AIBU to be furious with my boss?(102 Posts)
I work in a role I’m not strictly qualified for, but for which I get paid a lot less than an experienced would be. The company I work for has made hundreds of redundancies and my job was a ‘promotion’ to a position they couldn’t afford to fill, and which I’m doing well and also undertaking training and education to help me further.
For some reason, when a new manager took over the area she took a dislike to me and has been on my case constantly. It’s like she’s always looking for a way to trip me up or catch me out, but I don’t know why. If they wanted to get rid of me they’d be able to put me back in my old role and I’d be happy enough.
So as not to drip feed... I don’t want to say exactly what the job is as it’s very outing, but it’s a middle level job. Usually you’d have a degree to do it, or a substantial amount of experience, but I’m getting paid a couple of thousand pounds a year less than I would if I had those.
The manager keeps turning up ‘for an unofficial chat’ with a member of the HR team and I really feel like I’m being harassed. They do things like telling me ‘we need to have a meeting tomorrow’ but then I won’t hear from them until right before the end of the day. I’ll spend all day worrying about what the problem might be, and then they’ll leave me hanging all day before just turning up and asking about things they’ve already asked about. They’re checking my internet usage (there was one occasion in which I looked at a website that they didn’t think was relevant to my job, but when I showed them what it related to there was no issue, and one where I checked my personal email during my lunch break). They’re not doing this to any of my colleagues and have even told me directly that they’re watching me, but they never answer why.
Anyway the AIBU:
A few days ago I left work at my usual time (I finish early one day a week - always have in the four years I’ve been there) and went home. Twenty or so minutes later I realised I’d left something in my car, which was parked on the roadside. I went out and as I opened my car I noticed my boss’s car parked further down the road. I didn’t acknowledge it, and just went back inside. My phone then rang and she asked where I was because I was supposed to be in a meeting with her. No meeting had been arranged, and it was outside my work hours. I told her I was at home and she said ‘I know, we’re sitting outside your house.’ I was quite stunned and when she said she’d speak to me at work the next day (which again didn’t happen until the end of the day) I just let her end the call.
I tried to raise the issue of her being outside my house but it got brushed over and I was so flummoxed by everything that I sort of didn’t notice until afterwards. But, should she have had access to my address? Phone number? Should she have been allowed to turn up at my house? She didn’t even knock at the door! My thoughts are that this is against GDPR and that it’s also harassment, but I don’t want to make my life even more unbearable at work by causing a fuss if she’s done nothing wrong.
You need to make a list of all her batshit behaviour and make contact with HR.
Have you discussed any of this with HR without her present ?
You have worked there for 4 years? Phone ACAS for advice. Your manager should not be following you home and watching your house.
No she certainly isn't allowed to come to your home outside working hours. If I were you I'd be very interested in how she got my address and would take this further. It is unacceptable.
Before you go to HR call ACAS.
You need to be able to quote chpater and verse at them. There is so much wrong in your posts it is hard to know where to start...
I believe your boss is allowed access to your address and contact details, however she has abused these and has shown harassing behaviour. I'd certainly make a written list of everything that has happened and take it to HR.
Start making a timeline of events and keep copies of any correspondence. And yes, ACAS. There's also some very knowledgable folk on the Employment Issues section of this site if you want to post this there or get this thread moved.
Your boss is mental. This is absolutely NOT acceptable on any level. Keep a diary of EVERYTHING. Times, dates, conversations, EVERYTHING. What a weirdo!
I'd put aside the gdpr implications and focus on her actions. The meetings with hr - probably fine, unless your certain they are about you. Tthe arranging meetings and cancelling - possibly just a flaky manager they'd argue as such, monitoring usage - if they have reason to believe misuse they can just monitor the person they are looking into. The turning up at your home claiming you had a meeting is outrageous. Everything put together is even more so.
Was the meeting supposed to be at your home did she say? Who else was in the car? What did you say when they said they were watching you? Watching you for what?
I would absolutely complain about her harassing you. She can't come to your house and she shouldn't be phoning you when you aren't working.
If I booked a meeting with someone for a time they never worked I wouldn't highlight my mistake personally. I certainly wouldn't phone them and try and make it seem like their fault
Thank you so much for your replies.
I haven’t spoken to HR without her around, but the last meeting was with the HR manager rather than the usual assistant and my manager’s behaviour was very different with her there so I think it might be useful to speak to the HR manager.
It’s a relief to see that I’m not taking everything too personally and that this really is crazy behaviour.
Also, how far away from work do you live? This is just so weird!
Oh, the we was her and the HR assistant. I’m not sure if this assistant is just inept or if she’s a friend of my manager and bending rules for her?
I live about ten minutes away, but at the time of day that I finished it would have taken her 15 to 20 to get to my house
I would sit down tonight, formally document everything that you have said here - including examples and instances. The more the better.
And go into HR first thing in the morning, that is gross misconduct and I would want to know where hell she got my address and do not let them brush you off!
From now on document every single interaction you have with her.
Bloody hell - just seen HR was with her.
I would take this straight to the directors.
Definitely ring acas and get their advice on how to tackle it, you want to be Teflon on this one if she's got some kind of agenda.
This is batshit!
If I were her manager I would want to know why she was wasting her time on this ridiculousness!
Bloody hell I thought I had worked for some batshit managers, but wow!
Nothing in your post is usual or even acceptable behaviour from someone in a management position.
Yes they can monitor internet usage for acceptable usage (the majority of businesses don't want their staff on youtube or the like for ages but if it can be shown that you were watching a video related to your work and it was going to help you, like a training video or how to improve your email mailbox for example, it would be allowed) but it should be for all staff and not singling one staff member out.
They should have your contact details (for payroll purposes etc but not for stalking you).
I completely agree about making sure you have your i's dotted and t's crossed before approaching someone in HR but don't let this continue. It is not normal.
In the meantime you could ask your manager (the one that is stalking you) to put all meetings into your calendar so that you can accept them and schedule all appointments/meetings properly. Don't accept a meeting verbally. If she does ask you to attend a meeting, reply with "Of course I'll be there but would you mind popping something in to my calendar. I don't want to miss any meetings that I should be attending".
Get your stuff together and then schedule a meeting with HR and discuss everything that is happening with an end goal in mind. What do you want to improve? Obviously not being stalked on a day when you finish work early would be one. Have others in mind too.
thought you could do with these...what bizarre and frankly awful behaviour. Do you have a workplace union at all?
Written complaint to the HR manager and cc your manager's boss. Tell them she followed you home and called you to tell you. Point out that her access to your personal information and home address is making you feel unsafe and that if she turns up to 'watch you' again, then you'll call the police.
I'd absolutely raise a grievance for this. Follow the procedures set out in your staff handbook (if you have one)
It's intrusive, unprofessional and potentially quite intimidating behaviour.
One question - is your early finish detailed in your contract? It's not some informal arrangement which has become the norm? I cannot see how they could possibly ever justify these means, if they have an issue with your performance, you should be being performance managed accordingly.
I agree, written complaint and make clear next time is police time.
It’s absolutely batshit, isn’t it? I was so close to convincing myself that I was BU because she just doesn’t stop! There are four or five people in HR but it’s always the same one who turns up with her to have an ‘informal chat’ with me. They’ve raised issues about my hours, even though they’re stipulated in my contract, and then even after we’ve had a minuted meeting in which they’ve asked about them, they’ve still asked about them again since. I don’t know what has led to this situation at all!
Wow this sounds bloody stressful! You've got great advice. Keep a cool head.
Thank you so much everyone. I’m going to call acas and also speak to the HR manager. I’ll come back and update if I get any further!
What is it about your hours they keep discussing? Do you know if they're harassing anyone else? Does new manager perhaps have a mate in mind for your job? Where did new boss come from? Do you know anyone she used to work with? What does everyone else say about all this (presuming its been noticed)?
I haven't seen it asked yet but if in her phone call she said "you are meant to be in a meeting with me" then why the hell was she out side your house (15/20 mins away) and not in the meeting that she claims you weren't there for?!
As others have said it's time to take this seriously, this is not ok.
I would also point out that this is stalking and there is new police guidance and how would the company cope if you went to the police about your boss stalking you?
She is utterly batshit.
I hope you grr this sorted, her behaviour sounds unhinged!
I am aghast. She's crazy....
So what happened when you met with them after they'd been to your home? Did they say why they followed you? I'm baffled as to HR coming along for the ride
I'm baffled by the whole thing!!
It's possible the HR manager isn't aware of the extent of the "chats2 with you, if it's always the same person who turns up.
And I can't believe any HR manager would be happy at one of their staff watching your house.
I'd absolutely second the pp who said to document everything (gather any emails etc) and speak to a senior member of the HR team. You have to remember that at the moment the HR team only have what she is telling them to go on and you don't know what that is or her intentions behind what she is saying, so (as hard as it is) don't go in all guns blazing, but go in with the aim of having a sensible discussion about what is happening and helping them see the full context.
I'd also second what the pp said about requesting to your manager that meetings are put in the calendar in future so that everyone is clear when they are
Pressed post too soon!
I'm an HR Director, and there is absolutely no way I would tolerate/support this kind of approach from one of our line managers, so please don't immediately tar 'HR' with the same brush, it could be that this one assistant is hugely overstepping and making some seriously bad judgement calls (unfortunately the best way to learn is to fuck up sometimes, there is no magic HR chip that gets implanted when you go into the field, we have to learn too)
Please keep us updated, and if you you want to pleased feel free to message for advice on the HR part
Awful behaviour from boss. Totally inappropriate. Following you home?! She’s out to get you. Write everything down and go straight to HR and launch a formal grievance. If you let this slide it’ll get worse until she gets what she wants. Sounds like you’re doing a great job- don’t let this cow manager bring you down.
I would also ask HR if there are any expectations they have that you are not meeting and what is the purpose of all the "informal chats". Tell them you would be grateful for any feedback as you feel singled out and what the problem is with your work so you can rectify any errors etc, (not that I think you have made any).
She either must have followed you home or gotten your address to be there (both crazy and unacceptable). Why would she be outside your house if she was expecting to have a meeting at the office.
Write down all instances in a report to give to the HR Manager after you have voiced your concerns. Stick to the facts, be clear and concise.
She sounds power crazed.
The next time you have an early
Finish, let her follow you all the way to the best SHL in town. And let her watch you go in
Fucking hell she sounds insane and also pretty scary!
Are these 'informal' chats always with your manager and the same HR assistant?
Great advice up thread re actual meeting requests. If she won't send them to you, you send them to her along the lines of 'just to confirm our earlier conversation'
I don't know about HR, so no advice (sorry. Although there seems to be really good advice on here), but just wanted to send you some because this sounds so grim and utterly stressful!
Not wanting to derail your thread, but I would seriously be very, very careful, and just look for another job.
This will not end the way you want it to.
So she followed you by actually leaving work-during her normal working hours-when you had finished? Would she generally leave the premises during working hours? I’m just wondering if there is any swipe in/out of the building or cctv that could be used as proof to your advantage?
Exactly as someone else said, I read the OP's post and thought; '... that manager clearly has a mate who'd love that job....'.
This sounds like targeted harassment to me. Document, document, document and contact ACAS for advice.
Bullying and harassment at work is unacceptable, and there are way too many people that have been promoted to management positions far and away above their level of intelligence, empathy and skillset should allow.
Hoping you get a resolution to this awful situation soon, OP.
In all seriousness op
It sounds like victimisation.
The meetings and making you fret all day then not having them are a form of bullying.
I would seriously start documenting everything as far back as you can recall.
Taking screen shots of anything you have also.
I’d call the police. She’s stalking you. Who knows how many times she’s followed you home or where else she’s following you.
Definitely report them both at work too. Ask in writing about the purpose of these regular meetings and tracking of your internet usage. Request 24 hours notice of any future meetings with HR and a summary of what they wish to discuss. Inform them that you wish to have your own witness present at any future meetings.
She's trying to force you out. Some good advice but you are definitely not overreacting here.
I would second documenting everything and raising it with HR manager. Something similiar happened to my dm. In the end she took redundancy but she was absolutely hounded by her seconded manager who ultimately wanted her job for herself when the secondment ended.
HR Manager here.
HR have stepped way over the line. I agree with @BrusselPout. You need to document everything down now so it is fresh and coherent.
Then, request a meeting with a senior HR person. Mark the request as confidential and raise within the email to said senior HR person that you are considering raising a formal grievance again your line manager and the HR person for harassment. However prior to raising it formally, you’d like an opportunity to discuss it informally with them first.
See if they want to speak to you.
I would want to see you if that type of request came into me; as Brussel said, not all HR people are ‘good’ and the HRA might be being influenced by the manager (I’ve seen it happen) so the senior HR person, if good, will be all over it and demanding to know what’s going on.
I’d be tempted to write in the email about line manager coming to your house unannounced. I’m shocked at that tbh. It’s not appropriate at all.
The GDPR think will get you nowhere, but you need to start keeping a paper trail. For instance, after she spoke to you after stalking you outside your house, send her an email saying something like "Dear boss, Just confirming our recent telephone conversation when you said that I had a meeting scheduled with you at 5.30 p.m. on (date) and that you knew I was at home because you were sitting outside my house." That way it's more difficult for her to deny it later if she is so minded.
That sounds super stressful! Can't add to the good advice above but wishing you luck.
This is absolutely awful
I wouldnt want the HR assistant anywhere near me either
That's terrible and clearly unacceptable. She's trying to bully you out and is looking for something, you need to get this on paper with hr and speak to acas as you plan because if you don't, at some point she will succeed.
I second BrusselPout - go in very deliberately, with an earnest attitude of 'If there's any concerns I would of course like to address them' and lay out the evidence to let it speak for itself. If you position yourself as sensible and level-headed, it will hopefully be clear where the issue lies and that it's not with you...
That's not right at all! Is there any management senior to her you can also bring in to a meeting?
Why would your job be outing? Unless you are the Queen, safe to say many others will have the same job.
Wow, she sounds insane.
Good advice to go to the head of HR, but companies do tend to close ranks so I would look at getting another job if I were you.
Yeah! That's the crux of the matter Yabbers
OP is already fearful for her job and you want to sneer, to shame/bully her into giving more details, details she has said that she is, rightly or wrongly, fearful of giving!
She is stalking you. That is completely out of order. Find someone higher up in HR to speak to about this. Put it all in writing and e mail it to them requesting a meeting to discuss it.
Don't let this carry on. I hope you get some useful advice from ACAS, no one should put up with this Harassment ent and bullying.
Hope you are OK this morning OP. Please do speak to the senior HR person - and follow up in writing so that there is an evidence trail. Tell her everything that you've said here - the constant questioning and going over old ground, the fact that you're being challenged on your working hours despite the fact they are contracted, the fact that you feel like you are being singled out and bullied with a view to getting you to resign...
This behaviour is absolutely appalling and both your manager and the HR assistant should be getting formal warnings for their conduct.
This will not end the way you want it to.
Bluetrews can you elaborate?
I agree your manager/HR person is outrageous and with the posters who advise to find another job as a priority, even whilst you try to resolve this internally. Senior HR and management may act reasonably or they may not and instead see it easiest to get rid of you. In that situation, you would want to angle for a payout to go quietly, which brings you to the need to find another job anyway.
Christ that is batshit crazy.
HR would not give me my employees home address to send a card, I had to give them the card for them to post to the address. So I think they've probably broken some rules there.
I don't think the breach of GDPR will yield big dividends for the OP. HR will admit they messed up this time, do more training of their staff and that will be the end of it. It is more the stalking and bullying that is the concern, but that is an HR issue and a difficult thing to prove and may require an employment tribunal, after exhausting the internal grievance process.
Hopefully this ends well with HR and senior management taking the OP's side and speaking to the OP's manager. Even in that best case scenario, I am not sure whether the company would go so far as to sack the manager. The OP will still end up working for the manager in a toxic relationship. Senior management will see that and it comes down to the OP or the manager. OP has her experience at the company in her favour having worked for it for so long but the manager is more senior and possibly harder to replace.
That is why the best thing at this stage is to document the evidence, escalate the process within the company, but be mindful that the manager may not actually get sacked. In that situation, the best result for the OP is to angle for a payout but plan for an exit.
If she turns up outside your home, take time & date stamped photographs, I would either contact your union if you are in one or if you have legal cover on your house insurance, see an employment rights solicitor. If she is outside your house or following you regularly I would contact the police, she is stalking you.
Utterly bonkers! I'd put everything you can in writing and try to speak to a different HR person
Good advice on here, I hope ACAS help
Totally out of order, I do hope it gets sorted.
It's a shame you didn't get a photo of her at your house. You've got good advice above about how to escalate this as a formal grievance. If one of my managers followed a team member home to harass them then I'd raise a disciplinary and be aiming for a gross misconduct dismissal, it's simply shocking.
I would also send an email to confirm the details of the conversation (but agree it with the HR Director before sending it) e.g.: "You called me at 5.30 on Tuesday to say that you expected to have a meeting with me even though it's outside my working hours and then said you were waiting by my house so you could see I was home. In future please schedule any meetings so I have them in my calendar, only set them up during my working hours and only schedule meetings with me in the office. I do not want you to follow me in my car, nor to come to my house."
I would definitely send the e-mail re confirming her sittingnoutside your house. Copy in HR manager and daft assistant and whoever is senior to your manager.
YANBU, you are right in thinking this most likely contravenes the principles of GDPR and misuse of personal data in this way does not comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 unless their other reasons your boss could give for justifying using this personal data i.e home address to turn up at your house.
Echoing everyone else that this is just so crazy.
Do you have a union at work at all? Can they help.
I hope you have w sensible senior HR person who can deal with this for you.
Wtaf? Following you to your house? Watching you?
Report this ASAP to whoever is her senior.
Oh my god can't believe what I just read - she is batshit! You need need need to speak to ACAS and HR.
This is really awful OP and I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it.
She sounds unhinged, and there can be absolutely no business purpose for her behaviour – aside from it being harassment, surely higher ups aren’t happy with her spending such an enormous amount of time on these meetings, check-ins and such when she hasn’t got any evidence to confirm why they are necessary.
Agree with pp, please go to someone senior HR and lay out all of the issues, and consult ACAS.
Don’t forget that if she is making your working situation difficult, you might want to consider constructive dismissal. Discuss all aspects with ACAS and definitely raise a grievance with your line manager’s manager or the most senior person in your company.
There's batshit, that's likely more sane then your boss.
Hope you get some answers from HR. It's crazy to go to your house.
Wow - it appears that she is trying to hound you out of your job.
ACAS and HR manager are definitely the next steps.
Any further formal or informal meetings with HR, insist that the HR manager be there.
This is NOT normal at all.
I hope you get some action sorted out on this.
This is absolutely not normal, and totally unacceptable. She has no right at all to your home address for a start. In the olden (pre-GDPR) days, if a manager wanted someone's home address for a new baby gift or something, we'd likely have given it. Now, they give it to us in an envelope and we address and send it. I would never give out that kind of personal details.
These unofficial meetings including HR are ridiculous. First, it sounds like the HR assistant has way too much time on their hands and secondly, what is the aim of them? Are they putting you on an performance improvement plan? Are they about to put in a grievance? How long has this manager been in place?
I would absolutely advocate contacting ACAS but also go through the HR Manager, cc'ing your managers manager.
I do agree with a PP though. There is a very strong chance this won't end well for you so document document document.
You expressed in your later post what I meant by saying 'this will not end the way you want it to'
IME (sadly) no matter what the evidence you have, the manager will deny everything, they and HR will close ranks, bullying will escalate, and the non-manager will end up leaving.
It's not right, VERY far from it, but it's what happens.
The manager should by rights be in trouble, but they will wriggle out of it, leaving the OP as a nasty troublemaker.
OP, don't waste your energy on anything other than a serious job hunting expedition.
bluetrews thanks for clarifying. I would agree with what you wrote and that is my fear for the OP.
Me too. But life improves after you leave.
My GP told me he has had many patients in similar situation, and management always win, and often 'break' people.
OP please get out, don't try to fight them.
No advice as Im clueless but 🌷 she sounds stalkerish! Take it to the highest levels this sounds like very very odd behaviour!
Don't bother with HR go straight to ACAS and start a claim against them for harassment.
Might get a nice holiday out of it .
WTF that is beyond weird!!!
Agree with PP you need to make a harassment claim with ACAS.
Tell them you are feeling intimidated, at work and now at home.
I have been following this thread with interest.
This is so shocking and takes it to the next level of subtle nastiness, directly into the open bhut without proof unfortunately. Sneaky weasel
DH told me once wryly that HR have only ever caused him trouble and have never ever helped him once. They are there only to serve the management. I don't know if they are bullied or intimidated in turn by management. I have heard him complaining so many times about how they effectively find ways to apply on behalf of management intimidating policies to the employees . Something like "Catbert evil HR director". I am always surprised to see HR people here offering genuine advice assuming that that's what happens in all companies. I would really hope for a happy ending.
Can't believe she was outside your house that would freak me out
*Don't bother with HR go straight to ACAS and start a claim against them for harassment.
Might get a nice holiday out of it*
Ridiculous “advice”. There is no harassment claim here that ACAS can deal with as there’s no breach of the Equality Act.
OP - as PPs have suggested, you need to escalate this to HR. It is not normal for management to behave like this!
I like a PPs suggestion about attempting to deal with it informally first - most grievance procedures request/require this anyway.
Your manager should only have used your address for legitimate purposes and I fail to see what legitimate purpose she had here. You could mention that you suspect this is an ICO reportable breach of GDPR - that might make them sit up!
What have I read?
This is absolutely bananas.
Buckle in because things are guaranteed to just get weirder.
Also, top tip: Approach HR with caution and don’t assume they can be trusted.
Hi OP. So sorry to hear this. Your manager is absolutely not acting as they are supposed too. Agree with logging everything but also screenshot any calls/messages from her. It's also worth checking your company's internet usage policy. Checking a personal email is often allowed especially if on a break (unless it strictly contravenes the policy).
I'm having an issue at work at the moment, largely based on the ineptitude of HR. It is difficult but you don't have to stand for this. This type of thing is always why I'd suggest that anyone who works, join a union. They can protect you in instances like this and really support you.
Worth bearing in mind that HR’s priority is always with the company. They are not on your side.
As a manager it's fairly obvious that she is a very inexperienced manager who is trying to get rid of you. She is systematically going through various company policies to see if you are technically in breach of them and trying to collect evidence so she can start a disciplinary process to manage you out hence looking at internet usage or your working hours. She clearly has never done this before and so is going about it in such a cack-handed and irresponsible way.
Raise a grievance with HR if you want but seriously ask yourself if this is someone you want to be working for. I'd be looking for other positions if I were you even if you take it to HR.
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