Have ibu to have walked out my job?

(94 Posts)
bouncingbelle Tue 25-Feb-14 00:10:32

After over a year of bullying by my boss I got up and walked out today. I can't believe I,ve done it and don't know what I should do next??? Should I contact them tomorrow (I don't want to go back) but I do want to discuss with senior boss and hr exactly WHAT pushed me to walk out. I don't do things like this, but after months of feeling sick at the thought if going to work (including tears fir the last few nights) I,m actually feeling great! (The reality of unemployment may kick in tomorriw sad)

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 25-Feb-14 00:13:41

I'd get yourself down to the GP and get signed off work with stress. It buys you a week or two to work it through and gives your employer a chance to address it.

macdoodle Tue 25-Feb-14 00:15:13

Really just really ? And that is why the NHS is fucked.

Rauma Tue 25-Feb-14 00:15:16

As above but companies have policies so stick to your guns, it may be your boss that will lose their job.

Rauma Tue 25-Feb-14 00:15:55

Macdoodle the OP is clearly stressed..

WelshMaenad Tue 25-Feb-14 00:18:31

I did this.

Best thing I ever did.

Excellent advice to get signed off with stress. Ask for a meeting with hr - someone sympathetic if you can swing it - and meet away from company premed us. I dragged my hr lady to a hotel.

I did end up leaving and chose not up pursue constructive dismissal as I found a new job within 6 weeks and just wanted to leave it all behind me, but the sick pay gave me breathing space.

You're welcome to pm me if you want to talk about it privately. Workplace bullying is so incredibly soul destroying.

WelshMaenad Tue 25-Feb-14 00:19:24

*premises

macdoodle Tue 25-Feb-14 00:20:14

My response was to haunted, not entirely sure how work place bullying and stress is a medical problem hmm but you know the free nhs is the solution to every ill....and that is why it's fucked.

WelshMaenad Tue 25-Feb-14 00:20:27

Also, we just met in the hotel bar for coffee, I didn't, like, book us a room or owt. hmm

WelshMaenad Tue 25-Feb-14 00:21:33

Stress and the resultant depression aren't medical problems? I beg to differ.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 25-Feb-14 00:21:48

Well i think if someone is driven to the point where they walk out of their job then it's fair to say they are stressed macdoodle!

I've seen this happen OP and the victim got so ill with it and eventually had no choice but to be off as she was too ill to work. Bullying is so damaging!

AcrylicPlexiglass Tue 25-Feb-14 00:23:44

Work place bullying and stress could well add up to a medical problem. bouncingbelle's GP can decide whether or not it does. Good luck, bouncingbelle. It's done now and I hope it turns into the beginning of a brilliant new chapter in your life.

Teeb Tue 25-Feb-14 00:25:55

I can completely understand wanting to just completely remove yourself from a situation you find unpleasant or draining.However, can you manage being voluntarily unemployed? Do you have a partner/dependants? Basically in a roundabout way, what's going to be paying the bills? I'm unsure, but I suspect you may not be entitled to many benefits as you chose to walk.

I second the advice to see your GP too.

Mmmbacon Tue 25-Feb-14 00:31:03

Well macdoodle, seeing how their have been high profile cases of people taking their own lives due to mental illness brought on by bullying, I think gp is best place for op to go if only to assess her mental wellbeing,

Stress is stress, op said in her opening post that she was feeling physically ill, it doesn't matter what causes the stress, its still stress, and again gp only one qualified to assess op and help treat, medicate and refer her for help at this stage

cupcake78 Tue 25-Feb-14 00:36:22

Definitely agree about going to your gp over stress! It will at least be proven you sought help if HR start asking for evidence.

I hope you can find a solution that works for you.

MistressDeeCee Tue 25-Feb-14 01:35:19

OP - no, you were not being unreasonable. Workplace bullying and the stress it causes is a serious problem. No job is worth destroying your health for, and its not your remit to put up with being bullied for the sake of a job. However in many workplaces its known that bullying goes on and particularly if its a manager doing the bullying then theyre left to get on with it. As long as the work gets done, thats all that matters. I agree, get yourself signed off sick with stress, because you ARE stressed. & do please talk to ACAS about your situation theyll give you brilliant advice, their helpline number is 08457 47 47 47. www.acas.org.uk/

bouncingbelle Tue 25-Feb-14 01:41:35

Thanks all. I think I will go to the gp as Up until the second I walked I actually felt I was going to crack up. It's been constant, I actually posted last autumn about her comments made to me during the two days I was in work between losing my baby and getting an organ removed. It's just been constant and I think I was losing all confidence on myself. My mind is just in a whirl just now, v little savings, supportive partner, we are undergoing fertility treatment which keeps failing and I just don't have the head space to deal with any more shit from someone like her. Sorry if I'm not even making sense, it's just now I can thinking how awful it's been and I will be taking up a previous posters offer to pm them. Sorry for rambling to strangers on an Internet forum but not ready to tell anyone in real life yet .

bouncingbelle Tue 25-Feb-14 01:42:36

A cas also excellent idea, thank you

TheTruffleHunter Tue 25-Feb-14 01:52:23

If you're so stressed with work that you can't function in the rest of your life, feeling sick and crying at the thought of going to work then that definitely qualifies as a medical problem. Well done for getting out now! Fwiw my general feeling is that you know straightaway whether the decision is the right one so if you're now feeling great...that's it!

FoxesRevenge Tue 25-Feb-14 01:56:07

You spend too much time at work for it to be miserable. I've been through some rough times at work too so I know exactly how you feel OP. Don't let the bitch get away with it, definitely speak to HR. Even if you decide not to go back her card will be marked should she try this shit with anyone else.

Hope everything works out for you flowers

Joysmum Tue 25-Feb-14 01:59:04

Time to start writing down all the incidences so you have it clear for HR. That's going to be a stressful discussion because you'll put yourself under pressure to include everything.

Sometimesbrunette Tue 25-Feb-14 08:37:18

I sorry to hear you are gong through this.

However as a HR Manager, just be a ware that if they are really rubbish employers, they can withhold your sick pay (if it's enhanced) or if it's Ssp only then you have 3 waiting days and they could claim that it's unauthorised absence, not sickness. It's rubbish but the company I work for has it in Their policy.

In any event, they can demand that you attend a meeting whether you are off sick with stress or not.

If you'd rather not face her until it's all sorted then fine, say it's been going on so long you feel ill and you feel is impacting your mental health.

My view is that you should put together incidents including dates, times, witnesses and evidence (they can't investigate it without this) and send it to a senior manager recorded delivery. You must be prepared that he/she will see this letter.

Any advice needed- PM me.

WaitMonkey Tue 25-Feb-14 09:02:58

macdoodle, you don't think stress is a medical problem ? How odd. hmm hmm
Good luck op. thanks

Of course stress is a medical condition, it can have all sorts of repercussions if not dealt with appropriately and quickly. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable - we wouldn't put up with our kids being bullied at school so why should we put up with being bullied at work.

OP good luck, hope you get somethings sorted.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 25-Feb-14 09:12:14

Talk to a solicitor about suing for constructive dismissal.

mymiraclebubba Tue 25-Feb-14 09:14:15

As someone who has also done this I do highly recommend talking to your GP as getting it documented is essential! Make sure you out everything in writing to your hr dept because walking out sue to bullying can be. Classed as constructive dismissal

Good luck and well done

needaholidaynow Tue 25-Feb-14 09:22:32

Macdoodle How ignorant are you? People like you are the very reason mental illnesses are stigmatised. Piss off.

OP, YANBU. I hope you get it sorted. And please do go to see your GP so that they sign you off for a few weeks.

poppins30 Tue 25-Feb-14 09:23:13

macdoodle

My response was to haunted, not entirely sure how work place bullying and stress is a medical problem hmm but you know the free nhs is the solution to every ill....and that is why it's fucked.

What a bizarre thing to say.

Why would you want someone to suffer with stress (which can be a killer - high blood pressure, stroke, insomnia) and not see their GP?

Why would someone seeing their GP over this bother you in any way or be your business?

Am genuinely baffled by this.

OP I do sympathise. My boss can be a bully too, and I've definitely had some symptoms of stress and tension over the past few weeks. So much so that when I had a weeks holiday I was ill throughout it. Apparently the term for this is 'leisure sickness' and can happen when you're very tense at work and when you have time off, the adrenaline drops and your immune system kicks in to gear.

If it was making you truly miserable, you have done the right thing.

Good luck.

kali110 Tue 25-Feb-14 09:36:20

Im sorry for you. I was bullied out of my job id done for over a decade. I nearly had a breakdown. Id cry everyday before work. She bullied others. My employers did fuck all though.
Leaving was the best thing i ever did.

kali110 Tue 25-Feb-14 09:36:40

Im sorry for you. I was bullied out of my job id done for over a decade. I nearly had a breakdown. Id cry everyday before work. She bullied others. My employers did fuck all though.
Leaving was the best thing i ever did.

yesnoyesnoyesno Tue 25-Feb-14 09:48:41

In the same situation at the moment. Hard to apply for other stuff as we are also ttc :/

Dawndonnaagain Tue 25-Feb-14 09:50:03

macdoodle apart from being bloody rude on a thread where someone is obviously in distress, you don't know what you're talking about. Stress is a medical problem, best to catch it early and put some coping strategies in place before the OP does something out of character. Oh, hang on...

feathermucker Tue 25-Feb-14 09:53:48

How is OP potentially being signed off with stress part of this supposed 'fucking up' of the NHS?! Really??? biscuit

Stress is a medical problem, and can be a very serious one!!!

A GP providing a sick note is hardly going to cause immense financial or resource problems for the NHS. It is a perfectly valid reason to make a GP appointment.

OP, well done for standing up for yourself!

emsyj Tue 25-Feb-14 09:54:31

I've done this. I now have a much much better job, with zero stress and a lovely manager and colleagues. Sometimes you do just have to bite the bullet and take action. I would pursue the matter with them though, it needs to be addressed. I made a claim against my former employers (which was stressful, but I had to, I couldn't just leave it) but you could simply put your grievances in writing if you don't want to go the formal route. I would call ACAS for some advice also. Best of luck - forward and onward! smile

slowcomputer Tue 25-Feb-14 17:07:13

I wonder if macdoodle is a GP, like me, because the phrase I'd get yourself down to the GP and get signed off work with stress does get my goat.

I will see a patient and assess their mental health. But I never write stress on a sick note (because, strictly speaking according to the DWP stress isn't an illness so it can be bounced, though often gets through).

And I very rarely sign people off in situations like this. It doesn't help, just entrenches the situation. You can self certify for a week and unless there are genuine and serious mental health issues then going back is usually the best thing. And, as a GP, I'm only hearing one side of the story. On occasion I have had reason to see documents etc which show that there was a significant other side to it.

Obviously this is meant as a general comment and not individual health advice to the OP.

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 25-Feb-14 19:15:23

Slow apologies if the late night phone typing turn of phrase annoyed you.

Ime that semi official note from the GP can kickstart a process of dealing with it. It certainly did for me. My manager listened and we were able to resolve the situation I'd been in brilliantly for everyone.

It does also give the op time to work out what is best plus the physical and mental effects of stress can be recorded.

Hope the op has had a better day.

FabULouse Tue 25-Feb-14 19:28:00

slowcomputer I'm glad you weren't my GP when I experienced the same situation and psychological distress. I was heard with empathy, assessed for anxiety and depression, asked in detail about what had taken place, how I felt, offered antidepressants and CBT.

I was signed off with "stress as a result of alleged bullying by line manager; formal HR-led investigation in progress" for two-week periods for a total of three months. By which time is requested a secondment to a different team.

Bullying creates very real and well documented mental health damage.

Blueskiesandcherrypies Tue 25-Feb-14 19:38:42

Op, you have absolutely done the right thing.

I agree that you do need some medical support so make a GP appointment asap. It will help, from a legal point of view, to have it documented in your notes (you had some very odd comments up thread about stress issues - what you have been through could lead the strongest of people to become stressed).

Also agree that you should get urgent legal advice re constructive dismissal. Most good firms will offer a free initial consultation.

Good luck.

slowcomputer Tue 25-Feb-14 20:01:44

fabulouse if you read my post it says that I would assess mental health, which involves listening, showing empathy etc. Someone who needs CBT and antidepressants may well need a period of time signed off - for depression not stress. It is the attitude of "just go to your GP and get signed off for a couple of weeks" that I often see on mumsnet regarding work disputes that is very annoying, and, FWIW, it trivialises genuine mental health problems like you have if healthy people are asking for a note as part of a war with their manager.

takingthathometomomma Tue 25-Feb-14 20:06:03

The NHS is fucked because of stress, Macdoodle?

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 25-Feb-14 20:14:10

Op clearly indicates in the op that this has been affecting her for months. When I went in to see my GP I was seriously depressed - I suffer from it anyway - and was on the verge of total collapse.

It's a turn of phrase that's all. And a bit scary if you are suffering to hear that in order to deal with work place bullying you have to have something on your medical record that may have to be declared for 20+ years on mortgage applications, insurance etc. It stopped me seeking help at times.

maddening Tue 25-Feb-14 20:17:00

shit macdoodle you must tell the doctors that they've been labouring unnecessarily all these years.

ThursdayLast Tue 25-Feb-14 20:22:56

I can't understand your point macdoodle. The NHS won't be paying the OPs sick pay or redundancy. The only thing it'll be giving is the doctors time during the appointment.
Which is what is there for. Hardly fucking up the system.

I think it's a sensible suggestion OP. I have a friend who was so stressed with only the fertility treatment (not bullying too) that she was signed off and it did her the world of good.
I hope you are able to feel better soon thanks

slowcomputer Tue 25-Feb-14 20:57:13

Nationwide I would say that hundreds, if not thousands of GP appointments are taken up each year by people wanting to enlist the GP in their fight with the boss. Not depressed, just wanting to "get signed off work with stress". Add that to all the other non medical things that people want us to do and it takes up an awful lot of time. So macdoodle has a point.

Again, if someone is truly depressed then of course they should see their GP. but if you are fine at the weekends, fine when off work and just get stressed on a Monday morning then you maybe need a new job, or to get your union rep involved, but you don't need to see your GP.

paxtecum Tue 25-Feb-14 21:30:26

Slow: my friend was so stressed at work he collapsed, was hospitilised with suspected heart attack, then suspected stroke. He was in for over a week and had various tests. It was in fact stress.
He worked for the NHS and had done for 40 years.

HR and the union were useless.

A visit to the GPs may well have helped him.

NearTheWindymill Tue 25-Feb-14 21:40:22

slowcomputer as an HR manager I have seen more fit notes with "work related stress* on them than I have had hot dinners. I also see stress and anxiety and depression on a very regular basis. Often for employees who are extraordinarily vexatious and when there are two sides to the story. For every GP like you I would estimate there are half a dozen who happily sign off people who have little wrong with them except that they are driven to litigate and often when they are not performing and need to be performance managed.

My advice to the OP would be to telephone tomorrow and report that you are unwell due to stress and anxiety. I would then set out in writing why you do not wish to return to work and that you are considering resigning. That needs to be sent to HR, preferably the director. If you raise a grievance what you say will have to be evidenced by third parties.

In your circumstances you want to reach a reasonable resolution. It sounds as though the workplace relationships are fractured. I think it would be in your best interests to seek a settlement agreement for your notice period and accrued annual leave, perhaps a week or two more and an agreed reference.

Doctors notes and long periods off work with no attempt at resolution won't help you in the longer term; the result of that will be a poor absence record and a less than optimum reference.

Deal with it maturely and sensibly and truthfully and you will retain the respect of the organisation, your own self respect and the best possible platform from which to move on. Sometimes you can't change things but you can try to extract yourself as elegantly as possible. And at the end of the day HR usually know what's going on (believe it or not) but it can be very difficult to take action when people won't put speak out and too often they don't for a variety of reasons even when matters would be taken seriously.

slowcomputer Tue 25-Feb-14 22:11:19

Doctors notes and long periods off work with no attempt at resolution won't help you in the longer term; the result of that will be a poor absence record and a less than optimum reference.

Thank you nearthewindymill

Again, I am of course not talking about people on the verge of a heart attack or stroke, just that many many people seek a sick note as a weapon. And I'm fully aware that many of my colleagues issue them, some of the most complicated things I have dealt with are issues around inheriting patients who have been signed off long term with work related stress and then moved GP. It is why I never write that on a note! Either you are ill - with depression maybe, or an acute crisis reaction - or you're not. But stress in itself isn't an illness. It may cause or contribute to a physicar mental illness, but it isn't an illness in itself.

bouncingbelle Tue 25-Feb-14 22:33:54

Thanks all for all the opinions. Thinking slightly more clearly today. I,ve been documenting my problems with this woman for over a year and have had 3 meetings already with senior management about her - she, of course, denied it all, but at least I have a record to help me put it all in writing.
The 'stress' caused by her wasn't just a Monday- Friday thing, I couldn't sleep, my evenings and weekends were spent with palpitations at the thought of going back, crying, stressing that the stress would affect the fertility treatment, being on edge with my partner...it's been a living nightmare - and I'm not an easily intimidated person. I did have a stroke aged 31 through a clot caused by an irregular heart rate (exaserbated by stress) so for me it really is medical - I can't let work affect my health to that extent.
I went to the gp today and he,s signed me off for two weeks with 'work related stress'. I'm to have a meeting with my senior boss and hr on Friday, but to be honest I'm not sure if I,ll have a chance to speak to acas and act on their advice.
It has since came out that the new senior boss has already been made aware of my bullying line managers poor management and people skills so if nothing else, I hope this situation will highlight this more. She,s their problem now, not mine smile

NearTheWindymill Tue 25-Feb-14 22:34:19

I've been tempted to ring up some of your "colleagues" occasionally slow and point out the extent to which some people have been supported and ask if they can sleep at night when they know they must be diddling the system by constantly writing fit notes and allowing people to claim the maximum possible sick pay from the public sector.

What really gets my goat is when I get lambasted for managing absence rigorously. What so many don't know is that I have to so that I can make a case to extend pay for people who have cancer, or who get MRSA after an operation, sometimes with dependent children and who are very ill indeed. I have been known to pitch up on doorsteps with bags of food before now and to actually take people who I know are having a break down to the doctor. Sadly that's the stuff that never gets gossiped about - it's just the stuff where HR are perceived as useless because there isn't enough of a case to take action.

As you were.

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 25-Feb-14 23:11:40

Bouncing that sounds good. I'm sorry my phraseology has derailed the thread though.

Good luck.

TallyGrenshall Tue 25-Feb-14 23:22:44

I would definitely go to the meeting on Friday. Years ago, I walked out and then went for a meeting a week later.

I got an apology from my manager (unlikely in most cases I would say though), an offer of my job back in a different department (I didn't take it) and a guarantee of a good reference. It made me feel so much better.

Although hearing about the almighty bollocking my manager got from HR and her subsequent demotion from my friends still there cheered me up even more <evil>

Just wanted to add, NHS isn't free. We pay for it.
Good luck OP.

innisglas Wed 26-Feb-14 00:06:44

Definitely go after constructive dismissal

poppins30 Wed 26-Feb-14 01:45:59

"Either you are ill - with depression maybe, or an acute crisis reaction - or you're not. But stress in itself isn't an illness. It may cause or contribute to a physicar mental illness, but it isn't an illness in itself."

Of course stress is a fucking illness!

GPs like you are the reason so many people put off going to the doctor when suffering from work related stress. They feel they'll be told to stop being silly and just get on with it, and I'm betting some of them end up with depression when they just can't cope any more.

tangyyoghurt Wed 26-Feb-14 02:12:07

Years ago when I was in my early 20's I think I experienced a lot of bullying from my manager. She had very serious personal problems (her DH ran off with another OW who was 20 years older than him and he had done it before apparently with another older woman. Also her Dad had run off with someone younger than her. She took it out on us. She would sit there and openly slag us off and call people up on the phone and tell them how crap we were. She even told me I was not allowed to wear my hair a certain way (i.e. down) despite working in a non public role in an office. She made me wear a headband. Now if you knew me, you would know why this is a massive humiliation. She would insist that we had to go out with her on a Friday night and she would invite male clients who were in their 40's and 50's. Some of these men thought we were actively seeking their company and you can imagine the sleazy scenarios I had to grimace through. If my boyfriend (now DH) turned up she would give me a massive telling off on the Monday and tell me that I was meant to be working. I wouldn't mind, it was just an office job, not some PR company.

My ex Manager already had her card marked because people had left and told the Director they were leaving because of her. She was moved to our department. When I moved sections, I didn't slag her off as I would still see her around. After I moved, she was demoted and then she left the company. Everyone felt sorry for her and ignored her bullying because of her personal problems. When she left she called me up to tell me "It's all your fault and I will get you back one day!" The woman was clearly deranged.

tangyyoghurt Wed 26-Feb-14 02:15:25

As someone mentioned above, it is good to exit elegantly. I think before I left, the management thought that people were just bitching about her. I think my actions spoke louder than words. I think that my elegant exit actually showed them that people with integrity are leaving and that was the catalyst for change.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Feb-14 02:31:09

Re ACAS. They are very good and will give you all the help they can straight away on the phone rather than calling you back, making appointments etc. If you ring them in the morning you will be in a far stronger position in terms of legal knowledge than if you dont. At the moment it seems that you have a good case for constructive dismissal, so please do ring them.

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 26-Feb-14 02:31:32

Macdoodle IS a GP BTW

OliviaBenson Wed 26-Feb-14 06:29:16

Gosh slow, I'm really shocked by your posts. Yes I get that there are those people who just want a sick note, but there are those who suffer that need help.

Last year my dh was signed off with work related stress. He was working hundreds of hours in a stressful role in a nuclear power station (he's an engineer). He was suffering physical symptoms of stress. After that job had finished they sent him to another role in a similar environment with no break inbetween. He was concerned about his and others safety as he just couldn't cope- he was in an environment where a small error could have been deadly. He told work about this who basically said tough. To self certify off sick would have been a disciplinary matter. The only thing that got his work to understand was being signed off by a dr for 2months- luckily the one we saw was sympathetic. It also has sparked off some huge changes at work and his manager was disciplined over it. I dread to think what would have happened if the dr had refused.

Sorry to hijack op. glad things are in place for you now.

AchyFox Wed 26-Feb-14 14:58:51

Hope things go well on Friday.

Interesting GP perspectives.

AchyFox Wed 26-Feb-14 15:06:35

When do stressful interpersonal relationships become a medical problem ?

I'm not sure there is an easy answer.

DollyParsnip Wed 26-Feb-14 16:54:47

I was essentially bullied out of a job. I had ill health problems and was unreliable; I could see both sides (they wanted someone ft 5 days a week, I was lucky if I could manage an hour some weeks).

I ended up leaving, however before I left my boss was seconded and another boss took over. He heard I was leaving, but was appalled at my treatment (the old boss was v popular, a go-to person who seemed amazing but couldn't cope with the additional work so was a bitch.to her team, who had to pick up the
slack). He contacted HR, who were brilliant and she wasn't allowed any HR responsibility again and quietly got moved sideways into a technical role. Too late for me but it does prove that people do listen, and even though I still left I felt much happier in my last few weeks and the relief at being treated as a person was huge.

I wish I'd fought harder but totally sympathise with the need to just leave everything behind.

NearTheWindymill Wed 26-Feb-14 21:21:42

Really just really ? And that is why the NHS is fucked. How does going to the doctor with suspected work related stress "fuck" the NHS please Maccydoodle?

The NHS is funded by those who pay tax, no? The NHS is there to give advice to those who perceive or believe themselves to be ill, no? If a sick note is submitted the NHS does not fund either SSP or occupational sick pay I don't think. Pray, do please explain why issuing a sick note legitimately or otherwise "fucks" the NHS.

IMO the NHS has been "fucked" as you so elegantly put it by professionals who think they are doing the general public a favour and can't be bothered to ensure proper clincal and nursing standards are being followed. Might I quote East Staffs? Indeed not "fucked" by the people who use it; rather by those who work in it.

If you are a GP can you please explain exactly what you mean by your phraseology.

bouncingbelle Thu 27-Feb-14 23:56:59

Got a meeting with my senior boss and hr tomorriw to discuss the reasons why I left. Anyone got any helpful hints on how I should handle this???.

MistressDeeCee Fri 28-Feb-14 02:02:57

bouncingbelle did you speak to ACAS about that? & if not, might you be able to call their helpline earlier in the day so they can advise you regarding the interview? Also, I hope you aren't going alone. If no rep is available then do take a friend with you

I really hope McDoodle isnt a GP/health worker. S/he'd be a serious danger to health

Neverland2013 Fri 28-Feb-14 02:14:20

I agree with the above - go to see your GP tomorrow...what you have experienced yesterday was very likely a flight response to stress at work. Once you have some rest, you will be able to decide how you would like to deal with this going forward. Either way, the HR team will need to formally investigate your complaint.

Neverland2013 Fri 28-Feb-14 02:18:14

Have a list of strong examples ready to illustrate why you feel you were being bullied by your boss.

NearTheWindymill Fri 28-Feb-14 08:05:10

Write down the key points that have upset you and note anything that you think other people might have witnessed. Keep it calm and keep it measured and listen to them too. Consider carefully whether you wish to make a formal complaint and go through the grievance procedure but be mindful that unless you can triangulate what has happened (ie colleagues confirming it) this is likely only to fracture relationships further if you intend to return to work.

You can leave and negotiate a good reference, poss settlement agreement
You can raise a grievance but you need to be very clear of the likelihood of a successful outcome for you
You can ask for a transfer to another part of the company
You can carry on as you are and mediation might be a solution

Smoorikins Fri 28-Feb-14 08:19:15

Macdoodle, I don't use my gp very often. But I was in a similar situation the the op. I went to my, and was with her for 45 minutes, and struggled to speak without crying. It took me at lest a year and several more doctor visits (over a period of 3 months) to get back to the person I was.

My GP didnt think I was wasting their time, thankfully. Their support allowed me the time I needed to get better which meant I could continue to support my family (I'm a single parent) and get back to work.

Op, I wish you well. There is light and a positive outcome waiting for you. I am in a different job now, working for an organisation that I really believe in and in a much better environment.

You I'd the right thing.

Xenadog Fri 28-Feb-14 08:39:31

bouncing, if possible, I suggest you take someone in with you to the meeting. There will likely be several people present from your company so it will help even up the balance if you have someone in your corner with you. They would not be permitted to speak but they would certainly be allowed to listen and make notes of everything which is said.

I suggest you have all your grievances written down as well including any dates/times/events that you have previously recorded. Take a bottle of water too (I always suffer from dry mouth syndrome in awkward situations) and be confident that you are doing the right thing.

If you can't take a friend in with (late notice) then request a colleague who is at work at that time. You are entitled to having a friend with you and I promise you it will make you feel better when in the meeting.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Kerosene Fri 28-Feb-14 09:24:28

If your workplace has an affiliated or recognised union, ask if they can send someone in with you to support you. Even if you're not a member, they may be able to help - I do this for my union, and have been into HR meetings with non-members.

If not, see if you can find someone to take in with you - preferably not your DP, but a friend who you know is calm under pressure. It can be quite difficult to do this alone.

Write everything down. A timeline of incidents, key dates, things you want to refer to. You said you'd previously spoken to HR about your manager - do you have a record of what was said previously? Is there an anti-bullying policy, and can you get hold of a copy?

Write down what happened to make you walk out - you want to have your story straight and clear, and since it can be difficult to express yourself when you're (understandably) upset, writing it down in advance will help you get your point across.

Take a bottle of water and some tissues. Call ACAS this morning, they may be able to offer some useful advice.

The aim is to come across as a professional. You were under considerable stress from bullying and so had a bad turn, resulting in severe anxiety and depression. Your GP has signed you off as a short-term interim measure until a better long-term plan can be put in place. It's professional of you to be seeking a constructive long term solution. What outcome do you want - your job back, a different line manager, mediation, a severance agreement and good reference? Do you want to raise a formal grievance against your manager? Is it likely to be successful? Could your office feel that there is some substance to her complaints about you, and can you counter/address them? I don't know what your senior boss or HR are like - do you know if they're likely to be sympathetic, or stone-faced?

Op how did it go?

(At risk of getting it deleted, anyone spotted this threads troll? Lol! what a 'nanna!)

KateSpade Fri 28-Feb-14 09:37:33

op I just wanted to say, I dream of doing what you've done! But with nursery payments & the fact it took me months to get this job I know I shouldn't! Good luck with everything!

redcatblackcat Fri 28-Feb-14 09:39:51

macdoodle - you're clearly mad.

BookFairy Fri 28-Feb-14 09:41:15

bouncing I have much sympathy for you. I've just had time off due to work related stress - nights spent panicking, heart racing, tearful etc.

Please take someone with you to the meeting.

Call Acas for advice. I have found them to be excellent.

Lambzig Fri 28-Feb-14 09:59:27

NeartheWindymill, I am very interested in your replies. You seem to be suggesting that the outcomes are that the OP leaves, moves departments or finds a way to work with the person she says is bullying her.

I am genuinely surprised that allegations like this would not trigger an investigation into an alleged bully. I am sure that if aggressive bullying was uncovered then this would be grounds for dismissal. It seems that the outcomes you suggest leave the bully free to carry on or find another victim if the OP leaves. The solutions seem to be about getting rid of the complainer and only listening to her if she has witnesses.

Please don't think I am making a personal criticism, genuinely interested to know how this works and you sound very experienced in the field.

NightFallsFast Fri 28-Feb-14 10:43:54

I'm also a GP. The responses from the GPs and the HR manager here have been considered and sensible. Although the OP sounds like she's had a terrible time and may benefit psychologically from a short time off work, GPs are seeing several patients a day who are looking for time off work due to stress. Some will have a mental illness and need time off, many will just want their stress 'on the record' or to add weight to their case at work. This amounts to hundreds of thousands of GP appointments per year and is therefore a very significant cost to the NHS.

When completing medical certificates we are meant to specify a medical condition. Work related stress is not a medically recognised condition so ideally should not be used, though acute stress disorder, depression, adjustment reaction etc are all legitimate diagnoses that can be used.

I've just moves to Australia and hardly see anyone (as a GP) with work related stress. I haven't worked out yet whether it's because there is less stress or if it's just dealt with differently.

Feminine Fri 28-Feb-14 12:19:30

op my DH had to go down the route you originally spoke about. The experience was making him very, very ill.

best thing he ever did.

Work had to listen and make sure he was helped when he returned. The co-worker who bullied him stopped.

The GP took it very seriously, and so they should.

Good luck. smile

AchyFox Fri 28-Feb-14 14:07:54

Did your meeting go well ?

macdoodle Fri 28-Feb-14 20:35:49

Redcat? Why ? Because I have an opinion that differs to yours? I am certainly better trained to decide madness or illness than you are.

slowcomputer Fri 28-Feb-14 20:40:25

If you're suggesting that I'm the troll, I have withdrawn as we are clearly never going to agree so I'm happy to respect that I have different opinions from those on the thread, and I didn't want to pull it away from the OPs main points. I'm not a troll!

NearTheWindymill Fri 28-Feb-14 20:46:46

Lambzig after years in the job one understands there three sides to every case: the alleged "bully's" side, the employee's side and the truth.

There are some cut and dried cases, for example, a bully takes a witnessed swing at a member of staff but they are very rare. More often there are two sides, there is often a performance issue, there is often an issue where a member of staff thinks they are above management or requires quite robust management to comply and do the job. There are also some managers who are just horrible and everyone agrees but there isn't enough to make a case stick.

No offence meant to you by that paragraph OP; but I am answering Lambzig - am sure you have had a horrid time.

Unfortunately a member of staff can't go to HR and make complaints and expect a magic wand to be waved. Just because a says x about b that does not prove a case. If allegations are made, the employee needs to raise a grievance because that is what will result in a proper investigation. Even if a formal and thorough investigation takes place it is in most cases inconclusive with comments being made about fault on both sides. The most successful tends to be a collective grievance and those are extremely rare because it is a natural instinct for people to keep their head under the parapet at work.

HR cannot take action on the basis of somebody's word. Someone can come and say something like "he said I was a useless, black bitch just like all the rest". That is anecdotal by the way and I do not under any circumstances support such a statement or mean it to be inflammatory. If that isn't witnessed it't word against word and would never stand up at tribunal - the person being accused would have as much of a case as the accusor.

One can investigate until the cows come home, interview a dozen people, and still there is often no robust evidence. The best that usually happens are recommendations for team building, mediation, professional boundaries training and in the meantime relationships are fractured and enormous amounts of tension prevail for very many staff. I have invited two parties to a meeting before to try to get to the bottom of things and sort things out and asserted what the accusor has said for the accusor to sit in the meeting and say "I never said that"; I have also received written complaints saying terrible things that if they were investigated and triangulated would have resulted in dismissal and have said to the instigator this is dreadful and we must investigate only to be told no; they don't want to be the one to bring it into the open and when I have said the concerns are serious and must be investigated I have been accused of bullying them to raise a grievance yet I am castigated for not taking action. The complaints are then withdrawn.

Unfortunately, although there are exceptions, in my experience the majority of grievances stem from underlying performance issues and if you push aside the veil of the grievance there will be serious capability issues underlying it; sometimes on both sides.

The other issue to be aware of is that there are is a tiny percentage of people, especially at present, who actively engage with litigious behaviour and seem to make it a personal mission to try and bring a case in relation to one or other protected characteristic. That doesn't excuse any discrimination whatsoever but there are some very manipulative folk out there.

I'd love to throw up a few real life examples but they would breach confidentiality and out me.

Interested to note the support of the GP's out there; I often feel they fall hook line and sinker for a "story" but I guess they are in the same position as me on may occasions.

macdoodle Fri 28-Feb-14 20:50:26

I don't, which is why I try not to medicalise this. We see a lot and often it is clear they have been told to "get a sick note to make their case stronger". Some people are obviously unwell but that still doesnt mean it is a "medical problem".

NearTheWindymill Fri 28-Feb-14 20:56:07

This is turning into stethoscopes at dawn grin

footballagain Fri 28-Feb-14 22:14:21

I can see what windymills is saying.

And I say that as an individual who was bullied out of my role. My manager was himself sacked just a month after my employer agreed a settlement with me. I never thought a sick note was the way forward though. I just bloody fought the bastards.

I have (4years later) just about to let go of my shit feelings about it. It pisses me off that the system gets abused, because it does, I've seen both sides and it actually just fucks it up for the most deserving.

Lambzig Sat 01-Mar-14 09:30:22

Windymills, thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my query. I work in a traditional male dominated profession where I am a senior director and I see one particular colleague who I believe systematically bullies his female staff (for example refusing loudly across the office, to let one person leave to pick up her child for nursery at her scheduled time or he would sack her cheap fucking arse - I intervened swiftly - many other examples). I have, along with two of his staff taken this to HR a few times and got told "it's just his way", "it's not a good idea for you to make trouble" and the classic "if they can't hack it, they shouldn't work here". He doesn't bully me, I am just sick of hearing it.

Not that I am comparing your experience with our own surprisingly unqualified HR team for such a large company, but genuinely interested to know how these things are handled.

OP, so sorry for the hijack. I hope you get some good advice and support to get out of this and get a new job where you will be happier.

ShadowOfTheDay Sat 01-Mar-14 09:50:02

I was accused of bullying in a former job.... member of staff was "creative" with his timekeeping record... after the usual written warnings etc he "got signed off" with stress, went to HR and was moved to a better paid position (civil service) - he did this 3 times in total before being sacked.... so I can TOTALLY see where the other side is coming from...

ironically, it caused me to suffer mental health issues since I was convinced there was no smoke without fire, so I MUST have been wrong somehow.... then I found out about the other times and I no longer work there, partly due to the feelings of injustice .....

NearTheWindymill Sat 01-Mar-14 11:50:37

What does his boss think Lambzig? Is there a reputational risk to the firm? If it's a sales environment and he brings in big bucks I imagine he's protected? I left the City mid 90's and retrained because a trading floor and dc wasn't compatible. I earn half what I did then but have an interesting job and a better work life balance. It was tough and I could only have continued with a more than full time nanny and less than driven DH. I do think in those environments, whilst bullying and discrimination are unacceptable, a certain mind set is required and you can cope and rose above it or not. I never had a problem in spite of being a bit girly, but others did and I don't know why.

He can't sack his staff without a proper procedure though and providing they are performing in accirdance with contract they should take no notice. He sounds as if her needs some professional boundaries training because if your company can't evidence that they have taken concerns seriously and if a sex discrimination is brought and evidenced they will be at risk. Only takes one person who wants their moment of glory at tribunal who refuses a settlement agreement for it.

Good luck - hope that helps.

Lambzig Sat 01-Mar-14 21:59:07

Thank you Windymill. Boss went to school with him thinks and I quote "he is a bit of a wanker, but he is all right". I think they are wide open for a claim.

Without wishing to out myself, despite being FTSE 350, the head of HR is also the CEO's PA, so it's not taken terribly seriously as a function. I am one of the few women over 30 who have stayed there. At the moment I have my reasons, but not forever.

NearTheWindymill Sat 01-Mar-14 22:29:38

Good luck. I'm a dear old thing in my 50s now with over a 1000 staff to care for (and I mean that) and some business objectives to be mindful of (I mean that too) in the public(ish) sector. Sometimes I think I should go somewhere more corporate and earn real money again but I like sleeping at night and a 7 minute commute even more.

Your CEO's PA should be more mindful - the people you meet on the way up are the same people making decisions about you when you are on the way down.

All the best.

GinUtero Sun 02-Mar-14 01:30:10

The stress you describe takes me back to 2010 when I walked out of my job after my bullying boss over stepped the mark yet again. I was adamant that I was going to resign, but my family convinced me to go to the doctor and get signed off. I hadn't so much as had a day off work sick in the previous 5 years and was worried about approaching the doctor, but I'm glad I took their advice as looking back, I don't think I realised what a nervous wreck I was - the doctor took one look at me and signed me off with anxiety.

In the end I was signed off on full pay for several months while I underwent counselling and pursued a grievance through HR against my manager. He was moved to another department and I returned to work.

I have since learned that my manager had been moved three times before the incident with me due the grief he gave other members of staff. While I feel awful for them, it's reassuring to know it wasn't just me who couldn't cope with him.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 02-Mar-14 01:40:58

I kind of did this once. It became rather horrible, then very horrible I stood my ground and they paid me ££££££

Leaving was the best thing I ever, ever did.
Shower

Good luck OP

NewtRipley Sun 02-Mar-14 06:07:45

macdoodle

You are a GP and you've used the term "madness"? Lawks

Can you diagnose over the internet?

Surely better that the OP visits someone who can diagnose her (or not) face to face

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Sun 02-Mar-14 06:48:21

Really is this the place for this discussion to take place? This is a thread started by a valuable op and the last thing she needs is gp's discussing why people in her situation shouldn't be wasting their time. Hope your real life bedside manner is much better than this.

Op just be honest with them, you've documented it with them all long which will help. Update then on any new developments and just tell the truth, you had no option but to remove yourself. Glad your gp is supportive.

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