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Help- my (fantastic!) reputation is at stake- how do I tackle tricky issue with manager?

(10 Posts)
SmokyClav Tue 25-Sep-12 23:41:44

In a nutshell, my manager today copied me into an email she had put together and sent to one of our VPs and their senior managers. In this email, she had attached a word document that consisted of a copy-and-pasted email from me and a copy-and-pasted table from another source, but essentially it reads as though I had produced this word document (my contact details were in the email).

A bit odd perhaps hmm but the issue is that the information in the table was incorrect! angry
This information has already been picked up on by our CEO and used in a briefing paper today to the whole organisation (20,000+ staff) and it is wrong!
(the figures relate to a specific performance indicator that we are judged against, it is a crucial piece of information)

I am aghast- I am an information professional, accuracy is utterly essential to the job I do, and had this document been run past me before being sent out, I would have immediately picked up on this glaring error.

Another senior manager has already emailed me today to query what the CEO stated in his briefing as they know what was reported is not the case sad

It makes our division look incompetent, and me look like an idiot, and I just don't know how to tackle my manager.

She doesn't ever discuss things with us (such as what we're supposed to be doing!!), she wasn't in the office today when she sent the email to the VP, and this is the latest in a fairly lengthy line of annoying occurrences (I could be here all night if I start to go into that).

To me, this is major, because people in my organisation will stop taking me seriously, and I had hoped to go much higher than my present level, being under 40 at present. My DH said if it was him he would quit immediately, because for him (self-employed) his reputation is currency, and I can see his point, but I am not going to lose my job over this- I have worked too long and made too many sacrifices to get where I am today.

Anyone have any experience?
What steps do I need to take to fire-fight this?

VerySouthLondon Tue 25-Sep-12 23:44:17

Crikey, handing your notice in is hasty and would make you look guilty! You need to talk to your manager and point out the error. Be quite clear with everyone that this was not your error.

SmokyClav Tue 25-Sep-12 23:53:28

The problem is that I do not (normally) have any contact with VPs, CEO, other Senior Managers etc. If I email the VP concerned to state this was not my document, it makes my manager look bad, and no-one else is likely to take me on in the future <wail> (there is a strong culture of all pulling together in our org)

Themumsnot Wed 26-Sep-12 00:00:40

Well the first thing you need to do is get the correct information out there. Email your manager and copy in the senior manager who contacted you - making it clear in the email that you were not responsible for the incorrect information and that now you are aware it is out there it needs to be corrected. Don't accuse your manager, just provide the fix and make sure you cc at least one other person so that there is a paper trail that covers your back.

VerySouthLondon Wed 26-Sep-12 00:02:41

Hm, is there another manager on a par with your manager, just in a different team, that you can talk to? I'd ask their advice. They may have some wise words or be able to put in a good word for you. I would be honest and say, 'THis wasn't my mistake, I'm mortified but I also don't want yo grass my manager up, i hope people don't think i'm incompetent' etc etc.

Or could you email round and say 'I notice my manager sent round/presented something that was incorrect and I just wanted to send you the original document that is correct' or something like that??

Not nice for your manager but you have to look after number one, and ideally get her job wink

SmokyClav Wed 26-Sep-12 00:10:29

Thank you- yes, getting the correct information to people in the morning is my No. 1 priority.

I am nervous of your suggestion themumsnot as the Senior Manager who contacted me is senior to my manager and crucially someone that I want to work for, and either I or my manager is going to look bad.

VSL- seeking advice from her peer is a good idea, if I can actually get hold of one to talk to (and find one that doesn't want to stab her in the back either).hmm

MavisG Wed 26-Sep-12 00:46:09

Perhaps reply all to the original email, attaching the correct info in a document formatted properly/differently to your boss's cut&paste one? Your email could be very neutral: Please refer to the attached document in place of [name of boss's doc].
I would send this as soon as possible.

kickassangel Wed 26-Sep-12 01:01:32

I would just do a very neutral email, don't mention any blame. Reply all, stating that the original email had the wrong info attached and that this is the correct info. Don't apologies or it will look like you gave the wrong info. You somehow need to make it clear that it was your manager who did this without saying so outright.

deleted203 Wed 26-Sep-12 01:08:10

I would not feel the need to cover my manager's back, I'm afraid - particularly as the Senior Manager is someone you ultimately want to work for. I would email Senior Manager saying, 'I'm afraid I hadn't seen this email until it was sent to me and I quite agree that the info is incorrect. Here is the correct info'. You don't need to add anything else - but this makes it clear that the original incorrect stuff did not originate from you. If your manager challenges you later on this I would raise an eyebrow and say to her,^ 'I'm Sorry. Did you want me to lie and pretend I sent the email rather than you?'^ She can hardly say, 'Yes' can she?

SmokyClav Wed 26-Sep-12 08:51:10

I need to avoid anything PA, am too cynical, and would not go down well with management

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