I'm a 1st year staff with a B4 fed tax group. We are not a very large group, with 2 staff, 3 specialists, 4 managers, 2 SMs (one of them is advisory so she is irrelevant) and 2 partners.
After the September deadline, amount of work available decreased significantly. I'm spending most of my day with my thumb up my ass. The other staff, who started at the same time with me, got a large engagement (preparing 8 years worth of consolidated return) from SM. I have 3-4 clients assigned to me but I can only do so much for them. So everyday I go around to managers, asking whether they have something for me so that I can have something to charge. I get forms to fill out, nil returns to prepare etc. but they give me like one hour chargeable a day and I learn nothing. Meanwhile the other staff is charging 9-5 on a major engagement plus she is learning one-on-one from the SM. The SM did give me smaller files but I can never find time to talk to her about it because she spends far more time with the other staff than with me because, well, the other staff's engagement actually matters while mine are minor. They come from same country, they speak the same foreign language, and, to be frank, they are both not very good at English. I see them working together, talking in their language, and can't help but feel like I'm somehow getting shafted.
My PM, after September deadline, told me that I should be more proactive with looking for work. Okay. I go around every morning asking for work. There is none. When there is something thats not a bitchwork, it goes to specialists. So I sit around with nothing to do. My partner asks me why my chargeable is so low. I tell him I'm not getting any work. A manager actually sat me down and asked me what the hell is going on with my chargeables because she saw that I charged more on simple returns than she expected me to. I tell her that I really need chargeable hours and I purposefully spent more time on them than I could have. She tells me that I shouldn't do that and instead I should be more proactive with asking for work. Okay.
Now, I understand that there is this thing called "coached out" in B4 – instead of calling someone into the office and telling them "You suck. You're fired. GTFO", you stop assigning work to the person, treat them like an invisible man until they leave. I wonder if thats whats happening. I know that there isn't much work to go around, but I'm starting to get unreal amount of stress from the fact that I'm still expected to come up with something and I'm still asked to be proactive and I'm still going to get in shit if I don't do any chargeable work.
Am I being coached out? Or just being fucked? If so, what the fuck should I do as a first year staff?