Advanced search

mumsnet work

Find the perfect family friendly job

My boss is so horrible to me but she is the HR Manager so can't go to HR! WWYD?

(23 Posts)
Honey1975 Wed 22-Mar-17 13:52:28

I've worked for her for 10 years so we know each other very well. She is very moody and up & down. You never know from one day to the next what mood she'll be in.
When she's in a bad mood it's like treading on eggshells. She huffs & puffs & tuts and is short tempered with me.
I believe I do a good job, I am hardworking and loyal but I'm sick of being spoken to the way she can do and sick of being nervous of asking for help if I need it. It's been like it for years but recently it's been really upsetting me at home, especially as she doesn't talk to any of the rest of our team in this way. One girl is clearly favoured and she goes on and on about how wonderful she is. It's demotivating and it's making me withdraw.

As she's the HR manager she's meant to promote diginity at work and anti bullying. I hate confrontation. What shall I do?

yorkshirepuddingandroastbeef Wed 22-Mar-17 13:55:42

No advice but sending my sympathy.

I have a colleague in the same boat working for the Talent and Reward Director. Director talks the talk and treats some of his staff like 5hit. Such a joke.

MaverickSnoopy Wed 22-Mar-17 14:18:58

Have your ever talked to her about this? Even just a little bit? If not then I think that's your starting point. I know it can be scary and no one likes confrontation but if you haven't said anything then it's a bit difficult to take it forwards.

Next time she says something negative or huffs and puffs just politely ask her "have I done something to annoy you?", I would however ask her in private. She may be shocked and not realise, in which case it will give her a boot up the backside, or she may get defensive. If she challenges you then list a couple of examples, explaining that you feel like you've done something wrong/to annoy her quite a bit and why you feel like that.

It might be that things will then change and if not then you can think again. I feel for you as I've had to confront a difficult manager in the past.

SmallBee Wed 22-Mar-17 14:25:04

What's your company structure like? Is there an equally senior manager you'd feel comfortable going to such as it, finance, marketing?

I'd start making a log of every time something happens like this so you've got something to back up what you are saying. Then either ask for a meeting with her or seek out another manager.

Honey1975 Wed 22-Mar-17 15:48:04

Thanks for your replies. She really upset me this morning as she was in a bad mood & snapped at me when I asked for some help. If I didn't ask & then got it wrong, she'd say why didn't you ask me?! I can't win.

I feel there's no one I can talk to there. All the senior managers are very close and no way could I talk to them about this, although to be honest I think it is widely known that she is moody.

She always has family issues going on & I think that combined with the pressure she says she's under at work just makes her moody & irritable. The things is we've all got something going on in our personal lives haven't we but I don't think it's fair to take your bad mood out on colleagues who are trying to do a good job for you.

I haven't tried talking to her as I'm too scared of how she'll react & I would be a bag of nerves and probably get upset, not a good look is it at work!!

Recently I had my appraisal and she said if I had any feedback for her she'd welcome it. I know she wouldn't really though if I told what I really thought of her management style! We'd probably end up having a big bust up😩

yorkshirepuddingandroastbeef Wed 22-Mar-17 17:13:55

Time to move on?

I think you set a precedent with relationships and if the respect isn't there then it rarely will be.

My friend is very beaten down by her Director and says exactly the same as you. In fact, she's been saying it for years. I doubt the relationship will ever improve!

Honey1975 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:32:54

Yorkshire, I have been there so long I'm not sure I would be brave enough to leave, perhaps I'm institutionalised!! Also on the plus side I have great p/t working hours, good benefits & a decent salary. DH says I should just ignore her as there are all these good things to working there.
I just wish I was stronger and able to assert myself. She probably knows I never will.

yorkshirepuddingandroastbeef Wed 22-Mar-17 21:50:04

Can you move within the organisation? Sounds like you are happy with everything else except her!

SarahOoo Thu 23-Mar-17 08:25:39

You have two choices....

Talk to her or leave.,

We spend too much time at work to not be happy there and even though you have a good package, after ten years and being miserable it would be good to move on now. Get that CV dusted off!

flowery Thu 23-Mar-17 10:15:42

"You have two choices....

Talk to her or leave."

yes, this. I find it interesting that you say you can't talk to HR because she is the HR Manager. If she weren't the HR Manager what do you think HR's advice would be? Either to talk to her, or they might volunteer to talk to her/speak to whoever her line manager is about it.

I can almost guarantee that her reaction to you talking to her about her behaviour yourself would be better than if you complained to someone else who talked to her on your behalf.

GwenCooper81 Thu 23-Mar-17 10:23:54

I might be way off the mark here.. but you'll never change her. What you can try to do is change yourself ( in the nicest possible way!). Can you look into assertiveness training?. You need to bite the bullet and stuck up for yourself. It is scary, really scary and I could do with my own advice but unless you so it will never change.
As above, I'd be noting each example. Just because.
Can you challenge yourself to challenge her?.
For example the situation with asking for help.. "Sorry nasty cow Jane, I thought it would be better to ask you than risk getting it wrong" or something similar. You need to approach her even though it's hard. Are you in a union?
Good luck.

Honey1975 Fri 24-Mar-17 07:02:47

Yesterday I spoke to another Manager about it. She is very good at helping people with these sorts of things. She said that she has noticed my boss's moody behaviour too as have other people so it's not just me that sees it.
She is going to help me prepare so that I can then ask for a meeting with my boss to tell her how I'm feeling.

Gwen'you are right, I can change myself and I need to. I think she does this to me because I don't assert myself so I'm going to have to push myself to change.
Even if she doesn't like what I have to say at least I will feel I've stood
up for myself. Have to say, I'm very
nervous at the prospect of having to tell her all this, she's not going to like it!
Has anyone had to do this before and how did you handle it?
I was thinking of writing it all down and giving it to her but I think I'm just going to have to face her😩

SmallBee Fri 24-Mar-17 09:33:06

Good for you op, well done.
I would say write down what you want to get across so you can refer back to it but it's better if you say it and offer to give her a copy at the end if she'd like.
At the beginning of the meeting politely ask her to let you talk without interruption as often this can derail what you want to say.
You could consider asking this other manager into the meeting as well in order to mediate or take notes.
Good luck

christmaswreaths Sat 25-Mar-17 10:59:20

I can be a bit like this as I have a huge team, loads of pressure on me and a totally absent boss.

I do snap at people but I always apologise after. Explain I am under pressure. Tried various things like set up.daily meeting GS where people can ask for help but then I so snap when they call me or Im me at 8 in the morning when they could have waited 1 hour. I sometimes feel they disrespect me too by expecting instant replies.

I do keep an open shop though so maybe clear the decks with the cooks suggestions? It is hard for you and from what you say maybe your manager is not getting much support either..

ChuckDaffodils Sat 25-Mar-17 17:41:43

daily meeting GS where people can ask for help but then I so snap when they call me or Im me at 8 in the morning when they could have waited 1 hour.

You know you do it so stop it! Turn the phone or IM OFF until you are ready to do work, rather than snap at people. It really is unprofessional, particularly as you know you are doing it.

CountryLovingGirl Sat 25-Mar-17 20:19:07

We had someone (again, a moody woman) at my last workplace (NHS professional btw so you would expect better). My goodness, she was a piece of work! I noticed on day 1 what she was like with some of the other staff and many of them left because of her. She was in her 50's and we used to put it down to hormonal mood swings and the fact she had worked there all of her working life (like she owned the place).
Many people complained about her and nothing was done.

Eventually, she was caught in the act by another manager who reported her. They put her on suspension and she ended up resigning (however, managed to get a job in a similar department as a locum to last until she retired!!!).

She was evil. I have never, in my whole 21 years of working in the NHS, come across such a moody, unprofessional woman.

I really feel for you but definitely stick up for yourself. I had to with this woman as she tried it on with me but I soon fought back and she stopped it.

Honey1975 Sat 25-Mar-17 22:09:06

Thanks Country, how did you fight back? I find this kind of thing sooo difficult.

Yesterday she was nice as pie to me and even thanked me for all my hard work. I think she knows
something's up as I've been so quiet. The unpredictableness of her moods has me on edge every day😟

StealthPolarBear Sat 25-Mar-17 22:15:12

This on my ever seems to affect women. I can't ever see a male employee caring because someone huffed or tutted. Don't know what the answer is, I'm the same. And as for attributing grumpy management to hormones. ...

shesaidhello1 Sat 25-Mar-17 22:22:57

Place marking as im in the same situation. Unrealistic deadlines - sometimes asking for things to be done in 15 mins or emailing to do something before lunch or by the end of the day when I'm not even the office that day. Things which aren't even my job and are basic admin tasks but she can't do them as she is 'too busy' but simply because she thinks they are beneath her. Recently I've started to question a few things, after 3 years of this nearly ever day I've tried to say I'm sorry I can't do this, or I'm sorry I don't have the time but she just says well sorry but it needs to be done. One time I questioned her behaviour towards a customer and she responded by shouting and throwing a tantrum and saying 'well I'm the manager and I can do what I want!' I hate going in to work when I know she's going to be in work and I just don't know what to do.

ThouShallNotPass Sat 25-Mar-17 22:29:49

I spent years working in restaurant kitchens and encountered many, many chefs who spoke to the staff like Gordon Ramsay does on tv, shouting and swearing, slamming pots and pans about.
I started working (washing up at first) at 12 years old so I became very thick skinned by the time I was an adult and cooking there. By the time I was a mother too I decided that no, I wasn't to be spoken to like that anymore and I started pulling the chefs up on it. Every time.
A simple "Excuse me, please don't speak to me like that!" Did wonders. And when they were really roaring I would tell them I'd be back to speak to them when they stopped screaming at me. I was a colleague not their child! Then I would walk away for a few minutes.
It worked surprisingly well.

You really need to pull your colleague up on her behaviour every single time. Politely at first for as long as you can stand it. If she doesn't stop then be more assertive. TELL her not to snap at you and it's her job to answer those questions.

She is not your mother. She is not your owner. No adult should be allowed to snap and be rude or aggressive to you.

christmaswreaths Sun 26-Mar-17 08:54:35

Well it's easier said than done because I am under huge pressure and have to get updates to my seniors often out of hours.

I don't think it's true that it is a woman trait, I work with some pretty aggressive executives and if anything I try and protect
My own people from being at the end of their behaviour as it can be intimidating..

daisychain01 Sun 26-Mar-17 14:08:49

OP your manager should exemplify the HR policies that are hopefully available to all staff on the intranet. Can you access those policies as they should mention respect in the workplace.

Another relevant policy is on Grievances in which it may state that if your manager is the subject of your grievance you should be given the right to escalatr to a person in HR or another manager so it can be objectively assessed.

Befire going formal if you feel you can, you need to raise it informally and keep notes of the meeting. If she is not receptive or if the situation isnt permanently resolved you could then take it down the formal route. The outcome of that could be that you ask to be allocated to a different manager.

whirlygirly Mon 27-Mar-17 20:57:49

Oh I have this too to an extent. Ours is too small an organisation to move to another manager. It's so tricky as she has so much power within the company and nobody will stand up to her. She's incredibly manipulative when she needs to be. I can't get into her mindset at all.

She actually likes me, which makes my life easier, but doesn't make it right for others.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: