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To hand in my notice after this treatment from new boss?

(124 Posts)
flowerlessorchid Sun 13-Sep-20 12:12:01

To set the scene (this is going to be long sorry!)- I've been at my current employer for 18 months, single parent working full time with a contract that states I work 9:30am-5pm with a half hour lunch, which fits in with my commute time (approx 40 mins each way) and after school club. Small public sector employer and I work in a safety role so as you can imagine I've been rushed off my feet since March.

Employer decided to review staffing during Covid, and offered voluntary redundancy, which my boss (who was the only other safety professional in the company) took. So now I'm working alone. An already high workload has now exploded as the work is still there, and I've been working much longer hours to keep up.

The working week just past has been a particularly bad one. DC now at school so I've been having to factor in the school run to my day. Daily meetings I have to attend (with the senior exec who need my guidance) are being put in before my contracted hours start, which is difficult but manageable when I'm WFH. My new temporary boss knows this and agreed I would come into the office Mondays & Thursdays and WFH the rest of the time. WFH without the commute is the only reason I've been able to put in the hours I am at the moment.

New boss is the Finance director, who I have been getting along with until now. He is a very old school, older man who has never married and has no kids (this is relevant). He has been supportive but doesn't understand my job and can't really direct me. On Wednesday he pulls me into a piece of work that is extremely high level strategic policy on Covid-19 (I'm an officer level so not even management and also paid as such). This piece of work should have been done months ago but hasn't as it doesn't fall into anyone's remit, now its suddenly become urgent.

So I spent hours and hours on this piece of work on top of my usual workload, trying to work out what was actually needed, sending drafts to my boss for his comments and involving others where I could. Everyone is insanely busy right now so that took time too. It gets to Friday when the document has to be sent externally and in the afternoon when I thought it would be ready to go suddenly the senior exec aren't happy with it. Boss and me are called into a meeting 4-5pm with the senior exec who rips the document apart.

But what was the final straw for me was after this meeting when my boss turns on me. He told me I was leading on this work so why don't I have all the answers. He demanded to know when I was going to be back in the office full time. I said I could start coming back in full time if required to which he only said 'well today would have been a good day to come in'. I pointed out that it was his suggestion I come in on the days I have. (And to be honest me not being on site would have made no difference to the outcome of this document, if anything I have less time to concentrate on site as people are always coming to my office for things).

So it's 5pm and I'm still working on this document, he has 'helpfully' highlighted the sections that need changing. I make changes, send it back to him. He thinks more changes are needed. It's now 5:30pm and I said to him I have to go and get my DC from after school club. He kicked off again, complaining that he wanted to leave the office early today as he has a dinner night, and said to me 'can't someone else go get your children?'. I had to point out to him that I'm a single parent (he knows this) and school are only permitting parents to collect at the moment as we are in the middle of a pandemic. He was very cross, told me to go do the school run and we would catch up again at 6pm when I'm back home. So I picked up the kids, got home, spent another 20 minutes or so making the final changes, rang him at about 6:15pm, document signed off and sent. Job done.

I'm exhausted and frazzled as it is, was almost in tears (unusual for me) and have spent most of the weekend worried about what next week brings. With the meetings being put in my diary before my usual hours which I have to attend as I'm the only person who can advise the senior exec, and now being told I have to come on site every day I'm going to have to reduce my working hours to my normal level to factor in my commute, or work evenings once I get home.

I've already spoken to a couple of colleagues about what happened and how I now want to hand in my notice as this isn't sustainable, to be told I can't as there is no-one else to do my job, and apparently my hard work is appreciated. We have no union, HR are nice but ineffective, and if I hand my notice in anyway I can't guarantee I will find another job that will give me the flexibility I need r.e. the school run. I've been told by HR to expect a new job description and a permanent boss but they need to hire first.

I don't know what to do but I'm dreading work tomorrow and the demands starting again. Do I just throw in the towel and hand my notice in? sad

OP’s posts: |
flowerlessorchid Sun 13-Sep-20 12:12:39

That really was long! If you make it to the end well done brew

OP’s posts: |
tobedtoMNandfart Sun 13-Sep-20 12:16:26

What's the TLDR?

CraftyGin Sun 13-Sep-20 12:18:41

I didn’t quite make it to the end, but don’t quit your job until you have a new one to go to.

Babyroobs Sun 13-Sep-20 12:18:53

Can your kids dad offer any extra support whilst you are so busy? Do a few pick ups etc ?

Timeforabiscuit Sun 13-Sep-20 12:19:26

I will give you a hug, as I've been there.

If you are officer grade, you can play that card - you do not have the seniority to deal with this work, you are happy to negotiate scale and salary - this will help you source more extensive childcare (nanny, dedicated childminder).

They probably won't do this if public sector -

I negotiated down my hours, and perversely this worked - 9.45- 2:45 (or whatever works) - and not a minute over. That got the message through that I had other priorities than work.

Full time is increasing meaning all the hours God sends.

SaveloyDip Sun 13-Sep-20 12:19:40

I think a lot of companies have made the same decisions - getting rid of staff and expecting the same output from the diminished team, working them all to breaking point. As long as things get finished then they will never accept their plan is not working as you are (outwardly) managing.
Personally I would start to look elsewhere if it is feasible as I don't think it will get any better any time soon.

GoldfishParade Sun 13-Sep-20 12:20:56

This sounds like a complete nightmare. You had the day from hell and your boss sounds like a dick. flowers

BeeFarseer Sun 13-Sep-20 12:21:53

I would be talking to my GP first and seeing if I could get signed off for a few weeks. It would give you the breathing space to find another job, and it would also put the shits up your management so there is a tiny chance they might change their behaviour. It's not likely, but I think you'd be happier resigning if you've done something first to show them just how untenable the situation is.

If you do, be prepared to put strong boundaries up. 'No, I can't do that, I am unwell. No, I can't just log in.' Etc.

Sanitisethat Sun 13-Sep-20 12:23:25

I’m so sorry OP, that sounds very difficult.

I don’t think there would be any harm in starting to look for another job, as a backup. But I wouldn’t hand in your notice yet, as you could leave yourself scuppered.

Instead, I would write an email to your boss setting out exactly why your current situation is unsustainable, and explaining how many hours you’ve been working overtime etc to keep up. Explain that you’re doing work outside of your normal job remit without the usual supervision and guidance, and that you’re feeling unsupported. Ask for a meeting to resolve these concerns.

The way that meeting is dealt with will show you a lot - either you will be taken seriously and changes will be made to help you, or your concerns will be dismissed. If the former, you may decide to stay in your role. If the latter, you know your best bet is to find a new job as soon as you can.

tobedtoMNandfart Sun 13-Sep-20 12:24:27

I think you need to speak /write formally to his line manager &/or HR:
You need formal clarification as to whether you can WFH.
You need formal clarification of your working hours OR a pay increase commensurate with your increased workload.
You need formal clarification of what your level is - what level of responsibility do you hold for these tasks?

FWIW he's an arsehole who bade you do all the work then threw you under the bus.
Don't leave (yet) but don't stand for it.

ZoeTurtle Sun 13-Sep-20 12:25:23

You've got a new boss coming and you have a job that (almost) works around your childcare needs. You'd be crazy to hand in your notice!

Time to put your foot down and start setting some boundaries around workload, though. This guy is your temporary boss and the company needs you, so you have some clout. What you're doing isn't sustainable and you'll burn out. Prioritise the things that really need doing and drop the stuff that doesn't.

PlanDeRaccordement Sun 13-Sep-20 12:25:24

I agree don’t quit unless you have another job to go to
Secondly, it sounds like a run of the mill bad day at work. I wouldn’t be handing my notice in over the situation you have described if it were the first in 18mos. If it happened every month, then I’d be looking for another job.
It is also very normal as you progress in your career to see management cutting positions and the expecting more work from those remaining. So that you will face no matter where you work.

CodenameVillanelle Sun 13-Sep-20 12:25:32

I think you need an urgent meeting with your manager and to spell out everything you've put above. Someone else needs to take up the extra work or you have to leave.

StillCoughingandLaughing Sun 13-Sep-20 12:26:18

What's the TLDR?

Just read it 🙄

Tomatoesneedtoripen Sun 13-Sep-20 12:27:32

your boss is floundering.
make copious notes op, you are working beyond your remit. it needs to be said. cover your back

tobedtoMNandfart Sun 13-Sep-20 12:27:35


*What's the TLDR?*

Just read it 🙄

Well I have now 🤣

ShalomToYouJackie Sun 13-Sep-20 12:28:59

If the OP has said she was the only one who could pick up DC because she's a single parent then I would assume the dad isn't around.

This is a really tough situation OP and sounds very stressful, I'd start looking for another job

SociallyDistantPenguin Sun 13-Sep-20 12:29:31

Id at least start looking for something else.
Things might settle down once you have a permanent boss in place, but they might not... Workplace culture comes from the top down and it seems the top in your current job arent any good.

For now I'd just respond to meetings scheduled for before you're due to start that you're unavailable. You're being taken advantage of, and (in the nicest way possible) you're allowing it.

Occasionally working extra hours to finish big projects is unavoidable when it's busy in some jobs, I know ... but that isn't really what you're describing.

flowerlessorchid Sun 13-Sep-20 12:33:26

Thanks for the responses, sometimes its difficult to see the wood for the trees when you're in the middle of a situation.

@Babyroobs - DC's Dad is not amicable and would either refuse to help as he knows I need it, or say he would help then change his mind. He can't be relied on and sadly, I have no local family who could help either.

I think spelling out the situation in an email to boss & HR is a good idea, I'm really crap at confrontation face to face.

My new permanent boss could be months away (they havn't advertised yet and not likely to yet as they are still reviewing staff and making redundancies).

The clarity from people is really helpful, thank you flowers.

OP’s posts: |
TooManyDogsandChildren Sun 13-Sep-20 12:33:29

Time for you to put your foot down I think. You clearly have a specialism that non-one else currently does so that makes you valuable. You are also a single parent with an essential role outside work. You also have a right to a life!

I'd suggest you sit down and think about what hours of work and what mix of in the office and WFH suits you and tell them this is what you are prepared to do. No-one should be putting appointments in your diary outside your contracted hours, however senior they are. Can others see your diary? Make sure any time out of your contracted hours is blocked out.

Make sure that you work solidly in your contracted hours and more importantly (yes I mean that) that you are visible doing so. You shouldn't be working regularly in the evenings, some things may have to wait. Make sure you have it on record that "this week I am doing X and Y. Z is also important but as there is only one of me I will be dealing with that the following week." Don't allow yourself to be trampled on - if people think they can, they will.

Re the project last week, every job has some rushed things like this, that is just the nature of work and IMO is not of itself a good enough reason to leave a job. Crap and annoying and bit embarrassing, but as long as it is only occasional I'd suck it up. Are there any learnings you can put forward from this e.g. a protocol for identifying and allocating similar types of issues?

Yutes Sun 13-Sep-20 12:33:42

Do you have actual working hours OP?
For example 9-5?
If so, you are working more than your hours and above your pay grade.

LouHotel Sun 13-Sep-20 12:34:15

Dont quit but equally if your willing to walk out the door then you should have no fear of redundancy anymore so work your normal contracted hours.

Point out that your are an officer not manager and push back - employer will take and take until you stop them.

You also unfortunately have to become attuned to their game playing here. Anytime they give you a verbal instruction you need to follow up with an email highlighting what your areas if responsibility are.

Keep a diary and record by date and when you can time of sly comments that your current boss makes, this may prove helpful in the future.

It very much sounds like they are going to increase your job description so fight for a salary rise.

PlanDeRaccordement Sun 13-Sep-20 12:34:43

I used to block my online calendar so that meetings literally couldn’t be scheduled outside my hours. With four DC and both of us working FT, we had to set strict boundaries on work and home life.

Yutes Sun 13-Sep-20 12:40:19

Also - your company may have an HR policy for work life balance or equivalent

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