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WIBU to write a letter of complaint...?

(9 Posts)
OverweightandUnderpaid Fri 29-Jul-11 10:05:22

I have never written a letter of complaint before - i tend to let most things wash over me - but for the past week or so i have been considering sending a 'damning' letter of complaint. I have actually drafted one, but am unsure about sending it incase it smacks of 'soor grapes'. It isn't by the way - or, at least, i don't think it is...But then, i would say that.

Anyway, the background is that a couple of weeks ago i was telephoned by the director of a company and invited for an interview. I had initially sent my application form off to them. No where in my application did i mention the fact i was on maternity leave, but when the director asked what hours i was working at the moment (to arrange the interview around me) i told him about the mat leave. The interview was for the position of home manager at a residential home for adults with learning disabilities. I was to be interviewed by him and another home manager.

The initial interview was postponed as the director was off sick (fair enough) and when i arrived at the rearranged date it was to discover that he was still off sick and i was to be interviewed by the home manager and an admin assistant. I was a bit 'hmmm' as generally you're interviewed by people with a background in social care etc because of the responsibility of the job, but anyway...

The interview was like none i'd ever had before. And i've been interviewed many times before, and also been the interviewer. It was almost like an 'informal chat'. I was asked nothing about my skills, experiences, knowledge. There were no competency questions. I was asked for my strengths and weaknesses but that was it. However, the first question i was asked was about being on maternity leave (so the director must have made a note on my file after our telephone conversation). I was asked how old my child was, and whether i had childcare sorted for her. I was shock and i know they're not allowed to ask that, so i decided there and then i didn't want the job anyway and i wish now that i had walked out or said something, but instead i sat there a bit hmm but allowed them to continue.

My second issue of complaint is that the home manager said they had been in 2 minds about my application because they'd thought i was too young! She asked me to confirm my age - 31! - and then told me how i would be managing people a lot older than me and how they might not like it. I informed her that i had been home manager for a number of years and had managed people of various ages with no problems. Or, at least, no problems caused by me 'being too young'.

There were a few other things, mainly around just how unprofessional the whole interview was, but the 2 issues above are my main gripes. Needless to say, i didn't get the job, and didn't even have the courtesy of a phone call or letter to say i had been unsuccesful.

The letter i have drafted is around how how i feel i was blatantly discriminated against - it wasn't even subtle ffs! - and the fact that the interview content was shit, and how can you employ someone for such a responsible job based on a crappy interview like that? I've mentioned in the letter that i have concerns that if that is how they interview for managers then what is their interview process like for support workers? It seemed to be very much a popularity interview and if my face had fitted then i would have gotten the job. I also mentioned that given the lack of structure and questions how could they be sure that they were meeting CQC requirements for managers, and that i would be informing CQC of this. I feel the CQC part may be a damning too far!

So, WIBU to complain? WIBU unreasonable to copy CQC into the letter? For the record, i actually now have a new job, and if i had been offered that job there's no way in hell i would have taken it.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 29-Jul-11 10:07:35

It all sounds rather awful. I would write to the necessary people to raise your concerns rather than a complaint as such.

joric Fri 29-Jul-11 10:09:54

Yes complain, not to the home itself but to the people who (are supposed to) regulate the whole system.

joric Fri 29-Jul-11 10:10:54

As theoriginal says 'raise concerns' not 'complain'

worraliberty Fri 29-Jul-11 10:11:38

I'd write it because I'm sure the Director who was off sick would be grateful to know that the staff need training in that area.

They should at the very least have done a safe guarding when interviewing course.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 29-Jul-11 10:49:17

No, you WBU! Of course they were being discriminatory. They should never have asked your age, let alone suggested that it might work against you. And no, they can't ask things like that about your children/childcare. Agree that I hope the letter was worded in terms of 'raising concerns' rather than as a stroppy complaint though. If I were you I would have mentioned only the two points about discrimination and the CQC part, kept it very impersonal and professional, and not talked further about their interview structure or technique. Good on you for raising this and congrats on the new job!

Birdsgottafly Fri 29-Jul-11 11:05:53

I would raise concerns. However my DD is supervisor of a MH residential home and most of the problems that she has is due to other staff members not being able to accept that she is a supervisor at her age. So i think that exploring that was valid. You may not have hit major staff problems of the same nature so they need to bring it up as they will be aware of the 'politics' inside their own organisation, which is always about personalities and not qualifications.

It is easier to work with people who are bound by professional body conduct rather than are working as Support workers on agency who are bringing petty personal grieveness into work, which happens across social care.

vegetariandumpling Fri 29-Jul-11 11:33:39

I had an interview very similar to this recently. There was an application form that said in bad English 'if you don't feel comfortable answering these questions leave them blank'. Questions included age, height, weight, hair colour, skin colour, marital status, number of children etc. I left it blank but the interviewer made me fill it out anyway. I was so shock I didn't think to refuse. In the interview I was again asked about if I was intending to get married, what my parents and sister do for a living, how much they earn etc.

So anyway, I wish I had complained. Please do complain, to the home and whoever regulates it. But it might not get very far unless you recorded the conversation or they took minutes. But at least there will be a record of it, incase it happens frequently again.

Kladdkaka Fri 29-Jul-11 11:38:03

Sounds just like one of the case studies in my uni text books. Currently doing law and discrimination.

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