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to think my manager shouldn't decide how I spend my personal time?

(17 Posts)
AuntJane Thu 19-Jan-17 18:36:39

Two things at work this morning.

Earlier this week I was asked if I would help out another section for two days a week for a couple of months, and agreed. I need training to do the other job, and I was told this morning they want me to go to another office 200 miles away to do this - for two consecutive days (so away from home overnight). My manager looked at my work diary and told the other manager what days I could do without consulting me. I have a play rehearsal the night I should be away, so said those dates didn't suit - she wasn't happy.

Someone in the office us leaving next month. I know her to talk to, but wouldn't say we were close - but my manager knows her quite well. My manager has decided to arrange a farewell lunch at a nearby restaurant, and knows I have a discount card for that restaurant - so has told me I am going so that the group can get the discount - without asking if I want to use my lunch break that way, not to mention paying for a meal out. She thinks it's unreasonable of me to say no.

ChasedByBees Thu 19-Jan-17 18:41:40

Well SIBU. You can refuse the lunch. In my work place, it is against company rules (and a disciplinary offence) for a manager to ask someone more junior to pay for something from their private funds, even if they will be later reimbursed. Possibly because of this exact scenario, it makes it difficult to say no.

I would seek advice as she is BU.

booksandcoffee Thu 19-Jan-17 18:44:58

Sounds like she needs to go on a people management training course. She is seriously lacking on the tact and diplomacy front and could be accused of bullying. Good luck with working with her.

happypoobum Thu 19-Jan-17 18:48:03

YANBU - serious overstepping of boundaries.

Is there a HR dept? If it continues you may need to have a word. I would start keeping a log just in case......

JoeyJoeJoeJuniorShabadu Thu 19-Jan-17 18:49:15


DJBaggySmalls Thu 19-Jan-17 18:50:47

YANBU, and I'm sure ACAS would be happy to have a chat with her.

SparkyStar84 Thu 19-Jan-17 18:52:33

I think the first issue, you work for a company, as an employee you have to fit in with what the business needs. So I would pose, is there a business need for me to be working those two days of is it flexible? If there is a need and she can demonstrate why, there's no real option. If there isn't a reason and she's just being 'one of them' bosses, speak to HR & explain that there's no business need, ideally these days would suit, could you act as an intermediary in this case.

As for lunch, it's hard because you want I guess, to be seen as a team player, so saying farewell is part of that. Ok there's the undercurrent of you have discount, if you don't want to go, but risk looking like you have better priorities say no. Or say look I can't afford to pay for lunch, money is tight. Maybe your manager will put it on her expenses.

SanitysSake Thu 19-Jan-17 18:59:09

Woah! That's a manager who is well and truly crossing the line there.

If it were me, I'd be composing a very short and sweet email summarising the points in a dispassionate manner saying 'with reference to the days assigned to training; I really would have appreciated some consultation on this matter as I have a previous family engagement which is very important to me.
Additionally, it is a shame that 'X' is leaving our office - she's a great gal (or some other such BS). I understand that I have a loyalty card which gets me a discount on goods purchased, but again, I have a prior engagement during my lunch break and would have appreciated some consultation on this matter.

I understand and am grateful for the efforts you go to in order to facilitate both the office, the staff and my personal development. However and in future, I would very much appreciate that before commitments are made which directly involve or are contingent on my presence, if we can go through available dates together prior to confirmation so I can check with my personal calendar.

As it stands, I shall sadly be unable to attend both dates and hope that these can be rescheduled to a date more suitable to all participants?'

Might sound a bit officious.. but you've got it down on 'paper' then so if she does it again or starts treating you badly as a consequence of your not wanting to bend to her will on this occasion - you can pull it out as evidence.

As far as feeling forced to go to the restaurant in your lunch break and if you don't send a message? If it gets that bad, go along with it and then go sick on the day. Bugger all she can do about that and they'll have to pay full price.

Let us know how it goes!

MumsGoneToYonderLand Thu 19-Jan-17 19:08:20

i think the two things are separate. Unless being supremely flexible including evenings and overnights is part of your job you don't have to feel guilty or stressed by just saying (emailing for records). sorry I cant make that evening due to an important prior appointment. I am pretty flexible so suggest x-Y dates. lets discuss in advance to be sure I can make it this time - thanks.

second one - just give them your discount card. if you don't want to spend lunch with colleagues thats up to you. if you are the only one not going it makes you look a bit 'lone wolf' and not in the team. you could always pop in at the end for coffee n dessert.

the underlying issue is not the lunch is it - its the managers attitude. stand your ground - nicely not officiously and document anything truly terrible.
good luck. horrid to feel stressed at work

mya83 Thu 19-Jan-17 19:15:54

I hate this too op! My only suggestion is to say you can't afford to go for the lunch but that you will lend them your discount card.

And for the night away - do you have kids? If so you could just say you can't stay anywhere overnight because of the kids.

Let us know how it goes!

AuntJane Thu 19-Jan-17 19:24:09

I'm not against being away for the night in principle, but when the okay was cast week were asked to give the dates we were not available and the rehearsal schedule was worked out on that basis. If I'm not there on a night I said I would be, it impacts on the others. I would be happy to go on the training later that week, but that's "too late".

As for the lunch, there are others in the office who have the same card who will probably choose to go, so the discount is not an issue. I just object strongly to the assumption I will go. I generally like to have some quiet time mid-day.

SparkyStar84 Thu 19-Jan-17 19:31:10


Night away - Business need, it's an exceptional circumstance, you'll miss the rehearsal, but the decision was taken away from you. Fellow cast shouldn't vilify you for that.

Lunch - Just say look I won't be going. Simples.

It sounds like you don't get on with your boss, it happens. Her communication skills could be better, but, I say but, if you're not overly fond of her I doubt you hear anything she says in a friendly manner. You send her a Xmas card out of necessity, not choice, IYGWIM!

OliviaStabler Thu 19-Jan-17 19:36:50

Doesn't matter if she isn't "happy" with the dates you can't do. Don't explain, just say you have something that you cannot cancel. She can't bulldoze you.

For the second event, can you give someone else your discount card to use?

hamble123 Thu 19-Jan-17 19:40:46

In regards to the discount card; I should think that the discount is only intended for one person per visit and not for a group of people? (It would be to your advantage if it is a discount for only one person ie. you!)

You might want to call the restaurant to clarify it. In any case, some restaurants may do a discount for a group of people anyway or have a special low price lunch menu.

How many people are likely to go for this lunch?

AuntJane Thu 19-Jan-17 19:48:47

Sparkystar I'm happy to go Tuesday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday, but not Monday/Tuesday. I commited to the play in December, and it's being adjudicated for a competition, so it would be an issue.

The card covers up to ten people, and gets a 40% discount. I have to be present, and if I am found to have passed it to someone else I could lose it.

Shakey15000 Thu 19-Jan-17 19:58:49

Fellow am-dram participant here (also posted on your duplicate thread)

No to both. You have a previously arranged commitment you're not willing to cancel because she couldn't be arsed to sele if you were free. She just assumed. So a big YES to "I'm happy to do the training but have already made plans on those evenings which I'd have told you about, when is the next available date and I'll see if I'm able to go then"

As for the lunch, a good old "I'd love to only I don't want to" wink

AuntJane Thu 19-Jan-17 20:17:32

Shakey - I've asked MNHQ to delete the duplicate thread. Thanks for pointing it out.

I'm usually backstage, so missing a rehearsal wouldn't be an issue, but this time I'm getting my name on the left-hand page.

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