Want to have a moan about work and colleagues...

(23 Posts)
Butchmanda Tue 25-Oct-16 20:56:18

....is this the right place to do it? It's not a legal or employment question, just a bit of a bitchy whinge. Never posted on mums net before and am a bit overwhelmed by the size of the site. Can't find an idiots guide anywhere....

Lilaclily Tue 25-Oct-16 20:57:24

Go for It!

YuckYuckEwwww Tue 25-Oct-16 20:57:40

well at least one or two of them are probably on here, so mind how you go!

Butchmanda Tue 25-Oct-16 21:02:15

I was wondering that, although probably not on here (far too busy!!!) but I will be discreet. Glad I've found the right place. Need to pour myself a glass of wine and kick DH off my laptop so I can use it. Then I will begin ...

Sparklingbrook Tue 25-Oct-16 21:03:04

In AIBU you have to ask the question 'Am I being unreasonable' then everyone will tell you what they think.

If it's proper advice you are after I would choose another topic.

Sparklingbrook Tue 25-Oct-16 21:10:06

www.mumsnet.com/info/talkinstructions

Butchmanda Tue 25-Oct-16 21:34:13

Yes, it's an AIBU. Blimey this site is massive - is there an idiot's guide. Anyway, now that I'm here, I'll post and see what happens.

Ok, so I work part-time from home, employed by a small company which is run by the owner. This is my 8th year in the job. Mainly really enjoy it as it fits round my kids / school etc (eldest has special needs, so life can be complicated and I like to be based at home for him). It's in the cultural sector and uses my skills / knowledge / passion so I've been mainly quite fulfilled.

There's the boss, and two other women, whom I shall name X and Y who do the same job as me, but with a different client list. We all work remotely so don't meet often but the 3 of us worked together in a previous job and remained in touch / would consider ourselves friends. It's a small world in our line of work. Me, X and Y all have kids. Boss doesn't.

The one thing that winds me up no end, though, is colleague X's attitude towards staff leave. She has a partner who works freelance and their annual summer holiday always has to fit around what he's doing (so that he can work AND have a holiday - they take a family holiday near the festival he works at). For the first 4 or 5 years of the job, X always got in there first with holiday request, which the boss approved, and which went into the diary without discussion. Leaving me to fit around. (Back in the early days there were only the 2 of us - me and X plus Boss). My own family life during those years was so incredibly shit (on brink of divorce, struggling with my son's needs) that I didn't want to go on holiday anyway, so on a practical level it didn't matter and I fitted in around X. Then I perked up a bit and 3 years ago played X at her own game and asked for leave almost a year in advance and got it (legitimate excuse being that we needed to plan / book early to make sure we got accommodation etc that suited our son's needs). But I felt bad as I don't think asking for holiday should be 'first come, first served' and there should be some fairer, more reasonable way of sorting it out (although, I confess, I'm not sure what that is).

I'll add at this point that Boss doesn't want to be bothered by problems, just solutions. She's very generous in many ways, and has been understanding of some of my needs for my family, but seems to have no desire to sort out a proper system for agreeing holiday. I've brought it up on a number of occasions, in person and in writing, trying to be reasonable and not moany and Boss absolutely hates it and won't address the problem. We don't have official, documented appraisals.

So, the past year or so I've started suggesting to X and Y that we discuss our holiday needs between the 3 of us and see how we can accommodate each other. This is for all school holidays. We can't all 3 be away at the same time as we have to cover one another's work, but 2 of us could be away at the same time. I can tell X didn't like having to reveal her plans and it's probably made her quite nervous. Y never really says very much and is trying to stay out of the conflict. I tried to lead by example, so this half-term I said, for example, 'I'd like to take this day off - does that work for everyone?'

Then today I get back to work after a long weekend and there's an email from X saying that she needs to go on holiday next summer in these weeks, and so does Y and will that work? But phrased in a way that's telling me, rather than asking me. On the plus side, at least she's thinking about discussing it, but ultimately the outcome is the same - she expects to get what she wants. I'm also annoyed that X and Y spoke, and then told me what they're doing rather than having a 3-way discussion. Neither has spoken to the boss yet (who takes ages to answer holiday requests as she sticks her head in the sand).

Now I'll get to the point: AIBU unreasonable to be annoyed at having to fit around a colleague's husband's career? Boss seems to be on X's side. I'm sympathetic but think what her husband does is not my problem.
Thanks

Gizlotsmum Tue 25-Oct-16 21:40:43

It's not really about what her husband does is it? It's about when they can take a family holiday. It''s a shame they seem to have taken your idea and used it against you. Do the timings inconvience you? Could you realistically cover all their work for the three weeks ( my employer only allows 3 weeks leave under exceptional circumstances)

Gizlotsmum Tue 25-Oct-16 21:41:17

Sorry misread these as three

JunosRevenge Tue 25-Oct-16 21:42:43

AIBU unreasonable to be annoyed at having to fit around a colleague's husband's career?

Equally, your colleague doesn't feel the need to fit around your DS's needs, OP.

BolivarAtasco Tue 25-Oct-16 21:50:47

I had a similar issue around Christmas holidays when I started my current job. All four of my team members at that time were from other countries (common in my industry), as was our manager. They all wanted to go home at Christmas and Easter. I was caught out the first year and ended up covering for all of them, as they all booked it off and no-one stopped them.

The second year, I suggested we co-ordinate it between us only to find that they'd all booked it off again anyway.

The third year I just booked it off months in advance because we were going away. My manager had a brief whinge and said what if everyone else needs to book it off to go home so I reminded her that I'd covered for all of them for two years and it was my turn.

Stick to your guns is my advice.

MargaretCavendish Tue 25-Oct-16 21:54:15

AIBU unreasonable to be annoyed at having to fit around a colleague's husband's career

This is surely a bit misleading - the reason she wants this particular time is irrelevant (as are your reasons for wanting the same time). Since you don't want 'first come first served' but admit you don't have an alternative system in mind then YABabitU, I think. I really don't think your asking them about your long weekend is so different to what they've done now - they're doing what you want and you're still annoyed!

YuckYuckEwwww Tue 25-Oct-16 22:25:42

she is not BU for asking for what she wants
you are not BU to ask for what holiday you want
you are BU if you think everyone should discuss each other's holiday needs and decide between you who needs their chosen weeks most hmm - reminds me of before I had children and my colleagues expected me to work christmas so they could be home with their kids, I didn't, even though they didn't think it was as important for grown-ups to be with family as it was for parents. Well as it happens my father died shortly after that, so it was fucking important that I had that christmas off, but under your plan I'ld have been deemed less worthy - fuck that!

thats why first come first served is fairly standard when it comes to leave

Butchmanda Tue 25-Oct-16 22:57:15

Is first come first served really the best / only way forward? In which case it becomes a bit of an arms race. I also think the boss would be wise to that now as she always seems more sympathetic towards Xs requests than mine so she probably wouldn't agree an early holiday request from me. Not just holidays but generally about flexible working Boss seems to give X anything she asks for. Also X throws her husbands work into the discussion where I don't think it's necessary: he works away a lot but on a day to day basis I don't see that it matters whether someone's husband is working in China or working 9 to 5 down the road. She makes herself into a martyr and any request I make that she covers for me while I'm at the dentist, for example, turns into some long and irrelevant long-winded explanation about hubby's tour plans. it's just worn me down over the years. I also think Boss could be s little more present in the discussion.

Butchmanda Tue 25-Oct-16 23:00:13

I don't btw think anyone is less worthy than anyone else but I've had to compromise in the past, and she never has. And clearly doesn't expect to. Xmas isn't really an issue as the office closes but I would, for the record, never say that someone with kids has a more worthy request than someone without,

YuckYuckEwwww Tue 25-Oct-16 23:03:04

It's not Xs fault if you don't think your boss is fair to your requests

it's nothing to do with X at all

Begrudging X being treated fairly re flexiblity requests isn't going to better your position

I flippin hate when people do this! instead of dealing with your boss yourself and getting your own requests taken seriously you're going after your colleague just because she has had her requests taken seriously

Deal with your own issues with your boss and don't make it about people who don't have the same issues

FluffyFluffster Tue 25-Oct-16 23:04:11

Why not ask to have the main holiday times allocated each year? You cover one, X covers the next then Y etc. If someone wants to make plans then tough shit. Or break it into week long blocks with the same roster off.

CanandWill Tue 25-Oct-16 23:11:49

All of the places I have worked have been on a first come first served basis. I would also hate to have to ok my holiday request with my colleagues before going to my boss. If you want specific dates off you have to get in there first.

MargaretCavendish Tue 25-Oct-16 23:12:15

Your alternative to first come first served seems to be your boss micromanaging it. I really don't think that'll lessen the issues with your colleague (I think it will prolong this whole leave palaver): it will also almost certainly infuriate your boss, who I imagine (as the owner of a pretty small business) just wants to spend the minimum time possible thinking about this!

yummumto3girls Tue 25-Oct-16 23:15:15

Our office has to be covered during school holidays, we all put our preferences on a spreadsheet and then juggle around that, out of 6 people no one has ever ended up unhappy. It's give and take and if someone has to prebook something specific then fair enough, I can work around that. So Aibu however her approach is not helpful and if she were a bit more flexible at other times or appreciative then I am sure you would not be quite so disgruntled.

YuckYuckEwwww Tue 25-Oct-16 23:17:32

it is absolutely none of my colleagues business why or when I request my leave. I'ld be furious if any of them wanted my leave discussed with them first.

For times like summer holidays there's usually a limit per person (e.g. if there's 3 of us, then over the 6 weeks everyone can take max 2 weeks), and then it's just a matter of making your requests as soon as you have dates in mind

greenfolder Tue 25-Oct-16 23:18:54

We do first come first for everything but Christmas and easter. I have a team of 8 and can allow 2 off. Over summer we work around each other to make sure everyone can have 2 weeks off.

Gizlotsmum Wed 26-Oct-16 17:54:55

We normally ask within the team if dates would cause a problem. If it would there is normally a compromise that can be met

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