To be angry with my manager(7 Posts)
My workplace has gone through major changes. Staff have to live with these, but it has been very unsettling. We also have a new manager. I went to see her with some concerns of mine last week, and had a productive discussion. Then she brought up the fact that before she started I had had a month off with depression. I explained that I had been ill, but got better. I also said that I declared my depression as a disability as I have had a diagnosis for over 30 years (monopolar depression, SAD and anxiety - well managed, but I have had roughly an episode a year for years - not always needing to take time off, but earlier this year I was quite ill) I said that my doctor was monitoring me as I had felt very stressed and low with all the changes, but that I was coping well so far. She laughed, said oh we all get depressed, just put a smile on your face and look on the bright side.
I was stunned. My previous manager was incredibly understanding and supportive, and I couldn't believe I was hearing this. I was raging inside but I asked her straight out if she understood just how completely offensive and staggeringly inappropriate such a comment was to someone with my condition. She didn't seem to get at all why I was upset.
I feel as if any trust of my manager has gone, and I'm quite disturbed that someone in her position should be so flippant. I've made a record of the incident but don't know whether to make an official complaint. I think she would just see me as a trouble maker.
Week. I think I'd try and educate her a bit to see if this was really her approach. Try and see her again and raise the issue directly. Challenge her gently about what her understanding of depression really is. I get that that's not really your role but she may never have experienced this before and genuinely not know. If she is still an arse, you have an issue. If she responds brilliant win win demonstration of your interpersonal skills ability to handle difficult issues etc that you can use at reviews etc.
Sounds like you're having a terribly rough ride, sorry you've been and still are ill.
However, I suspect your boss was probably embarrassed and didn't know what to say. I think you made your point well, and she is unlikely to say something so crass again in the future. Don't take it higher this time.
She sounds uneducated. I would suggest that, if you're comfortable with it, you meet with your occupational health person and ask them to write to your manager explaining your condition and what your manager needs to be aware of, what she can do to help, if there are any adjustments to your role necessary.
I managed a very valued team member with bipolar, which sadly wasn't well controlled at all. My work sent me on a course to help me understand how to help her and manage the situation, what my responsibilities were and what they weren't, which I was extremely grateful for because I felt completely out of my depth.
It didn't end brilliantly, sadly. We worked really hard to adjust her role to something she felt able to manage, and she came back for 6 months but in the end she decided she couldn't manage work for a while and needed a longer break, so she resigned. In private I shed more than a few tears over the situation, but in the end I knew we had really done our absolute best to accommodate her as far as we could, because my work had equipped me to do so.
Sorry but as someone who has suffered depression for years and is on meds I think you have massively overreacted. YABU to be 'raging' and thinking about making an official complaint. As a PP said some people do not really now what to say. You made your point and hopefully she will take it onboard. You may well have to educate her as time passes as another poster has suggested.
Many people often don't truly understand depression and all the variants of it. Why should they when they have probably never experienced it.
It's the equivalent of my boss saying 'oh, we're all on the spectrum somewhere' when I disclosed my ASD diagnosis.
I'm glad you called her on it, that should be enough for now. I personally wouldn't make a complaint unless she does similar agin. Hopefully she will have thought about what you said afterwards and maybe even educated herself?
Her comment was inappropriate, HOWEVER, I'm also aware that a lot of people simply don't know how to talk to someone with depression and find themselves saying the wrong thing in order to deal with something they actually don't know how to deal with.
You are correct to keep a note of it. You have addressed directly with her and it made her aware that you didn't find her comment appropriate. I would suggest you just monitor it for now. If, however, you find her attitude or manner towards you to be problematic (i.e. less favourable treatment, discriminatory etc) then it may be she needs some training and coaching - or it could be more serious. An off-the-record conversation with someone in HR may be the first step... if no improvement then raise a grievance. But take it in stages so, if necessary, you can evidence your efforts to resolve the matter before taking it further and you can demonstrate that you have given her an opportunity to change her behaviour/manner.
Keep a diary/journal of any dodgy conduct in the meantime but give her the benefit of the doubt for now. For the record I'm a depression survivor, I know how bad it can be, so I totally get it from your perspective.
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