In my culture, words that came out of someone’s mouth is deem as a promise unless otherwise stated. One does not casually said something and meant other things. In all aspects, this will destroy trust, respect and perhaps kill off any relationship. Particularly in the business world.

horse-654840_640In the business world, partnerships counted heavily on trust and reliance on one another. One misstep could led to dire repercussions. In Chinese, we have one saying “君子一言、驷马难追。” It means a nobleman must keep his promise. Once a nobleman gave his promise, sturdy horses won’t be able to chase the promise out.

I once had a director who used to give out empty promises as if he is dishing out sweets to everyone. The company I worked for has very good conducive working environment, every colleagues enjoyed and even excelled in their roles however, the director tends to spoil everything people work for by not fulfilling his promises.

startup-849805_640I remembered one incident very clearly when we had just received a huge order and all of us had to do work overtime in order to meet the deadline, the director called a meeting and gather everyone in the conference room with the agenda to boost everyone’s morales. He gave a great long speech and praises to everyone, even promises big bonus at the end of fulfilling the order deadline and tripled everyone’s overtime pay. But when it comes to end of the order, everyone including the managers and senior managers decided to throw a party to reward everyone’s hard work and effort, the director was nowhere to be found when asked to foot the bill, all the managers decided to come up with their own money to treat the rest of the people. At the end of the month, HR was not informed that our overtime pay was tripled and there was no sign off on the promised bonus. When the matter was brought up to the director, he simply brushed the matter off by saying he will handled it when he has more time. It never came.

team-123085_640Another incident involving me directly this time was that he praised my sales results for the quarter and promised in front of everyone during our monthly conference that he always recognize talent and will promote me to managerial position. Everyone including all the frontline staff was excited and happy for me. Everyone applauded including the director. Even the managers came and congratulated me and welcome me into their ranks. The promotion didn’t came. Even after 3 months, the director didn’t approve the promotion. I pursued HR who was at the meeting too and heard everything, came back to me saying the director simply said it was a joke, he did not meant it. Imagine my disappointment and fury! This is not a small company but a listed company too! The director was not some small fly but he was in the board of directors of many accredited organizations too!

After that incident, there are many similar incidents and all of us learnt not to believe his words anymore. One by one we left the company due to disappointment and mistrust. The last I have heard, no one stayed in the company for more than a year, due to high attrition rate, the company couldn’t keep up with training and retraining people, many good talented folks just leave after fulfilling one year to a competitor. About a year after I left the company, it was sold to a foreign entity with a change in management.

Have you encounter similar situation as mine? Why not share with us your experience? Come and join me at Twitter MiddleMe_net for regular updates.

74 replies on “Keep your promise

  1. Reading your post makes me thankful that I’m ”retired” now. I had a situation just like yours happen to me once. I was promised a promotion from my manager once. When it nev er came, I questioned him on it and he told me to “be patient.” The next thing that I knew he had hired from the outside a relative of his wife’s to fill the position that he promised me! Needless to say, he lost all face with me and I found a new job.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I agree with Kevin…strange things do happen in the workplace but this duality of the higher authority bothers us the most. I don’t understand how they switch so efficiently between two roles and still face the same set of people without any guilt or shame!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I used to have a manager who always told me I did a good job. He said if I kept it up, I would get a raise. The next year I did the same or even better at bringing in new business. He said it was great, and if I kept it up, I would get a raise. This went on for several years. Meanwhile, men in my exact same position who brought in less business than I did were paid $10-15,000 more than I was. I probably could have sued but I was too nice. The “happy ending” though is that I now have that manager’s job. We got a new CEO, and he really change the way things work. Otherwise, like you, I would have left.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Kally, horrible bossess are unfortunately everywhere. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m 25, and despite my college degree and relatively good experience, I’m still treated like a stupid teenager sometimes. Treatment that I highly doubt would be directed towards somebody who’s just ten years older or more.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ultimately creditability of such officers is at stake as subordinates stop believing thus jeopardising working of the organisation. Institutions grow with the confidence of customers and the workforce. Employees perform only when they have sense of belonging ness for the institution they are working in. My memories go back to the working of a very small Bank in India which emerged as one of the leading nationalised banks of the country and a young steno rose to the post of Chairman cum Managing director of that Bank. All employees right from sweeper to the GM level used to call the Bank as their bank. That was the heights of sense of belongingness

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes, it’s the sense of belonging that works alongside with the company’s goals and targets. Destroying it with empty promises is a foolish thing to do, let alone from a director of its company!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I was actually laughing at the part where you were told that “it was a joke”….how can someone be of high position and I am sure of a highly educated human being play such a stupid joke? yes it was a pathetic stupid joke…good for you your out that company already…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Wonderful topic which emphaises the importance of our ethical duty.
    People will trust you only if your word is your bond. However, in life you have those who have a difficult relationdhip with the truth, who will say one thing and do exactly the brazen opposite and it becomes even worse if such people are in positions of trust.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I think what you went through is a common tactic with some managers, specifically designed to bring about a high rate of attrition, so that they company does not have to give raises or promotions. It’s a poor tactic, and as you noted, never works in the company’s favour in the long run.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Manages who promise one thing and does another must surely have a massively demotivating influence on an office. I can’t see how they can do their job properly if their subordinates come to distrust their every utterance.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Love your culture integrety. Yes I worked for a company who hired a new director, all it came out of out of her mouth were lies and gossip, she ended up loosing her staff. When she was called to explain she made up lies and sutuations. We all left. She’s stuck now with temps only. She is surrounding herself with no talent so she looks like a star. Thanks for sharing, great subject. E

    Liked by 4 people

  11. About that promise your director made to promote you.. It reminds me of how Thomas alva Edison promised to give his employer the legendary Nikola Tesla 50,000 of he improved the simple DC generator. After countless sleepless nights Tesla succeeded and went to collect the money from Edison who laughed saying that it was an American sense of humour joke and have Tesla 18 dollar per week raise.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kally, this is just abuse from a boss. There is never any excuse for not delivering on a promise. I would be embarrassed both personally and professionally if I lied – and this is just lying, I’m afraid. Good luck in the new position

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Dear Kally, I wish that you would get what you got promissed and what you deserve. I do believe that in the long run he will fail because he is full of meaningless words.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Love Odie

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This a great post. That Director does not have my respect. A man of such high position should not do that.I think it’s mean. If you promise for, instance, to do exercise every day but try and later give up you can be excused. You tried but could not cope. But if you promise to do something which you can do and deliberately fail to do it, I think it’s bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Saloni!! Hope you had a great day. Thanks so much for the nomination, but currently I’m overwhelmed with catching up the award posts, I don’t think I’ll do you justice. Perhaps next time, dear! Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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