I made a post here recently complaining and asking for help about my work and you guys as usual, have not disappointed. Thanks to everyone who commented. Here's an update on how it played out and would love to hear your thoughts on my possible moves.

Short summary on what happened:

I have a manager and a team lead. Team lead has been here longer than the manager, but he wasn't promoted to manager for a reason - he's a social retard. Manager assigned me some new projects, which team lead did a small portion, then left it pending. I finished said project and made it much better. Team lead is upset about it and has been actively sabotaging me by finding faults (coming to work late), undermining my work and giving my other projects very poor reviews. He also lied and wrote to HR that I made inappropriate jokes and played games during working hours (no evidence and I don't play video games). Manager told me to let this slide and so I ignored the letter that's been cc'd to me and manager.

My actions:

  • I have been trying to look for another job - but there's no better option so far, considering salary and travel distance.
  • I have distanced myself from the office with the exception of some guys I considered nice enough. They told me team lead and his clique is mad at me for getting promoted and got a raise, which they havent. They gossiped about me a lot. Great, I know who to look out for now. Keeping my head low at the moment.
  • I have showed up at work on time, even earlier than required (I live very near). So there's zero reason for me to get disciplined again.
  • Laser-focused on my job. Went above and beyond when I worked with other departments and they loved it. Finished a project for the CEO with a very tight schedule, by working over the weekend and delivered before schedule. Have not heard feedback but Im confident it was good.

Update on what happened afterwards:

  • I talked with the manager to apologize about violating company rules - he said it's not a problem. Just take the disciplinary measures and we forget about it. Cool
  • Told him about how I think team lead is sabotaging my KPI by leaving bad quality reviews in hope of of getting me fired. Manager said he'll look into it. No further comment, but last month, I saw team lead's comment on our task tracker (benzino - KPI not met). I thought I should keep quiet about this and see how it plays out. Later on, it was deleted and I met my KPI, so it seems the manager stepped in and told him to fuck off.
  • Manager has put me on another division where I work with other departments and they have nothing but praises for my performance. Nice. However, about 50% of my work is still under the team lead's supervision, and he has been going out of his way to nitpick. It seems his goal is to make me miss KPI for 3 months in a row - which is ground for termination. When he can't find faults in quality, he'd say I took too long to finish it. (I don't, but he said I'm a senior so the standard is different for me - both in speed and quality - what a dick). Last month, Team lead even chimed in on the work I did with the other departments and told manager that I was lying about task tracking, and the work could have been done faster. The thing is I sat right next to the manager and he could see what I was doing the whole time. I knew team lead was going to make shit up so I kept manager very updated on what I was doing and when I could finish the project. I never missed a deadline throughout all this time.

What's bugging me:

  • Manager said he's got my back but he's been keeping his distance from me ever since we talked. I did tell him that I thought what team lead did violated my contract and the labor code, and companies have been sued over this (changing quality criteria without consulting team members, putting bad performance review and tried to reduce my pay even though the project has been approved and put on sale). He changed body language and got into a defensive position (arms crossed, frowned). I noticed and told him that's the reason I'm talking to him privately and hope we can solve this issue quickly - I just want to work and get my check. I also did not want to be a complaining Chris so I did not press him on the issue and just focus on whatever project he assigned to me. Still, he moved his desk and now sits alone in the corner. We also talk much less than we used to. He only gave the briefest comments for work and nothing else. Did I do too much?
  • Like many users here have said, team lead is just a retard and I shouldn't pay him much attention. So I let the whole situation slide and focused on my work. He doesn't think the same, though, and has been actively and maliciously focusing on me, with the possible goal of getting me fired. He also encouraged his clique to isolate me so I'm not on speaking terms with a handful of youngsters in the office (not all of them though). What can I do here to protect myself other than doing my job well? Maybe build more connections outside the office?