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Being punished at work during a really difficult time

(314 Posts)
Habbs Wed 24-Apr-19 20:40:16

28 weeks pregnant and having a difficult couple of weeks. Some issues were flagged up at a growth scan, I opted for an amniocentesis, no results yet but been told to prepare myself. I'm obviously devastated and have been a mess since it all happened.

I left work to go to the scan, with it being taken as an ante-natal appointment and to go back afterwards, obviously after getting bad news and spending a long time talking to the consultant I over ran until my office had shut.

I didn't sleep at all that night, I suffer from anxiety anyway and this just made me a complete wreck. I text my manager in the morning saying I wouldn't be in, just explaining I had some concerns with my pregnancy and that I was very upset. He replied saying "You know policy Habbs, sorry but I need a phone call" I didn't feel up to it but I know it's procedure so I rang, within 30 seconds I was hysterical which I know is embarrassing as a grown woman/supposed professional but I'm just a wreck with it all. I ended up having to end the call because I couldn't speak I was so upset. I text and said I'm so sorry, I'm really struggling to hold myself together enough to speak about it. No reply.

I had the amnio the next day, I didn't want to text again so I emailed his work address just to explain I was having an amnio, that I'm sorry for not being more professional and that once I knew more I'd be in touch properly. Thanked him for understanding and apologised for leaving the team short for the remainder of the week. No reply.

It's been a few days since, I've been home with DH just in bits. Every now and then it just hits me and I panic and cry. I'm barely sleeping and having a lot of panic attacks. Manager hadn't been in touch since and I thought it was understood that I was just having a few days to deal with everything.

I've had an email now with a letter attached about a disciplinary hearing for a week unauthorised absence due to 'lack of adequate contact' and it's really hurt me. I've never done anything like this before but I'm really struggling, I tried to speak to him and couldn't pull myself together enough. It just seems such insensitive timing to do this when I've got a lot on my plate waiting for results. I'm not sure what to do? I know companies have policies but surely for something like this you would give people a little bit of slack? I'm already so worried about my baby and now I'm worried about my job too.

JenniferJareau Fri 26-Apr-19 06:22:05

For all those berating the manager, he may have had no choice. I worked somewhere with a daily management huddle where each department reported on results, issues and staff absence. If he said op was off and he had no idea of return, his own boss may have insisted on him following the AWOL process.

Going AWOL from work is also not that uncommon.

MidniteScribbler Fri 26-Apr-19 08:13:15

The thing is, it's not even about obsessive rule following. The OP has basically abandoned her job. You don't get to send an email saying 'I'm taking the rest of the week off' and then not show up the next week and not have any discussion with your boss about it. Taking time off is fine, but you need to work with your employer so they know what is going on, and when you will generally be expected to return.

BabyDueDecember2019 Sat 27-Apr-19 05:19:50

If you are still reading this I hope your baby is okaythanks

MoviesT Sat 27-Apr-19 05:41:45

As a manager I would add that this may not be personal, employers sometimes have to go out of their way to show consistency with applying policy - there may be a colleague offending that OP is not aware of who can then pick up that OP wasn’t dealt with in the same way. It would be extremely harsh for the disciplinary to go against OP in the circumstances. The best thing OP can do is follow the employers procedure even if that means that someone else calls in on her behalf. It is a courtesy to keep work as updated as you can, although I agree they do seem quite harsh in the circumstances.

OP, I do hope everything is okay with the baby x

flowergrrl77 Sat 27-Apr-19 07:46:37

OP I really do hope that the baby results will be ok.

Forget wanker manager. Listing yours hours missed as you did earlier would show in a hearing as he is just being a ridiculous twat.

The only thing you could have done differently was go to the doctor to be signed off sooner and/or saying when it is you will next call regardless of if you have the results or not. (Following week I assume?)

My thoughts and love are with you. I followed your HR thread and I am glad to hear it was resolved, update us over there would you?

I expect a good deal of this is him being pissed off about HR stepping in regards that...

Rest up, look after your self xx

slashlover Sat 27-Apr-19 08:16:50

Forget wanker manager. Listing yours hours missed as you did earlier would show in a hearing as he is just being a ridiculous twat.

The only thing you could have done differently was go to the doctor to be signed off sooner and/or saying when it is you will next call regardless of if you have the results or not. (Following week I assume?)

She could have contacted them on the Wednesday to say she wouldn't be in. OP broke policy by not keeping in contact but 'wanker' manager gave leniency for the first week when OP said she wouldn't be in.

Monday - Bank holiday
Tuesday - OPs day off
Wednesday - OP due back but she obviously didn't contact them as they emailed her.

@flowergrrl77 I've asked this before but how long was the manager supposed to ignore OP going AWOL? To the end of last week? To the end of next week?

Also, what was manager supposed to do the next time someone was off with no contact and then said "Habbs did it." To do nothing would allow other people to take advantage and say they were being bullied/discriminated against if they were treated differently.

flowergrrl77 Sat 27-Apr-19 08:24:20

Like I said, she ought to have contacted, but I fully understand that her brain isn’t up to it and quite frankly, I feel she deserves a fair bit of compassion.

I wasn’t saying she did the right thing at all if you read it carefully, I was saying that she really ought to have contacted but don’t worry as right now that’s only going to cause you and the baby more stress which right now she doesn’t need. It is possible to say you boobooed in a compassionate way ya know! shock

Past story is important when referring to manager as a wanker. I wouldn’t t have done so had I not been up to date with an earlier thread. Manager has been a prize wanker with HR having to intervene in his behaviour!

slashlover Sat 27-Apr-19 08:32:16

Just read other thread. OP complained to HR about manager and is now complaining that manager is following policy to the letter, you can't have it both ways. I can also guarantee with the history that manager is in contact with HR every step of the way.

You never said she should have contacted, you said she should list the hours to HR and say when she would be calling next. She did in a way when she said she's be off the rest of the week.

placemats Sat 27-Apr-19 08:45:32

I would have thought that the manager would have followed the guidelines regarding Mental Health First Aid in your case OP. To ignore the anxiety and stress you are currently experiencing is foolhardy to say the least (and I'm being kind to the manager).

My nephew went AWOL from work and they took it incredibly seriously. No recriminations, just a keen desire to see if everything was fine with him. It did get resolved.

Recognising that employers will have stressful times is crucial for good management and in the long term saves millions of working hours lost annually to mental health issues.

The manager needs retraining on Mental Health First Aid.

flowers and I do hope all is okay with your baby.

TheMaddHugger Tue 30-Apr-19 07:08:33

Habbs 🌻Thinking of you (((((Mad Hugs)))

MRex Tue 30-Apr-19 08:55:03

Did you get the results yet @Habbs? How are you?

TheMaddHugger Thu 02-May-19 10:00:41

still thinking of you @Habbs 🌺🌼🌺

Teddybear45 Thu 02-May-19 10:07:41

In my company the notification rules are flexible especially if you are pregnant. This company should be named and shamed OP. You absolutely need to whistleblow.

Celledora Fri 03-May-19 21:06:16

Hand hold OP flowers I hope you and baby are ok x

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