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To take colleague at work aside & let it all out

(12 Posts)
Scattymere Sun 07-Jun-15 14:43:05

Hi all
I returned from mat leave 1/2 a year ago on 4 day week. Rest of my team are not parents, so returned determined to make my 4day week work and prove I'm not taking the piss milking being a parent and still do my job. I barely mention my DD (my senior colleagues never ask anything about her), am in on time and barely ever ill, compared to a lot of them. When I returned to work, I was just told that despite being on trial for 4 day week flexi-time based on my original role fitting into 4 days, I was to be given substantial, say 30% extra duties- that said woman's own PA was meant to be doing, but PA cleverly used my mat leave to wrangle herself out of doing this and land it on me. I accepted it, as I had to make my job work.

All ok generally, but said woman can call me up over the smallest mistakes, in front of everyone, is very direct/verging on rude in communication (to others, not just me) and has never ever shown appreciation or even recognition of fact Im doing previously 2 peoples jobs in 1- and on a reduced week with reduced salary. Last week when was pulled up for a (small) error again, I apologised but its been hanging over me, especially as she and another senior colleague are often huddled hushed talking and when I approach separate and stop talking, clearly talking about me. Last week another colleague admitted she'd heard them "bitching" about me.

I don't want this hanging over me anymore. AIBU to take her aside, calmly and as friendly as possible (in other ways we can get on, though very different people) and just explain I feel all the good I do in my role is just accepted (never any real appreciation) and never seen given my type of role, but then the smallest error happens and its as if its a crisis, when given the quantity of things what my job involves and juggling act of my role, its a tiny proportion of glitches in the scheme of things. Also I'd just appreciate a little more recognition of the fact I took on her load without any complaint, am doing my best but just recognise I am doing what was 2 peoples jobs and on 4 day week. I also want to say that even someone else heard them bitching about me, and i feel paranoid about he atmosphere and would prefer things handled calmly and to my face?

LazyLouLou Sun 07-Jun-15 14:47:21

Mmm! Official job description and a list of all jobs you actually do to your immediate line manager and tell them that you are not prepared to be 'made an example of' so publicly for work you are doing as a favour, as a stop gap, for no pay let alone a thank you. Ask to have your original job description ratified by all concerned and stop doing the extra work.

The other stuff, second hand gossip, won't go down well. Facts and figures.... Good luck

MrsHathaway Sun 07-Jun-15 14:48:53

Hell no. Go to your line manager and ask for a review. You can point out how much you're doing and talk about the working environment.

If they're bitching about you for the reasons you think then you have the basis for a sex discrimination case (even though they're also women). It's in your manager's interests to ensure that doesn't happen, by improving the environment.

Italiangreyhound Sun 07-Jun-15 14:55:23

Scattymere just wanted to say good luck with this, I think Lazy and Hathaway have given excellent advice and it should be good to get it all out in the open and professional.

I returned to my job after adoption leave and have a 10 year old birth dd and four year son by adoption.

Amongst my friends at work people often ask about my life, family, even my cat! but mu boss, who is dad, and a very equal minded/femenist-minded man, rarely asks about my kids. I think for some bosses, male or female, parents or not, it is just outside the reach of things they are concerned with.

Agree with others, keep to facts, what you were told (in front of others) what you heard etc. How this is effecting your work and is unhelpful etc.

Good luck.

Scattymere Sun 07-Jun-15 18:37:29

Thanks so much for responses. My line manager is their boss. He also hates confrontation of any type so bringing this up to him will make him shift and wriggle and he will hate it and tbh, handle it pretty poorly with her (almost making light of my complaint like I'm winging) while she will see me as an enemy if she knows I've gone to him about it.

We are a team of 5, so this makes it all very ver formal, when I was hoping to just take her aside for an informal chat but basically say what you have pointed out? Is this a No No? I wont mention the bitching thing then but maybe say I feel tension in the atmosphere/team and would prefer we could deal with things in a calmer, friendly way directly? Thankyou 3 for your very wise suggestions smile

Georgethesecond Sun 07-Jun-15 18:40:03

Is your line manager paid more than you?

Then he is paid to sort this sort of shit out, surely!

MrsHathaway Sun 07-Jun-15 19:32:11

You have to do it a bit formally and in public otherwise it is just whingeing.

Your line manager's squeamishness about dealing with bad atmosphere and unprofessional behaviour is probably am indirect cause of it.

DimpleHands Sun 07-Jun-15 20:15:22

People don't realise how incredibly scared employers are of discrimination cases. From what you have said, it sounds like there are lots of grounds for one. Make a list of all the things that point towards this, and a log of incidents, and take it to your manager and/or HR and tell them you are concerned that you are being discriminated against and are considering taking legal advice if no action is taken to stop this behaviour. Watch how quickly they come down on your colleague like a tonne of bricks and bend over backwards to correct the situation.

Wotsitsareafterme Sun 07-Jun-15 20:19:59

Agree strongly about asking for a review. Your employers are taking you for a mug.

Fluffcake Sun 07-Jun-15 20:24:04

Make sure your line manager documents everything. You may want to take your own notes as well. If the woman who is criticising you, on same level as you? If that is the case, could you suggest to your line manager that she take back some of this work?

Sorka Sun 07-Jun-15 21:32:52

I don't recommend talking to the PA as she'll be on the defensive and will take action to cover her tracks - particularly if she's dumped a load of her work on you. Has she taken on extra tasks to make up for the ones she's gotten rid of or has she just magically reduced her workload?

Is the senior colleague she's bitching to your line manager? I think not, in which case I suggest talking to your line manager and ensuring you get your job description documented in writing. I suggest taking in a list of tasks included in your role pre and post maternity leave so you have evidence of the increase in your tasks.

If line manager doesn't act, as DimpleHands said, I'd involve HR. Managers who don't bother to manage cause real problems in working environment.

Are you the same level as the bitchy PA?

Scattymere Sun 07-Jun-15 21:43:58

thankyou all so much. Being taken for a mug is exactly how I've been feeling since i came back, i thought by taking the extra on, despite being on reduced hours/4 day week, would show how dedicated to my role i was and make them think twice before then boloc&*king me for the smallest thing that goes wrong. seems not.
To clarify as realised it sounded muddled, in the tea its me and another PA, the 2 juniors. She works directly for said woman, and I report into other people/was responsible for their admin. Other PA is nice but very crafty and she used my mat leave as getting her own way and shifting all the dull admin stuff my way, knowing full well id be unlikely to kick up a fuss as firstly i was in shock when i was told i was to take this on and secondly I was on a trial to make my 4 day week work so was hardly going to mess this up. Said woman is a lot more senior than me, just so so confused as to how i should handle this, but thankyou for all comments, you have seriously spurred me on now as i realise its clear I am being taken for a mug and at very least deserve some gratitude and recognition of my role increases.

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