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Dealing with the Office Bully

(7 Posts)
Firefox Thu 23-May-13 21:46:19

...who is also my manager. I've started to keep a diary of events for the last 3 months and unfortunately the situation is getting much worse. I am getting stressed and tired as I am worried and having sleepless nights. My manager refuses to give me any measurable, attainable or specific targets. Examples he gives are based on subjective opinions, and any good work I do is simply ignored. I suspect he is getting pressure from his senior manager for his shortcomings and he is taking it out on me and trying to constantly undermine me and blame me. I also suspect he is going to use my mid year review to try and mark me as under-performing.

Where do I go from here now?

I've tried talking to the manager about how to resolve matters but it is not working. I don't really want to leave as this is exactly what he wants. I can't go to HR - I believe they only support management and will only look at this in the context of how likely they think they are liable legally (sorry flowery!). There is no union either. Unfortunately I don't really know his manager well enough to approach him informally either.

Firefox Thu 23-May-13 21:56:01

I would also be very interested to hear anyone who has gone through a similar situation - what did you do, what happened in the end?

kiwimumof2boys Fri 24-May-13 02:14:15

Hmmm. What a horrible situation for you to be in.
Maybe try HR? show the diary and see what happens ? I know HR are there for the company, but I had brilliant HR people at my old work. make sure you are clear with specific incidents, and the lack of/vague targets. Also, say what you wish the outcome is (a meeting to devise targets etc.) And make sure you email them afterwards with all the specific information and incidents noted, so you have a record.

Flowery ? do you agree ? (sorry not experienced at this sort of thing !)
Good luck.

StupidFlanders Fri 24-May-13 05:06:09

I'm not sure i understand but when you're given a job, can you ask him outright what the target is and how it will be measured? Then send him an email outlining the goals (and if he wont tell you how it will be measured include how you will consider it accomplished) and email again when you have reached them?

Lavenderhoney Fri 24-May-13 05:45:15

Agree with stupidflanders. Also, do you have to provide a weekly report on what you have achieved and anything outstanding, any issues? If not I suggest you do it yourself and send it to yourself at home. Just an email with bullet points.

Ask for fortnightly 1:1s to go through your workload 30 mins is fine. If he is too busy, then say you will email as above. If he has issues he can reply on email.

In a review nothing should be a surprise. If you have been under performing you should know before you attend! So if he moans, you need specific examples and how he thought it could have been done differently, and the barriers in place or inexperience that made you do it differently and why he didnt bring it up at the time. Then you rewrite the review.

Also your KPIs should be set, so this is a good time.

You don't have to sign anything, just make notes, and say ( its perfectly reasonable) you need time to rewrite so you are both comfortable.

If he is difficult, the next step is HR, and book a short 1:1 with his manager. If his manager has a pa, be very nice to hersmile and tell her why you need a meeting.

He doesn't have to agree to the above. You are not making trouble, you are protecting your career and future. You don't have to get personal, just be professional.

Firefox Fri 24-May-13 08:14:43

Thanks for everyone's recommendations.

I have sent weekly progress reports for the last 6 months. As I work on several projects, these are sent to other project stakeholders too. I also arranged 1:1's with him over the last 5 months, but often my manager will cancel them or not turn up. Any issues he has raised are minor - and also subjective eg he tells me I need to change his opinion, or he needs to have confidence in me - but he won't tell me exactly how to achieve that. When I ask for specifics, he just wants the end deliverable - which due to the nature of my work can be months away. This is the reason why I send weekly reports to him and the other project stakeholders to show what progress has been made, any impacts, material delays etc. The other recipients have since commented how helpful this is and more people even outside the project are now asking for this report.

A lot of his concerns I believe are purely nit-picking and fault finding. When I ask for prioritization, he tells me this is my responsibility - yet he is the one that allocates my ever increasing workload. He somehow manages to make me feel that I should be doing everything, and that everything I do is not good enough. He constantly shouts and swears in the office. He is prone to fly off the handle for anything. The comments he makes within the team are very inappropriate - sexist, racist, and derogatory. He actually jests that perhaps he should sit close to HR!

I've reached the end of my tether sad

ItsallisnowaFeegle Fri 24-May-13 08:40:00

I've been where you are Fire sad.

15 months I was used as first off a scapegoat and then it had just become entrenched and that was how just I was treated by the deputy chief exec and my line manager.

I was being micro-managed in the end. I was told I was to attend 1:1's every week (on one of those occasions I was asked if my manager could 'check my diary' to make sure I had been everywhere my online calendar stated I had shock). I was told I wasn't allowed to leave the office, despite it being very necessary to the success of meeting the targeted outcomes and I was continually reminded that 'shit rolls downhill'.

I was so intimidated, I kept thinking if I just keep doing my job (which I was doing well) they'll see they've made a mistake but they never did, of course.

Every 1:1 was a focus on (their fabrication) of how shit I was and I signed it every week like a little mouse.

I then started getting angry. I also begun keeping a record of every conversation and the content. I refused to sign the most recent 1:1 and instead took the time to address every single criticism made and counter them. I also spoke with a friend who was in a union (I had only recently joined on her advice and this is something you can do independently) and she told me she'd take the case on for me.

It didn't get that far as after I stood up for myself in addressing the review all of a sudden that intense day in day out bullying stopped.

I also attended a colleagues wedding at which my line manager apologised for 'what was happening to me'. She told me it was coming from the other woman (both our senior) and in her exact words 'she was loading the bullets and making me fire the gun'.

I'm sorry you're experiencing this. If I could give myself one piece of advice it would be to confront them when it started and stand up for myself.

Good luck

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