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Work Stress

(24 Posts)
Jessica1235 Fri 01-Apr-16 03:10:37


I was after some advise and reassurance. Sorry this is long!

I recently resigned from my job and served my notice whilst signed off with stress. I have never done this before.

I didn't really like the company from Day one, but I wanted to keep a job, especially for my daughter. I started my job in September 2015.

It has always been difficult I was the only one in the department, there was a years backlog of work that I needed to sort out, the manager was like the devil wears Prada and her bestfriend/PA was a bitch to everyone. She always repeated what the boss said after she said it and was always calling employees into unproductive meetings over the smallest of mistakes and also constantly changed company policy. There was also a hell of a lot of nepotism too due to the amount of family and friends that were employed there and guess what the PA (lets call her Linda) even got her husband a job at the company.

Anyway despite all this, I just got with it, I even offered to do overtime for free so the backlog could be addressed quicker to help the business, but Linda soon put a stop to that. Probably because she didn't want anyone to outshine her or look good.

Anyway, in early March I received call at 3am in the morning to say my Dad had been in an accident. He was intensive care and the situation was not looking good at all. I immediately got dressed, called my friend who was very understanding about it all and came round to take care of my daughter and I rushed to hospital. I knew I wouldn't be in work that day so I emailed my MD and her PA who is also HR to let them know the situation.

I wasn't expecting any issues regarding this matter work wise but I was wrong. I received an email from HR stating that I could use my remaining two days as holiday but I must return to work after that. The email also stated that when her Dad was sick she worked through it. Linda even had the cheek to lecture about the recent policy change on reporting absences (that she had only created that week) an that she should not need to be telling me how to report my absence (I only missed one person from the email!). I responded stating that I did not not know when I would be back in yet as the accident had only just happened and that the reason I hadn't reporting my absence through the correct channels was because I was not thinking straight right now. I then received a response to this stating that this was not an acceptable explanation and to ensure I work within the companies policies next time.

I was was course very upset and made a complaint to the MD that HR were being unreasonable and shouldn't be speaking to her employees like that. The MD responded saying she felt acted fairly! I resigned at this point but did offer to work my notice depending on how the situation with my Dad went and also if I got an apology from HR for the additional stress they had caused me. The MD responded saying that she expected me to work my notice but that under no circumstances would I be getting an apology.

With everything else going on I was so upset and stressed out my took me to the doctor. The Doctor signed me off with stress for 2 months which meant I did not have to work my notice. I emailed my employer my sick note and they sent me the letter last week saying my notice period had ended.

Also I am happy to report that my Dad is in recovery now and doing much better smile. Plus as I was signed off I got to spend more time with my family and Dad.

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced a situation like this?

Does anyone think my behavior was unprofessional?

Do you think future employers will understand my reason for leaving?

EBearhug Fri 01-Apr-16 03:44:51

So you were there about 5 months? I'd probably say it was a temp position. Otherwise, I'd say my father was seriously ill and I left to care for him. I wouldn't tell them that the employers were gits.

I suppose you left before finding out, but do you know what the company's policy on emergency leave and so on was? I know when my mother was rushed to hospital, I called my manager to let him know, and he just sorted things at that end, and I concentrated on going though my mother's long and complex medical history for the nth time. I don't actually know if I took annual leave, compassionate leave or what in the end. (I may have forgotten - it was a few years ago now.) They didn't expect me to be in much of the right frame of mind for work while she was in ITU though.

The main thing is your father is okay, though.

Jessica1235 Fri 01-Apr-16 04:48:39

Thank you for the message and its nice to know some employers are reasonable.

I hate the fact this job ended so badly. I want to be able to keep a good rep in my field, but because I stood up for myself my ex employer is now spreading nasty lies about me. sad As if she hadn't done enough already!

I am good at my job and just want to be able to move on with my life and provide for my family.

I still in shock at the way the situation, I looked it up and under the circumstances my employer legally has to give me 10 days off for such matters, but they clearly operate their own policy.

I was probably a bit sharp on the resignation, but I was very upset at the time.

It's just a mess.

DoreenLethal Fri 01-Apr-16 07:05:51

I want to be able to keep a good rep in my field, but because I stood up for myself my ex employer is now spreading nasty lies about me

What do you mean here?

If she is then you have recourse, how is she doing this?

redskytonight Fri 01-Apr-16 07:38:37

I'd agree to just say it was a temp job on your CV and move along.

I'm not sure you're correct about your employer having to give you 10 days off tbh - a lot of employers would give you compassionate leave in this circumstance but that is entirely discretionary. So check your facts if you're going to take any further action.

ilovesooty Fri 01-Apr-16 07:44:41

Where did you get the information that your employer was obliged to give you 10 days off?

curren Fri 01-Apr-16 07:46:32

Can you clarify, when you said I received an email from HR stating that I could use my remaining two days as holiday but I must return to work after that.

Do you mean you only had two holiday days left, in that holiday year?

I would put it down as a temporary contract and not out then downs as a reference if young have to.

Please check the information regarding what they have to do. In the UK, there is no legal amount of time they have to give you off for a parent being in hospital.

Most places don't give you more than a couple of days if a parent passes away.

chipsandpeas Fri 01-Apr-16 07:48:25

* I looked it up and under the circumstances my employer legally has to give me 10 days off for such matters, but they clearly operate their own policy.*

can you post a link to this as ive never heard of this either and i know my works policies inside out (nosey me) and nothing like this is mentioned

most compassionate leave is at employers discretion and i know that most places are never this generous unless of death

DragonMamma Fri 01-Apr-16 07:55:34

AFAIK, there's no statutory right to be allowed 10 days off in these circumstances. Even emergency dependents leave is limited to a couple of days at a time, usually to make alternative arrangements.

In answer to your OP, I don't think you WBU but similarly, you weren't exactly the height of professionalism either and I wouldn't be mentioning any of this to a new employer and just say you left due to caring responsibilities.

JolseBaby Fri 01-Apr-16 07:55:48

Compassionate leave varies - there is no legal entitlement. My company will officially allow 1 day. Unofficially I know they have allowed longer but it's on a case-by-case basis.

It sounds like you have had a bad experience - chalk it up and move on. I think it is unreasonable of them to have expected you to call in (but hey, if they want a phone call at 3am then it's their look out!). At the end of the day most work-related stuff is just a game and it's about getting better at playing it as the years go on. There aren't many professions where the decision you make will be live or die - and that's what I tell myself to keep my working life in perspective! I am not saving lives so in the grand scheme of things, it's about learning to compartmentalise things so that work does not intrude on your personal life - i.e. leave it at the door.

Try not to worry about the negative gossip; there is zilch you can do about it so there is no point at all in fretting, although I know it's easier said than done. Keep your chin up, move on to another job and let your actions speak louder than words. Ultimately your actual performance will shine through and in the long-term the negative gossipers will look a bit foolish because people will know how good you are. In the meantime, your Dad is recovering and that's what is important.

Finally re: resignations. The best advice I got from my mentor (who is much older, sharper and successful than me!) is don't make it personal. That means a factual letter and nothing more - no apologies, no explanations, no gushing thanks, no accusations - nada. You're allowed to move on from a firm and you're simply exercising your right to do so, end of.

FiveSixPickUpSticks Fri 01-Apr-16 08:00:21

I looked it up and under the circumstances my employer legally has to give me 10 days off for such matters

I certainly don't think that is true.

CosyNook Fri 01-Apr-16 08:12:22

When I needed time off my previous boss gave me two weeks, although our policy is stated only a few days.

Why not post on Employment Issues, there are some HR people posting on there.

Jessica1235 Fri 01-Apr-16 16:01:51

Thank you for the responses. I cannot remember where I saw the 10 days off. However, this what the government link says.

As for the other information it was on google so it probably isn't accurate.

I was just so upset by the way the handled the situation and I think you are right I just need to move.

She now spreading lies about me because I told her there no need for HR to be so uncompassionate whilst my father was and a life support machine and at the time I didn't even know if he would live. I also handed in my resignation and left them in a bad spot, but I just couldn't face them again.

HermioneWeasley Fri 01-Apr-16 16:07:49

It doesn't sound like it was a good fit for either party and you've made the right decision to move on.

Glad you dad has recovered.

Jessica1235 Fri 01-Apr-16 16:46:32

Thank you, me too, my Dad is only 50 and seeing him in that state was awful. I took my daughter along to see him after two weeks and it really cheered him. He didn't want her to see him like that at first, but she is only a baby and I told him he was being silly, bless him.

JeVoudrais Fri 01-Apr-16 18:48:58

Glad your dad is ok.

Hard to say without seeing exactly what was emailed. I do think you were a bit unprofessional. The 'I offered to work my notice' bit, there is a reason there are notice periods so of course you should have been intending to work that. I agree with the MD having said they expected you to work it.

Maybe you and the HR lady grated on each other. Maybe she had already said something and the MD saw it escalating and wanted to nip it in the bud. Too many variables but it doesn't sound like an environment I would want to work in either!

RubbleBubble00 Fri 01-Apr-16 20:06:15

Sounds like thy wanted rid of u tbh. Completely unprofessional for hr to quote how she "worked through it". They threw lots of stuff at u, at a time where u couldn't cope with it.

Move on and don't look back. If my dad was on life support then I wouldn't be heading into work.

IceMaiden73 Sat 02-Apr-16 18:17:23

There is definitely no legal right to have 10 days off, it is usually at the discretion of the company and their stance on it should be in the staff handbook

I think if you didn't follow procedure for giving them notice if what had happened or worked your notice period then YABABU

However it sounds like they have also acted badly

I'm glad your Dad is better

scotsgirl64 Sat 02-Apr-16 18:26:40

No legal right for 10 days off....and sorry but your father is not a dependant .... I was only allowed 5 days off when my mother passed away and I had to travel 300 miles and arrange her funeral....sounds like you weren't suited to job and best rid of them

Stillunexpected Sat 02-Apr-16 19:37:22

They acted badly in the way they responded to your initial absence. However, you certainly didn't help yourself once you had resigned by "offering" to work your notice. You don't get to decide whether to work out your notice or not! Also making your turn to work conditional on an apology from HR was never going to endear you to the company. JolseBaby has some good advice in her post.

Jessica1235 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:13:57

Firstly. I understand I am not entitled to 10 days notice now and I never mentioned that to my ex-employer. Clearly that was some bad advise I read somewhere on the internet.

What I was trying to achieve by requesting the apology was a way to resolve the situation so I felt able to return to work and serve my notice as I didn't want to leave them in a bad spot. However, at the time I was so outraged at the poor management that had been operated and I honestly felt I could not go back unless something was done to resolve the matter.

Also I was not going to return to the job and sit there serving my notice whilst the MD's minion sat there knowing she can treat all the staff like crap and get away with it. Even if that employee's Dad was potentially dying at the time apparently she still allowed to treat people like crap.

This is why I ended up with s stress note, not serving my notice, and left them in a mess.

All the MD had to do was work with me given the exceptional circumstances but they wouldn't. Also the company have had 15 people leave since I have been there, so I am surprised the MD does not see the issues her minion causes yet, as most of the reasons people had left is because of the way the choose to operate. However, its never the minions fault it always the employees.

I do agree with the other posters I don't think the company were the right fit for me and to be honest I should have left sooner before it got to this point.

However, the job spec was suited to me, I have been doing my job for 14 years and never had issues with it before.

I am just putting down to bad experience.

I just wondered if anyone else had experienced this sort of behaviour from a company.

Also I have 3 interviews next week so onwards and upwards.

Clearoutre Sun 03-Apr-16 01:13:58

Congratulations on the interviews, it sounds like you've got a strong career of 14 years behind you and 5-7 months at the 'company from hell' is a relative blip. I'm sure everyone will join at least one bad company in their lifetime and leave after a relatively short space of time. What you describe doesn't sound like a bad fit, it sounds toxic.

In interviews I'd refer to leaving because of something the company didn't offer which the next one would - a bigger team to work with or type of project (regardless having to take time off due to your dad's accident or the stress caused) and then move onto talking about longer periods at earlier companies so it's clear you have a successful record and don't keep changing jobs.

With regards to the way your company treated you, it was totally lacking in basic respect never mind compassion - the correct response should have been "Take care, go and be with your dad, we're thinking of you" yet they took the opportunity to throw company policy at you and refer to how others worked through a family illness - is THAT company policy?! The least you were entitled to was an apology and you shouldn't have had to ask for it.

If they try to justify their treatment of you with any nonsense about putting them in a 'bad spot' - well, they already had a backlog when you started, when you offered to work overtime for free to tackle it they refused AND when you said you would work your notice for an apology they also refused - so they need to look a little further to find out why they're in a bad spot.

I get that you signed a contract with a notice period but what would they actually do about the fact you didn't work it...try and sue you for 3 months work (or however long your notice period is) during which it would publicly come out how badly their company treats employees and how easily they could have got you to work your notice (by apologising). Any sensible MD or shareholders would not be impressed with these things even from a financial point of view alone - it's expensive to keep losing and finding new staff. They were in a bad spot, bagged an experienced professional who was willing to take on the challenge and then blew it by showing you a total lack of respect and compassion in response to an incident that we all hope that we'll never have to deal with - I'd be wanting answers as to who's poor judgement prompted this.

Any malicious gossip that gets back to you, just state the facts "15 people left in the 5 months I was there" - says it all...sounds toxic, I'm glad you left.

At your interviews next week I'd also try and find out about their company culture, you might know someone-who-knows-someone or ask at the interview "What is it like to work here?", "How long has the current team been with the company?" or "How do the managers support their teams?"...challenge them a bit to demonstrate if it is a nice place to work and heed any alarm have 3 interviews and 14 years of experience, they should know these 2 things and realise that the balance of power is in your favour so something needs to stand out!

Jessica1235 Sun 03-Apr-16 05:27:57

Thank you so much Clearoutre.

That message makes so much sense and means a lot. This whole situation made me question my own sanity so its nice to know I'm not crazy.

Best get back to my one year old, no Sunday lie for me today lol!

EBearhug Sun 03-Apr-16 14:25:52

the company have had 15 people leave since I have been there

People don't leave good employers without good reason - this figure tells you a lot -mostly that you're better off out of there.

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