Umm . . . except when you pull out their emails saying the opposite and they claim that it's a complete misunderstanding. And when corporate institutes policies on the email servers to AUTOMATICALLY delete anything older than 60 days.
An excellent example on why I take my own notes at every meeting or informal discussions. A written record trumps bad memories everytime.
I urge all engineers to keep a personal record and update it everyday. Not only can it save your behind, but it can also be a good source of issues to remind your boss about during review time.
If an issue makes you frown, make sure you write it down!
Just a thought.
I had a boss like that once too, except that he didn't tell me I needed to keep records of our conversations, I found that out the hard way.
In addition to my technical work I was responsible for our teleprinter message relay centre. One user of this service persistently brought messages in just before closing, causing the operators to work overtime. The boss learned of this and had a fit, saying he wasn't paying overtime, the messages could wait till the next shift in the morning.
Wise to him by then, I wrote it down in the operators orders book and got him to sign it.
A few weeks later the user complained that an urgent message had not been sent till the next day. Again the boss blew up, and said "The messages have always got to go!" His mumbling and embarrassment when I showed him his signed order was pretty amusing.
I had a boss at one time who said that I needed to keep records of all our conversations so that I could prove that we had them. I responded that"the first time that I need to prove we had a conversation, I will start searching for a new job with all possible diligence." That settled the issue.
I guess, this is one of the reasons why I meticulously keep several GB worth of emails, going back to more than 10 years. It's amazing how many times they saved me. So, when some people think they are right, simply because they say it loudly and with sweeping confidence, pulling out what they said themselves just a few months ago can cause a dramatic adjustment of the reality distortion field...
Just like corporate America today - the most important thing when something goes wrong is find who to blame and you did a wonderful thing - made it possible via documentation to blame the previous regime of people who were not there any longer! Thats the APEX of being a good employee - give them the proof for blame deflection. I bet your review next time was outstanding.
An unfortunate story but all too common. I try to have copies of such contractual issues available "just in case" some of the parties forget what we agreed to. (Some day maybe I will be able to tell all why I now do this routinely)