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Not sure what to do...

I am feeling extremely stressed as when return from holiday will meet the new Director who came on board last week. As those who know my saga over the last year I have received reprimands, PIP, and poor performance evaluations. I realize that there is truth to all my failures at this job but also was a result in part of my inability to navigate effectively in a very toxic/dysfunctional workplace environment. So I thought that i should prepare a response to these documents to discuss if given the opportunity with the new director but will admit I am at a loss as to what to say. Is it better to just acknowledge them all, and simply say that I have been trying to improve and leave it at that or should I try to explain more? Thanks for any advice and thoughts.


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Hey Kiwi!

Sorry to hear that you are stressed out.

I guess my intuition is that it's not necessary to bring up any of this stuff from the past unless the new Director does. If the new Director does, then it might help to have some sort of response prepared.

It's hard to know what the best way of handling things is though without understanding how the place itself works.
Thanks @may71 for responding. I think youre probably right be prepared but dont bring it up. It is a very dysfunctional place and work environment is very toxic...we are all told weekly of all we do wrong. Im not alone in this but am alone in writeups so feel as if am more vulnerable than most.

We are hoping new director will be a reasonable individual but there is so much unknown as dont know if she was given a mandate by city admin or if she will be her own boss if you know what i mean.

I know that i cant change the past nor can i predict the future...as much as id like to be able to do both. So i guess trying to stay calm, continue to work on responses and live in denial for the next few days...until tuesday ...


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It seems like there would be a bright side to pretty much any outcome. If you got fired, you'd be free from the toxicity. On the other hand, it could be that the new director will change the culture for the better.

I'd doubt that the new director would make an sudden moves right away. I hope there's a way that you can relax and not be stressed, but I know that's easier said than done.

How long do you have to go before you can retire?
Yes my therapist thinks getting fired would be the best thing for me outside of financial realities....

Yes am hoping she gives us all some time....and doesnt do anything immediately.

Im only 54 turn 55 end of february. Have been at this job since Jan 2001...so in reality should work till 65 but eligible at 55...if didnt need tbe money/benefits would walk away in a heartbeat as they say...


Well-Known Member
Hi @Kiwi2016 - sorry to hear of the ongoing workplace issues. A new director usually means a restructure or at least a re-evaluation of processes. If you do have to face the new director I would go in prepared - don't mention any of your performance issues but have your documentation in place if asked. Admit your shortcomings but have ideas on how the situation can be rectified. Deflect any blame away from yourself and have positive solutions as to how the business can be improved. Try to impress the new director rather than going on the defensive... and most of all try to get in first - others will be trying to blame-shift to make themselves look better and you could be a convenient scapegoat. I know it's difficult and a lot of us find it hard to "blow our own trumpet" but sometimes you've got to cover yourself. I hope it all works out OK - look after yourself and try not to stress about it.
Thanks @dugga for responding and the advice. I will think on/work on responses on rectifying, deflecting and positive solutions ...i alas have been off for 2 weeks and she started on 20th so missed the first in so know the blame shift will be well underway...go back on 2nd and we have staff meeting at 9...trying not to stress too much...thanks again hope all has been ok with you


Well-Known Member
It doesn't sound like you necessarily have to go into the meeting iron-clad, but rather just not completely unprepared to answer some questions about your work.

The new director won't necessarily grill you.

It seems relatively more important to not get too stressed out about this.

Just my 2 cents on it, hope you are ok
Thanks @may71 for your rational advice....just so hard to face I guess the unknown given my track record there....so am determined to be calm and just enjoy my last few days off as worrying wont change anything i know...so thank you.


For a Phoenix to rise, it must first burn.
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SF Supporter
Hi ya @Kiwi2016 I’m not going to pretend I’ve read the other replies to your post but I think you should be prepared to fight your corner if the need arises.
Hopefully that will not be the case, but if it is then I think you should be ready.
From what I recall from before you’ve got to make to feb right? If I’d have said to you six months ago, that was doable you would have laughed yes? But you are now so very close to that. Do what you need to do to hold on for what, Eight more weeks? You can do this.

I sincerely hope that at the end of that time it will not mean the end of your job, but if it does it will be on your terms and not because it’s been forced on you.

Hang in there, you’ve got this.
Thanks @nobodyknows71 for words of encouragement-so appreciated. Yes I am going to not give up without at least trying to demonstrate that despite it all that I am competent.

Yes you are quite right I didn't think I would make it this far. As far as retiring at 55 that is when I will be eligible so have almost made it to that as you said just 2 months to go. Had hoped would find a new job in private sector so could retire from city (if retire can't work for another public agency) but that alas has not come to pass as of yet (despite looking and interviews). So am continuing to look but also to trying to keep current job as long as I can as need to stay employed for financial and benefit reasons.

So will try to be reservedly optimistic and do the best that I can do as that is all I can do.

Thanks to all for encouragement and support through this ongoing saga---wouldn't have made it this far without one and all on SF!
Thought would give an update...new director seems like she is going to give us all a chance...and not just act on past issues etc etc so am reservedly optimistic...as fate would have it I have had to go into her office on various things (which think am handling ok...) ..I am scheduled for a one on one next Tuesday so am thinking on this---she wants us to bring our resumes and offer suggestions on museum over next few years....so will work on rectifying, positive solutions and deflection thoughts but try to not get lost in blades of grass.blame game but rather objective bullet points--glad that I have some time to think on this....thanks again one and all as would never have made it this far without all of you and your support encouragement and advice....


Well-Known Member
If you are finding it hard to prepare answers, try to jot things down in a notebook as they come to you during the day. Then you just need to refer to your accumulated notes during the meeting next week. But I agree with everyone else, don't bring anything up about the past unless the director mentions it first.
If you are finding it hard to prepare answers, try to jot things down in a notebook as they come to you during the day. Then you just need to refer to your accumulated notes during the meeting next week. But I agree with everyone else, don't bring anything up about the past unless the director mentions it first.
That is a great idea so have started to do it...as tend to get overwhelmed and then appear so scattered if you know what I mean...and as well don't want to appear to be whining, complaining, playing the blame game etc etc...ownership of mistakes but also project pro-active movement forward if that makes sense...biggest challenge is to re-build confidence so can feel can voice ideas, be assertive/take ownership of projects so not always feeling like I have to ask permission before moving forward...i know that this is a rare opportunity/chance I know to salvage this job---just hope manage to navigate it correctly...

Thanks for advice and support everyone!


For a Phoenix to rise, it must first burn.
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
I’m glad you’re feeling positive about this. You’ll be great. Just put I’m the preparation and keep calm. (Yeah I know I know lol)

You can do this, and if it all goes tits up look on the bright side.... it’s almost February ;)


Well-Known Member
Hi @Kiwi2016 - That's good news. The new Director sounds like she will bring positive change and that will benefit yourself by allowing you to put the past behind you and rebuild your confidence. Fully agree with the note-making and bullet points... going into meetings prepared can be a huge help. Plus each small win gives you an extra boost of confidence.
Yes I am realizing that I am essentially interviewing to keep my job so am trying to be objective and pro-active etc etc but will admit having the deer in headlights feelings...but sure will somehow manage to pull it together...but at moment not feeling very confident...sigh....

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