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Manager
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Joined: 22 Feb 2012
Posts: 93
Schools: HBS '16
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V42
GMAT 2: 670 Q42 V40
GPA: 3.47
WE: Corporate Finance (Aerospace and Defense)
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Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 25

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Advice/Opinions [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 12:34
I work in Corporate Finance as a Senior Analyst at a large fortune 500 company and was looking for some advice/opinions about a situation at work. I am pretty new to the company (like 6 months or so). I am a US citizen but am of Indian origin and lived for several years in India. I am 29 years old and am 4 years out of school and this is my 2nd job after my undergrad degree which was in Finance. My previous job was also in Corporate Finance at a different fortune 500 company.

In my current role, I have some "Systems" finance responsibilities for managing a Finance forecasting application. My company has outsourced the actual systems work to a company in India and my responsibility is to provide the team in India with guidance and direction on when to perform certain activitities as well as what expectations are from the mgmt team in the US. I am providing all this info to give you some context..

I was having a conversation with my direct supervisor today about a deliverable that the India team was working on and I asked what to expect on something. He said, "They are like monkeys who push buttons and don't think at all" I understand what the reason for what he said and the underlying implication that I need to be very explicit in my instructions to the team but I feel it is extremely offensive the way he put it.

My first inclination was that it this was definitely inappropriate and I think I should say something to his boss or to HR about this.. Since this person is my direct supervisor, I don't feel comfortable saying something directly to him.

My 2nd inclination was that this person is very senior to me in the company and has been with this company for over 10 years, so I dont know that they would care about my opinion and maybe its better to just shut up and move on with life.

I would love to hear any advice that people have? Especially interested in advice from HR folks if there are any on this forum.
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Re: Advice/Opinions [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2012, 13:12
My advice, is since you've only been there for 6 months, I don't think it makes sense to ruffle any feathers. But if you do choose to talk to someone about it you should go about it in a different way.

You shouldn't immediately jump your direct supervisor and talk to his boss or HR. This is a great way to not only hurt yourself in the eyes of your supervisor, but also hurt his promotion chances and make yourself look like a complainer to even more superior personel. You need to be strong enough to fight your own battles, and if you don't do this correctly then you might make yourself look bad too in the process. You work at a large company, so any complaint like this will be taken extremely seriously!

You need to (wo)man up and speak with your boss about it. The best time to have done it was right when it happened. You should have said that wasn't very nice, or inappropriate, or demeaning to them. But now that time has passed, you have to decide if your moral obligation to speak with him about it is worth the trouble. You understand why he said it, and I think you have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to explain to you how to address the project as opposed to taking a pot shot at the Indian workers. If he does it again, or continues with it, then you can assume that he actually believes this stuff, and is racist. At this point, you should speak with him directly about it, and if nothing changes then address it with HR. You should atleast give your boss a chance to defend what he said, and make a change to not make those comments around you.

It is never advisable to go directly to HR before addressing that person first. And trust me, HR will not keep your identity secret, and you will have to work it out between eachother anyways.

All that being said, your boss was WAY out of line saying that. But think of all the people out there, including me, and 100s of others reading this post... we've all had a boss that does things that probably aren't appropriate. In fact I've had more than 1, and multiple coworkers, and a lot of times you just have to put up with it. Think of it this way, your boss must like you b/c he is talking candidly with you. He is the one that will push for your promotions, so my advice is keep the relationship as strong as possible. If this means biting your tongue, then bite it.

A work environement between you and your boss should be a strong one. You don't want him to think that you hold more loyalty to HR then you do to him. Tred lightly in this water, b/c a rash decision could really come back to hurt you in the long run. It could even hurt your ability to be trusted by the people you work with, and that is definitely not a good thing.
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Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 22 Feb 2012
Posts: 93
Schools: HBS '16
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V42
GMAT 2: 670 Q42 V40
GPA: 3.47
WE: Corporate Finance (Aerospace and Defense)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 25

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User
Re: Advice/Opinions [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2012, 01:06
GMATLA thanks for the advice... At this point, I don't see any upside to confronting the guy... I think for now biting my tongue is the smartest thing to do..

I talked to a mentor at a different company and his advice was to avoid confronting the person unless I thought my boss would take it in stride and respect me for it.
Re: Advice/Opinions   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2012, 01:06
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