Nightmare Boss...(12 Posts)
I'm a semi-regular of no great fame bit I've name changed for this for fear of outing me or the organisation.
I'm a manager in a medium sized vol org working with kids. My immediate line manager has always been difficult - v single minded, little room for negotiation and v interested in the minutiae of team management. I've worked with her for about 7 years and have found a way of working which, on reflection, is pretty much based on me not stepping too far out of line. I'm considered one of the strongest mangers in my peer group, in an organisation where career progression is largely achieved through secondment she has routinely blocked me taking on work that would develop my career and said quite openly that if I wanted progression I should look for a new job.
My peer group would say she's threatened by me and I could bore you with examples that do point to this. I've recently been asked by senior management to take over a project which she has been loosely responsible for but that they feel needs more attention than she can give. She reacted v badly to this and I have approached her line manager, our divisional director, and raised concerns about her behaviour which, aside from the impact on me, is undermining the work I need to do. The response I got from the divisional director could not have been better but she's on leave this week having called my boss to a meeting next week. I'm in the position where my boss knows I've raised concerns, isn't sure what they are but must have an awareness that her behaviour has been outrageous.
This week my boss has basically stopped speaking me (understandably) and has criticised everything I've done that has come near her. I mean truly ridiculous stuff where she's assumed against all evidence that I've handled situations badly. She's also made a veiled threat about my staffing levels making reference to me going above her head. I'm managing this ok and will pass it up the line in due course, I'm also out of
the office for the next week so I won't have direct contact which will be easier.
So, sorry for the long intro and if you're still reading, my concern is, I am due to have my annual appraisal next week with says boss which, depending on how she's responded to her boss will either be before or just after she knows the issues I've taken. Can I refuse the meet for appraisal until this issue is resolved and if lot how do I prevent her giving me an unfair assessment?
Keep a diary of everything that's happened. Go to your review as normal but if you disagree with her assessment refuse to sign up to it or appeal. Ultimately her being petty and victimising you only strengthens your case. Good luck!
Your thread reads like you are handling this awkward situation in a very professional manner and you need to continue this through to your review.
As Hermi has said you don't have to sign it if you don't agree with it and it is then down to her skills and abilities to manage it.
An unfair review ontop of everything else will only strengthen your case.
Thanks for your replies, I've been keeping a diary/log for the past month or so, keeping emails that are inappropriate or overly critical etc. I've raised the issues informally at the moment but will follow through more formally if I need to. I've got good support from trusted members of my peer group and the organisations EAP but am really struggling with her behaviour.
I can see the value of going through with the appraisal and dealing with it if its unfavourable - there would be no reason for her to appraise me poorly as I've met all performance measures and am known for setting high standard. I had hoped to avoid what will be a fairly uncomfortable meeting and the resultant fall out but I guess it just goes with the territory!
Keep a meticulous diary.
It is NOT understandable for her to not speak to you: this is extraordinarily unprofessional and immature, and paints her in a very bad light indeed.
It would entirely reasonable for you to request that your appraisal is delayed until the issues you've raised have been dealt with; or, request that you are accompanied for it to avoid being shut in a room with her alone!
Just to add- annual appraisal should be about your last 12 months and not focus on a recent issue/perceived disciplinary matter. If she tries to go down that route you would be within your rights to ask for a separate meeting to discuss the issues, with a representative should you feel that is necessary.
She sounds very insecure and controlling. Hope it goes okay.
Thanks everyobe. She is both very insecure and really always has been. I know the appraisal should be about the last 12 months and my performance is very strong. Given she's struggling to manage her behaviour around me at the moment and has basically tried to pick fights and misinterpret/misrepresent issues that have crept up this week - the usual stuff that comes with our line of work, I don't have confidence she will be able to manage herself professionally in what will most likely be our first 1:1 since I've raised issues.
Our divisional director is back from leave next week, I may have a chat with her and see what she thinks as she'll have a good sense of my manager's state of mind.
And yes, I've kept a very clear log of issues as avd when they've arisen - so important but also helpful to get things out of my head and onto paper.
Good on you Furfecksake , I had a very controlling boss for 13 years , thank god she retired recently, your post reads very similar to the position I was in and she was a control freak and blocked alot of work that came my way , she was a bully and everyone was scared of her, and I mean everyone, so you keep going and dont let her tatics get you down , hold your head high you are obvouisly very good at your job , please dont let her hold you bakc she is not worth it , because my boss was just like that it was all about her at the end of the day, good luck .
Thanks Amberz, it's a nightmare working for someone who is so insecure - I've had a hellish couple of weeks, my appraisal was a complete joke really - no feedback from her whatsoever but I just wanted out with my dignity intact. Our divisional director knows that's happening and is working to try and stop it but Nightmare Boss is saying I'm the proble, she has no issues with anyone else and it must be because I'm failing in my role.
In the meantime she's just completely discredited a piece of work I've been focused on for the past year, very publicly and in a setting where I can't defend myself or my work. I am keeping on and will continue to argue my case but seriously, it's so stressful.
Hang in there!!,sorry it is so bad for you at them moment , can you speak to anyone else lie HR?? to help your situation. hugs to you and good luck with more positive developments for you.
This sounds pretty unacceptable, even given the support you say you're getting. I hope someone who knows more than me will post, but isn't this called bullying?
It is bullying behaviour yes, and I'd be lying if I said its not really knocked my confidence. In saying that I'd rather try and resolve things informally if at all possible and have a number of options open to me to try that first of all. If need be I'll raise a formal grievance but we're not there yet - I'd rather try to work with the director to address things than involve HR at this stage knowing that working with her won't preclude more formal process if need be.
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