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Difficult boss(20 Posts)
I have been employed now for two years this coming Feb.
I have been promoted August which was great. However I have an extremely difficult boss to look after (I am a secretary) and he doesn't 'follow procedures' especially when making a note of his times - this leads to a major major task which takes me absolute hours and puts me behind other tasks for the other people I also support.
He see's himself far more important and because he cannot be bothered to do things how he should (and how every other person does it in his position)
He has now asked me again to start the same mammouth task going over old ground which is a total waste of time from my perspective.
Every other person in the firm in his position does not ask their secretary to do this.
Anything I can do/say.
I have spoken to my manager as the last time I was reduced to tears of frustration as he kept changing what he wanted done.
I don't really understand what you are saying. Why is he not following procedure? Do you just work for him or several people at once? If so, where is he in the pecking order?
The best PAs are the ones who manage their boss. Are you thinking ahead, telling him he needs to work on XYZ because the deadline is Tuesday? A lot of the job involves cattle prodding people to get things done. You need to be an old nag!
If you're talking about putting together something like a monthly report for him then I would take the bull by the horns and pull out a copy of the last one well in advance of the deadline. Sit down with him and ask him what needs changing and where that information is coming from and pull it together yourself. He can edit it or whatever he wants to do but you will be ahead without having to rush around like a blue arsed fly because he hasn't forgotten to do anything about it.
I'm guessing OP that he's a lawyer who is asking you to do his timesheets for him? If so, it's his responsibilty to ensure that the info he gives you is accurate and clear. It's a fraud on the clients and the firm if you're being asked to reconstruct the hours using your own judgment.
One approach might be to make him a blank table which you print out each day for him to fill in as he goes along. Give it to him with an explanation that the job as he is currently making you do it is taking up too much time and you're worried about accuracy.
Another approach would be to set up a confidential meeting with your firm's compliance officer or managing partner and explain your worries. If they are any good they should be able to find a way to challenge him without it being obvious that the concern was raised by you.
I'd also suggest that you look around for a new job and in your exit interview tell HR exactly why you could not continue.
He is a partner in the firm.
For the entire time I have been here I have to make up his hours. He then would go over them and swap hours between clients to make it look more believable.
It is now because the firm is really trying to get all the partners to enter their time correctly and accurately they now have to do it daily. He still doesn't as he says he has 'millions of clients' - He doesn't - he works on between 3 - 6 at one time and delegates a lot of work. - I still have to make the hours up up and he wants to be 'two weeks ahead' - how can he know what he will be working on two weeks ahead?!
I have raised this issue with my manager and will do so again and put it in writing. I just know that this wont make me very popular (with him) as he is known as being 'slippery'
I am looking for other work at the moment - although I do enjoy my job - just not the part where I look after him. Every other area is fine - some days he is great - most days he is aggressive and swears at me and is patronizing.
I don't want to talk my way out of my job - or make it hard for myself but at the same time - He needs to do his job properly to be able to make me do mine properly. That is what I am struggling with.
If I speak to him about it - he will tell me to f8ck off and deal with it - he doesn't care.
Have just raised this issue again with my manager who has said she will raise it with her partner who will speak to him.
I have no problem doing any tasks that is set for me - plus the other tasks I take on which aren't in my remit - I do because I am helpful.
But this causes me a great deal of stress and upset because I feel I am having the mickey taken out of me because I wont say no - do it properly. I fear that I wont have the backing of the company if I was to complain.
I guess I will have to wait until the shit hits the fan and he asks why haven't I got all the information ready for him to go through it and make changes and make up time - to tell him I am not prepared to do it that way anymore.
I actually fear I will lose my job over this.
Witsend the firm will be horrified that he is asking a secretary to make up his time for him. That is fraud, pure and simple and the firm could be in serious trouble with the SRA if found out. If the partner who speaks to him about it doesn't achieve any changes then you should speak to your compliance officer as the second partner will be complicit. Also speak to HR as he sounds like a deeply unprofessional wanker.
Thank you so much for your reply. I will await to see what the other partner does. I feel like simply refusing to make up anymore time. I don't want this to come across as I am refusing to work - but I feel that I am helping the problem by shutting up and putting up rather than getting it sorted.
I want to email him so it's on record that I am unhappy doing this - but by doing that - all hell will brake loose.
Your last sentence sums him up 100%.
Just so you know - I work for an accountancy not law firm. x
Pretty sure accountants have similar profesional obligations to lawyers for this sort of stuff. No manager or partner can in any conscience allow you to suffer for exposing this as long as you do it the right way. if they do, sue for constructive dismissal.
I had this or similar via expenses. I worked at a bank and realised a banker was taking extra days on trips to take away his girlfriend. Using preferential rates, bonus cards etc etc. not so bad at first, It took me months to actually notice, just trip extensions. Then I discovered trips to clients were being made up. It got nasty but I could prove escalation and his orders to me via email.
Keep copies of notes. Keep a diary of treatment and examples, witnesses. Mention to boss and hr and ask for update once they meet or do what they do. This is about behaviour unprofessional which is HIS managers issue and compliance etc. not yours to correct. You just ensure now you follow correct process at your level. Don't gossip.
I can recommend a law firm if you want advice that I've used several times in London. Pm me if you wish. Good luck. Chin up. It will work out ok.
Thank you both. I am seriously stressing out over this I always have. What pisses me off more is that when I was off two weeks sick he emailed his time to his buddy secretary - so he can do it for them - just not for me!
What also doesn't help is that each time I try and stick up for myself he always digs me down and out. He is clever and will make my life hell.
I will wait for any outcome from once again telling my manager and let her partner do what he needs to do.
I think I need to not complete what he has asked me to as it contradicts my actions?
I am worried and not sure what to do for the best. Should I tell my manager I am not going to complete the task he has asked me to. I really don't know what to do.
Probably better to continue doing it until it is raised with him by someone else. The point of this is that you have it dealt with through the proper channels rather than downing tools. However if the action is not taken quickly then put pressure on the manager by reminding her that this is inolerable for you and if she doesn't force the issue, go above her to HR.
You haven't commented on my suggestion re compliance. They really should help you knowï¼and should have procedures in place to protect whistleblowers.
Sorry Jessie! I only want to go to compliance once the partner has had 'another chat' with my partner about his time sheets and the accuracy, apparently he has spoken to him about it all before and my partner 'knows what he is doing' - obviously not as it's still carrying on.
Our compliance is good and it does state on our intranet that there are procedures in place.
I generally am not trusting against the 'corporate machine' and I am fearful to take this further.
Should I go to compliance anyway or wait?
I have made my feelings clear to my manager that I am not happy to do this - I will collate the information he has asked for but I am no longer going to enter fake time for him.
I don't understand why this is such a problem for him to do - every other partner does it with no problems!
This is more serious than just a lazy boss. You could consider whistleblowing through the anonymous telephone line. You cannot be discriminated against if you do so.
Another day of stress and worry. Am calling job agencies but not getting much luck. They can probably sense my unease.
I'd suggest you go to compliance. Clearly your manager is letting you down by not taking this seriously enough. they WILL understand that you are concerned about the effect on your job but they will also have procedures and responsibilities to you. Believe me, people in compliance are not the types to play games. Don't put it off any longer.
Oh and by the way you need to blow the whistle to protect yourself from any allegations that you were complicit in the defrauding of clients.
I anonymously emailed compliance yesterday. They said it can take between 5-6 days for the issue to be investigated.
Further today I have been reduced to tears by him. I now have to go to HR for bullying. Currently sat in the toilets crying and trying to look half decent to go back to my desk. I am a nervous wreck. I have told my manager what happened. He shouted and swore at me and was being aggressive as usual. Any help would be really appreciated. X
You don't say what your manager said about this. If you are reduced to tears then clearly immediate action was required. But you are going to HR so was that set up by the manager?
Are there witnesses to the shouting and swearing? Do HR know he is shouting and swearing at you? Can you phone HR, leave the line open and say that you're not prepared to do XX and see if he swears at you?
Are you, personally, FCA registered or similar? Think of your own reputation also.
update - I have been moved by my manager and I no longer work directly for it. I still work for the team - who have been cold - quite offish with me - usually when I see them in the mornings we chat have a tea, now it's barely a slight sniff when I hand out post. This morning as ex b0ss was walking down the office he saw me and turnt his back and walked back to where he had walked from.
No - he wouldn't be too stupid for anyone else to hear how he spoke to me. I was one step away from taking my phone in his office to record it all. Wish I had.
His new secretaries are asking him to bring in his company credit card statements so they can check expenses and mobile invoices - which I might add are all up to date - I can only expense back what I have been given after all.
Still continuing the search for something new.
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