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AIBU to think my boss takes the p**s

(7 Posts)
InsomniaQueen Fri 07-Oct-11 20:21:42

warning - this is quite long and a bit rambling.

I'm currently 16 weeks pregnant and for the past 10 months have been doing 3 people's jobs. I have never complained, never been late with any work, have managed to keep up a high standard of work, have taken tasks home with me and worked over my weekends to ensure that everything was done. I have now returned to work after 2 weeks signed off sick because of back pain. This has been so horrendous I was on crutches and before being signed off ended up crawling myself up to bed as I had no other way of getting there.

The two weeks I had off have helped massively and following recommendations from my physiotherapist I have been working on strengthening my muscles to help support my back. I had my return to work today and on my 'fit note' the doctor stated I should be doing reduced hours and amended duties. She has made me feel like crap because I can't just do my 9 to 5 and then work from home one day, stating "what will it look like to the rest of the team". I feel horrible now and am worrying about how I'm going to cope for another couple of months - all of this is made worse by the fact DH is working away and won't be home for another 2 months.

Really AIBU to think that all the years of hard work and effort I have made for the organisation, the fact that I have also been doing her job for the past 2 years while she swans about and doesn't do anything but likes to take credit for our teams "reputation for always delivering", the fact my DH is away and the fact I'm struggling from pain in what has already been a difficult pregnancy - that any person with an ounce of sympathy would look at me and try to help matters rather than making me feel like dirt for not being able to work at my former level. Have I missed something here as I'm feeling very rubbish at the moment!!!! sad

Any ideas of how to deal with this situation would also be welcome - thank you all for your replies.

Imjustagirl Fri 07-Oct-11 20:34:49

I had a very similar experience when I was PG. My Dr wanted to sign me off for the whole of the pG and I refused and kept dragging myself in. I constantly got told by my female boss, "good for you ignoring the Dr, PG is not an illness....." No its not but it can make some women very ill! The final straw was me still working whilst signed off and fainting and slipping under my desk. I was found still out cold and when I came round the Senior Partner said enough was enough and I must go on sick leave. My boss said, "no, she is a trouper, just give her five mins of fresh air...."

You dont need me to tell you you have rights. Your bosses statement about what will others think, is a joke. I would tell her that she has a choice, take into account your PG related health issues and make the necessary adjustments to your hours.... or you will have to take your Dr's advice and be signed off. What would she prefer. Some bosses and I believe females in particular, can bully pregnant women. They know that hard working women do not want to be seen to be using pregnancy as an illness and try and insinuate that you are using it as an excuse. I look back now (6 years ago) and can't believe I let this woman bully me and risk my health and my baby. Your pregnancy and DH being away, together with being in pain, is making you feel vulnerable. Stand up to her, you are right, she is wrong!

InsomniaQueen Fri 07-Oct-11 20:43:28

At the moment I even feel upset with myself because usually I'm so feisty and will always stand up for myself. At the moment I just feel tired, unwell and uncomfortable. I know I need to look after the baby and I do worry that something bad is going to happen if she keeps pushing me but for some reason I can't seem to find that old me who would normally tell people to go to hell!

Imjustagirl Fri 07-Oct-11 20:50:22

I do understand. I felt pressure from all sides. My mum keep telling me I was putting the baby at risk and DH was very concerned too. At work my boss kept telling me how much better I looked! My boss was very manipulative and convinced me that I wasn't as ill as I thought and all women feel unwel,l but many tough it out! My head was spinning. Don't feel upset with yourself, you are in a horrible situation. Maybe write her a letter and copy it in to her superior. I would imagine that your back problems will only get worse if she doesn't try and lighten the load for you. Don't let her manipulate you. You know you are a hard worker and you know how much pain you are in. Hope you sort it out soon. x

thefurryone Fri 07-Oct-11 20:53:41

I think the clue to why she is treating you like this is in this line

"I have also been doing her job for the past 2 years while she swans about and doesn't do anything but likes to take credit for our teams "reputation for always delivering","

If you stop working hard then she may actually have to do some work. This is why people who think that you should constantly strive to go above and beyond for employers annoy me, they make it seem totally unreasonable that it is completely acceptable to do the job that you are paid to do according to your contract of employment (which isn't to say that you shouldn't do it well).

Anyway I digress, it's rubbish being pregnant and being bullied so you do have my sympathy, the only thing you can do is stand up for yourself, make sure HR (if you have them) are fully aware of the advice that you have been given by your doctor. Do you have a line manager above her that you can make aware of the situation?

Grumpla Fri 07-Oct-11 21:01:48

YANBU. Your boss is being a pain in the arse, probably shitting it as once you depart she will actually have to pull her finger out and do something.

Please listen to your doctor and your physio - they are the people who have your interests at heart.

Explain slowly and clearly as she is obviously a fucking idiot that she needs to understand that reduced hours and amended duties are the only way you continue working at all or, as you have been informed, your physical state may deteriorate and you will be signed off work altogether for the rest of the pregnancy.

Follow this up with an extremely polite but clear email so you have something in writing. Include statements such as "in order to minimise disruption for the rest of the team I am keen to follow the medical advice given to me to try and ensure that my physical condition does not deteriorate any further." or even "I hope that you understand that adhering to the suggestions stated in the enclosed fit note reflects my commitment to the company, as my doctor has advised that working my usual hours / duties would most likely result in me being unable to work at all. I'd be very grateful if you could assist me in communicating this to the rest of the team; I would hate them to think I had any choice in the matter."

Ensure that you attach copies of your fit note in case that goes "missing" at some point. You need a paper trail in place to demonstrate that you have made her aware of what your doctor and physio have TOLD YOU has to happen - in case she tries to portray you to colleagues as being just generally flaky etc.

Or - just sack it in, get signed off, and spend the extra time looking for a new job to go to once you have finished your maternity leave.

breatheslowly Fri 07-Oct-11 22:02:52

She sounds like a cow. My GP said "you are only going to have this baby once, so you need to look after it". If necessary you should return to your GP and get signed off - if you tell them that your boss won't let you work the reduced hours they recommended, you will be signed off in a flash. Or you could involve HR. Generally you aren't insured to work if you are signed off and I would imagine you aren't insured to work if you are not following the GP's instructions on hours/conditions.

Also this is an opportunity for the rest of the team to gain some experience in your role and perhaps take on some career-enhancing tasks (just like the work you have taken on that your boss should be doing grin).

There are probably better places to work out there - I'd be tempted to do what Grumpla suggested and start looking and networking now.

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