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Was My Reaction Ok? What Now?

(41 Posts)
picklypopcorn Fri 20-May-16 15:45:46

So I've been having some major issues with anxiety at the moment and my reactions to things can't be trusted especially where work is involved. This stems from being passed over for a promotion in January and I still haven't fully got my head together yet (panic attacks, general over-reaction to little things etc) can you guys read this email for me and tell me if it sounds like my boss is using the fact I've told her I want to move forward in my career as a kind of threat? Initially it made me panicked and also angry but I recognize that I'm not responding to things in proportion at the moment. People IRL just tend to join in in my outrage when I talk to them which doesn't help, I need mumsnet straight talking!

I've changed some bits that might be outing but the language use is all the same. The tasks are not originally done by me, the "my responsibility" is checking for errors in other peoples work.

I just wanted to highlight a couple of issues with * my responsibility * that I’ve had feedback on recently. A couple of different remote managers have highlighted that they’ve seen issues in work that they’ve received, despite this work having gone through the * my responsibility * process. These errors have been technical issues which should be really easy to find. This is disappointing as it negates all the hard work we’ve put in over time to ensure that the remote managers both respect the process, but value us as meticulous about our quality. It’s also starting to impact our reputation as * insert business objective *. If you want to be the manager of this team, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the quality is 100% perfect, and at the moment it isn’t. Just something to think about as I know your keen to progress.

Let me know if you’re struggling with * my responsibility * and need support (I’m always here to help); or whether your workload in general is impacting your * my responsibility *, but it’s absolutely imperative that we cut out these errors. There’s still time to turn it around at the moment but we need to start now.

Give me a shout if you want to discuss, or if you need my support with anything at all.

I've checked back over all the emails sent this afternoon and can't find the errors I've made, so I replied:

Thanks for the feedback. I understand the importance of * my responsibility * and obviously any oversights shouldn’t happen. Can you let me know the types of tasks/ any regular tasks I’m missing errors on? I had no training when I started * my responsibility * so it would be really useful to get feedback on the errors I’ve missed so I know to look for them next time.

Firstly, is her email shitty or is it my imagination? Also, was my response shitty? She has a direct input on my career progression, I have a reputation for being a good worker and meticulous normally so this has knocked me for six.


MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 20-May-16 15:50:04

I cannot see anything wrong with her email at all, and I can't see anything wrong with your reply.

ditavonteesed Fri 20-May-16 15:50:45

your response is perfect, it's fine for her to point out errors but she needs to actually point them out not just mention that they exsist, you seem open to feedback which is good. I think her response is a little unprofessional as it is not giving you actual feedback but you handled it perfectly.

Lovewineandchocs Fri 20-May-16 15:51:20

Obviously I don't know your boss but it doesn't sound shitty to me, sounds supportive and keen to correct stuff early on. She does talk about you wanting to be manager but equally she talks about maintaining organisational reputation. And she offers to discuss anything you want. Your response was fine, although the bit about not having received training could be seen as a little passive aggressive or blame-shifting. Maybe talk to her? I hope you get it resolved chocolate

RhiWrites Fri 20-May-16 17:23:05

Her email sounded really good to me. I think you may be reading something that's not there.

trilbydoll Fri 20-May-16 17:26:38

Her email isn't very helpful unless she's highlighted the errors, general emails like that don't work Imo. Your response is fine, but I think I'd ask for specific examples, you can only make sure mistakes aren't repeated if you know exactly what happened first time!

Hassled Fri 20-May-16 17:29:17

Her email is fine - obviously someone somewhere has picked up on errors (I mean she hasn't made it up - for whatever reason, the quality of the work isn't spot on at the moment), and it is her job to address that. And she offered help etc - she allowed you a chance to say your workload was too heavy. I don't see that she said anything a manager shouldn't say in these circumstances.

Equally your response was fine - polite, looked for more specific feedback, pointed out the training issue.

These things happen - don't dwell on it too much and make it into a bigger thing than it needs to be (easier said than done, I realise). It's significant that she said "if you want to be the manager..." - she obviously thinks that's a possibility.

Peridotisinvalid Fri 20-May-16 17:29:54

I think that your boss's email was excellent and professional and not in the least "shitty".

Stormtreader Fri 20-May-16 17:32:05

Sounds fine to me, shes acknowledging that you want to progress and giving guidance with that in mind. Totally agree with PPs though - saying "there have been errors reported" is utterly useless, and could even be other people trying to blame you for what are actually their own failings. Examples are essential! Your reply sounds fine to me.

BillyDaveysDaughter Fri 20-May-16 17:33:07

I'm a manager, I think her email was fine - focused on facts and impact without being personal (she should have specified the actual errors though).

And your response was perfectly alright, open and courteous. Maybe a touch defensive ("I had no training") but it's factual and quite a normal reaction.

Nobody has spoken out of turn, she's doing her job and you're doing yours and being receptive to feedback. Nothing to be worried about in my view, I'd be glad to have you on my team.

ProjectPerfect Fri 20-May-16 17:36:50

Her email is unhelpful - it doesn't actually identify the errors that she claims have been noted and so gives you no real opportunity to remedy the concerns.

Formalising a complaint in this manner would also ring alarm bells. As a manager the first step in dealing with such a concern would be forwarding the email in which the "remote manager" had identified a problem with a quick FYI. If I continued to observe the issues then we'd be having a face to face chat. An email of the nature she sent would be final step in a long process and the sort of thing I'd write if I wanted an audit trail.

Justbeingnosey123 Fri 20-May-16 17:41:55

If it makes you feel any better I don't think her email was meant to come across shitty. She addressed some issues that have come up and ohas offered support to fix them. She has also acknowledged you desire to move up. Your response asking for examples also seems fine to me this way you can clarify if the issue actually had anything to do with you and showing your receptive to feedback.

picklypopcorn Fri 20-May-16 17:44:43

Aaaaah you've helped so much thanks guys! I'm learning that anxiety makes you think about things in odd ways and makes you dwell on things and turn them into something they're not, hence the need to ask for objective opinions because I can't trust my own opinion on things at the moment!

So its all good? Just wait for her to come back with specifics?

Reason I thought there might be venom behind it: she really laboured the importance of this task and it felt like a dig somehow? Dunno, anyway good to know it's in my head smile

crayfish Fri 20-May-16 17:46:05

Both emails are fine, you were both professional and courteous. She should have pointed out what the actual errors were though so I think it's fine for you to ask for specifics.

I understand what you're getting at, in that she referenced your desire to progress whilst suggesting that your work had fallen below standard, but this is pretty normal for a boss. Don't read too much into it.

StealthPolarBear Fri 20-May-16 17:47:19

Yes I assumed she'd done what project says. If this is the first you're hearing of the errors that's not good

picklypopcorn Fri 20-May-16 17:48:02

projectperfect oh god do you think so?? There's been no mention of anything previously, feedback is always very positive and I've never had any trouble before this is the first bit of negative feedback I've had in the 2 years I've been there... Do you think this is her covering her back and gearing up to sack me? Can't cope with that, I pay for everything I have a mortgage etc I can't afford to lose my job sad

Justbeingnosey123 Fri 20-May-16 17:50:29

Yeah not knowing the person at all it reads to me like a fairly standard message to send out for things like this. It's up to her now to give you the details of these issues so just try to switch off and enjoy your weekend smile

Hassled Fri 20-May-16 17:50:34

There's nothing at all in her email to indicate she's gearing up to sack you. In fact the opposite - she's giving you a chance to address the issues, she's offering support, she's talking about "if you want to be the manager of this team...". It's all positive.

Justbeingnosey123 Fri 20-May-16 17:55:27

If she was covering her back or gearing up to cause problems I would have expected a few as we previously discussed or illusions to this being an issue in the past. She hasn't done that. In fact even says in the message recent feedback which to me reads this is a new issue that she's just looking to resolve.

gobbynorthernbird Fri 20-May-16 17:55:32

pickly, don't get more anxious! The email trail (or not) could be better but your manager is as human and fallible as you are. I think you're reading way to much into this.

picklypopcorn Fri 20-May-16 17:58:45

Ok, wondering whether i should have a face to face with her on Monday to talk it through? Then I can read her better than on an email? Only problem is the anxiety, I'm prone to tears and inability to use words when in a situation where I feel under threat/ confronted in any way. Massively annoying!

The team management thing: current manager has just left, Im currently most senior team member and the responsibility I've mentioned is something the manager would normally do, but obviously because she's gone I've now stepped up to do it. I've been 'due' a promotion since October but missed out in January due to a change in job role that wasn't my fault, the anxiety then started and I've been trying to keep my head down ever since but I'm worrying now they are finding reasons not to promote me in June, hence the 'audit trail'... Could that be a thing?

Nannawifeofbaldr Fri 20-May-16 18:03:19


Take a deep breath.

It's all fine.

She's doing what she's meant to -

*Ensure the quality of the work and reputation of the team.
*Give feedback to staff member
*Encourage and support staff members career development.

You replied asking for specifics so you can establish lessons learned - also fine and exactly what I'd expect a staff member to do.

It's all good.


picklypopcorn Fri 20-May-16 18:03:54

Haha gobby trying my best here! Determined not to stress over it but anxiety is a completely new thing for me, didn't suffer as a kid or anything so haven't really learned how to cope with it yet. I can recognise it now though which is a big step!

NannawifeofBaldr Fri 20-May-16 18:04:54

I think the exact opposite- I think she wants to give you the job and is making sure that no one has any excuse to not give it to you.

picklypopcorn Fri 20-May-16 18:07:34

nanna god I hope that's the case, I've put too much pressure on myself to get a manager role, starting to realise that now!

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