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Bullied by the boss

(10 Posts)
ptangyangkipperbanguuh Thu 26-Jan-17 15:28:04

I have been bullied for many years through a range of methods at my workplace (OK, it's a secondary school). I am not going to list all the details but it has involved being overlooked, maligned, over or undersupervised, moved sideways, spied on and lots of Bccing of emails .Anyhoo, this has all been done by SLT. I got moved sideways, against my will really, last summer and now the head says I am not doing this job properly or effectively. It's scary as he is now my direct and only line manager. I don't need anyone to ask me questions about this or to agree that I am being bullied. I know I am. But what it is is this : after a 'meeting' two weeks ago, the head put all his charges against me in writing (with no prior warning) and so I responded, at some length. Last time I did this (about three years ago) He never replied. He is disappointed that the fancily entitled new role he has given me has not resulted in me getting a job elsewhere, essentially. (His appraisal began with 'how's the job hunt going?') . I am feeling really anxious and upset. He has recently advertised a raft of excellent promotions and posts, which I know I am not welcome to apply for (hence his timing). Should I reasonably expect that he should acknowledge the points in my letter (it was an awful letter for me to write as so much of it by its nature was not very veiled criticism of his leadership) and at the very least reply to me??? Haven't involved union at any proper level yet....

fritillery Thu 26-Jan-17 15:40:26

It's difficult to comment without knowing what problem the head has with you - what he is complaining about and what has been communicated on both sides so far. His comments appear inappropriate.
This kind of situation would generally head towards a performance process heading in the direction of dismissal, and/or your bringing a grievance. But no doubt you are in practice better protected working in a school than you would be in the private sector. You should keep a note of everything that happens.
If you made it clear in the letter that you expected a response, I don't see the harm in your asking again for one.
I would contact the Union.
I would also look around for another job. But you will then lose your right to bring an unfair dismissal claim, if that doesn't work out.
You may be able to negotiate a termination deal to leave your current job, if you want that.
I recommend that you get legal advice - people online who haven't seen the documents can't give you reliable advice.

ptangyangkipperbanguuh Thu 26-Jan-17 15:57:46

I do nothing but hunt for other jobs, I assure you! I didn't specifically ask for a reply - he has a tactic of ignoring me, so I sort of wanted to see if he would....
This has been going on for years without it ever being formalised into a proper 'procedure'. he is wary of that because I am rather a valuable asset as a teacher of a core subject and a good/outstanding one at that.
No one really knows what his issue is with me. I once upset his deputy head (or she said I did) That was years ago. I have a lot of ideas - and they seem to find that irritating. If I disagree with something, so can think of a better way, that is frowned upon. I'm not male . I don't laugh like a drain at jokes...If I suggest a new idea, it is blocked , or claimed by someone else. That kind of thing. I once suggested a line manager was bullying me. That marked my card. (He has now left; thank God, but not without doing lasting damage to the perception of me). If I am being objective they think I pass stuff upwards to them too much. This isn't true; I just like to share ideas and discuss things and am not embarrassed to ask for support, help and guidance when I need it from senior colleagues. And so on. I have been making notes and have spoken t my school union rep. The criticisms of me have ranged form quite big ones to very very petty ones.

HotChoc10 Thu 26-Jan-17 17:49:37

That's horrible, I'm so sorry

ptangyangkipperbanguuh Thu 26-Jan-17 18:10:00

Thank you smile All the advice about workplace bullying centres around reporting said person TO the boss, so it's a bit tricky when it is him...

Schools don't tend to have HR either.

We're stone age!

fritillery Fri 27-Jan-17 11:50:22

Interesting that you have identified some things that management don't like about you (eg passing things up to them, having ideas about changing things), but appear to be continuing to do those things that they don't like. Whether you think that they should welcome your communications or not, perhaps it would be a good idea to accept that that's not the way they like operating, and alter the way in which you communicate them, to something that they are more comfortable with?
Also, if you want a response, I would politely ask for one, so that it's clear that you expect them to respond.

ptangyangkipperbanguuh Fri 27-Jan-17 13:14:11

Actually, I 'm not still doing those things , as I have been so sidelined, I now have nothing to pass on. I can't help having ideas, but I no longer share them...I take your point but everyone does know that it is because they are my ideas that is the problem. I do have some evidence of that but not for MN.
Apparently, boss wants to see me next week, so I may ask if I can have a companion with me. Sigh.

ptangyangkipperbanguuh Fri 27-Jan-17 13:16:46

Are you a boss fritillery, or in HR / law?

I would say schools do operate along very archaic lines....

fritillery Fri 27-Jan-17 21:12:38

I'm very sympathetic to people who are bullied at work - seen plenty of it.
I really think that the OP should get some professional advice, or good advice from her union. I do wonder a bit why, if she is in a high demand core subject, is very good at, her manager is prepared to give her a good reference in order to help her to move on, and she is applying for lots of jobs, she hasn't got one yet. That would be the most obvious and pain free solution to the problem.

ptangyangkipperbanguuh Fri 27-Jan-17 22:06:03

I haven't managed to get to the interview stage very often .I am looking for SLT posts (usually many applicants) , and my previous post (head of year) is often not seen as relevant experience compared to, say, head of English. I do think you are, maybe not deliberately, implying I am perhaps bringing elements of this on myself. I am hopeful I will get a new job but I am not just going to take any od job, despite my misery .My head gave me my current post as he thought it would get me on shortlists. His references are bland, not glowing.

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