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AIBU to feel slighted by my manager?

(65 Posts)
Asia88 Tue 08-Nov-16 01:20:25

My partner tells me that I'm upset for no reason here, but AIBU to be annoyed with my manager for what seems to be his ongoing campaign to ensure I'm nobody in the team?

The most recent development - he decided to exclude me from the interview panel for my maternity cover (even though he openly admits not being aware as to what the jobs entails) I was upset but dealt with it.

YET he thought perfectly fine to put me down as the person fetching candidates from reception and assigned to photocopying their paperwork while they are being interviewed.

So in practise I will have to walk all the way from the south wing to the reception and back at least two times while being 8 months pregnant, scanning documentation while my manager + other colleague chosen for the panel will be sat in a room just over the main reception waiting for the candidates.

Note that I don't have an entry level job in the organisation. I am a project analyst on a decent pay, 5 years in the organisation and during that time managed to up my salary by £16k.

I don't feel like fetching candidates in itself is disrespectful but in the context of all the ignoring, exclusion and weirdness vibe I continually get from the manager this is just another thing that makes me angry and fed up!

Cisoff Tue 08-Nov-16 01:29:02

It isn't all that unusual for the current incumbent not to be involved in finding their own replacement.

If you're finding the walking difficult, you could request the candidates bring in their original paperwork, along with copies?

Asia88 Tue 08-Nov-16 01:39:22

@Cisof in the letter send out to candidates we do ask them for both originals and copies but my manager and other colleague thought it would just be "so nice" if we do that for them - by "we" meaning me of course angry

Tartyflette Tue 08-Nov-16 02:16:31

If you don't feel up to the walking at the moment then say so. Normal, kind colleagues are generally anxious not to load too much physical stress onto a workmate in the very late stages of pregnancy, IME.
Presumably you're off on maternity leave shortly, so if you're not happy at feeling you are being relegated to dogsbody status you could discuss it with him -- do you suspect you may be similarly downgraded on your return to work?
This is unfortunately all too common so If that's the kind of environment you work in perhaps better have the discussion now and put them get it straight. You're entitled to get your old job, or one with very similar status, back when you return from maternity leave, AFAICR.

OlennasWimple Tue 08-Nov-16 02:33:56

I have never ever been directly involved in interviewing my replacement, and I don't know many places where it's standard practice...

Sounds like you are feeling vulnerable, but misdirecting your frustration and energies. As Tarty says, you have legal protection on mat leave, but you might need to flex your muscles a bit to enjoy it fully - I'd focus on that, not on who is escorting the candidates to the interview room

Want2bSupermum Tue 08-Nov-16 02:53:54

Yeah I wouldn't be getting anyone for an interview. You are 8 months pregnant. Surely there is someone else who can do it.

I would also ask you to think about who normally copies candidates documentation when people are being interviewed. If it isn't normally you it shouldn't be you now. I would take this as a hint of what is to come when you return. Prepare yourself for having to be super strict with this manager when you return.

Asia88 Tue 08-Nov-16 03:16:22

Tarty & Olennas I think you hit the nail on the head here, I am feeing vulnerable...

The good thing is that I work within the public sector so they tell me it is a given I'd be returning to the same job on the same T&Cs, but the way my manager has been treating me doesn't fill me with much confidence.

He occasionally says really positive things about me & my work ( as passing remarks in team meetings or to my colleagues) but is awkward dealing with me directly - usually goes on ignoring me, when he wants to ask me a question he goes via my colleague (seriously wtf) doesn't make eye contact when I'm talking to him etc. He is not socially inept overall, he regularly comes and chats with my colleague and there is also a new guy who he admires - that's the guy who will effectively get my job.

Even though my job is being advertised externally to comply with our policy, the manager has gone out of his way to ensure the process favours the temp support guy who has been with us for 8 months . The manager is already giving him more time of day than me, they male bonded over cycling etc, he always respectfully listen to what that guy has to say, makes eye contact with him and is directing very senior people to get in touch with the new guy as the new lead for projects (our organisation is very hierarchical so this stuff really matters.)

Asia88 Tue 08-Nov-16 03:28:43

Want2Bsupermum - I don't really know how to be strict with him and assert myself in a calm manner. What should I effectively say?

When I interviewed for internal positions previously the fetching and photocopying was always done by one of the interviewers, unless they were really senior and had an assistant-type person at their disposal... :-/

Tartyflette Tue 08-Nov-16 03:32:23

I think I would be talking to someone in HR about your manager. He sounds sexist, and/or has a problem with pregnant women. His attitude to you is highly unprofessional, to say the least and you're right to be concerned.
Not looking someone in the eye can be very demeaning and demoralising, especially if it's just you, and it's deliberate.

InionEile Tue 08-Nov-16 03:33:06

That does sound crap, especially his eagerness to lavish attention on the young male temp.

Fetching candidates and photocopying their paperwork sounds like receptionist / admin work to me. I would be having none of that. Have you tried handling it 'man-style' and just delegating to the temp? I have seen men and successful women do this in the workplace, avoiding the shitwork by handing it over to minions they see as beneath them or to anyone foolish enough to do it for them. Just be obtuse and don't do it - what's the worst that can happen?

Asia88 Tue 08-Nov-16 04:14:03

Tarty - I have recently joined Unison and wondered whether it would be useful to have a chat with a representative? I have previously conversed with HR on a related matter and their advice was to sort it out with him directly before trying to launch any formal grievance procedure. I did try to talk to him but I now recognise I was too emotional and doubting my judgement at the time so let him "get off" easily. He sends somewhat conflicting signals with the occasional compliments and the main thing being - he did approve my job valuation result which put me up by 2 pay grades this year (though I had to push and beg for it for months.)

I also have 2 weeks left until I go off on Mat Leave and don't want to start a sh*t storm... But perhaps if I have something "logged" with HR I'd be in a stronger position to argue if anything goes wrong on my return.

Inion - I and you are on the same page here. I also see this as an admin/assistant type task and find it to be yet another crappy move from the manager to signal what he really thinks of me. I am so miffed by this I considered calling in sick so they will have to do it themselves! confusedangry

Alternatively coming in late when the interviews are over - would not be so surprising since I can't sleep now feeling so annoyed. Did I say he told me about my fetching and photocopying duty yesterday and the interviews are happening today? Actually when I say "told me" I mean he was talking about it with my colleague and I happen to sit next to her confused

I can't delegate as the temp guy is being interviewed for my job (it's a complicated he's massively overqualified for the temp job, was just meant to do it as a stopover gig but then realised he could make a career out of it) plus I'm sure he would have found a way to ditch it - wouldn't be a first time when he has not done something we told him because it is clear he thinks busywork is beneath him (even though he was specifically hired to do that kind of work lol!)

elfies Tue 08-Nov-16 04:45:55

He doesn't sound sexist , more embarrassed by your pregnancy. Is he married with kids or a single man?

Yakitori Tue 08-Nov-16 04:50:53

Being embarassed by pregnancy is sexist.

Hotbot Tue 08-Nov-16 04:53:29

I'm a senior manager and my admin team lead and I took it in turns to,photocopy at the last set of interviews for an admin asst,
Just saying .............

Asia88 Tue 08-Nov-16 04:56:36

Elfies & Yakitori he is definitely weirded out by any "female issues" which includes pregnancy, but he was already avoidant with me before.

Can you imagine in team meetings this man is asking me a question but looking at the new guy? Seriously what is wrong with him? How purposely awkward can you possibly be? I wondered if it is also related to my being the youngest team member somehow.

Asia88 Tue 08-Nov-16 05:02:59

@Hotbot but that's exactly what I found when I interviewed for internal positions previously. The fetching and photocopying done by one or both of the interviewers, unless they were senior enough to have a PA.

Hence this is even more annoying - my manager makes me into his PA, someone good to fetch people and run some copies but not good enough to sit on the interviewing panel.

NightWanderer Tue 08-Nov-16 05:18:49

I'd take a sickie tomorrow so you don't have to do it. I wouldn't personally start a grievance procedure before you go on ML, a lot can happen during that time. Bide your time and see how things are when you get back.

StealthPolarBear Tue 08-Nov-16 06:38:13

This is so difficult to address. We're you meant to be on the panel but then told you weren't needed? Or just not asked?
Where I work it's normal for people to sit on the panel for their own replacement.

FleurThomas Tue 08-Nov-16 06:41:40

But project analysts don't get usually get involved in interviews, programme or portfolio analysts/business owners do. From my experience most companies view the project analyst role as relatively 'junior', so if you don't like it then use your mat leave to upskill (if needed) and get another job.

VashtaNerada Tue 08-Nov-16 06:48:29

I would ask the current post-holder to be on the panel tbh, I think it's odd you're not. You're the best qualified to be satisfied they can cover the role. BUT you're so near the end I wouldn't challenge it now. I don't think you should do the fetching candidates though if you're having trouble walking (I certainly was at 8 months). Can you ask a colleague to help? Just be honest that you're finding the walk hard.

Bumplovin Tue 08-Nov-16 07:07:09

In my job you are not allowed to interview for your own replacement I think this is standard practice I wouldn't take offence

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 08-Nov-16 07:12:25

In my job you are not allowed to interview for your own replacement I think this is standard practice

^ This.

I have never known people interviewing their replacement

mummytime Tue 08-Nov-16 07:13:13

I would definitely get something in writing to HR, just saying what you've said here (about meetings and being shouldered out, not necessarily about interviewing for your Maternity cover). Also make it clear you are worried about being managed out during your maternity leave.
I would also talk to the Union (great move to join).

NewIdeasToday Tue 08-Nov-16 07:13:55

It sounds like you're looking for ways to be put out I'm afraid. It's not standard practice to include someone on the interview panel for their replacement- although it's done sometimes.

And it's perfectly reasonable to prefer to appoint someone with experience in the team/organisation to a maternity cover rather than an outsider - it means they can hit the ground running.

Also if your manager and the temp have a shared hobby why can't they chat about it.

Finally - women have fought hard for equality in the workplace - so saying you're pregnant so can't walk down to reception isn't very helpful. Maybe you should start maternity leave sooner if you can't manage routine office activities.

TeaBelle Tue 08-Nov-16 07:15:59

If you can't walk around the building should you really be working?

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