To think my boss is bullying me?

(6 Posts)
notagainnellie Wed 08-Jun-16 21:16:11

I’m sorry this is long and probably tedious, but I would really love some advice.

There has been some tension between us for several years, dating from an occasion when I was asked to undertake an appraisal of him, despite being in a more junior role at the time, and was forced to make some criticisms of some areas of his practice. He threw a massive strop as he considers himself god’s gift to the industry, but we got over it, though he has clearly never forgiven me.

When our line manager left, we both went for the role and he got it, which was fair enough in that he is more experienced than me and presumably performed better on the day. Since then he has struggled to perform in the role and that is the opinion of everyone in the team, as well as senior mangers who have discussed it with me ‘off the record’ (yes, that is unprofessional). He delegates everything, to the point where he is doing less work than people on half his salary. Yes, it allows people to build skills, but he is taking the piss. He takes responsibility for nothing and moans constantly about how tired and stressed he is, despite doing nothing most of the time.

This year there was a review of our team and we were asked to comment on him as a manager. Feedback was all negative and he was spoken to by his superiors, but again threw a massive strop and nothing has really changed. He blames me for the feedback he received and this has ramped up the tension. Most interaction we have is professional, but there is always an undercurrent. Meanwhile, he has received complaints from service users as well as his team members.

Recently I became aware that a longstanding member of our team was underperforming and not completing certain tasks he should have been. It was being talked about and causing ill-feeling, though the person is liked and has worked in the role for over 20 years (unusual in our area)so people were finding it an awkward situation to deal with, and it was escalating. It really needed to be addressed. I considered dealing with it myself, but did not want to go over manager’s head, especially since the review, so raised it with him. To cut a long story short, he dealt with it by making the person feel that ‘people’ had been complaining, which distressed the person greatly, and manager eventually told him that I was the one with the issue. This person is now not talking to me and still not doing his job properly angry. It also caused a lot of tension in general as there was a day or two of suspicion and bad temper from the person in question.

A couple of weeks ago a new colleague joined our team at a very busy time for us. I conducted her induction but this week have had to leave her to it more as it has been so busy. On Monday she went into manager’s office upset and I have since found out that she complained that she did not feel she had been adequately trained (it isn’t finished yet!) and neither did she feel that everyone (me, but a couple of others too apparently) had made her welcome. Manager took her straight to HR, presumably to make her complaint formal, without even trying to resolve it within the team. Since then he has not raised it with me – wtf? Surely I need to know if someone is not happy with how I have addressed them so that I can deal with it? I only know because I sensed she was being ‘off’ and, remembering her going to him upset on Monday, I asked him if there was an issue I needed to be aware of. He then said he couldn’t tell me but I insisted. He said he’d have to check with ‘someone’ and went off for a while, then called me to HR, where I was told about it. HR manager was very nice and assured me that nothing was on record etc. He had no intention of speaking to me had I not raised it. Again, wtf?

AIBU / paranoid in thinking that my line manager was hoping that a formal complaint was going to be raised against me, and if so what on earth do I do about it? I am considering making a complaint about him tomorrow, but I have no idea whether I should or not, or how to proceed at all.
Thanks for reading if you have got this far.

pandarific Wed 08-Jun-16 21:33:13

flowers That sounds awful, and it does sound like he is gunning for you. Hope someone on here can help - bumping for you.

LittleRedSparke Wed 08-Jun-16 21:39:23

In your case I would be keeping a record of everything that happens, with names and dates and times.

Keep it factual, and try and keep the emotion out of it. If you have any emails he has sent you regarding any negativity, that would be good

Are you able to talk to another manager (level of your manager) who could be neutral? It might be something that can be solved with mediation, but I do think you need to speak with your HR dept as well after.

Do you have a union, or an employee committee or similar? what is your official process? You may (or may not) have grounds for raising a grievance, however, this is not always the best course as if tends to leave a bad atmosphere after.

britbat23 Wed 08-Jun-16 22:06:22

He is behaving like a shit but this is why you never ever make negative comments on a "peer review" or "360 degree appraisal". They are tools of the bosses designed to divide workers by placing them in an impossible position.

notagainnellie Wed 08-Jun-16 22:17:25

Gosh that's a depressing thought, britbat. I thought at the time maybe I should just say what they want to hear, but it seems so pointless. I get the divide and conquer thing, but if bosses think floor- height morale like we have now is a good thing they must be mad - productivity is at an all time low .

Mouikey Wed 08-Jun-16 22:55:44

Be really careful if you put in a formal complaint or grievance - you need to be very clear what you want out of it... Most people don't actually know what they want beyond a rant and it not to continue, this often results in morale issues with the original complainant as they expected more but don't know what that more is (hope that makes sense). As others have said keep factual notes of everything that happens.

If a formal complaint is raised it will be horrible BUT there is a process (look at their policies) that they will have to follow. If you are in the union get their support if not discuss the process (not the case) with HR. Good luck sounds horrid and that your manager has a long standing issue. Sorry you're going through it

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