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if I take offence at this? And if not....

(34 Posts)
bohemianbint Mon 03-Sep-07 14:07:41

I'm currently putting the finishing touches to a very detailed letter outlining my position to my boss, who has behaved shamefully since I went back to work part time.


Heres the thing, I need to decide whether to keep the following point in the letter:


"You commented that I had ?not deigned to keep in touch? whilst on leave and stated that this meant that I am ?not a team player.? I found these comments distressing for several reasons:

I. xxxxxxxx
II. xxxxxxxx
III. xxxxxxxx
IV. Your tone and language used (?deigned to keep in touch?) was offensive."

It really was offensive and he was being a total arsehole. Deigned to keep in touch indeed! But do I mention that or is it getting too nitpicky, dya think?

bohemianbint Mon 03-Sep-07 14:08:19

eeek, why are there question marks instead of quotation marks?!

RubySlippers Mon 03-Sep-07 14:09:01

put everything in the letter
it would be nit picky if it was the only issue, but it isn't

handlemecarefully Mon 03-Sep-07 14:09:14

Probably leave it out

What were the other issues 1-3?

kitsandbits Mon 03-Sep-07 14:09:19

Whywould you keep in touch on maternity leave?? - its leave away from work!

Sounds like a right nobhead and I would keep your point in the letter.

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Mon 03-Sep-07 14:10:18

erm.......i think it depends wether you kept in touch or not. but im not an expert (whats wrong with deigned btw??)

handlemecarefully Mon 03-Sep-07 14:10:45

I think it is better to stick with factual and objective complaints rather than perception (although I am sure your perception was bang on absolutely right). You still have to work with the miserable tosser at the end of the day

Baffy Mon 03-Sep-07 14:11:12

Sounds relevant to me. He suggested you wouldn't 'lower yourself' to keep in touch (am I understanding that right?).

If so then I think it's a relevant point.

Surely while you're on leave you wouldn't be expected to be in touch constantly with the place you're taking leave from! (Especially if it wasn't specifically requested by them in the first place.)

ConnorTraceptive Mon 03-Sep-07 14:11:37

can understand why you would find that offensive . I owuld mention about his comments of not bein a team player because you didn't keep in touch but I wouldn't point out the "deign" bit tbh.

SleeplessInTheStaceym11House Mon 03-Sep-07 14:11:43

oh i see (from what baffy said) if thats what it means id keep it in!

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 03-Sep-07 14:11:58

'deigned' is offensive; it is not neutral language and was not appropriate for him to use.
If he had a reasonable objection to your not keeping in touch (which I am a bit dubious about anyway) he should have just said you hadn't kept in touch. No need for 'deign'.

bohemianbint Mon 03-Sep-07 14:14:30

Oh, there's so many other points, but here's the other 3 in context. (I didn't want to put em all in the OP as I didn't want the point getting lost under all that!)


• You commented that I had “not deigned to keep in touch” whilst on leave and stated that this meant that I am “not a team player.” I found these comments distressing for several reasons:

I. This is simply not true. I kept in touch above and beyond what was required of me by law, and met with both X and X on several occasions.
II. it was irrelevant to the discussion that we were having.
III. You were aware that I had been dealing with illnesses, two bereavements and other problems during my maternity leave but despite this expected me to keep in greater contact than I did.
IV. Your tone and language used (“deigned to keep in touch”) was offensive.
V. The onus is on the employer to keep the employee informed of any changes within the company, particularly if they will affect her role, which you failed to do.

handlemecarefully Mon 03-Sep-07 14:16:57

Yep - think the letter is strong enough without point (iv)

oranges Mon 03-Sep-07 14:17:31

I'd leave out III. You obviously had a tough time, but he's not legally obliged to care.

meowmix Mon 03-Sep-07 14:21:54

I would actually say something more like

IV. I found your tone and language used (for example “deigned to keep in touch”) dismissive and unprofessional.

otherwise its a bit emotional

its always best to stick to factual stuff as much as possible and not let emotions in on these things. for one thing you look and feel more in control and for another the emotional feelings can be used against you further down the track.

Pretend you're a hotshot lawyer writing it on behalf of a client. You need to separate you and the emotional response from them and bad business practice.

handlemecarefully Mon 03-Sep-07 14:22:34

Oh no, I'd keep in (iii)...if this goes further (a tribunal or something) that will really make him look bad!

blueshoes Mon 03-Sep-07 14:24:25

If you are going to put pen to paper, write it on the basis that it might end up in an employment tribunal. (Actually good practice to apply that to what you say as well).

Stick to the facts. Quote him as much as you can: "deigned ... not team player ..." is good. This is so you have a written record of what he said to build your case for constructive dismissal/sexual discrimination. Not that you will end up in that situation but (and HR knows that) that is your ultimate threat.

I would leave out the "tone and language ... was offensive" because it sounds emotional. You want to sound reasonable and accommodating and him nasty and spiteful. Let the facts speak for themselves.

If the "tone and lauguage" are significant, then maybe something along the lines of "from your tone and language, it sounds like you have an issue with ... Can you clarify as I am not able to discern how I have behaved in a manner which is anything other than appropriate?"

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 03-Sep-07 14:25:06

agree with Oranges about leaving out III

alicet Mon 03-Sep-07 14:25:32

I think I would leave that point out. I don't think there is anything wrong with it but I think its better liek another poster said to stick to the facts. otherwise it becomes a slanging match and you could end up looking unprofessional. I agree that what he said was offensive but I think the arguments you are making (which you have a stronger case about as they are fact not feeling) are stronger without it

bohemianbint Mon 03-Sep-07 14:25:58

Cheers guys! An employment lawyor actually wrote the letter for me; thing is though its as a favour as its my cousin. I've had to make an amendment and she's on holiday so I can't check with her and I want to hand it to bos tomorrow!

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 03-Sep-07 14:26:21

or maybe 'despite dealing with illnesses, 2 bereavements etc, I kept in touch by....' so you turn it round in your favour rather than making you look weak?

bohemianbint Mon 03-Sep-07 14:27:14

shameful typing!

bohemianbint Mon 03-Sep-07 14:28:37

ooops, x-posts, me not you KathY!

handlemecarefully Mon 03-Sep-07 14:28:46

yes - what kathyis6incheshigh said

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 03-Sep-07 14:29:35

LOL BohemianBint!

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