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Keeping a Diary/Log

(10 Posts)
Firefox Fri 17-May-13 00:17:06

I've seen many recommendations to keep a diary or log of significant events/behaviour/comments etc.

What are the advantages of doing this? Surely it would boil down to one person's version of events vs another's recollection? Are diaries considered as reliable evidence? Could someone simply just deny the reported events actually took place or that the account is purely subjective?

When keeping a log what should be recorded? What format?

flowery Fri 17-May-13 09:57:06


1. people often don't realise how many incidents there are until they start writing them all down
2. it builds an overall picture of events/behaviour, which adds enormously to the credibility of someone raising a grievance about something. Specific details are much easier to deal with and much more believable than what can otherwise come across as general whinging.
3. the burden of proof for taking disciplinary action against someone in a work situation is nothing like as heavy as it is for a criminal prosecution, so absolutely proof is not required, it's about balance of probability and reasonable judgement.
4. several people might complain about similar things and if they all record events that builds a very good picture
5. specific details from a log are more likely to be useful in getting witness statements

Format? Doesn't matter, as long as it's clear
What to record? Depends on the situations, but typically it would be conversations with context, descriptions of events etc

Tigglette Sat 18-May-13 12:37:28

I think keeping a log also helps you know that you're not making it up or misreading/misunderstanding situations as they arise, it can also prove quite cathartic to get something down on paper although try to avoid being emotional in your account of what happens. Yes it's still your word against theirs but building a picture of what's happening is so useful in terms of you and others getting a full understanding of what's going on.

I'm having to do one just now, not the most fun I've ever had but it is proving so helpful beyond whether it proves unreasonable behaviour on the other persons part.

Firefox Sun 19-May-13 21:52:37

Thanks Flowery and Tigglette thanks

I started keeping a diary about 3 months ago, but I can recall previous other events previous. Is it still credible to write about these past events now?

Should i keep the account strictly factual? Will writing about my feelings be taken into consideration?

flowery Sun 19-May-13 22:18:48

Depends what you are logging. If it is about bullying or similar, then your feelings are relevant.

Yes write down details of previous events if you remember them.

3 months is a long time without taking any action - are you planning to raise a grievance?

Firefox Mon 20-May-13 00:09:09

I really hate confrontation so I am not planning to raise a grievance yet. However my manager is making my life difficult by excluding me from team drinks and lunches, making inappropriate comments, and trying to undermine me in front of others sad.

I strongly suspect he will try to put me on an under-performing action contract. He has already said he doesn't think I am up to the mark, but when I asked for specific measurables and deliverables, together with a clear indication of prioritisation - he couldn't. Instead he said that I had to work hard to change his current opinion confused, and suggested I do a time management course. I honestly don't think that I can change his opinion as it seems to me as it is already set.

GW297 Mon 20-May-13 02:02:37

I found Tim Field's book Bully In Sight very helpful for advice on this plus his website and several others online. Sorry you are going through this - not nice!

lovefreelance Mon 20-May-13 10:43:57

To add to the above, we all forget what we say and do and when, so keeping a record is a good idea. Then, should you ever need it, you'll be much clearer about what happened than your boss, who will only have a hazy memory to fall back on - whereas you can recall what was actually said and in what context.

It also (as said) helps build a clear picture of what is going on, however small and petty individual incidents seem at the time. Collectively they add up to much more.

If your boss does try to put you on an under performing action contract, the fact that you have asked for (and not received) specifics, will help. I mean how can you 'work hard to change his current opinion' when you don't know what behaviours that opinion is based on??

I'm sorry too that you're going through this. Hopefully you can resolve it.

Firefox Wed 22-May-13 23:36:02

GW297 - thanks for your book recommendation. I went on his website and it was very good. I suddenly recognised and realised I am being bullied sad. I started keeping a diary because I thought that something was not right and that he was acting very unprofessionally. I've ordered his book to find out what to do now

GW297 Thu 23-May-13 00:49:29

Glad the website was useful. The book is an easy read and yes I too had that lightbulb 'this is what's happening to me' moment when reading it. Sounds like you realised much earlier on then I did though! I am so very sorry you are going through this too. Thinking of you.

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