Advanced search

Grasp the next rung of the career ladder

Find jobs that fit your skills and your home life with Mumsnet jobs

See all jobs »

being undermined at work

(13 Posts)
cantstandthenoise Sat 17-Sep-11 19:52:29

long story - basically I have been undermined by a colleague at work for years. We used to work in a small team and I was his line manager then, he always undermined me and it was exhausting - I don't think I ever dealt with it properly as I should have done something about it then but it was difficult as I was part time and I just looked forward to when we would be in a bigger team and I wouldn't have to manage him anymore.

1 year later we are in the bigger team, I am no longer his manager but a few grades higher than him and along with 4 other colleagues have to allocate work to him and the rest of the 15 or so others in the team and oversee it. It seems like he is still trying to catch me out and show me up though I am perfectly well able to do my job - in fact have been doing this kind of work for around 15 years and have an MA in it and he is relatively new to it.

An example was this week, I had to allocate around 100 pieces of work that came in via a shared email account. An email came it that I gave to a colleague but either I made a very minor mistake and gave it to him too or it came in twice and someone else allocated it to him the following day. It was a very small mistake as he would have realised immediately that someone else had done it. However, he sent and email asking me to be 'tighter in the way I allocate work in the future' and sent to the whole team and also critised the way it had been done by the other colleague. I felt this was very rude and shouldn't have been sent to everyone in any case.

I have asked to see my manager about this. It seems so petty but I feel he is deliberately trying to show me up for a very minor mistake (that I may not have even made), when it was not his place to do so. I would understand if it was my boss who said that but I would never say to my boss 'can you be tighter in the way you allocate work in the future'.

what should I do???

cantstandthenoise Sat 17-Sep-11 19:56:10


mousesma Sat 17-Sep-11 19:59:07

I think you need to tell him yourself formally but in private that you thought his email was inappropriate and while you are sorry for your mistake and appreciate him bringing it your attention he should contact you alone in future.

If you escalate this to your manager you will show this team member that you cannot cope with his behaviour and give him more power than he deserves. I also think everyone else who saw this email will have thought he was a bit of a twat so he is not doing himself any favours.

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Sep-11 20:02:12

Your his boss, so you should take it up with him.

Tell him off in no uncertain terms. He is undermining you because you are letting him get away with it.

I imagine our boss will be mildly annoyed if you start complaining to her/him before attempting to address the issue with this twerp yourself first.

cantstandthenoise Sat 17-Sep-11 20:07:54

unfortunately I already replied and said that I wanted to see my boss (I cc'd her into it) so I will be seeing her about it now. He intimidates me to be honest and I can't stand it, I am perfectly good at my job and he always looking to trip me up. I don't want to make a big deal of it to my boss - just say to her that a) he shouldn't have cc'd everyone into his mail and b) that it is up to him to tell me off

cantstandthenoise Sat 17-Sep-11 20:10:11

I mean NOT up to him to tell me off!

LynetteScavo Sat 17-Sep-11 21:06:02

Your? confused blush

You're, obviously!

somewherebecomingrain Wed 21-Sep-11 21:19:10

try this website

MersyMersy Fri 23-Sep-11 11:46:08

I think you need to pull him up over this, he is getting away with it and if you dont he will continue. You dont need to be confrontational, you can make your point professionally you just need to let it come across that you know what he is doing. You are his boss and as you say you are the more experinced in your career so let him know this. Believe in yourself and let it show, he is a bully and he has singled you out unfortunately. If you let it it will continue. I know its hard if its not in your nature but the best way to beat a bully is to stand up to them. If you let it continue others including your manager may pick up on it and see it as a weakness on your part which would be utterly unfair but unfortunately that is human nature, especially when it comes to the competitive forum of the working world. I say all this from experience, I work in a male dominated environment and have had to deal with this far more often than I care to remember.

Good Luck, I know what a horrible situation that can be.

fizzymilk Wed 28-Sep-11 03:45:20

It sounds like office politics seen this all the time at the place i work. In my workplace, real office politics players i.e. the managers would have done something like this. They would have had a private word with the guy giving their piece of mind. In email, they would write the most professional email whilst showing up the guy in the most subtle way i.e non confrontational unless it's a serious issue like not completing a deadline on time and cc'd everyone on that email. On top of that, they would find ways to give the guy more work/or work that he hates/work that he is weak at and then when he complains about that, raise it a negative point on annual review! Therefore, the guy will end up failing at his own work for showing up a manager. This is only a fraction of the tactics used!!!!

I am not at all suggesting you use this approach at all. I'm trying to show you are better then the managers above.It sounds like you are not one of those people who can naturally plays politics. I personally think this is a good thing, I mean I don't see why people have to resort to office politics. Therefore, my advice is ignore all those petty points that guy is making. As long as you have written records to show you are delivering work etc to your bosses thats all that matters. It sounds like he is jealous of your position. It appears he feels he can fast track and do a better job then you and maybe take your job. He is seeing the weakness in you being soft and exploiting it by wasting your time on petty stuff so you lose the plot on the actual work that needs to be carried out. If you do lose the plot, he might end up becoming your manager one day!!!!

Be strong, focus on your work and dont fail in that.As someone else on the thread mentioned this guy seems like a twat so picture him as just that.

Good luck

BerylStreep Fri 30-Sep-11 17:03:26

OP, what did your manager say?

I would be confronting him, asking him exactly what he was trying to achieve, and pointing out that his tone and wide cc was inappropriate and unacceptable.
Tell him you will be keeping an eye on his future conduct, and if there is anything further you will be ensuring it is reflected on his appraisal.

What a twat.

You need to stand up to him, because others will be watching. He has tried to publicly humiliate you, and if you don't take action, others will try too.

BerylStreep Fri 07-Oct-11 16:21:21

How are things OP?

Missingfriendsandsad Wed 12-Oct-11 09:06:30

I had an idiot who did this kind of stuff to me once or twice.. I tried to 'assumed' (pretended) he was joking and wrote back saying smth like

'I am 'missing' the senior manager, not the office junior! You are obviously very stressed about this, but please don't get all cross over a public e-mail!, if you have a concern like this just come and talk to me about it, don't let it fester until it has become a big thing for you and you start acting irrationally.

I would like to address this in a more managed way if its OK with you. Would you agree to mediation over this issue? Please 'Reply to all' as I have done, following your lead.


Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now