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Manager undermining me at work

(11 Posts)
Bumblequeen Sat 06-Oct-12 00:24:43

I am more than able to work within this role, my work has always spoken for me yet I am slowly losing my confidence.

My manager patronises, undermines and second guesses me. If he loses some papers, he assumes he gave them to me and I somehow discarded of them. Yesterday he was adamant that he gave me the papers and leaned over to search on my desk. I felt my space was totally invaded. It turns out they were in his briefcase!

When I set up meetings and external persons are running late he assumes I have not given them the correct venue details. If an external person 'claims' they cannot find an email from me he assumes I did not send it. It is draining to constantly have to 'prove' that I have done nothing wrong. I spend at least 30 mins a day trailing through papers/filed emails to find evidence against his accusations/assumptions. I am becoming more and more upset at going in to work. I feel anxious and on edge, as though he is deliberately trying to break me down.

How do I deal with this? If I bring these issues up, he can swing it in his favour by stating that he is just double checking everything is in place. He is a definite control freak and I am unfortunate enough to work for him.

Tearoses Sat 06-Oct-12 01:32:22

Are you in a union? I would speak to your rep if so...

This sounds awful, sorry to hear it. Might be an idea to start keeping a diary of everything he says/does so you have a record of it all and consider making a complaint via HR. Your work has a duty to make sure you aren't treated like this.

ekidna Sat 06-Oct-12 17:54:08

Diary definitely. union def.
Arrange a meeting with him, beforehand refresh yourself on assertiveness formulas, clearly state the facts as you see it to him. See what suggestions he has to improve things.
Speak to hr once you have some facts down.
Sounds like he might not change, having been in a similar situation to you and going through all the correct motions I realised my attempts to improve the situation were futile and left. I wish had left earlier as my confidence was shot.
The other day many months After leaving my boss took delight in forwarding me by post an unsuccessful employee suggestion I had put forward!!!- nuts. That was a nice little reminder of the pettiness of the man.

Good luck however you achieve it do not stand for being treated like a twat.

Bumblequeen Mon 08-Oct-12 12:19:48

Dh reassured me this is just the way my manager works and I need to accept it. However it is affecting my confidence. I am beginning to doubt myself. Another thing he does is ask for paperwork I have already left on his desk. Why does he not look on his desk first?

He has a very powerful position and knows how to articulate himself well. He has a way with words and suggests I am being over sensitive. Do I stand a chance? Am I able to convince others of his treatment? If not, I will only make matters worse for myself.

This is about control.

crabbyoldbat Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:27

I suggest they you steel yourself and take control (fake it till you make it!) Train him to work better with you.

Instead of searching for proof you did something (or whatever), just tell him confidently that you did it - e.g. being breezily dismissive say "oh I sent that on Tuesday, they must be mistaken" or "I put it on your desk at 9am" (NB, only if you're sure). Seeming less anxious will make you look more competent (which you are anyway) to him, and after a while he might get into the mindset that you are a confident competent person. And at the very least you don't waste time pandering to him.

Get some day-glo post-its and a thick marker pen, and put one on every piece of work you put on his desk, marked "xxx document, as requested, from bumblequeen, date". Put it where he can't miss it. Or agree a place in his office where you always put thinks for him. Frankly, it sounds to me like he's the disorganised on - can't see papers on his desk, leaves things in his briefcase..... Maybe you should say you're concerned about his mental state?

And/or you could make a note of all the times he finds fault when you are actually in the right, save them up (how long for depends on how often he does it, but I reckon 20-30 incidents should do it), and then arrange a meeting with him. Say you've been thinking of ways the office can 'work smarter' and that you've identified something that might make things go more smoothly - you've noticed that he's having to be involved in operational matters when obviously his talent is needed at strategic level, and that company time could be used more effectively. Go through your list, as an example of his low-level involvement (emphasising all the while how beneath him these tasks are) pointing out each one, and what the actual result was and how much time it took e.g. there was concern about the email sent on x to y - then when we looked, it had been sent, this used up half an hour of your very precious time", "there was confusion about whether x papers had been lost on y, and then they were found in your briefcase, you lost 20 minutes of you very precious time" etc. (try to avoid 'you sad they were lost/blamed me, I found them' - try to keep it impersonal and business-like) Then point out that actually in 20 occasions, only once had his checking up been necessary, so maybe he should BACK THE FUCK OFF concentrate his many and various talents on the important stuff, and leave you to manage the silly little things. wink

mrsconfuseddotcom Wed 10-Oct-12 22:56:11

Don't suppose you are a PA by any chance? smile

crabbyoldbat Thu 11-Oct-12 08:09:37

smile No, a manager who's had (bad) managers - but I can see why you'd think that!

mrsconfuseddotcom Thu 11-Oct-12 17:26:27

No, I was asking if the OP was a PA. smile

Totally agree with crabby that you need to take the bull by the horns and take control of the situation. Some bosses can be hideous bullies.

If you are a PA then one way of managing him could be by printing out a copy of his calendar (day per page) and attaching the papers he needs for that day. I did this for one boss who lost papers on a regular basis. In fact, I gave him a folder with dividers labelled Monday to Friday. It changed a lot but kept him roughly on track. I would also give him papers he needed to read/work on and the next time we sat down together I would say, "Have you made a start on the XYZ Report I gave you on Friday?". It was a bit like herding cats but it worked somehow even though most of the time I wanted to strangle him!

Boss relationships can be very difficult and you just cannot help some. In fact, I don't think anyone can help some of them! I've had loads of ups and downs doing that job so much so I now do something completely different!

StillSquiffy Thu 11-Oct-12 17:58:24

Keep a diary for a month of every event. At the end of the month present it to him and tell him that if he does not stop undermining you for no reason that you will put in a formal grievance for bullying.

Whilst this behaviour is probably his default mechanism and nothing to do with you, this should make him pause and force him to actively change.

FWIW, I have a DD with challenging behaviour who is simply incapable of processing anything that happens 'unexpectedly' without immediately 'blaming' someone. EG if the dog were to accidentally stand on her foot, it will be her bother's fault because he should be playing with the dog somewhere else, rather than sitting quietly at the table doing his homework.... It really is quite funny to watch, but I can easily imagine this turning into the kind of adult behaviour you describe. Some people do really struggle to be 'normal' (doesn't mean others should suffer for it, though)

crabbyoldbat Thu 11-Oct-12 18:01:28

Sorry mrsconfused. I was confused

mrsconfuseddotcom Fri 12-Oct-12 18:08:34

Where's the OP? Hope the boss hasn't sent her over the edge...

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