AIBU about work? (Long sorry)(41 Posts)
I have worked for my company for 11 years and am in a senior role.
My boss is a director.
A while ago (about 6 weeks ago) I became very stressed and anxious about the working environment. I have been basically bounced into another job that I don't really want but had little choice (I think I have a very good case for constructive dismissal but the reality of leaving my job, not having another one to go to and then waiting a year for a tribunal to conclude is not financially possible and I couldnt handle the stress)
I went to the GP who has put me on Citralopram and Beta Blockers. He offered to sign me off but my boss has not been of sick since 1982 (he recounts this a lot) and being off sick is even more stress due to his attitude so I carried on working.
My boss is aware I have been suffering from workplace stress and am on medication for it.
On Monday I wa due to attend a meeting in London. However, due to an issue at Crewe when I got to the station all the trains were cancelled. I returned to the office and sent a few emails on the way, including one to my bos referencing the fact I was returning to the office due to the major rail disruption.
When I got back in I saw him and mentioned the trains being cancelled. He said "Not all the trains were cancelled. The two before yours (which I didn't have tickets for and would have no reason to get to the station for) ran and then yours and the others after it were cancelled). Meaning he had checked up on me. On its own this doesn't sound like much but it's symptomatic of the way he pries and checks and gets involved with things that should not really concern a director. I have never not attended a client meeting and there have been no issues around my conduct that should prompt him to check up on me
I was due to travel to London again today (I go two or three times a week. It's a 3.5 to 4 hour each way commute from where I live - frequently do 14 hour days including this travel for no extra pay or TOIL). However, I have tonsilitis.
I got up a six to go to the meeting. I felt terrible. DH took one look at me and said "You cannot go to London like that". He was right and there's no way I would have made it through the day. I e-mailed the client to re-arrange the meeting for next week. DH said to go back to bed and he would look after DS and ring work for me.
I fell back asleep. At about half twelve, the FD (not my boss but another director) rang me, waking me up. I didn't answer the phone as I can't talk and am a bit out of it with fever. A few minutes later I saw an email from the FD asking if I could find a document for him. I emailed another colleague (Who happens to be the HR admin) asking her if she could send it to him.
I fell asleep again.
About 2pm I woke up and felt well enough to go downstairs. I had an email from another colleague asking how the meeting went. I replied that I had had to arrange it due to sickness.
I then asked DH what work had said about me being off. He told me he had forgotten to tell them.
I rang the HR admin, told her I was sick, had re-arranged the client meeting and apologised for not ringing earlier but explained I had been asleep and DH had said he would call and then forgotten. She said no problems.
Then she emailed me saying I hadnt mentioned I was sick in my email. I explained again that I thought DH had rung in and that the FD had woken me when he called and emailed, I'd responded to his email and then gone back to sleep. I forwarded her the email to the client at 6:30 this morning re arrainging the meeting and his response say it was fine, plus the email from the FD saying he'd tried to call but could I get him xx document.
She then emailed saying it was my boss checking up on me.
I am sick of his constant checking. This is the 2nd day off I have had this year. I think he is going to imply I wasn't going to call in sick and just not go to the meeting. I've never done anything like that in the 11 years I've been with the company.
It probably doesn't sound like much but it's this horrible toxic culture he creates where there is no trust. The last time I was ill I took an emergency holiday rather than ring in sick because he is so horrible about it. It's every single thing. Every line on expenses is scrutinised. If other people are late due to traffic issues he checks the traffic reports. He's supposed to be a senior director but he seems to have so much free time to check up on people. When someone took a day off to go to the coroners after their dad died he wanted a letter from the coroner saying they attended.
AIBU to feel really stressed and anxious about work. I know I'm not seeing things right or I wouldn't be on medication but he just makes and issue and drama out of everything. I'm half expecting to walk into a disciplinary on Tuesday and it's making me ill.
Totally get why you're feeling to anxious and stressed a micro-managing boss can be really awful to handle day to day. Could you maybe put something of how you are feeling on record with the HR lady and then sit down together with her and your boss and talk through how difficult the situation he's putting you in is?
Hope it eases off soon!
That's a good idea. It's a little odd as I used to manage the HR department, but I guess now that it's acutally easier to "use" it as a service which Ihaven't really done before (due to running it)
He's very reactive and emotional though and I would be scared of an out burst
As an example he recently did a presentation and after it invited questions. One colleague, let's call him Fred, asked if anyone had spell checked the presentation as it was full of errors
After the presentation and Fred had left he said "What a cunt Fred is. Is his cock so small he needs to say things like that?"
This was said in full fury and in front of a female and fairly junior staff member.
You need to get out of there. A manager like that will ruin your confidence.
I'm trying to get a new job but it's tricky as I live in a back water and not many companies pay what they do locally and my confidence is shot to pieces
Get away from him. you don't even like your current job so there is no need to attempt to put up with him.
I have had recurrent tonsilitis and in my case it was definitely work-stress related. I think you need to prioritise getting well first. Get formally signed off for at least a week to manage that initial recovery, and email everyone you can think of to tell them you are ill and appoint people to manage your clients in that time.
What sort of industry are you in? Are relationships very important? Will you get another job most likely through formal channels or informal channels?
This individual has a lot to do with your low mood. Even the act of checking is toxic and damaging to your confidence and your work relationships. He is blatantly doing it to intimidate you and you are the sort of person who is very depleted by this. (I am too. I cannot bear not being trusted, it makes me sad and angry and defeatist and harms my performance)
You need to decide how you will leave and whether it is worth going back there at all. Your short term goal is to get well, your medium term goal is to get another job; every decision you make now should be about those two things.
That is very good advice.
Im going to the doctors first thing on Tuesday as I want some medical back up. Hopefully I will get signed off. They offered to last time as I said and when I declined did say I could change my mind. So I think I will and then document with HR how his actions are harming my recovery / casuing the issues.
Oh - I;m in a management consultancy type industry. The new role is heavily focused on relationships but I have no issues there and the client really like me. Maybe thats a route to a new role.
Get out. Go back to your GP. Milk the bastard for as much sick leave as you can then get a job where you are valued for the hard working and loyal employee that you are.
Seriously, fuck that guy, you need quality of life and you deserve it.
DH would like to punch him today, but obviously that's not a good or
long term plan
You need to move on before you lose all your confidence.
You are clearly very competent and should be snapped up elsewhere.
Get on the job hunt.
Can't DH punch him after you get another job?
when I saw things going tits up at work on the horizon I joined a union - they were really helpful especially when I was making a case for constructive - they helped me elongate a trumped up redundancy situation for a few months whilst I got another job
i'd deffo say they are worth it
you need to keep a diary of your thoughts fellings and his and other colleagues actions and conversations - I used to email myself - from my own phone not works property -- or text myself so I had it on record. also if anyone leaves and you suspect the boss is a contributing factor - try to keep in touch with them over personal email or facebook message
My boss is a micro-manager. He's a nice enough bloke but he drives me up the wall and this kind of approach is like water torture - the constant drip drip drip erodes your confidence. I left a good job to move to his firm and 6 months in am having panic attacks, palpitations and other stress related stuff going on.
I feel your pain - it's horrible, the sensation of constantly being checked up on. I am also baffled by where they find the time. Most days I bare'y have time to eat so Christ only knows where he finds slack time to look at train timetables. I am looking for another job - life is too fucking short to be miserable, and if it means a pay cut then so be it. I'd rather be happy and less stressed - as long as I have enough coming in to cover the bills then that'll do.
Would you consider going back to your old place if there was a vacancy? It's something I wish I'd had the courage to try to do when I ended up in a rubbish role in a poorly managed company. I was very much liked at my former company and in hindsight, my ex boss would have tried very hard to get me back. I know people at dhs work, who've done the same and been re employed.
The union and the diary are good ideas
I very much like Patti's suggestion too
Janecc - its a new role in the same company.
Sounds really shite-I sympathise
I can't believe your DH forgot to phone your work and tell them you were ill though
Yeah DH has not done me any favours. DS (who is 4) can be a distraction but I manage to remember to do things.
You shouldn't be looking at work e-mail when you are off sick. I know how easy it is with a mobile etc but if I was your boss I would be wondering why you are online,
Mabel - my boss is a 24/7 man. I regularly get emails sent from him in the small hours of the morning and on a Sunday. It is expected that unless you are in hospital or have two broken arms, that you will cover urgent emails and sort your own meeting absences out. I am in a fairly senior role (and it sounds like the OP is too) so there isn't anyone else to cover this - unfortunately I am not senior enough for a PA! It's part of the reason why I am looking for another job, as I can see this one ruining my health and well-being. No job is worth that.
I would be looking for another job, if I were you. Working in an atmosphere that poisonous would make anyone ill.
I have been in a similar position before, OP, with a really controlling, micro managing, bullying boss and in the end I left my job as I refused to put up with her behaviour any longer.
I worked from home a lot (everyone did, there was very little actual office space for us all), and my boss would phone my personal mobile. If I didn't answer because I was on a phone call (we had internet phones on our laptops and the job was telesales based so I was on the phone to clients 95% of the time), she would phone again over and over and over, and then move on to my landline and/or skype.
She'd also question every little thing, and nothing would ever be good enough for her. It got very wearing to be asked questions like "Why did you make that call at 9.05am and not 9.07am?", and having to justify silly little things to her, and then the justification would not be good enough for her anyway and she'd just moan at me.
I would look for another job, OP. I hope you soon feel much better.
Sounds really unpleasant.
Definitely join a union.
Mabel I'm pretty much expected to answer emails whenever they come, like DailyFail says.
I was doing my emails when I was waiting for the epidural to wear off in hospital when DS was born (he was asleep I wasn't neglecting him) and that was just taken as expected. I got a whole 5 weeks maternity leave. (Contractually and legally obviously I could have had a lot more, but culturally - no)
The last thing he kicked off about (a week ago) was that, as my previous role involved managing the HR department, I had access to all personnel files including my own.
Before I changed roles I made a copy of MY OWN P60, P11D, offer letter and contract from the electronic HR file I held on my PC. I have the paper copies at home but it's handy to have the scanned copies as you sometimes need them - tax returns etc. When I mentioned this he started ranting that I hadn't made a subject access request.
I didnt need access as I already had access and they were my own bloody documents. But the fuss he made.......again sending me into a panic attack and feeling terrible.
LostinLost - sounds very similar. It's no fun
I am going to redouble my efforts to find a new job (depressingly everything on Reed in my area appears to be a bloody franchise "opportunity" and in the meantime, keep a log, join a union and raise it with HR. I'll be at the Doctors first thing Tuesday as well.
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