WIBU to send this email and should I get some help?

(37 Posts)
picklypopcorn Fri 08-Apr-16 16:09:56

Get a cup of tea, this is a long one. First of all: I've got a pretty fragile head at the moment and I realise there's something not quite right about my emotions, ie: I cry randomly and don't really know why, find small things make me irrationally anxious and can't really "get hold" of myself if that makes sense? I don't want to use the word depression because I'm not sure if that's what this is, but there is definately something not quite right.

Anyway, the email:

So at the moment I'm on a team at work, being managed by a first time manager (we'll call her "B") who's been recently promoted and has a lot less experience in the field than I do. I'm only 25 so it's not like I've got 20 years on her or anything, and although sometimes it can be awkward I've been coping with it fine and I've just kept my head down.

Anyway:

Last week I had a 1:1 with B and she went through some feedback she'd had from one of my more senior colleagues about me. She made out it was a MASSIVE problem and I think because of where my head is at the moment I had a major panic and worried about it, so I went home for the weekend feeling like I'd fucked up my entire career.

On Saturday night the feeling of utter panic hadn't lifted, I was unable to sleep and couldn't pull myself together, so rightly or wrongly I emailed my managers manager (we'll call her "J") and asked her to clarify exactly where I had gone wrong etc. It being the weekend she didnt reply.

Anyway, on Tuesday I got an email back from her where she clarified my points, gave me some more feedback (that also panicked me) and then I just sort of left it. The feedback she gave me in addition to the original feedback from B tipped me over and I've been on the edge of tears all the time im at work since then (seriously as I'm writing this, it's not right is it?)

In the meantime I emailed my senior colleague to talk through the feedback I'd been given in the first place, and he said it was absolutely nothing to worry about and he was really shocked it had been turned into such a big deal by my manager hmm

Yesterday I got an IM from my managers managers manager (we'll call him "C") asking if he could "have 5 minutes".... so yeah, more panic. I was in a different office so worried all day and all night about it, then finally he called me into a meeting room at lunchtime today.

He basically cossed me for going to J about my conversation with B, and told me I should be offering B as much support as I can and not "trying to undermine her".... shock

Essentially, J and C have had a conversation and decided between them that I'm trying to undermine B and make her out to be a bad manager.. which isnt the case at all (and I stressed this), I just needed reassurance and clarification from J that I hadn't damaged my career etc. I feel they've automatically assumed I'm unhappy being managed by B, which isnt true! This has left me feeling really helpless and since lunchtime it's taken all my energy to stop myself crying (I very nearly burst into tears in the "chat" with C but just about kept my shit together)

So now I think I've REALLY screwed up and I'm now going to have a reputation as a backstabber even though that's not my intention at all sad I feel like potentially, my mental health situation could be partially responsible for me sending the email in the first place and my ability to make decisions has been really compromised?

What's worse if for the last week I've had a "balloon" feeling of anxiety in my chest and last night I drove home crying my eyes out and couldn't put my finger on why... I think I might be having some mental health issues but I'm not sure?

Am i going to need a new job now? is this going to follow me? Perhaps more importantly, is this depression?

Salmotrutta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:19:57

Oh goodness you sound stressed!

It does sound like at least anxiety if not depression.

A visit to the GP would be a good place to start I think.

Salmotrutta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:20:53

By the way, you don't sound like a back stabber to me!

Did you get a chance to put your side to "C"?

titchy Fri 08-Apr-16 16:26:36

Agree you sound irrationally anxious and need to see your GP for help.

As for the work situation, errr yes (sorry) you were totally unreasonable to email B's manager. If you had a concern about what B had said to you, you should have either raised it there and then, or arranged another meeting with B, and asked for evidence, put your own evidence forward or whatever. Going to other managers makes it seem like you didn't believe B and have an axe to grind as you think you're more experienced.

I think an email to all of them apologising for involving them, explaining you are suffering from anxiety and receiving medication and requesting a meeting with B to determine some short term actions to address the concerns she had would be the most professional way of moving on.

Hassled Fri 08-Apr-16 16:26:45

No wonder you're anxious - work is such as massive part of our lives that of course it matters that we're liked/respected. I'd be in a total tizz if that had happened to me. But remember today's news is tomorrow's chip-wrappings - this will die away and by next week J, C and B won't be giving it much (if any) thought. You've done nothing wrong - if you continue to demonstrate that you work well with B, and address whatever needs addressing in the feedback, things will be back to normal in no time.
And in the meantime, talk to your GP about how you're feeling. We all get anxious, but it's how we deal with the anxiety that matters, and it does sound like you're struggling to deal with it.

picklypopcorn Fri 08-Apr-16 16:28:13

Yeah, I made it very clear that undermining her was never my intention and to feedback that if that's how she/ anyone else feels. I said the reason I emailed J and not B directly was because I didn't want her to feel that she'd done something wrong so early in her management role as I didn't want to throw her confidence. I'm questioning now though whether i really DID want to undermine B even subconsciously and that's why I sent the email? I just don't know, I'm questioning myself so much at the moment I have no idea what I feel about anything sad Gawd sorry I'm a bit of a wreck!

picklypopcorn Fri 08-Apr-16 16:30:36

Titchy I agree with you, I think IWBU and shouldn't have sent that email sad Anyone got a time machine I can borrow?

capsium Fri 08-Apr-16 16:32:07

Well looking at your post, what I can see is that you did cope well with a situation that most people would have found challenging. You didn't snap or burst into tears - even though I have known people do this, on occasion, in most of the jobs I have had.

Regarding you undermining your manager, this is rubbish. You took seriously her comments and sought to resolve the issues she raised by talking with another colleague. She is being overly sensitive here.

If you speak to her about it I would just reassure her your actions were not, in any way, meant as a challenge to her, but were only to seek resolution to the issues she raised.

acasualobserver Fri 08-Apr-16 16:33:39

I think an email to all of them apologising for involving them, explaining you are suffering from anxiety and receiving medication and requesting a meeting with B to determine some short term actions to address the concerns she had would be the most professional way of moving on.

I'm sorry but I think this is terrible advice. Instead, keep your head down, do your job well, demonstrate that you have no wish to disrupt the team. Let it all blow over.

Least said; soonest mended.

Salmotrutta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:34:11

You do sound really anxious pickly - I get very "over-analytical" about situations too so I do understand some of what you feel.

Get yourself to the GP flowers

And I totally agree with Hassled - this feedback situation will be forgotten very soon! smile

Salmotrutta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:36:14

And I also agree with acasualobserver - don't send another e-mail, just carry on with your job.

picklypopcorn Fri 08-Apr-16 16:36:53

capsium I don't think B is aware of my email to J (yet) thankfully, and not knowing if she knows mean I really don't want to bring it up with her sad

What can GP's do for people like me? sorry, I have 0 experience dealing with mental health problems and this is all very scary new ground for me sad although this has happened before now I think about it: about a year ago I had a similar thing where I couldnt get a grip on my self, that was triggered by someone being promoted above me when I felt I should have progressed instead... for about 3 months afterwards I was very unpredictable. Can anxiety be episodic like that?

Gazelda Fri 08-Apr-16 16:38:24

I agree with titchy. Go see your GP about your anxiety, and apologise to your B, C and J for not handling things in the best way.

From B's point of view, I would have felt undermined. Your email to J late on a Saturday night would have indicated to her that something was amiss, it was inevitable she would have to have a conversation with B.

But this isn't career ending. Deal with it professionally from now, get support and put it behind you.

Salmotrutta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:41:14

The GP may be able to prescribe anti-anxiety melds and/or refer you for counselling.

Anxiety is not uncommon pickly - you aren't alone!

capsium Fri 08-Apr-16 16:41:29

I would not send any additional emails out either.

In one way, good might come of this. Your manager might think better how to evaluate your work more constructively. Sounds like she has blown some pointers from the senior colleague out of all proportion and you have embarrassed her. I am betting that senior colleague knows nothing about this recent exchange.

picklypopcorn Fri 08-Apr-16 16:44:48

So you think B will know about all of this? Thinking about it she must do sad her and J are friends in and outside of work so I can't see J not telling her.

I really REALLY should not have sent that email and now I'm worried if I send another one it will drag it all up again and make things worse confused I cant be sure I'd word things properly either at the moment.

I'll make an extra effort to be supportive of her in the next few months and hope it gets forgotten. My main worry is I'm due to get my own team/ promotion in June and I don't think that will happen now, certainly don't think I should be in charge of other people until my head is sorted out sad

Has anyone else been through anxiety? does this sound like that? what did your GP do?

Salmotrutta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:46:02

I disagree Gazelda about the apology since she doesn't even know if B knows about the e-mail to J.

Better to let it lie, keep her head down and resolve to work away quietly.

CheckpointCharlie2 Fri 08-Apr-16 16:48:36

There are a couple,of books that might help you. One is called Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg and the other is called Mindfulness for Women.

I too don't think you should send anymore emails and defo see your GP! The sooner you get some support, the sooner it will calm down. But mindfulness has really helped me in the past.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:48:43

I think you might be me!

1. Go to GP asap, they can help with medication, long or short term

2. Only mention your anxiety if you really have to (as in if you have to explain) - I have had severe anxiety and depression for over 20 years and it has done me no good in the workplace.

I spend many weekends worrying that I have fucked up my career. Sometimes I have to take one of my meds just to cope with walking into my
boss' office.

The first step is the GP - you need held with coping with this day to day

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Fri 08-Apr-16 16:49:36

My GP did try to refer me to talking therapy but apparently I'm not suited. But the meds seem to help

capsium Fri 08-Apr-16 16:51:23

I don't think your manager will know about this OP. However if she did I would not be embarrassed. You were just seeking to resolve the issues raised and improve your work.

I think your manager would have been embarrassed because she did not have a firm grasp of the issues in appraising you work. Not because she knew you sent the email in question.

Gobbolino6 Fri 08-Apr-16 16:55:38

I can see why they felt you were trying to bypass B, and I think the root cause probably is the panic and over thinking caused by anxiety issues. I would see your GP, and until you have, I would simply keep your head down, do your job and let this incident lie.

picklypopcorn Fri 08-Apr-16 16:55:51

That's interesting Livia about not mentioning it unless I have to, as I'm thinking about things I was wondering how it would hold me back.

Also about walking into your boss's office, that struck a chord. Last time this happened I had 2 mornings where I was 20 mins late for work because I was stuck in my car. I couldnt get out and go into work and got so upset and panicked I ended up in a right state. I ended up putting the air conditioning blowers on full blast at my face and my music up really loud.

Looking back now, was that a panic attack?

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Fri 08-Apr-16 16:56:23

My advice would be to not send any more emails.

If you need to discuss something, do it face to face, much less chance of misunderstanding.

DobbinsVeil Fri 08-Apr-16 17:03:30

I wouldn't send any more emails, it doesn't sound like the feedback was delivered well which doesn't reflect well on the training B was given. Possibly J & C have got a bit tetchy (is it usual for the feedback giver to be named?) but it seems like they consider it dealt with and probably would prefer for the matter to be dropped.
Try not to dwell on it any further, it may not have been your career highlight - but you were worried about how your performance was viewed by management, which is surely what they want of their employees.

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