Posted by: Zee | 2004/10/11

I think my boss wants to fire me?. Why did they employ me?


I got a job to this company , its white dominated and very racist. I am the only black in the top and Its tough. Treatment,salary etc is terrible. They have done everything u can think of to show me that they dont want me eg being a manager, they removed me from my office, and put a white manager without telling me a reason. They made me sit with some sales clerks in an open area, and I mean the place where they put me is pretty bad for someone at my level.

I m dealing with a lot of confidential staff for the company, but I dont even have a cudboard to put my files in. The person I replaces was 'White' and had a very nice office nicely furnished. I m really treated like kak.

Dont get me wrong, I ve done everything to compalin to all levels of upper management, but there is nothing done. I sometimes feel the more I complain, it even becomes worse than be4. They sometimes give me heavy projects to do without explaining properly how I should do them. If I follow them up trying to get an explanation, they tell me they are busy, and I mean they never take notice of me afterwards.

Its been 4 months with a company and I feel that its 4 yrs. Can someone advice me on what I should do. I m so depressed. I ask myself why did they hire me if they want to fire me? Treatment doesnot give me a reason to believe that they want me .

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Zee,
It's tough at the top anyway, and as the only black person near the top, the conflict could well be greater ( though they probably backstab each other, as well ).
Sounds like what they may be trying is something forbidden by law, called Constructive Dismissal --- they have no reason to fire you and could be sued if they did, so they try to change your situation and conditions at work, to try to force you to resign, instead. And treating you less well than your predecessor sounds dodgy. It could be worth your while to consult with a labour lawyer and clarify your rights. Four months isn't long, of course, but the events don't sound promising.
I agree with other readers that one of the smartest things you can do in the meantime is to work so excellently that they will look increasingly foolish for not recognizing your worth. And without constantly complaining, document any mistreatment, for instance simply send calm, polite memos to your bosses, pointing out, for instance, that you are troubled that, though you deal with confidential stuff, you haven't been provided with either an office or similar facilities to protect and care for confidential documents, and ask what they can provide to help in that regard.
In another, you can point out pleasantly that it is obviously very difficult to concentrate on the matters you must read and deal with, in the noisy general office environment, and ask what they can suggest to provide you with a quiet place in which to do this work.
I notice that J picks up on the Constructive Dismissal point I made earlier, and the HR / CCMA route may be worth at least exploring. Ntsikie ably shows how finding a constructive way to stand up for oneself can indeed help ; and even if you subsequently find a better position for yourself elsewhere, you may be able to establish principles which will apply to others who join the company and who might otherwise face similar discrimination.
Sounds like a really lousy idea for any company to have the sam person as head of HR AND head of anyone else, as the degree of conflict of interest is obvious --- the sort of thing that could interest the CCMA.
Before you resign, DO speak to a labour lawyer and the CCMA --- don't lose the rights you have, and don't encourage these guys to to the same thing to the next black person they hire into such a post.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Zee | 2004/10/12

Thanx Ntsikie

I dont think HR is an alternative for me coz my boss is an HR Manager and Financial Manager at the same time. I promise you last week I went there to him and his Supervisor and I spoke until my throat came out, complaining, I promise you things are even worse than be4. Its as if they want to get me, and they are proving a point.

They dont even greet me when they see me.I thought as an employee u have a right to complain to HR when u are not happy, but In this place when u complain, they give you a cold shoulder and they look u as if u are an idiot.

I think the best option for me is to resign, and i m already putting my CV to the market.

Thanx 2 everyone who responded

Reply to Zee
Posted by: Ntsikie | 2004/10/11

Hi Zee,

I know exactly what you are going through.I also found myself being the first black person working for the company im currently with. I experienced the same treatment that you are discribing. I also contemplated resigning. The very person who employed me made my life miserable. Onday i just couldnt take it anymore, and i stood up for myself. Since then things have improved drastically. Ive become more productive, i participate in meetings, share my views, participate in brainstorms. come up with concepts etc... whereas before i would just sit with a mouth full of teeth, and look stupid. So my advice is, go to HR dept,share you grievance with them.Things just might improve. If not, look other employment.We spend most of our time at work, if you are miserable most of the time, look for altenative options which will fullfil you.

Reply to Ntsikie
Posted by: Sassy | 2004/10/11

Looks to me that you rcompany employed you solely as "window dressing" not because they wanted to employ you becasue by law they are forced to employ people of colour. Stick your ground and make sure that no-ones walks over you. if they treat you badly just ignore them like they don't exist. Teach them that you are also human and have more of a place in south africa than they do!

Reply to Sassy
Posted by: Tam-tam | 2004/10/11

Zee - look for another job and leave with your pride intact. It does not matter why you are not wanted but it does matter that you do not fit in.

Go elsewhere and work hard where you will be appreciated.

Reply to Tam-tam
Posted by: J | 2004/10/11

I suggest directly to someone in HR, in order for them to assist you with a grievance procedure.Alternatively, you can contact the CCMA, because it seems they are aiming at "Constructive Dismissal", ie. they are making your working conditions/environment "intolerable" and forcing you to resign.
The CCMA will advise you regarding the correct procedures to follow.
It really p**s me off when companies employ people from the so-called disadvantaged designation groups just to ensure that they are in line with employment equity principles, and then they deliberately set these people up for failure.
If I were you I would resign anyway and then sue them for 'constructive dismissal'.But you dont have to do this unless you have all your facts intact (if you know what I mean).The burden of proof will then rely totally upon yourself.
Nobody has to put up with that kind of treatment and you should do something about it.

Best of luck!

Reply to J
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/10/11

Hey Zee,

Fair enough, but I hope you're not working the overtime where they can see you doing it. I think it actually takes between 6 months to a year to really settle yourself in a job but I could be mistaken. At the same time you are right in a way that you shouldn't let yourself be in a situation that you could be taken advantage of.
Maybe you can make certain that you get the recognition & appreciation for all that you do. Also, as you say, it may just be that they feel threatened by you being the first black person in the company, especially as you say that you are performing well. I am sure that even on this forum you have noticed a bit of race issues now & then... What I'm trying to say is that maybe you should exercise some patience in the work environment when it comes to treatment of yourself, but don't lose focus of yourself as a person & don't allow yourself to be treated any less than that!!!

I'm sorry if I cannot be of much more help Zee, but failing all that & you really do find yourself unhappy, then maybe it's time you started job-hunting again.

At the same time, remember that it takes just one stone to cause ripples...

Best of luck,

Reply to Shaun
Posted by: Zee | 2004/10/11

Thanx Shaun and Lonestar.

No they have not yet fired me , coz I m very good at what I do and I deliver good service to the company. What I meant was that the treatment they are giving me indicates that they want me to go.

Come on, how can u read and write reports in a noisy space, where nobody understand u need them to be quiet so that u can concentrate. Most of my readings I do them overtime at home where its quite and I can write . That is why I ve managed to deliver good service. But I cant keep on working like this.

I know its 4 months, but Am i not supposed to be at least satisfied at this time abt the company, I cant just ignore these problems coz I ve been here 4 4 months. I take them as an indicatioms that it may become worse in future.

I m actually confused at what I should do at this stage coz I m proving myself by working overtime I m not paid for.

Reply to Zee
Posted by: Lonestar | 2004/10/11

How I understand this message is that they have not definitely asked you to go nor have they fired you. There surely is some obvious preferential treatment going on, however, show them the better side of you and despite their actions, proof to them that you are worthy of being a manager.


Reply to Lonestar
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/10/11

Hi Zee,

Don't get me wrong here, but you've only been in the company 4 months & you already have so much to complain about???
Maybe I'm missing something here so please forgive me if I am.
If you are fulfilling the requirements of your job description then you shouldn't have much to worry about coz one cannot get fired very easily these days.
You seem a bit proud that you are the only black person in this company, so why not let that pride transfer to your work & the things you do. I think that you must have some real good skills for this company to have chosen you, so why not put those skills to good use & be proud that you out of averybody else got that job.
Believe me, with determination, diligence & perseverance you can change people, or their mindsets. All they sometimes need to see, is just who you really are...

I hope I haven't offended you, but good luck Zee,

Reply to Shaun

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.