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.
I must apologise for not coming back to update you all. I lost a very close family member and didn’t have the mental energy to deal with everything at once. Fortunately the HR manager was very supportive when I spoke to her after contacting ACAS and my manager was suspended. I don’t know what the outcome was as I decided to take some time out of work as my inheritance has allowed me some breathing space while I look for something else, and although I was told I could ask what the closure was I decided it wasn’t worth the continued strain on my mental health to keep thinking about it.
Thank you for all of your support and for encouraging me not to take it lying down. If it turns out that there was more to it and she harassed me even though I’m not working there anymore then I won’t hesitate to call the police. She’s clearly unstable.
HR… are there only to serve the management.
I don't know if they are bullied or intimidated in turn by management.
In my old workplace the HR director eventually left saying that she was sick of being bullied by her bosses.
No sympathy from me –she'd been a bullying twat herself and allowed her staff to act unlawfully, never mind unpleasantly – but yes, clearly HR themselves come under pressure too.
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.
Worth bearing in mind that HR’s priority is always with the company. They are not on your side.
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.
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.
*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!
Can't believe she was outside your house that would freak me out
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.
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.
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 .
No advice as Im clueless but 🌷 she sounds stalkerish! Take it to the highest levels this sounds like very very odd behaviour!
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.
bluetrews thanks for clarifying. I would agree with what you wrote and that is my fear for the OP.
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.
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.
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.
Hope you get some answers from HR. It's crazy to go to your house.
There's batshit, that's likely more sane then your boss.
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.
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.
Oh my god can't believe what I just read - she is batshit! You need need need to speak to ACAS and HR.
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