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Got my probation extended - now can't face going into work

(9 Posts)
Leavingonajetplan Tue 31-May-11 15:05:37

I'm having to take today off - DD had D&V but am so stressed I feel like I'm going to explode. Got headhunted for the job I'm now in. Upshot is that three months later boss extends my probabtion - not really giving me a coherent reason. When I ask for a formal letter explaining why I get a load more reasons, like not answering emails quickly enough, seeing meetings as a hindrance etc. Because my role was/is a new one I was told to 'take it and make it' my own. I never got a formal job description and my bosses told me I was doing okay. So my probation extension came like a bolt from the blue.
I asked for more support (after probation was extended) and one of the freelancers is now effectively acting as a consultant - overseeing my role and giving his opionion. Problem is this freelancer has less experience than meand he's saying the same things I've been saying to my boss for months.
I am wondering whether my boss has an issue with women as there have been a few ocasions when things have been said.
I am going to see my doctor this afternoon to get something so I dont' feel sick about going into work. I'm quite well respected for what I do so why are things going wrong, why do I feel like a victim here when I've done my best.

Earlybird Tue 31-May-11 15:08:14

Sounds a bad work environment, and one that is beginning to undermine your confidence.

What is the job market like for your profession? Any chance you could (or would want to) return to your old job at the previous company?

What about doing a job search elsewhere?

Leavingonajetplan Tue 31-May-11 15:12:07

I'm fairly senior so I'd have to take a pay cut if I wanted to go and work somewher else - thing is with childcare etc - even the salary I'm on doens't stretch far. I'd be better off doing freelance - I did have a very successful career as a freelancer before I had my daugher (2.5YO). I could build it up again.
Thing is I need to pay a rather large tax bill off so I need to keep some kind of staff role going but I'm not sure my health/family/relationship will handle the stress I feel at the moment.
I was going to ask for some kind of severance, two months, because the job IO was sold is not the job I'm doing - thing is they never put it opn paper.
Another issue is that I was told I could a day a week from home, as I did in my previous company. I work online so it's not really an issue. But a month into this current job my boss said he didn't want me working from home (I've worked from home for years BTW!)

Leavingonajetplan Tue 31-May-11 15:14:04

Also my two bosses seem to have a problem with women, a couple of assocaties have been regularly referred to as 'witches' my boss himself is quite full on and it's really hard to speak to him without everything being an issue. He refers to my past career as 'baggage'

Earlybird Tue 31-May-11 18:47:14

Which would be more stressful - staying in a terrible situation, but earning so you can pay down the tax bill, or finding another lesser paying job you could enjoy more?

What exactly was it that lured you to this job? Did you research the company before you agreed to accept the position? The senior staff sound dreadful.

Also - you did not answer - would there be any chance of you returning to your previous job? Was that a better fit for you?

tribpot Tue 31-May-11 19:07:46

Okay, so a number of issues here.

It is extremely poor form for a probation extension to come out of the blue. What is your company's probationary policy? Should you have been having regular objective-setting and review meetings? We do this every six weeks during the six month probationary period. The reasons given for the extension are completely stupid, how will you and your boss put an effective mediation plan in place? 'I will answer all emails on the day received'? - what are you meant to do if you have back-to-back meetings all day? I'm quite sure that, like any professional, you put your out of office on if you are in meetings all day, so that people know to text/call and leave a voicemail if it's urgent. So measuring email responsiveness would be daft. Should you open every meeting in the style of Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam to demonstrate you don't find it to be a hindrance??

What is the policy on home-working? We do not generally allow this for probationers (and indeed no-one can negotiate it as a formal right, it is always manager's discretion although it's very rare for it to be refused provided it doesn't interfere with the day-to-day operation of the office). Who was it who promised you home-working? What does that person say now?

What is the basis for you being supported by the consultant? I had this in my last job - he'd been brought in to cover the role whilst they looked to recruit as they were not expecting to find a candidate before the incumbent moved on. (As her entire handover to me consisted of the words "you know it, you'll be fine" this was just as well!). He was exceptionally useful to me in supporting me into the role, despite having much less experience of the particular organisation and area we were working in. So the freelancer is someone you should get on side, in my view.

I don't think you have any chance of getting severance whilst on probation, I'm sorry. But happy to be proven wrong by people currently working in the private sector (which I am not).

I utterly sympathise with you, by the way. But I wouldn't give up yet, even though it sounds crap. For a senior role, I think you should treat the probation extension as an opportunity (particularly because I suspect your boss wants you to see it as the opposite) and don't give the bastards the satisfaction of grinding you down.

Leavingonajetplan Tue 31-May-11 19:09:39

Hi Earlybird - previous job no longer available - to be hones that job has now changed anyway. I was lured because I was promised more flexibility, as in working from home. Plus the financing of the company looked sound and I would have more freedom to pursue training and the ability to develop new skills. Had appointment at the doctor this afternoon (5pm) have been prescribed a mild tranquiliser and prescription strength ant acid (sp) for my stomach - both caused by job. I can cope really well with stress but not crap bosses

Leavingonajetplan Thu 02-Jun-11 20:57:12

Hi Tribpot. No review meetings - which is something that was scheduled in but cancelled time and time again, The home working - because my job is online and the website I work for needs to updated sometimes early in morning and last thing in the evening - the job they lured me from had one guaranteed working from home a week. Working from home is actually more productive to my role.
I am with you on the consultant - it's good to have another person who does what I do, but I am concerned about my bosses attitude more.
Anyway I'm not going to let it grind me down! thanks x

Leavingonajetplan Mon 13-Jun-11 16:43:59

Just like to say that my bosses have agreed to let me work three day week in the office and work two days a week from home. The work I do from home is flexible, so I can fit in a couple of hours before 9am (with a young child and OH leaving for work at 9am this is do-able) and a couple after 5pm. Means I have some flexibility and balance back - and am on the same money. Boss is going to draw up a 4 month contract (still permanent) but means we can see how the role goes.

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