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Being bullied, any advice welcome

(41 Posts)
YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Tue 30-Nov-10 21:46:03

I'm only on a temp contract (twelve months) with my company. I've been there four months now.

It's a small dept in a big company, just five of us.

At first I thought I was just being a bit sensitive. Lots of whispering (excluding me) and ignoring me when I asked questions. But now they've pretty much started completely ignoring me. My supervisor told me one of them has been complaining about some work i've been doing. She has involved two of the others who (I was informed) have all been complaining about how I am taking on things I shouldn't be.

Sorry for the vagueness.

Supervisor asked to see my work and was pleased with it, she then called in our manager who also said she was happy with what I had done. Supervisor then told me that the complaining about me had been taken to the manager too.

Basically I had been devising a way to simplify the collecting of a set of data. Having done this, and used it on the data (successfully), checked with supervisor it was ok, We were all set to send off an important report.

I decided to double check things before it went (always do) and found that a large proportion of it was wrong. I was irritated that my method clearly wasn't working. Did it the long winded way before I thought to check it against the new way (with me?), saved it, sent it off. Checked my new way... The data in it was right.

I data was a copied over. There is no way it could have been different.

We all have access to these files.

Someone had changed it.

So long story slightly longer (sorry, I'm sure you don't need all the detail) I've been set up.

What do I do? I'm really upset by all of this. I don't want to do anything formal but I don't want to be watching my back constantly.

I have no proof whatsoever because I saved over it before I realised I'd been had.

I'm miserable

fedupwithdeployment Tue 30-Nov-10 21:59:10

I would say this has gone too far to keep informal. Can you involve HR if it is a big company? Go and see them confidentially - shame you lost the evidence though. If what you say is true, it will be a serious disciplinary offence.

It does sound a hideous place to work. Do you want to stay or would you be happier looking for another job. It may sound defeatest, but you may not want the stress of fighting things?

Sorry - sounds awful. Good luck.

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Tue 30-Nov-10 22:02:54

Thanks fedup. There isn't much in the way of work up here. The management in the hr dept are good.

I just don't know how to broach it, "I think some data (that is now right) was changed" just doesn't seem convincing.

I'm feeling really stressed by the whole thing.

InstructionsToTheBaubles Tue 30-Nov-10 22:13:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Tue 30-Nov-10 22:18:26

Thanks baubs. Not sure how I can talk to supervisor in private as it's an open plan office and she has no space to call her own.

She brought all this up at lunch yesterday in hushed tones after the others had gone, but I wouldn't feel comfortable talking in front of others.

Really really worried that I might cry. I hate to be unprofessional but I am so upset by this.

Any tips on not crying?

fedupwithdeployment Tue 30-Nov-10 22:25:30

Perhaps a word from HR / meeting with supervisor in HR dept? Supervisor sounds like she may well have suspicians about your colleagues, and could be sympathetic.

If you have a meeting, might be worth going in with a few notes so that you keep yourself on track and have something to focus on.

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Tue 30-Nov-10 22:26:41

Notes are a good plan. Would it be odd if I just emailed her? I'm cowardly

Plumm Tue 30-Nov-10 22:33:45

Can you go out for lunch or after work drinks with your supervisor yo talk about it? Or book a meeting room for a one to one meet?

I'm no IT person but it may be possible to see who has accessed and saved the file in question previous to you. There might also be old versions of the file saved in a server somewhere (I once deleted an important file that IT managed to get back) but if they do it won't be saved for long so you need to ask them now.

Good luck. It sounds like your supervisor is on your side and that will help you immensely.

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Tue 30-Nov-10 22:37:18

I think she is, I'm going to ask IT tomorrow if there's any way to know who saved a file when even if it's been saved over since.

She would have a legitimate reason to look at it and even save over it. So I'm not sure that helps me anyway.

InstructionsToTheBaubles Tue 30-Nov-10 22:51:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 06:27:15

Right, this morning (after a crappy night's sleep and with enormous "I've been crying" bags under my eyes) I am going to do it!

I'm going to email my supervisor first thing asking if it would be possible to talk to her in private some time today.

I'm going to mention my suspicions and explain how unhappy I am. I don't think she'll be too surprised really.

Any more tips before I leave would be great (no mn at work)

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 07:15:38

Quick bump before I leave for work.

racmac Wed 01-Dec-10 07:18:45

I think your doing the right thing.

Thie way of changing things that you have devised - could it be doing away with someones job?
Are these people that have been in these jobs for a long time and dont like change - I think your manager should be managing them better

Keep evidence of everything - keep notes of meeting and when you spoke to her and when

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 07:27:28

They've only been there a max of a year themselves. The way I've devised takes an arduous task and makes it more straightforward but certainly wouldn't do away with a job.

But I'm guessing that one person has been winding up all the others about something.

Thanks. I hope I am doing the right thing. I should keep telling myself that I can leave at any time. But I have a sense of duty and would never leave them in the lurch. The managers are all nice (although this lot slag them off too).

Plumm Wed 01-Dec-10 07:31:56

Good luck - let us know how you get on.

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 07:32:43

Will do

That's if I get there through the snow!

pushmepullyou Wed 01-Dec-10 07:43:54

Just marking my place as I want to come back and give ypu some advice later when I'm not on my phone

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 07:45:42

I'm leaving now. I hope you're going to advise me to to do what I'm doing pushme!

I may chicken out.

Thanks everyone.

Lovecat Wed 01-Dec-10 07:46:10

Any chance of saving your own version of the file and password protecting it so that they've got the 'old' version and you've got your own, untouchable one? Or would that not work on your systems (thinking of Excel-based stuff here and similar problems I've had in the past - not through bullying, more through folk looking at the file before it was ready and taking/amending the half-finished data as gospel!)?

Good luck with both the email and getting to work!

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 07:47:59

Lovecat it is excel and I will definitely be doing that from now on. I can't see how else I can protect it.

Hoping it was a one off though.

GreenButton Wed 01-Dec-10 10:39:31

I used to work with Excel, every time I changed a file I gave added that date and no to the file name, and kept a scratch folder to keep all these versions, on your computer not on general access, so you can prove what work you have done and when.

I would be careful to lock your desk and filing cabinet just in case your work and stuff does not "vanish".

Grumpla Wed 01-Dec-10 10:46:15

That sounds really shitty.

Definitely a case of nobody likes a smartarse. It sounds as though they have decided to 'teach you a lesson'.

Hope that you manage to pin your supervisor down for a discussion.

Try to talk about it all in very professional terms (e.g. not "they leave me out of conversations, it's mean" but "when I requested such and such information to complete such and such task, my request was ignored / refused". The issue here has to be about how they are undermining your ability to do your job, not that they are upsetting you.

Good tips from GreenButton there. Make sure folder is password protected. Good luck.

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 14:17:47

God are people really so petty? Hadn't even thought of locking my things away!

Yup, they have decided I am being too big for my boots I reckon.

Sooooo. I spoke to supervisor about the data changing. I got upset and cried (and am kicking myself for not being tougher). Supervisor brought manager in he second she realised how serious it was. They both believed me (no question of that) which is a great start. I said it was possible that it had been changed in error by someone else, but that it had certainly been changed.

I did say that I was very unhappy at work at the moment.

They were both very supportive and lovely.

A meeting with the others was suggested by one of them but discouraged on the basis that it could make things a lot worse. I said I didn't want to make this formal I just wanted them to be aware of what was going on.

The hr manager has been told too.

Any ideas what will happen now?

I hope I don't regret this.

ilovehens Wed 01-Dec-10 14:43:44

No, you shouldn't regret it.

My bully was threatened with the sack if she continued with her behaviour. She's been fine ever since, so it is worth reporting it.

You must keep a diary of any further incidents and try to keep your work secure.

Firms can be sued if they allow bullying to go on and the bullied person has to leave as a result, so it's in their best interests to look after you. They won't want to end up in a Tribunal.

Try to act with confidence and don't let the bullies grind you down. Stick up for yourself if you need to as bullies often back off when challenged - mine did.

good luck

YouKnowStuffingisforLunch Wed 01-Dec-10 14:49:45

Thanks hens

I would stick up for myself if they did it to my face. I'm not a shy type, but I have made a real effort to be nice and friendly, which looks like it's been interpreted as weak.

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