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Have ibu to have walked out my job?

(94 Posts)
bouncingbelle Tue 25-Feb-14 00:10:32

After over a year of bullying by my boss I got up and walked out today. I can't believe I,ve done it and don't know what I should do next??? Should I contact them tomorrow (I don't want to go back) but I do want to discuss with senior boss and hr exactly WHAT pushed me to walk out. I don't do things like this, but after months of feeling sick at the thought if going to work (including tears fir the last few nights) I,m actually feeling great! (The reality of unemployment may kick in tomorriw sad)

Lambzig Fri 28-Feb-14 09:59:27

NeartheWindymill, I am very interested in your replies. You seem to be suggesting that the outcomes are that the OP leaves, moves departments or finds a way to work with the person she says is bullying her.

I am genuinely surprised that allegations like this would not trigger an investigation into an alleged bully. I am sure that if aggressive bullying was uncovered then this would be grounds for dismissal. It seems that the outcomes you suggest leave the bully free to carry on or find another victim if the OP leaves. The solutions seem to be about getting rid of the complainer and only listening to her if she has witnesses.

Please don't think I am making a personal criticism, genuinely interested to know how this works and you sound very experienced in the field.

NightFallsFast Fri 28-Feb-14 10:43:54

I'm also a GP. The responses from the GPs and the HR manager here have been considered and sensible. Although the OP sounds like she's had a terrible time and may benefit psychologically from a short time off work, GPs are seeing several patients a day who are looking for time off work due to stress. Some will have a mental illness and need time off, many will just want their stress 'on the record' or to add weight to their case at work. This amounts to hundreds of thousands of GP appointments per year and is therefore a very significant cost to the NHS.

When completing medical certificates we are meant to specify a medical condition. Work related stress is not a medically recognised condition so ideally should not be used, though acute stress disorder, depression, adjustment reaction etc are all legitimate diagnoses that can be used.

I've just moves to Australia and hardly see anyone (as a GP) with work related stress. I haven't worked out yet whether it's because there is less stress or if it's just dealt with differently.

Feminine Fri 28-Feb-14 12:19:30

op my DH had to go down the route you originally spoke about. The experience was making him very, very ill.

best thing he ever did.

Work had to listen and make sure he was helped when he returned. The co-worker who bullied him stopped.

The GP took it very seriously, and so they should.

Good luck. smile

AchyFox Fri 28-Feb-14 14:07:54

Did your meeting go well ?

macdoodle Fri 28-Feb-14 20:35:49

Redcat? Why ? Because I have an opinion that differs to yours? I am certainly better trained to decide madness or illness than you are.

slowcomputer Fri 28-Feb-14 20:40:25

If you're suggesting that I'm the troll, I have withdrawn as we are clearly never going to agree so I'm happy to respect that I have different opinions from those on the thread, and I didn't want to pull it away from the OPs main points. I'm not a troll!

NearTheWindymill Fri 28-Feb-14 20:46:46

Lambzig after years in the job one understands there three sides to every case: the alleged "bully's" side, the employee's side and the truth.

There are some cut and dried cases, for example, a bully takes a witnessed swing at a member of staff but they are very rare. More often there are two sides, there is often a performance issue, there is often an issue where a member of staff thinks they are above management or requires quite robust management to comply and do the job. There are also some managers who are just horrible and everyone agrees but there isn't enough to make a case stick.

No offence meant to you by that paragraph OP; but I am answering Lambzig - am sure you have had a horrid time.

Unfortunately a member of staff can't go to HR and make complaints and expect a magic wand to be waved. Just because a says x about b that does not prove a case. If allegations are made, the employee needs to raise a grievance because that is what will result in a proper investigation. Even if a formal and thorough investigation takes place it is in most cases inconclusive with comments being made about fault on both sides. The most successful tends to be a collective grievance and those are extremely rare because it is a natural instinct for people to keep their head under the parapet at work.

HR cannot take action on the basis of somebody's word. Someone can come and say something like "he said I was a useless, black bitch just like all the rest". That is anecdotal by the way and I do not under any circumstances support such a statement or mean it to be inflammatory. If that isn't witnessed it't word against word and would never stand up at tribunal - the person being accused would have as much of a case as the accusor.

One can investigate until the cows come home, interview a dozen people, and still there is often no robust evidence. The best that usually happens are recommendations for team building, mediation, professional boundaries training and in the meantime relationships are fractured and enormous amounts of tension prevail for very many staff. I have invited two parties to a meeting before to try to get to the bottom of things and sort things out and asserted what the accusor has said for the accusor to sit in the meeting and say "I never said that"; I have also received written complaints saying terrible things that if they were investigated and triangulated would have resulted in dismissal and have said to the instigator this is dreadful and we must investigate only to be told no; they don't want to be the one to bring it into the open and when I have said the concerns are serious and must be investigated I have been accused of bullying them to raise a grievance yet I am castigated for not taking action. The complaints are then withdrawn.

Unfortunately, although there are exceptions, in my experience the majority of grievances stem from underlying performance issues and if you push aside the veil of the grievance there will be serious capability issues underlying it; sometimes on both sides.

The other issue to be aware of is that there are is a tiny percentage of people, especially at present, who actively engage with litigious behaviour and seem to make it a personal mission to try and bring a case in relation to one or other protected characteristic. That doesn't excuse any discrimination whatsoever but there are some very manipulative folk out there.

I'd love to throw up a few real life examples but they would breach confidentiality and out me.

Interested to note the support of the GP's out there; I often feel they fall hook line and sinker for a "story" but I guess they are in the same position as me on may occasions.

macdoodle Fri 28-Feb-14 20:50:26

I don't, which is why I try not to medicalise this. We see a lot and often it is clear they have been told to "get a sick note to make their case stronger". Some people are obviously unwell but that still doesnt mean it is a "medical problem".

NearTheWindymill Fri 28-Feb-14 20:56:07

This is turning into stethoscopes at dawn grin

footballagain Fri 28-Feb-14 22:14:21

I can see what windymills is saying.

And I say that as an individual who was bullied out of my role. My manager was himself sacked just a month after my employer agreed a settlement with me. I never thought a sick note was the way forward though. I just bloody fought the bastards.

I have (4years later) just about to let go of my shit feelings about it. It pisses me off that the system gets abused, because it does, I've seen both sides and it actually just fucks it up for the most deserving.

Lambzig Sat 01-Mar-14 09:30:22

Windymills, thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my query. I work in a traditional male dominated profession where I am a senior director and I see one particular colleague who I believe systematically bullies his female staff (for example refusing loudly across the office, to let one person leave to pick up her child for nursery at her scheduled time or he would sack her cheap fucking arse - I intervened swiftly - many other examples). I have, along with two of his staff taken this to HR a few times and got told "it's just his way", "it's not a good idea for you to make trouble" and the classic "if they can't hack it, they shouldn't work here". He doesn't bully me, I am just sick of hearing it.

Not that I am comparing your experience with our own surprisingly unqualified HR team for such a large company, but genuinely interested to know how these things are handled.

OP, so sorry for the hijack. I hope you get some good advice and support to get out of this and get a new job where you will be happier.

ShadowOfTheDay Sat 01-Mar-14 09:50:02

I was accused of bullying in a former job.... member of staff was "creative" with his timekeeping record... after the usual written warnings etc he "got signed off" with stress, went to HR and was moved to a better paid position (civil service) - he did this 3 times in total before being sacked.... so I can TOTALLY see where the other side is coming from...

ironically, it caused me to suffer mental health issues since I was convinced there was no smoke without fire, so I MUST have been wrong somehow.... then I found out about the other times and I no longer work there, partly due to the feelings of injustice .....

NearTheWindymill Sat 01-Mar-14 11:50:37

What does his boss think Lambzig? Is there a reputational risk to the firm? If it's a sales environment and he brings in big bucks I imagine he's protected? I left the City mid 90's and retrained because a trading floor and dc wasn't compatible. I earn half what I did then but have an interesting job and a better work life balance. It was tough and I could only have continued with a more than full time nanny and less than driven DH. I do think in those environments, whilst bullying and discrimination are unacceptable, a certain mind set is required and you can cope and rose above it or not. I never had a problem in spite of being a bit girly, but others did and I don't know why.

He can't sack his staff without a proper procedure though and providing they are performing in accirdance with contract they should take no notice. He sounds as if her needs some professional boundaries training because if your company can't evidence that they have taken concerns seriously and if a sex discrimination is brought and evidenced they will be at risk. Only takes one person who wants their moment of glory at tribunal who refuses a settlement agreement for it.

Good luck - hope that helps.

Lambzig Sat 01-Mar-14 21:59:07

Thank you Windymill. Boss went to school with him thinks and I quote "he is a bit of a wanker, but he is all right". I think they are wide open for a claim.

Without wishing to out myself, despite being FTSE 350, the head of HR is also the CEO's PA, so it's not taken terribly seriously as a function. I am one of the few women over 30 who have stayed there. At the moment I have my reasons, but not forever.

NearTheWindymill Sat 01-Mar-14 22:29:38

Good luck. I'm a dear old thing in my 50s now with over a 1000 staff to care for (and I mean that) and some business objectives to be mindful of (I mean that too) in the public(ish) sector. Sometimes I think I should go somewhere more corporate and earn real money again but I like sleeping at night and a 7 minute commute even more.

Your CEO's PA should be more mindful - the people you meet on the way up are the same people making decisions about you when you are on the way down.

All the best.

GinUtero Sun 02-Mar-14 01:30:10

The stress you describe takes me back to 2010 when I walked out of my job after my bullying boss over stepped the mark yet again. I was adamant that I was going to resign, but my family convinced me to go to the doctor and get signed off. I hadn't so much as had a day off work sick in the previous 5 years and was worried about approaching the doctor, but I'm glad I took their advice as looking back, I don't think I realised what a nervous wreck I was - the doctor took one look at me and signed me off with anxiety.

In the end I was signed off on full pay for several months while I underwent counselling and pursued a grievance through HR against my manager. He was moved to another department and I returned to work.

I have since learned that my manager had been moved three times before the incident with me due the grief he gave other members of staff. While I feel awful for them, it's reassuring to know it wasn't just me who couldn't cope with him.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 02-Mar-14 01:40:58

I kind of did this once. It became rather horrible, then very horrible I stood my ground and they paid me ££££££

Leaving was the best thing I ever, ever did.

Good luck OP

NewtRipley Sun 02-Mar-14 06:07:45


You are a GP and you've used the term "madness"? Lawks

Can you diagnose over the internet?

Surely better that the OP visits someone who can diagnose her (or not) face to face

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Sun 02-Mar-14 06:48:21

Really is this the place for this discussion to take place? This is a thread started by a valuable op and the last thing she needs is gp's discussing why people in her situation shouldn't be wasting their time. Hope your real life bedside manner is much better than this.

Op just be honest with them, you've documented it with them all long which will help. Update then on any new developments and just tell the truth, you had no option but to remove yourself. Glad your gp is supportive.

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