Join Fred Kofman for an in-depth discussion in this video John's story, part of Powerless to Powerful: Taking Control.
- The most difficult challenge I faced in my 16 year career would be earlier on in my career, I was a Help Desk technician, started on in the IT field. I had an experience where I felt like I was targeted by my manager, the manager of my department at the time. The division manager started pulling task away from me with no conversation or discussion, and appointing it elsewhere.
And I was distraught by that, so I actually approached my supervisor and requested a meeting with the manager, who then basically told me that I will not be successful in that department. And his comment at the time was he doesn't see me achieving any greater level. (laughs) He doesn't see me advancing, which kind of took everybody aback.
The only thing that came to mind was, was there something I did to trigger this? You know, given my field, I'm an IT person, you have to do something catastrophic, like-- - Yes. - Have a system compromised, or something, you know-- - Yeah. - Bad, but that wasn't the case. - So he said, you're not going to make it here, or you're not going to progress here. - Yes. And everybody asked in the room, why? - Why, exactly, and what did he say? - No reason.
- No, well he can't say no reason. - He said, literally said, I don't see him progressing right now in this department. And that was it. - I mean the only inference I can have is a racist comment. I mean there's no, I just want to name it, because target is like you're black, and then because that you're not going to progress because I don't like black people, I don't know. - I don't know, I'm crazy. - But that's the-- - That's the thing that disturbs me. I'm not only black, I'm a foreigner. - Yeah. - So it's several things.
- But it seems it's something that is patently unjust. It's an injustice because it has nothing to do with what you've done. It's all about his own, whatever resentment, or hatred or whatever. I mean it seems like it. We don't know what's in his mind, but that's the way it comes across. - That's the conclusion I took from the whole-- - It's an inevitable conclusion. - When you put in effort to move an organization forward, a project forward, there are some recognition that you want to see and when the leadership is not being fair, it's pollutes the work environment.
I went even a step further, you know, to let the organization know. - Yes. - I went to all the resources that they had available to employees to try and suffice this. And it still didn't change the norm. - But that's even, I wouldn't say more serious, but it adds to the weight because now it's not just an injustice of one crazy man, or one unbalanced person. Now it's a system that's endorsing that injustice by not acting.