To ask for help with coping with being 'told off' at work....

(48 Posts)
TheSockGoblin Fri 12-Aug-16 13:06:14

Posting here for traffic as i know I am being unreasonable in my reactions to this issue, but I really, really hate being 'told off' at work.

My work is somewhere which is fast paced and there is a lot of pressure to get things done in a limited timeframe. Mistakes happen and sometimes my managers have a word with me about mistakes I make. not loads, but every now and then I do screw something up.

This isn't a problem in of itself, my managers don't swear or shout or act in a nasty way. They can be a tad strict or slightly arsey but I never feel like I'm getting an uncalled-for bollocking or am being bullied etc.

My problem is even a small mistake and being pulled up on it leaves me feeling panicky, unsure of myself, frustrated, defensive and really anxious.

It's my day off today and my boss called me over two hours ago to pull me up on something I did wrong yesterday - some of it my fault but some with a reason. He wasn't mean to me, just told me what to do differently next time and did say this sort of thing if seen to be done deliberately could be a dismissal offence (but to be fair most of the stuff they pull you up with at work is touted as being a dismissal offence!).

My issue is i'm still going over it in my head and feeling angry at myself, depressed, down and worried about work. I also feel defensive and generally bleurgh about it.

I need some advice!! How do I manage these feelings?

I hate the feeling of being 'in trouble', to the point where i feel i become obsessive about the issue and really wind myself up. It's really put a cloud on my day and made me realise how much of a problem this is for me.

Anyone else get this? How do you cope with it?!

ChatterNatterer Fri 12-Aug-16 13:09:32

I don't think it's fair for them to ring you on your day off.

I also think that if there is a pattern to the mistakes they should work with you to rectify/retrain etc.

Otherwise I think it's you taking time to understand why you made the mistake - is it likely to happen again, and put it into context, if it's once in a blue moon compared to an otherwise unblemished record then try and shake it off and think about times you were praised/did a job well instead?

HerdsOfWilderbeest Fri 12-Aug-16 13:09:59

I don't think it's acceptable for him to phone you on your day off to point out shortcomings.

I don't know what your job is - can you leave easily and work somewhere else? I would hate to be constantly pulled up for things. Mentioning that if you had done something deliberately it would be sackable is horrible.

RandomMess Fri 12-Aug-16 13:12:23

Place marking could do with some advice!

I guess the easy answer it to be thicker skinned...

mrsfuzzy Fri 12-Aug-16 13:13:51

i'd ask for extra training if needed or speak to hr about the calls on my days off that's bang out of order imo

Dontyoulovecalpol Fri 12-Aug-16 13:14:09

I am exactly the same. Know exactly what you mean

sonjadog Fri 12-Aug-16 13:15:17

Do you know why you are feeling like this? What is at the root of it?

It sounds like you don´t have a problem with the concept of being an imperfect person who sometimes makes mistakes, but your emotional reaction isn´t matching your logical reaction. I have a friend who has had this problem and she reckons it stems from having a difficult father who saw making mistakes as a serious character flaw. She was found it easier to deal with criticism now she knows where her reactions are coming from. Could it be something similar with you?

Ninasimoneinthemorning Fri 12-Aug-16 13:16:01

Do you have anxiety op?

OpenMe Fri 12-Aug-16 13:16:12

He absolutely shouldn't have ring you on your day off.

However provided it's done politely and privately, he's simply doing his job. It might help if you try and view it as training rather than being told off

redexpat Fri 12-Aug-16 13:16:38

I keep a diary of everything I do right, or get praised for. It helps balance things out.

90daychallenger Fri 12-Aug-16 13:16:57

Just remember that everyone make mistakes. The mistakes you've made are innocent and not deliberate so no need to get yourself stressed about it.

No-one died.

Make a list of the mistakes you're making. Are they all the same 'kind'? If so, tell the boss you need some training.

Also, tell him its absolutely no acceptable to contact you on your day off.

TheSockGoblin Fri 12-Aug-16 13:18:11

Yea my partner was like hmm he called on my day off. Not the first time. I do have to say though that in other ways he has been very supportive (had really tough persnal life stuff happen a few weeks ago).

I know my managers get jumped on by their managers a lot, and are pretty micro-managed.

I might be transferring offices soon.

I did screw up slightly yesterday - kind of a 'shared fault' error really so I don't mind knowing I made the mistake and what to do next time.

It's my reaction to feeling 'in trouble' that bothers me. I wish I had a thicker skin! I just think it's not healthy to still be worrying and stressing about this hours later.

Wish there was some kind of 'not caring' secret I could learn. [confsued]

TheSockGoblin Fri 12-Aug-16 13:22:05

Sonjadog - thats exactly it! Logically mistkaes happen, i'm not perfect and yea I made one yesterday. Now I know what to do if the same situation happens again.

Emotionally? basket case about it. sad

The actual mistakes I've made have all been slightly different and pretty much all of them down to not enough time to do the job in the hours. But this is a common problem for everyone. (don't wanna out myself with my exact job - is very identifiable!).

My dad was pretty scary when you got anytihng wrong - impatient and belittling etc. But never outright abusive, shouty or violent. He'd do that low voice scary threatening thing and then make me wait in his bedroom until he was ready to come and tell me off. That was enough for me!

Maybe thats why it still affects me even if someone isn't shouting at me.

April241 Fri 12-Aug-16 13:22:35

Your boss shouldn't be calling you on a day off to pull you up for something, he should have waited until he seen you at work next. The only time id ever call someone at home on a day off if they've been involved in something that requires an answer and they've forgotten to hand it over, even then I'd still only phone if I absolutely had to.

As for coping with getting into trouble, are you making the same mistakes over and over again, or are you struggling with your workload? Figure out why you're making mistakes and what you can do to change that. If it were me and I found I was making mistakes I'd approach my boss and say I was struggling with X, could I possibly have some more training or guidance on what was required. Your boss will appreciate it if you're honest and say you're not sure or whatever the reason may be.

cherryplumbanana Fri 12-Aug-16 13:22:48

It sounds like you need more training, or more staff but it's not "normal" to make a lot of mistakes at work. Of course we are all human, but just picture someone working as a nurse for example: can she afford to make mistakes? no.

just told me what to do differently next time and did say this sort of thing if seen to be done deliberately could be a dismissal offence
were you aware that it was wrong? If not, then it's your manager's fault for not providing adequate training.
Were you just rushing, and you didn't realise it was wrong because you were in a hurry?
Were you hungover and unable to think clearly? (I doubt you were, but in this case it would be totally your fault).

I don't think anyone likes to be told off, but you need to understand what the problems are and discuss with your manager how to fix them .

TheSockGoblin Fri 12-Aug-16 13:22:54

Sorry for typos. Rushing to post before I go out....

youarenotkiddingme Fri 12-Aug-16 13:23:04

Well it's your day off. I'd feel like that as I know I could t rectify it until my return.

I think a definition of mistake would make the difference to me.

If it was something that could cost company money then being pulled up on it and offered training then fair enough.
But I also know in some jobs atm it's things that can't always be controlled like items per minute through a checkout.

90daychallenger Fri 12-Aug-16 13:24:12

TheSock Wish there was some kind of 'not caring' secret I could learn.

Secret is:
(a) No-one died
(b) No-one connected to this will even remember this in a years time
(c) One day I'll be worm food

Finelinebetweenchaos Fri 12-Aug-16 13:24:52

I'm exactly the same OP. It doesn't help that I can feel tears coming the second any kind of critical conversation starts!! I end up feeling like I'm being unprofessional on top of whatever the initial problem was. I don't mean to get upset and I certainly do want to improve but it just feels so awful.

I think it's partly because I already have a rather large stick that I use to beat myself up with constantly and having even a tiny bit of that "confirmed" by someone else is really hurtful. I also wonder if it's connected to the fact that I was bullied as a child. It brings up the same kind of feelings. How about you OP?

As for advice, none I'm afraid except maybe find a new job that is less critical / fast paced!?

EndodSummerLooming Fri 12-Aug-16 13:30:49

I'm HR and quite senior at that. Calling you on your day off ad threatening you with your job is harassment. If I heard about this from a member of staff I'd be having a very serious conversation with the manager's manager.

But then again I'm charity/public sector and our staff have unions and decent policies.

Please try not to let it bother you. It might be an idea to find a better employer and write a review about he old one on glass doors.

absolutelynotfabulous Fri 12-Aug-16 13:34:04

I'm exactly the same too. And, yes, not on for your boss to ring you on your day off.

Worrying about mistakes wrecked my working life. I was tense and anxious all the time, including when I wasn't at work. Watching this with interest as I have no idea why I was like I was. I'm kinda glad to know I'm not the only one!

I remember growing up thinking that I had to be "good" all the time. My parents were stern, judgemental people (although not unpleasant). They were of their time, really.

I'm otherwise quite confident and capable, but I've never cracked my anxiety about work.

Sorry for the hijack. I sympathise. flowers.

AntiquityAgain Fri 12-Aug-16 13:34:58

I've used transactional analysis to work on such issues. Was going to suggest it even before you mentioned your dad as it seemed you were reacting with the child part of you.

The problem with certain styles of parenting is that pointing things out is often telling off with the goal of inducing shame, embarrassment, failure that you didn't already know it shouldn't have happened and an incredibly high expectation it should never happen again.

The adult part of you can see there isn't time enough and it's shared responsibility. But probably can't overcome the triggers that send you to child mode, in this case the boss acting in parent mode by invading your day off.

Whether the theory is bollocks or not it can be a useful frame of reference to look at why we react as we do and to work at lessening the negative aspects & reactions.

HellonHeels Fri 12-Aug-16 13:40:25

It's not OK for your manager to call you on your day off. It's not OK to make veiled threats about dismissal.

It's also really bad form to raise difficult issues on a Friday when they could wait, because then people worry over them all weekend without the opportunity to work on things.

I agree with everyone who's said to look at the type of mistakes and the reason for them and to identify any training of support that should be put in place to help you succeed.

Hope you can let this go for now and relax and enjoy your time off

BurnTheBlackSuit Fri 12-Aug-16 13:41:59

My DH and I are both like you OP. Being "told off" makes me cry- it's very embarrassing! I think it's just personality- dwelling on uncomfortable/ embarrassing event.

Not sure what the solution is though.

FayaMAMA Fri 12-Aug-16 13:48:51

I used to feel like this when I worked in an office when I was younger. It was just basic office admin, but one time I emailed a client saying "hello, Claire" when the person's name was actually "Clive" and went over it in my head for weeks. It wasn't actually my fault as my boss' handwriting was abysmal and everyone agreed that it did look like it said Claire and found it hilarious, I still felt awful that I had done something wrong.

The very last time I worked there I sent out letters that included a reply envelope, but forgot to put stamps on them. I was so mortified and felt so ashamed that I did something wrong I just resigned...

I generally work freelance now (plus lovely lovely waitressing) and I find it a lot easier to 'let myself down' rather than other people, if you see what I mean? I think it's definitely a self confidence issue and perhaps you should have a little Cognitive behavioural therapy to help you with that? I had it for my anxiety and it changed my life. smile

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