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Subtle Workplace Bullying

(2 Posts)
Saaraa19 Fri 25-Sep-15 22:58:46

I have been working one day a week as an admin assistant for two years in a place where the administrator wanted to work only four days. It is my first job since taking time out to have children after working over 20 years. I cover the one day so there is no face to face contact with the administrator. It is proving very, very difficult as time goes on - partly due to not having the continuity of a full working week. The other difficulty which is far greater is that it appears that the person does not want me working there.

As time has progressed it feels like I am being micro managed. Yes, there are a couple of times where I have done tasks wrong, have been told of it and have put in place measures so that it does not happen again. I am very happy to receive positive criticism but there is a constant drip effect - I have been told not to touch anything in the office or change anything on the virtual desktop, like filing. I have carried out jobs to discover that they have been redone with no reasons given to whether I had done something wrong or not. I am not told about events that are happening or have happened so am often caught out. I am given jobs where it is not clear what is to be carried out and how. When I have asked what the procedure is I do not receive an answer. I try to use my initiative but am becoming increasingly fearful that it will be wrong or not done in the way that the administrator requires. I have received information in a damming manner which has left me wondering what I had done wrong and why I wasn't informed before; only to find out that the administrator had mishandled something and offloaded to me. As time progresses I dread going into work because there is always something that is commented on negatively in the written handover, which is our main form of communication. I find the administrator unapproachable the whole experience is beginning to feel really poisonous.

My work self esteem is dropping and I have spoken to a training professional outside the environment with regards to what is happening. She has said it is utterly ridiculous and undoable to work one day a week in this environment. She has suggested that I look for a position elsewhere in the same field. Also, I have spoken to the main manager, the person above the administrator, about how I feel regarding the job and whether there is a problem with my work. Although she was sympathetic, nothing much was achieved. There did not appear to be a problem with my work and she thought the administrator would be shocked that I felt the way I did. In fact the situation has become worse because the administrator is now aware that I have spoken to the manager.

I was taken on with the impression that there would be more days available once I had become established and that the administrator wanted to drop at least a further day. I verified this with another person who interviewed for the vacancy to check that I hadn't got it wrong. I have been given adhoc days when the administrator has needed training, etc. Over the 2 years I have often asked if there are any more hours available and have been told no. In my yearly work appraisals I have made it clear that I would like more hours, that I would welcome further training to carry out out more aspects of the job. I have also expressed an interest in developing the role further.

Now the administrator has informed me that she is taking on another person to help in the office one day a week temporarily. She said they cannot afford to pay for any more admin time, that it will be reviewed at the end of the year and this person has experience in a specific area of the job which I thought I would eventually progress into. However, all the other non-admin staff have been informed about the new addition so it appears to be a permanent measure. This job has not been advertised. The person is called in by the administrator when I am unable to step in which is not very often. She was doing one day a week before I was employed there but stopped once I started. What I cannot understand is why they did not employ her in the first place.

I really like the role and can see so much potential in it for development; both for myself and the role; and there are some really lovely work colleagues albeit not in admin.

Any comments, experience, advice would be gratefully received please.

GrandmaM1 Sat 26-Sep-15 17:04:04

Your story is all too often the case. Bullying undermines everyone and witnesses are often too scared of losing their positions they will say nothing. There is a website called Glassdoor that anyone can have a look on to see if the company they are thinking of joining is on there and what if anything do present and former staff think of the company. Anyone (I think) can add information on the site to recommend or warn others of company's they have worked for. It is scary to look for a different job when your self-esteem has been chipped away at but it seems to me that you are a skilled worker with a lot to offer. You have nothing to lose if you look for another position with a good company while you still have a job and everything to gain.

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