I am being forced out of my job and shafted by my boss/friend. Advice needed please

(20 Posts)
MrsGazebo Sun 28-Mar-10 16:58:36

Long one sorry.

Bear with me.
I have worked for this Company for 5.5 yrs and have always felt great love and passion for the values and product we provide not to mention my actual job it's self.

The Branch in which I work is not doing particularly well, turnover wise and I was told in an informal chat with my Manager/friend that we had 12 weeks to make some changes.

In a nut shell I had an informal chat with 2 Regional Managers on Thur and was informed that I was on a Capability Procedure and was being Performanced Managed and had been for at least 6 weeks.

I knew nothing about this and have not seen/been given any objectives or had any meetings.

I have also been told within the week I will expected to step up in my position and go to manage another site until they can find somebody sutible.
Possibly 8-12 weeks.
They have no-one else.

I will not be paid for managing it as I am on a Performance Issue.
I am capable of doing this job as I've done it before, as they well know.

What gets me is that when I pointed out I had no idea about the Capability issue or even knew there was one it was brushed over and they said they'd speak to my Manager/friend.
Also if I'm so incompetant why am I being relied upon to run another branch?

They did speak to her, afterwards she walked out on an agreed 3 month sabatical, handing me her keys on the way.
Just like that!
She's diabetic and got divorced 18 months ago.
She said that she "couldn't cope" and went.

I later found out from another Manager that I (and my "capability issues") had been discussed with her and she had seen and advised on the objectives my Manager had written for me.
She had also informed the other Manager that she knew my job was in jepordy over this.

As I have said, this woman was also a friend who I'd known before working together.
We have worked together for 2 yrs seeing each other socially alot (I stayed with her at her house when her DH left) and I thought we had a good relationship.

I am not asking for sympathy or making excuses but I haven't exactly been in a good place myself recently.
I have had 6 Miscarriges. 3 in the last 18 months, 1 being a molar Pregnacy of which I am still receiving treatment for.
I informed the Regional Managers of this, to which I was given the Companies counselling number.

I still go in, smile all day and do my job.
Yes, I have been low ocassionally but we don't perform brain sugery and nothing has ever been said about my performance.

I feel like my name has been sullied and I am being judged on untrue objectives that I was not even aware of.

Dare I say that them knowing my history and the very likely possibility I'll be going off for Maternity in the next year coupled with the fact our branch is not doing so well that I feel like I'm being pushed out.

I loved my job, still do to be honest.
I am very good at it.

I feel betrayed and let down by the company I once held in such high esteem.
Not to mention my "friend"

I am hoping someone could advise me on what to say and should I fight them or leave risking delaying my much wanted pregnancy.
The maternity package is decent(ish)

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

MrsSantos Sun 28-Mar-10 17:08:27

God that sounds rough. Have no advice but bumping for you to get some.

Good luck smile

fluffles Sun 28-Mar-10 17:14:42

i don't think you've necessarily been shafted by your boss/friend. i think she's been put between a rock and a hard place and has found it so hard she's had to give up and go on sabbatical!

you can't possibly be being 'performance managed' if you don't know about it!

now that the boss/friend has gone you should have a direct line to the next person in the chain. Use that to get a clear steer on whether or not your performance is satisfactory - offering promotion (albeit temporary) to someone underperforming in their current role does not make sense.

MrsGazebo Sun 28-Mar-10 17:43:14

Thanks for your advice fluffles smile
I don't understand it either.
I can't help getting the feeling I'm being used.
The next person in line is one of these RM's.
He's the person who is "promting" me. confused

It boils down to money I suppose.

I bloody need would like a sabatical but wouldn't dream of leaving my colleagues in the proverbial and also cannot afford it.
Being her friend I know that she (recently) can. hmm

MrsGazebo Sun 28-Mar-10 17:44:29

promoting even.

StillSquiffy Sun 28-Mar-10 19:27:10

You need to separate the fact that your boss/mate is a numpty and leave it at that. She can't cope - her problem.

What you have to deal with is current situation and break it down:-

1) Point out that meetings that they think happened haven't happened and that you are NOT currently on a performance plan. If they refuse to accept this then put in a formal grievance to HR that they have not followed procedure and have put you on a plan without notice.
2) Ask them if they are intending to put you on a performance plan. If they say yes ask them for grounds and then discuss those grounds (following whatever HR procedure they have for this).
3) Ask them if the performance plan is in respect of the job you currently do, or the manager job they are asking you to do. If it is the former then you need to put in a grievance in writing that you are unable to comply with a performance plan because you have been removed from the role to which it applies and it must therefore be withdrawn or frozen. If it is the latter put in a grievance that you have been put on a performance plan for a role you don't actually do and therefore it will need to be withdrawn.

Sounds as if the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing more than some kind of conspiracy. And also sounds as if your boss/mate has tried to pin all the blame for the problems in the branch on you as an excuse to avoid facing the music, but it has blown up in her face because they have then escalated her 'reasons' without actually questioning if she has been telling them the truth, resulting in their suggesting a performance plan and her realising it has all gone haywire and walking out. But that's between them and her, and you need to basically extract yourself from it and leave them to deal with it.

TBH, I don't think that your mc experience has anything to do with it (sympathies by the way, I had 7 mc's and know what it's like to go through); it is just your boss's fabrications sending your company down the wrong road and needs pointing out to them. And it's hardly surprising that she had them fooled - she had you fooled as well.

As for your boss/mate; she has effectively self-destructed and has no career left. Probably went into more of a meltdown than anyone realised when her DH left. Am sure whatever she did wasn't actually personal.

Speak to your union first. And start documenting every conversation and incident.

The second thing I would do is put everything down in a letter to your line manager's line manager. Keep the letter friendly and with specific questions but not accusing (you don't want to burn your bridges).

I think you'll find they will blame the departed manager and the performance management "plan" will be scrapped.

It is quite usual for management to discuss team members together so I wouldn't be upset that another manager knows about any performance issues but I would be very, very upset that I didn't know.

If you're being asked to do a more senior role then you need to ask for a secondment and acting up allowance. If they won't give you one then don't do it.

MrsGazebo Sun 28-Mar-10 22:17:55

StillSquiffy thank you so much for your help, blimey you're good. grin
I will definitely mention that I wasn't aware and actually had no idea of the situation and therefore now need these objectives.
I will also speak to HR.

I'm good at my job, I made the money, she handled the operational side.
It made sense, played to our strenghts and I was never actually directed to take any other role.

Yeah, I'll admit I am feeling a little paraniod and kind of can't help taking most of it personally, there was a previous instance when she screwed me over once before but not worth going into.
I forgave, accepted and had to forget as we worked so closely together.
That's why she had me fooled, I never thought she'd do it again.

As you said that's for them to sort out and I agree, but I can't help thinking, as you pointed out, they are incompetent in their role as her Manager or the fact is they just simply want me out, as I'll cost them for iminate maternity.
Either which is not the business I loved and was proud to be a part of.

I feel so bloody sad and knew I wasn't going to be there for 20 odd years but would've liked to look back fondly.

MrsGazebo Sun 28-Mar-10 22:38:17

Cross posts JAMM
Thanks for the help too. smile
My head is just throbbing with what's going to happen.
Will document everything,good advice.
Managers Line Manager is Twunt that is happy to use me, instigated all this, but has told me I'm not competent.

We are a very close Region and I have a closer relationship with the other Manager than she does.
She was shocked that I didn't know and thought with conversations that we'd had "asking how things were?" I was embarrassed and didn't want to discuss it.

They won't give me a secondment as I'm not capable and they really only want a stop gap until the find someone sutible
If I refuse to help move they'll sack me.

I'm hoping you all believe me as it sounds unreal to me!

You're in banking right? There may be a problem with the local management but HR usually have the right policies somewhere.

What you must do is follow the process. Even if no-one else is.

And that means going to your line manager, and if you don't have a line manager or the problem is with them, going to their line manager. I would also cc HR just so someone else is looking at the process.

If you're being performance managed the first thing you should ask for is the paperwork. And there won't be any. Or if there is you won't have signed it.

That said everyone should be performance managed, whether over or underperforming.

If you're in banking there will be a union. Join it and speak to them.

MrsGazebo Sun 28-Mar-10 23:26:23

I'm not in banking JAMM it's the fabulous world of Retail.

Really trying not to sound arsey but I'm gutted about this and I usually can't hide how I feel (apart from with RM's)so I'm being honest.
I can't stand the RM who is her LM.
In truth I can't actually abide his Manager either,I'm not quite a wall flower but they intimidate me, so it looks like I need to go straight to HR.
The structure of the Company has changed. The values and ethics have all but disappeared.

They have Performanced managed
(then sacked)/demoted out 5 people in our Region in the last year.

There is paperwork.confusedand I've not seen it/signed it, no.

I have done appraisals and know that there shouldn't be any suprises for anyone.
Everyone should know where they stand, as you said JAMM good or bad.

Do you think I should go into this new branch without prompting the RM for objectives and wait until he remembers to do it or refuse to go in until we've met and gone through them?

StillSquiffy Sun 28-Mar-10 23:39:01

Performance managing per se is good - it sets out formal procedures and gets everyone focused and keeps things visible which means no surprises. So don't worry about that - IME the companies that have PIPs are the ones that only get rid of the truly bad people and don't just fire people on a whim.

Don't ignore it though - you need to go in and deal with this straight away. Now you have an inkling you need to expose the whole thing, get it stopped and get back to normal. Hoping it will go away will backfire. Deal with it and you will clear the air.

MrsGazebo Sun 28-Mar-10 23:50:47

You lot are wonderful, thanks.

SS Appraisals are good, objectives are good,but in my company PIP is prior to last resort?

StillSquiffy Mon 29-Mar-10 10:38:43

Yes - to be put on a PIP is of course a prelude to being shown the door but it means they do things by the book too (Most companies will just find a trumped up reason for dismissal/redundancy without going down this route if they want to get rid of staff). So if you've been messed around they will probably backtrack pretty quickly - you've been put on this without your knowedge, consent, and for no good reason. They've plenty there to make them act pretty quickly to unravel this. If not then you need ot raise a grievance straight away.

MrsGazebo Mon 29-Mar-10 14:31:23

SS thanks again for the help.
I'm in work now and have spoken to HR and my RM.
At least I'm feeling like I've done something constructive to get to the bottom of this.

Manager has decided she didn't need 3 months off after all and is apparently coming back at the weekend??
I just don't know what to say to her as she bare faced lied to me about what was happening.

MrsGazebo Thu 01-Apr-10 10:41:58

I just want to thank Fluffles, StillSquiffy and JAMM for all your advice.

I spoke to HR on your advice and they contacted the RM's in question.

To be honest I still don't feel like much has been resolved.

The PIP has been withdrawn and I've been told that I will be "supported" in my temporary promotion.

They have to say that though now.
I'm still not going to be paid a secondment.

I still have not received any objectives and in a telephone conversation with my RM I was told that one of the issues was that he wasn't happy with the "way I came across" in visits from higher management.
I can't help but feel that he wasn't being very constructive in his criticism.
I explained that I've felt intimidated and I've been having a hard time personally which I have had no support for.

I don't like the way he comes across to be honest.

The manager who I'm replacing ,he successfully performanced manged out, then turned up with flowers and a card wishing her luck and asked her not to bear grudges.

I could go on but I am trying to keep a professional attitude and detach emotion.

Oh and by the way I looked down the union route too as I felt that HR took note then passed the issue back to the people I have grievance with, without getting back to me.

My company is opposed to trade unions so I have to comply with procedures completely controlled by the company.

I'm just going to have to keep my head down and make my face fit until I can find another job or wait it out for maternity.

To be honest MrsG that all sounds about right. HR are there to advise and support. Management are there to do that. Manage.

I would look at your temporary position in one of two ways:

1. An exciting opportunity and chance to prove yourself.

2. A piss-take. In which case you can decline to do it.

There is nothing to stop you joining a union, even if your company does not choose to consult with one. They can be invaluable when it comes to providing you with support.

From what you've said it sounds like local management are a bit crap. That is not unusal although it is frustrating. You have probably pissed off the RM by going to HR and showing up his inadequacies.

Are you being asked to manage the other site (ie do one-to-ones with staff, performance management etc) or open up and keep the place running? If it's the latter you are doing a really valuable role for them, but you're not managing the branch. You could reasonably ask for your travel expenses in that case. If you are being asked to manage the branch you should be given proper training and support and an acting-up allowance.

FWIW I think there is one really important thing to consider. You said in your first post that you "have always felt great love and passion for the values and product we provide not to mention my actual job it's self". This is not something to be chucked away lightly. Perhaps you need to mend fences and get your head down and show them what you can do?

And don't forget you have got rid of the PIP (hooray!) because it was meaningless and you still have your opportunity to show what you are made of. What you do next is up to you.

Best of luck smile

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 01-Apr-10 16:01:14

Agree with everything else said( ithought you were in banking too lol), when you speak to the rm re his comment about how you come across ask him to be specfic. Remeber SMART objectives and ask him to set you one re this area of improvement wink

MrsGazebo Sat 10-Apr-10 13:24:52

Had a few "meetings" and I won't bore you with the details but they seem to have listened and we have agreed a 3 month period where I'll be given proper support, feedback, objectives and coaching.

I feel happier, more positive and less used.

I do know one thing , if I do choose to change careers, I won't be going into Banking! grin

Thanks again for the advice.

That's good news. It's not all bad in banking. Apparently.

grin

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