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to be in tears about the mess I am in at work.

(117 Posts)
Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 06:22:37

It's just a horrible situation and I have never worked anywhere like it before, I don't know where to go from here.

I fell out with a team member A in august. I was told by team member B that A had been slagging me off for days regarding some work a manager had asked me to complete. A had also been published in a magazine as saying the work I had to do was his idea originally, which it wasn't.
I was under a lot of pressure to get the job done, it's part of a second role I do and a committee I am part of. The committee was also angry that A had taken credit, we chatted about it via group emails buy decided it was best to just drop it.

So it was dropped. A refuses to speak to me. B kept telling me things that he was saying about me. I spoke to my manager and was told I was doing the right thing and to just ignore it.

Fast forward an awkward few months and I get told by B that A and a group of his friends were saying things about my child, which were so bad, they could have ended up getting me in trouble with social services. I get very cross and shout at everyone. I am then made to apologise for doing so. They said they didn't say it and I am told I have to accept it. B is insistent that they did.

My manager finally sits down with me and A yesterday. He had been telling me he wanted A out of them team and things were being put in place to make that happen. Except I get into the meeting to find he is more on A's side.

I also find put that B has been saying things to A that I have said that are not true, and vice versa. That C has also been involved.

Then I find out that someone from within the small committee, has been forwarding on a lot of committee only emails , where A's friend has been mentioned as she isn't doing her role correctly and it is hampering what we do. It turns out everyone had known this for a while and last weekend the whole business was aware I had been party of a moan and discussion about it, but of course it has been twisted to be thar I had been slagging people off and that those people were going to have a go at me and the whole team I work with have been gossiping about it.

I told the committee who are furious about it. One member has now quit. The one who did it denied it then said it wasn't a big deal. The other members want to kick him out.

And I am sat in the middle of the whole sorry lot.

I feel so betrayed by so many people. I called my manager to say I think I need to move teams as I don't think I can work with these people.

I can't stop crying about the whole thing and don't really know what to do.

DamnBamboo Fri 07-Nov-14 06:34:51

People need to grow up and have face to face conversations about expectations and roles. It sounds like playground shenanigans.

Turningscrews Fri 07-Nov-14 06:37:05

I think your biggest problem is your colleague B who sounds like they have been using any bit of tension to cause more trouble.

Forget about who said what and focus only on what there is evidence for I.e. This was meant to be delivered by Monday -it wasn't. The impact on the project was......etc

You sound too trusting - never say or email anything that you wouldn't want the whole company to hear and don't believe what people say unless there is evidence for it.

Good luck - it does sound like a difficult situation.

Chottie Fri 07-Nov-14 06:38:12

Goodness - not sure where to start!

B sounds a real stirrer - ignore, ignore, ignore. Refuse to dance to his/her tune any longer. Say you are not interested in idle gossip and get on with your job. Office politics are a minefield and I step back whenever possible.

I would personally have a 1-1 with A and your manager and get it sorted. Draw a line under it and move on. It's sad fact of work that you have to work with people with whom you have nothing in common. I keep dealings to a minimum and ensure all is professional. I follow up meetings with a quick email with bullet points and responsibilities outlined (no wriggle room).

Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 06:40:30

It does and it is. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

The original thing that made A so cross was because I went and spoke to two people while they were doing something else. It was two minutes if that, one of which one was just standing waiting for the other to come back.

And that has been the start of 4.5 months of rubbish.

I did say that if he had asked me why I did that I would have explained I had orders from the director and pressure to get it completed that day. I had 120 people to speak to, in my normal working hours, to fit around my normal role. I saw two people that I don't usually see and jumped on the opportunity.

It's just now the whole team have got involved, it's horrible.

KatieKaye Fri 07-Nov-14 06:40:43

It sounds like B has been stirring things, to be honest. Disengage. And tell your manager of his/her part in all this.

And that your workplace is very disorganised, with a lack of proper procedures so that people are wasting a lot of time rather than having constructive meeting.

re the emails - does your company have a policy regarding electronic communications? Basically, you should never use work email to say anything you would not be happy to say to that persons face. The whole committee sounds very unprofessional - why isn't the chair taking control of things? Does the committee ever produce any constructive results? It sounds as if a lot of time is wasted over inter-personal dynamics.

Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 06:45:53

We had a meeting with A and the manager yesterday. He doesn't want to draw a line under it, though I was willing to.

I find it hard to understand as I feel like the wronged party.

The emails between the committee, we're, we thought just between us. Everyone was adding their bit so it wasn't just me and I said in it that I didn't want to get directly involved as she is a good friend of A and therefore things are a bit frosty, but that I would support.
Just these were then leaked. And had been being leaked for a while with no one on the committee knowing.

500smiles Fri 07-Nov-14 06:48:36

Agree with damnbamboo

antimatter Fri 07-Nov-14 06:49:16

Where are work procedures and HR in all of it.

Your manager is not going to do any actual work unless you mention to him".. and I am going to take it to HR". Watch him how he changes after you said them.

Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 06:50:09

The committee communication was basically on our own email accounts at home. The role requires a bit on work in our own time, people work different shifts and it isn't always possible to see/chat. We have a work email too.
The committee does what it needs to do and In the eyes of the directors is very successful. There isn't a chair, it's a group of 6 people. 5 now one has left off the back of this. I should think I will leave and I think the one who shared it all, in his words ' he was cross and wanted to mix it up a bit' will be thrown out

Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 06:55:07

My manager said there is nothing he can do unless I log it as a grievance.

He is shocked at B's involvement, he voiced that.

We are meeting in a few days as I have some days off, to talk through options.

Thing is, if he talks to B, the whole thing is going to blow up even more and spread to even more people.

KatOD Fri 07-Nov-14 07:11:48

Wow, sounds horrible. My advice would be to write it down as if you were raising a grievance, ie concentrating on facts (try to avoid the said/she said unless you have evidence). Use this to focus your thoughts around it.

I'd then raise it as a formal grievance with HR (it's a process to be used to get people to resolve issues) and let your boss know you're doing it but advertising the fact that you just want to find a way fwd to do your job as these playground actions are too much of a distraction.

Also, never put anything in an e-mail you don't want forwarding in the future...

notagainffffffffs Fri 07-Nov-14 07:12:11

Colleague B is the one to avoid in all this, definitely not a friend.
I think the best thibg for you all is to all apologise and start next week fresh.
It all sounds very unprofessional

ArthurShappey Fri 07-Nov-14 07:21:45

Goodness me this all sounds very ridiculous and unprofessional. If I am reading this correctly (it's quite complicated) I have some sympathy for A because from what you're saying... B has been causing trouble and you believed them and started to create a fuss which created this whole mess. Instead of being part of this whole sorry mess you should have confronted A directly, determined whether there was any truth in what B was saying and then referred it to your manager. With regard to the committee... Emails can be shared easily never say anything you're not willing to stand by makes no difference if it was written from a personal account or not... It only needs to be forwarded to someone and copied and replied to, you've lost control if it he moment you send it.

KatieKaye Fri 07-Nov-14 07:22:17

You shouldn't be using personal email addresses for work purposes. If it is work, then your employer may require a paper trail for auditing purposes.

Committees should be set up formally, with a clear remit and a chair to ensure that the committee actually fulfils its role and doesn't waste work time by meeting degenerating into slagging sessions that concentrate on the various personalities rather than the work at hand.

TBH it sounds pretty shambolic and that management are turning a blind eye because it appears to be fulfilling a purpose. They may just start to reassess the whole set-up when the levels of pettiness and all the vendettas start coming out of the woodwork.

You have a choice - to accept the past bad behaviour (which seems to all stem from B) or to log a grievance and have things investigated formally. It's a relief to hear there is a for a procedure because your employer seems rather unprofessional! Is there a union rep you could talk to?

MaryWestmacott Fri 07-Nov-14 07:26:00

It's sounds like it's a shit place to work with badly defined roles and lots of people who enjoy bitching and winding each other up.

Personally, I'd stop trying to sort out this little issue and think is this company's culture one that suits me. If you aren't a bitchy shit stirrer, then it does sound like this place doesn't suit you. Start looking for a new job, it's amazing the difference the staff and culture make to doing exactly the same job elsewhere.

Move on and make a point in your next job to tell yourself, never join in insulting anyone else, even if they have fucked up. Never put anything in an e-mail you'd be upset to be forwarded to "all desks/staff", and if anyone like B starts telling you what other people have been saying about you, say you don't want to hear it and always ask yourself "why is this person telling me this?" (usualy it's to cause the other person trouble), also think "if it's true, why did the other person say it to them?" (usually it's because they thought the stirring person was their friend, like you think they are - you are both wrong in that case. Or because the other person wants you to know and is using the office gossip as a way to get the message to you).

Coconutty Fri 07-Nov-14 07:29:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 07:48:56

I don't even know who to log it as a grievance against.

My manager had been saying A was toxic and to blame and was going to try to move him to another dept. He told me this off the record. Said I wasn't to tell anyone.

In the meeting yesterday it seemed like the other way round and he said A left his last job due to bullying and so would never do it to someone else.

I had questioned why B was telling me things yet still seemed so pally with A. I had been told by A's friends that she had been saying stuff about me with regard to the serious social services crap. But then I reasoned that she couldn't have done else why would she have told me if she was involved.
They were saying that as I have a boyfriend now that I leave dd on her own at night. This has never happened. I don't even do babysitters. They also said dd had met the boyfriend in my bed. Again so far from the truth and I have actual proof of this. B told me A was the source of all of this.

I just don't know who to believe or what to do.

A is acting like the victim and said he can't draw a line under it.

The committee messages I didn't say anything other than I agreed and it wasn't fair because of x. And that I wouldn't be part of saying anything as things are frosty but that I will support if anyone wants to address it.

Management are aware we do a lot in our own time and that we have to talk out of work. They are also aware there were some issues and people were all going to quit. This was before we knew about leaked messages. They asked us all not to and to at least see out the year and that we should do next year as we have learnt so much.
It's probably because it's one less thing that they have to do.

I don't know who I would log a grievance against. And I don't want all this against my name, though I fear it is too late.

fairylightsintheloft Fri 07-Nov-14 07:56:18

well you can't do much about what has gone before OR what others do regarding moving on / apologising etc so I agree that you have to focus on the elements YOU can control. That is, your own behaviour / actions. You do say quite a lot in your OP that you were part of a discussion / moan, you shouted, you've participated in emails that criticise others so you are not entirely in the right here, but decide to stop it NOW. It is very easy and tempting to join in in a group bitch but stand above it. Do not respond to any email gossip and if you are in a group that is gossiping / badmouthing just move away or remain silent. Overtime this will die down but only if you add no more fuel to the fire. Also, B is NOT your friend - stay well clear.

Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 08:00:49

I was part of emails discussing, yes. I just thought that as others were raising the issue and that I agreed, that it was ok..

I did shout. I saw red when my daughter was brought into it. I did apologise for this straight away.

B is not my friend. I am aware of that now. I thought she was. I even thanked her for telling me.

I just feel like a total idiot..

wowfudge Fri 07-Nov-14 08:08:39

Sounds awful - unprofessional and immature. Whenever someone like B reports what someone else has allegedly said about you, ask two things: one directly to B, 'Is that so?' and see what else is said but don't go fishing for more details or engage in gossip and do not discuss it further with B. Ask yourself, why is B doing this and what do they want to achieve?

No good comes of gossiping, bitching and back stabbing. You have to rise above it and not get involved. I'm not surprised A feels aggrieved when the only evidence you appear to have is what B has told you.

Distance yourself from B immediately. Nasty, stirring and self-serving - attitude is light the blue touch paper and stand back.

Work is just that and issues arise when the lines between work and social life are blurred unless everyone is mature and sensible enough not to engage in the kind of thing that has been going on at your workplace.

Rise above it and recognise your role. Apart from more things your manager has told you about A you don't have first hand evidence of what A is alleged to be saying.

As for emails - think of every email as a business letter. You wouldn't swear, be over-familiar, say anything you didn't want to be disseminated more widely in a business letter and you wouldn't sign off with kisses or smiley faces so don't do it in emails - never mind what anyone else does.

Draw a line under it, ignore what B tells you and get on with your job.

bronya Fri 07-Nov-14 08:09:46

I think it might all be B's doing.

tobysmum77 Fri 07-Nov-14 08:12:59

you log it as a grievance against your manager who is useless and regardless of right wrong is managing the team ineffectively.

Vintagecrap Fri 07-Nov-14 08:16:02

I can understand that A might feel upset.
It's not my fault either and I just feel really used by people.

I feel like I have been played for an idiot.

The lines are blurred at my work. Lots of out of work friendships..drinking with managers etc.
I don't as I don't think it's professional for the boundaries to be so blurred.

Humansatnav Fri 07-Nov-14 08:17:02

I would log it against B. If I was A I would also log against B.
B sounds toxic.

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