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to think we should not have to tone down our frendship to suit these colleagues

(114 Posts)
whysogrumpy Fri 24-May-13 05:47:15

Where I work 7 of us spend part of the day in a small office all together. One of these people is our head of department, another her second and I have a less senior management role.

Our HoD has always had poor management skills and tends to undermine people and put them down. she has a poof effect on staff morale as she does not show good leadership and micromanages people (or tries to) and stifles creativity - a big part of the job. She is also poor at the other aspects of her role and this has been picked up on by her bosses. Despite this we have, in the past, got on well, as I really don't think she does what she does out of malice. She just struggles with her job.

Sorry to be blunt, but her second is a lazy, arrogant twat and most things he should do, I do, despite the fact that he is on a lot more money than me. This is another example of her poor leadership.

We generally all get on (notwithstanding the issues above!) and I get on particularly well with one of the other women and, this year, a new member of staff has joined and the three of us have a lot in common and get on well. I suppose this has changed the dynamics of the group a little and the second, who has always been fairly loud and thinks he's funny, has been a lot quieter this year. I should add that ours has always been a fairly sweary office - our job is a stressful one and we go in the office to let off steam. Everyone has joined in with this.

Another relevant point is that the Hod's undermining behaviour has got so bad thos year that the three of us have made a complaint about her to her bosses. This was done confidentially and he has spoken to her in a a fairly low-key and supportive way about this and has not told that we, or anyone, has complained.

Last night, the hod got me alone and told me that toaday she intends to send an email to me and the other two women mentioned above about our swearing in the office. she says she has had several complaints about it, which is untrue as there are not several people there and those that are would not complain and all join in with swearing at one time or another. She also said she felt the department had become divided by age! Never have we done anything to exclude others and, when she is in a good mood she joins in with us and all is fine. Seond has, imo, had his ego dented because he is no longer centre of the room.

AIBU to think we are being penalised for being young and friends. I'm not sure what to do but feel a huge row is brewing.

ShellyBoobs Sat 25-May-13 11:24:24

reply to her email and copy in her manager...

Yep, undermining your manager like that will help for sure, OP.


Morloth Sat 25-May-13 12:29:09

God I wish I had had MN around when I was 20 to hand me my arse.

It would have saved me a lot of time learning the hard way.

Turns out my Mum was right about pretty much everything...

lustybusty Sat 25-May-13 14:11:51

Sounds like my office in a lot of ways... Two cliques, one within the department, one a group of women that congregate in our department for a natter, which tends to include the boss. I'm the youngest in the department, and I cannot ABIDE the hour long gossips about football, films, and recently, the size of an ex boyfriends cock. During working hours. In loud voices. I do not need to know. Really. It is so unprofessional and distracting. I mentioned it to the boss and you know what he said? "Lighten up". Ffs.
Anyway, if you are cliquey and chatty, you may have had complaints from the others in the office. They may not say anything to your face (I wouldn't, I would see it as by saying to your face it is a criticism of YOU, Whereas going to boss is criticism of working practice iyswim?) but they may still have issue.

LessMissAbs Sat 25-May-13 16:22:26

Christ. The way you describe it sounds more like school than a work environment. Why would you even think about these things so much? As opposed to getting on with your job?

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sat 25-May-13 20:26:24

In all honesty, it just sounds like bog standard office politics, the like of which you'll get in any work place. You can choose to either get caught up in it or not.

If it bothers you that much, move on. But do be aware that the next place will have its own set of issues. It's once you realise this, that it becomes much easier to detatch as much as you can, put it all in perspective, and get on with your job.

And please don't reply to the email copying in your boss's manager. That is really bad advice.

RawShark Sat 25-May-13 20:42:10

If it bothers you just say to her that , if swearing is unacceptable, then that email should go to everyone in the room as you are aware everyone does it. And that she is right, and it has become too much of the office culture and you will try to stop. And thanks for the heads up - I've worked for people who would have just emailed.

And then try to stop.

And then let it go.

RawShark Sat 25-May-13 20:47:24

Also reading between the lines it sounds like you and your friends maybe have a bit of a clique going, which while you don't intentionally exclude anyone doesn't do much to intentionally include them either.

Make the situation work for you and your profile and organise a night out everyone will enjoy.

And if she is trying to put you down carry on turning her actions against like this.

( I am 35 and work with people from 24 to 66. I swear WAY too much although having a toddler is helping. I know I need to swear less. I am also shit at managing people).

ravenAK Sat 25-May-13 21:06:08


You do sound like teachers. In fact, you sound quite a bit like one particular clique of rather entitled young staff where I work, who are currently seeing their collective arse at being entirely appropriately ticked off for their unprofessional behaviour.

You have really, really got your response to this reprimand barse-ackwards. This is a good opportunity to take stock re: whether your behaviour is actually that of someone promotable - especially if you are the most senior of the problematic clique.

You should be accepting this as a warning shot across the bows & distancing yourself from the behaviour which you've been told, quite emphatically, is Not On.

SoTiredAgain Sat 25-May-13 21:10:13

I wonder if you are teachers? You may have got a pay rise because you are a brilliant teacher, but your attitude outside of the classroom sounds a bit much. You guys complained about your HOD to her senior - you must have all discussed it first. "If you do it, I'll do it too." Have the balls to keep your complaints about your HOD to yourself and not share it with friends at work. Immature. Nasty. Also, when the pp said oh keep a paper/email trail about how much they swear and cc her boss, I think she added, "If you want to be petty."

You sound ruthless. Just think, you could be that HOD in a few years with a bunch of younger colleagues all having the same discussion about you. Think on that.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sun 26-May-13 10:25:29

Being a middle manager is a shitty, stressy, thankless job a lot of the time. You're usually managing junior staff, and there's also a lot of pressure coming from above. You're sandwiched between it, trying to keep two factions happy.

As useless as you think she is, you're only adding to her plate by being snipey, and complainy and in cahoots with your buddies.

arabesque Sun 26-May-13 11:04:13

You seem to have become friendly with two younger and newer colleagues and started to behave childishly and immaturely as a result, seeing yourself as part of a new 'fun' set. This is obviously irritating and annoying your manager who has tried to have a quiet word with you about it. Cop yourself on and grow up, would be my advice.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sun 26-May-13 11:12:03

It sounds like you're planning on tracking and complaining about any swearing she does if you stop.

And you say you're not childish?

I'm another one who would have loved to get the advice of Mumsnet in my 20's. grin

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 26-May-13 13:23:39

Where do the two who aren't bosses or part of your clique stand? It sounds childish, unprofessional and thoroughly horrid. Regardless of other people's strengths and weaknesses the clique of three is not working as a team.

If you are as good as you think you are get your head down, stop bitching and whining, redraft your CV and get a better job in a different pond. If not shape up.

Loa Sun 26-May-13 13:32:53

Suggest a swear box to your boss - get her on side and suggest fun things to do with the money.

Stop swearing, and either act professionally during your lunch break or leave the place for it.

Then start looking round for other jobs - either side ways moves in same company or other company. The fact your actually looking could help you deal with the current unpleasant atmosphere - as you would be taking steps to get yourself out of it so can view it as temporary and get less emotional about it all.

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