortunately to behave like a total p o s and take pleasure in winding people up.

For a while in industry I was lumbered with two other departments apart from my own when guys left. Total 14 sub managers to deal with, which is too many. Only time for procedures, not much reflection or strategic thinking. Are you clear on your tasks, do you have any threats to that, what are you going to do if...?
First priority job, whatever, however, was to keep my boss happy.

"I told you so" people either hadn't explained properly early enough to their line manager, or there was somethng else they didn't consider. So they get bóllocked for not sticking to their job, and wasting now-time trying to make themselves look good while achieving the opposite!
I sacked one git for spending half his day telling everyone why management was wrong. Well - gave him a "special job" so he could be made redundant when we didn't need it any more.
 
B

Brigade77

and wasting now-time trying to make themselves look good while achieving the opposite!

I had an intray bigger than Everest & they called me into a meeting.

My stress level was way above 10 & I don't think I'd slept longer than 6hrs in the previous 6 weeks, I'd had no time to think & surely I wasn't thinking straight.

The meeting was called to discuss what a future meeting would be about. They were having a meeting to discuss a meeting !

I flipped. Several management changes were made shortly after that meeting & no one seemed to bother me much after the dust settled . . .
 
Sponsored Links
Top