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To think I'm being replaced at work - long

(38 Posts)
t3rr3gl35 Thu 16-Jul-15 21:58:06

I accepted the offer of a permanent role late last year. The role promised career progression and a certain amount of stability that I found lacking in contracting. I was initially considered for a more strategic and slightly senior position but I declined as I prefer to get my hands dirty. That role was filled some 3 months or so after I started by somebody a lot younger than me (I think this might be relevant).

Immediately - and I'm talking days after the other person started - I was subjected to intense scrutiny and I was told by this person that I would be reporting through them, although I do not directly report into them. My work has consistently been found by her to be of an extremely low standard, for the first time in any position I have held in 34 years.

I know that I have been bullied and that my output has been misrepresented at every turn and I feel helpless. 4 members of staff have remarked on the bullying but have said that they are not willing to be witnesses if I raise this with HR, as they are concerned of negative impact. Other members of the organisation have also made comment on the way that they have heard me being addressed, and also do not wish to become involved.

I have found myself to now, through machination and skullduggery, be reporting directly to this other person, and I am frequently instructed to change my work although I know that the changes are incorrect. I have tried many times to discuss the proposed changes but have been over-ruled, only to then take the flack when the errors are noticed - usually in tense meetings with internal stakeholders.

I think the age difference may be relevant as the other person finds issue with almost everything I offer, whether it is my output or general conversation and frequently makes reference to me being old enough to be her mother (true) and that she would find it awful to have a boss so much younger than her.

A conversation was instigated by her yesterday, where she spoke at great length about a mutual agency contact, and made reference to having a conversation with this contact about me in particular. Today I had an informal discussion with her where she stated that she wanted to put me on performance review. Tonight I logged on to a job site to see that the agency contact has listed a job description that matches mine exactly. I live in a rural part of the country, with limited employment opportunities in my field and cannot believe that this is coincidence. AIBU or simply paranoid to think that this person is making active attempts to replace me?

DadfromUncle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:02:11

I don't think you are BU or paranoid, but this person's not as clever as she thinks is she?

How long have you been permie there?

t3rr3gl35 Thu 16-Jul-15 22:04:04

I've been there for 10 months. Not long enough to have legal protection...

StupidBloodyKindle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:04:40

Christ, she sounds awful.
Who is her immediate supervisor?
Are you in any kind of union?
How well do you get on with shared contact?
Did she know you were offered her job originally?
I would go back to contracting or I would haul her up for bullying/wrongful dismissal. Hope you have been keeping a log/e-mail trail asclearly, she is out to get you. Sorry.

DadfromUncle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:06:54

I assume there's someone senior who recruited you into permiedom? Could you have a chat to that person about how things have panned out?

DadfromUncle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:09:03

BTW any flipper who made me change stuff I knew was wrong would be telling me in writing (e-mail) that the changes had to be made - with an attendant reply from me saying why I was doing as instructed, but didn't agree.

t3rr3gl35 Thu 16-Jul-15 22:13:39

Her immediate supervisor is FD. FWIW, I took the role on the basis that I would be a direct line report to the FD, but this changed within 2 weeks of the other person starting.

I think she was told on appointment that I was initially considered for her role but that I declined. It was anticipated that I would cover for her during holidays/absence.

I know the shared contact minimally - I recently applied for another job through the agency - but (too late) during the process, I discovered that the contact had placed this person with the organisation we work for. I suspect that the contact has told her that I am looking for another job...

I'm not a union member but I have been keeping a log of incidents. She has been smart enough not to be caught out by e-mail trail.

BuildYourOwnSnowman Thu 16-Jul-15 22:18:17

Email everything back to her

'To confirm, you have asked me to change xyz. I have made the changes on your instruction and attach the document for your confirmation that you are happy with it'

I get my supervisor to initial everything important that he has reviewed and find email a very useful tracker.

t3rr3gl35 Thu 16-Jul-15 22:22:39

DadfromUncle - BTW any flipper who made me change stuff I knew was wrong would be telling me in writing (e-mail) that the changes had to be made - with an attendant reply from me saying why I was doing as instructed, but didn't agree.

In every other role I have had, this is the advice I would adhere to. In this role, the changes are made with her standing over me at my desk, insisting that they are made per her demands and with much shouting and gesticulating. It is impossible to stand my ground, and believe me when I say I'm not easily intimidated. I've simply put, found that I'm in an impossible situation.

My confidence is so low that I'm afraid to raise this with the FD, who recruited me, or with the HR dept as I know from the work that I do that the other person has had in the region of £30k more spent on their professional development and the organisation is likely to take the view that I would be the more cost effective person to replace.

BuildYourOwnSnowman Thu 16-Jul-15 22:28:47

Email it back to her confirming the changes she told you to make.

This situation sounds intolerable though - if someone was telling me make changes in the way she is telling you I would down tools. That is at best bad management and at worst bullying.

You have nothing to lose here. Go and see the director you were supposed to be reporting to and explain that you are unhappy with the change to reporting to her. You find her manner towards you unprofessional and give a few concrete examples

NewFlipFlops Thu 16-Jul-15 22:32:36

See an employment lawyer; ask about bullying and ageism.

DadfromUncle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:33:38

t3rr3gl35 I sympathise and it's easy for me to talk tough sitting here, but as BuildYourOwnSnowman says, you have nothing to lose - e-mail afterwards or refuse to make changes while she's standing there.

Sounds like FD is probably blissfully unaware that this person is trying to get rid of you.

t3rr3gl35 Thu 16-Jul-15 22:36:27

NewFlipFlops - I'm reasonably sure that existing legislation doesn't offer me much in the way of protection due to length of tenure.

DadfromUncle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:37:23

You shouldn't have to put up with shouting and gesticulating - it's not "Kitchen Nightmares" for flips sake. That £30k they spent was a waste by the sounds of it.
I think you should tell the FD calmly that this sort of stuff isn't appropriate in a normal workplace.

t3rr3gl35 Thu 16-Jul-15 22:39:11

DadfromUncle & BuildYourOwnSnowman - Thanks for the input, guys. Unfortunately, it does seem that I have nothing (everything) to lose...

I agree that you have nothing to lose.

Is it possible that there is another role in the company that you could move into?

Is it legal to record there?

DadfromUncle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:40:03

t3rr3gl35 I am not a lawyer but as I understand it there is no time limit where discrimination is alleged - a lawyer can tell you more.

Given that things are at this stage, you have nothing to lose by standing up for yourself - even if the FD turns out to be as unsympathetic as you imagine, things won't be any worse.

DancingDinosaur Thu 16-Jul-15 22:43:03

Surely that same legislation doesn't offer her much protection either. You need to collect evidence and take it higher. Lets face it, where you are right now, you have nothing to lose.

DadfromUncle Thu 16-Jul-15 22:44:32

t3rr3gl35 I don't mean to sound unsympathetic - I was a contractor for many years - ironically I found it helped me not to take crap from people. Because I knew I had no security and could be fired at will, I was much more relaxed about not putting up with crap.

Ironically, my first job back in permiedom was being micro-managed by a much younger person with no clue what she was doing - I was lucky to be offered another job within a year which I took.

Good luck.

TiredButFine Thu 16-Jul-15 22:44:52

Honestly- make moves to leave. She sounds like a shitnado and everything is getting covered by her shit.
Speak to the FD- what have you got to lose?

TendonQueen Thu 16-Jul-15 22:48:51

If it's gone this far, I think you may as well take more assertive steps. Next time she shouts at you standing by your desk, try standing up yourself and saying firmly, but without shouting 'If you're going to shout at me, we need to go straight to HR to discuss this right now, because I've had enough. Or would you like to leave me to get on with it while I edit this?' Then if she continues, you start walking to HR. She is behaving awfully and from the sound of it has got more cocky over time as no one will challenge her. Go and see the director and have the talk as Snowman suggests.

EustaciaBenson Thu 16-Jul-15 22:50:42

You have limited options here but also little to lose if they are advertising your job. Email her about every change, complain about they way she's treating you to HR. Ask HR to assign you a work mentor, someone other than her to help your work performance, hopefully they will spot the problems. When she stands over you shouting at your desk turn and face her, look at her directly and put your point across firmly. Stand your ground, or sit it rather, shes getting off on undermining someone she probably feels intimidated by professionally so try not to let her get her way by shouting you down. If she requests changes that are wrong, email her after you've done them explaining how they are wrong, back your statements up with evidence

wafflyversatile Thu 16-Jul-15 22:54:41

Another in the chorus. Go down fighting at least. Definitely email to confirm everything and see about putting in a complaint. Maybe call ACAS seeing as you don't belong to a union.

It's disheartening that so many people are witness to her behaviour but won't say anything. I wonder if it's worth saying that you think some incidents were witnessed and they could ask people. If asked by HR they might not find it easy to lie and say 'no, didn't see anything'. If enough people are witness then it's harder for them to take her side. Although this runs the risk of them being annoyed with you or turning against you I suppose.

t3rr3gl35 Thu 16-Jul-15 22:59:30

Thanks everybody for your replies. I'm going to bed now, and will mull it over the weekend.

I hadn't thought discrimination as part of the issue - and actually there is more as another relevant part of the bullying is due to me having "hidden disabilities" as a result of a bowel resection which means that I find it necessary to strictly control when and what I eat. The nature of the issues that I have has been recorded with HR as I have been subjected to very insistent and public pressure on occasion to eat unsuitable foods at unsuitable times and be made to justify my reasons for not eating. That has been hideously embarrassing. Being forced to state in front of 6 junior members of staff that eating generates a trigger response, and that I have to have a loo which has enough space for me to lie on my side to evacuate is an experience that I will never be able to come to terms with.

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