Please help me deal with this (long)

(10 Posts)

Okay. Here goes.

I have worked in my current role for six years, having spent seven years working in the sector elsewhere. I am highly qualified and am relatively senior. I was the first 'new' person appointed at any level for years (internal promotions had happened almost by default) and no-one new has been appointed since so I am still the new girl. In these 6 years I have gone p-t and had one 8 mo mat leave. This is all relevant.

One colleague (been there longer than me but a lower grade) decided during my first week that I was incompetent. Let's call her T. At every opportunity she has criticised not in a constructive manner, always in front of others and has what she picks on is crazy: I used a split infinitive once and she pulled me up on it. It's laughable but she is very unpleasant with it.

In 2010 I had my dc2. T went for my cover but was not appointed. Her campaign intensified and she got into the habit of e-mailing me with 'urgent' things when I am going home, as in, she sees me with me coat on. I should say that I have been part-time for 5 years and T is under the impression that I am expected to work on my day off: this is not the case at all. She also informed me that I was contractually obliged to deal with messages on my days off. Again not true!

Eighteen months ago we had a major restructure and I find myself in a more senior position. I am not paid a penny extra and I am relishing the opportunity to gain this experience. My manager is being very supportive - almost taking on a mentoring role.

T is being awful. Just awful. She has decided that I should not be in the position I am in because I don't know about one tiny thing. True, but nothing a five minute conversation would resolve. She refuses to do anything, but instead blames me for everything that goes wrong. She has responsibility for one particular area where she truly is an expert, but has decided it should all come down to me. She is rude in meetings - finger pointing, aggressive language - and sends urgent messages to me on my days off, then follows up with another message asking why I haven't done what she passed to me!

All this has been witnessed but so far my manager hasn't done anything because I can to a point defend myself and don't tend to put up with it. But I cannot cope anymore. I do not deserve it. I am trying to find a new job but that job hasn't materialised yet. Resigning is not an option and the bottom line is why should I!

I don't know what to do.

kimlo Sat 08-Mar-14 11:35:24

since your boss knows snd is not doing anything keep a diary including printing off any emails then put in a grievance.

she sound awful.

flowery Sat 08-Mar-14 12:20:35

Have you had a conversation with T? Sounds like you are more senior than her and while you may not be her direct line manager this is certainly something you should be entitle to tackle with her yourself.

Assuming you've done that, you mention that your manager hasn't done anything yet. Have you actually asked them to, or discussed strategies for dealing with it yourself with them?

You of course have the right to put in a grievance, but truthfully, highly qualified senior people shouldn't need a grievance to address behaviour/attitude problems in junior staff. Putting in a grievance sends a signal that you can't manage junior staff yourself and will not increase her respect for you.

Thanks. I don't want to go down the route of grievance at all. I have asked my manager on how best to deal with her ("Do not respond" was the suggestion) and he asked me what he would like him to say to her.

Slapperati Sat 08-Mar-14 14:49:11

She is harassing you. You need to log all incidents as dispassionately as possible. Check your 'bullying and harassment at work' policy. Go to your GP and talk about bullying-induced stress.

Go back to your boss and explain very clearly the implications of stress-related sick leave, constructive dismissal and employment tribunals.

T sounds vile.

I don't want signing off and I certainly do not need to go about talking tribunals: as flowery intimated, that won't send a good message. But I should read the policy. We do have one and I hadn't thought of that.

Slapperati Sat 08-Mar-14 18:01:31

I hope you find a resolution. You have been bullied for 7 years, don't minimise T's behaviour for fear of being seen as weak.

BrownSauceSandwich Sun 09-Mar-14 09:03:30

There should be no need to talk about greivances, tribunals or constructive dismissal: those are avenues for when everything else has been tried and failed. But you are going to need to be a bit firmer yourself, and by the sounds of things, your manager is ready to support you.

Yes, read your Bullying & Harassment policy, or if you don't have one, look at ACAS's information on it:

Now email your manager, tell him in no uncertain terms that this woman's behaviour is unbearable. Tell him you believe it amounts to harassment. Refer to your company policy, or send him the link to the ACAS guidance. Tell him that you're considering leaving a job you love, at a moment you should be enjoying it more than ever, because of one person's behaviour. Don't back off, or accept a "let's see how it goes". If things don't get resolved after that, then it is time to consider the last resorts -frankly, your employer would deserve it. And you ought to be open minded to them if the only alternative is to give up on all that you've worked for.

So. I have spoken at length with my manager, and I think we have a plan of action. I certainly feel better about the situation!

Thanks to all those who replied to my woe-is-me ramblings!

Slapperati Mon 10-Mar-14 15:55:11

smile that's what we're here for. Glad you are happier.

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