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Work getting me down(9 Posts)
I'm posting for a bit of insight really as to my current job. Things are getting me down and my boss made some comments in my supervision today that, after thinking further on them, I'm quite annoyed about.
I work in a sales role and I've been with the company for almost two years. Last autumn 2 of my colleagues left and my boss had to try and recruit. I took it upon myself to step up to the plate and try keep things going as much as possible, so that my team (where there was only me left) could go some way to hitting our annual target. I worked my arse off and kept things going until my boss employed two other people. For the whole year I exceeded my target by £75k and the team target ended up being hit (and exceeded too). My role has a commission element to it so I did do ok out of it, something which my boss never ceases to remind me.
In April I got a promotion to lead for my team. I have no responsibilities of carrying out supervisions, just of supporting the team to make appropriate decisions and of advising them of processes we use. I was doing this anyway when the two new people were employed. I was told I was being promoted as a reward for my hard work but my boss did drop in to the conversation that they couldn't legally give me a higher target than my newish colleagues, so the promotion would come with a higher target. I tried to negotiate the salary increase, but only roughly get £2400 extra per year. In addition to this our commission scheme was completely overhauled because I'd done 'too well' and the targets went up by quite a lot.
Out of the two people that were hired one has left, the other is still in our team (I'll call her A) and we've recently hired a replacement third person who I've been responsible for guiding and advising as is my role. Today was my probation review within my supervision for my role. I'd been told to bring examples what I'd done to meet my increased responsibilities, which I did do. I pointed out that these were mainly aimed at when we have new starters but I was still doing some of these things with the new person. My boss started to talk about how he may need to add some additional responsibilities in there, as A could argue that when I'm not in the office (I only work 4 days per week) she provides advice in my absence so she could ask for a promotion to a lead role. Now A has been here less than a year and while she is also good at her job, she's not pulled in the numbers like I have or carried the team and been the only person there to do so. Also so far this year she is behind her target accumatively, whereas I'm above mine.
A is very vocal to the point where she will continue to go on at our boss and he will generally just give in for the easy life. She also doesn't use the proper channels for things - for example, as a team we have an issue with the current targets as they are. Last month A and I were discussing this and I mentioned that I had my supervision that afternoon and I was already going to raise a number of points with our boss. She sat for a while and then announced she was going to write a letter and hand it to our director. She was going to try and do this without showing the letter to the boss. She was trying to get me to write a letter too but I said I'd prefer to speak to our boss first and go from there. He asked me to wait until he'd had his supervision with our director the following week so I did. A had her supervision the day after me and boss asked to see the letter. A showed him and he agreed she could give it to the director. The outcome was favourable to our team but the director talked about the letter and the issue being brought to her attention that way. I've mentioned this issue a number of times in my supervisions and boss has always said he's spoken with the director about it before. I stressed to my boss on the last occasion that I wanted an answer by the following week but listening to the director talk it was almost like she wasn't aware of this issue. We've always been asked by our boss to raise issues to him and he will raise it higher up. I've always done this but A doesn't.
Recently one of my DC was ill. I said to boss I could work from home and did so. He was fine with this and whenever I've had to leave work to pick up ill DC before I've been able to work from home. A was off on the same day due to one of her DC being ill but she didn't work from home. Today a comment was made by my boss that strictly speaking he wasn't meant to even let me work from home and that A didn't have the facilities to do that when she was off. He then went on to say that it benefits both me and the company that I can do that. I'm confused to why he has mentioned this, as on the odd occasion where I've had to do it previously it's never been a problem and I don't know if something has been said by A to make him raise it now.
Finally (and thank you so much if you've got this far, I'm sorry for the mega essay!) I'd raised something in the supervision as my father in law is currently dying of cancer. We don't live close and my husband can't drive. My husband has severe depression and my MIL isn't coping so well with the situation. Our DC are also finding it hard. I know when my FIL dies I will need to provide support and be there for my family. I've spoken with HR about potential compassionate leave as the rules aren't 100% clear. To try and minimise impact on work I asked today about the possibility of being able to have a work laptop if I did need to be at my in-laws, so I could continue to try do some work here. My boss said that he didn't know about that and he'd check with our director. He said that it might depend as someone before me may have had that request and it might have been denied so they couldn't be seen as treating me differently. I said that I was just trying to think of all possible avenues and be prepared. Surely though this should be on a case by case basis and it shouldn't be anyone else's business on whatever arrangement was made? My boss also made the comment that my DC should be at school in the inbetween bits of FiL dying and the funeral as kids 'move on' quickly. My father died in April suddenly and unexpectedly by suicide. My DC do not know the method but he was otherwise very healthy and only very early 50's. It hit my elder two quite hard. FiL only found out about his cancer afterwards and it's fast progressing, he's probably only got a matter weeks left and I'm anticipating this hitting DC really hard after also losing my dad. FiL is only 64 so still quite young.
I don't really know what to do. I am struggling with all of my 'home' situations but still trying to do my very best work wise and I know work have no issue with my performance, but the comments by my boss today have really annoyed me and I want to arrange a meeting on Monday to discuss the comments from today. I also want to discuss the whole A situation with him as I do feel she oversteps the mark sometimes and doesn't get pulled up on it. He also gives into her if she keeps on at him about things and then she thinks she's in the right. If you were me what would you do?
Thank you again for reading and for any advice you may have
You have a lot going on in your life, which it seems from your post is using up headspace and emotional energy. Totally understandable and you have done well to keep going even though you've had family loss and illness, which is a far more important priority than the minutiae of work, as you describe it.
However you feel about colleague A, you would do well to distance yourself from the complexity of the situation, trying to control her decisions, Agenda, contact with management, whatever it is that's troubling you is sapping your mental headspace for no real benefit. Don't sweat the small stuff, as they say.
As for the working from home/compassionate leave, the company has to treat all employees fairly, not give you advantages that others cannot have. You may need to consider a request for unpaid leave, as compassionate leave is generally 1-2 days off for a funeral, or bereavement, it sounds like you want an indeterminate number of days/weeks which isn't sustainable for a company.
OP, sorry to hear you're having a tough time.
I'm getting the sense that you feel you have excelled in your own role and aren't getting the recognition you deserve, 1. because another colleague (A) who you feel isn't on a par with you has been given her own promotion and 2. the company won't agree to you having extended leave (which I think you see as fair exchange for your contribution). Nothing wrong with those feelings but this is eating you up at a time when you need to conserve your strength.
Personally I wouldn't bring up A's manner, she is not your member of staff to manage and your boss could take any criticism of her methods personally. It might well reflect negatively on you to do that so I would stay well clear.
Re the compassionate leave, although it sounds a bit tactless in the way it was put, I do think it would be best for your DC to be in school between the death and funeral. They would be supported and cheered by friends in the meantime which IMO is far better than spending the day with adults who may be very upset and out of their routine/usual environment. I mean that gently and have a pastoral education background so I'm speaking a bit from experience here. A few days' leave that is actually leave and not working from home (a set-up whereby you may get phone calls at difficult/stressful times) might even be better for you too.
I hope your meeting helps you and for you
It sounds like your boss is a bit shit.
I agree that employees should be treated fairly, but that doesn't mean equally. I would be bending over backwards to support you during this difficult time, given that you (objectively, measurably) did the work of three people.
If your manager thinks A could argue she's a supervisor, great! Let her evidence that! But giving advice one day a week whilst also not meeting her targets does not compare to doing the role four days a week and exceeding targets, so boss can easily kick that to the curb rather than try and make it your problem as it sounds like he's trying to do.
I would look at the things that are within your control, and those that aren't, or you can only influence. Boss's management of situations (like apparently not taking things to his boss, giving in to A etc.) are for his manager to sort out. So you might need to accept that this is part and parcel of working for him. Change anything that you can control - I likewise think distancing yourself from A (particulalry discussing management or performance topics, unless you are giving feedback on her performance) is a good idea.
Personally I wouldn't take issues with A to boss unless they are directly impacting your/teams work and it isn't your responsibility to address them - in which case frame it in those terms.
Also, when you talk to him again about the laptop, point out that you were able to work from home and still meet your targets previously. Not everyone is suited to home working and therefore not everyone should be allowed to do it - that is fair treatment.
Ultimately, you will need to decide (once things at home have settled down a bit) whether you can work under the currwnt conditions. From what I've read here, another company would snap you up!
Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate them.
It's not that I don't think I'm getting the recognition I deserve really, I think I worded it badly. I did a lot of hard work and was rewarded with the promotion as a result. After my manager offered it to me he'd also mentioned that they couldn't legally give me a higher target just because I'd been there longer and that the promotion justified a higher target. After the conversation yesterday I'm annoyed because he's made it seem like the only reason for the promotion was so they could raise my targets and he's forgotten about all the work I put in leading up to it. So when I put about A not pulling in the numbers, I mean she didn't go that extra mile etc. My boss was asking me what's stopping her asking and my thought process is that I'd excelled and gone above and beyond in my role, so that's why I got a promotion. The extra responsibilities were made up by my boss and it's not my fault those responsibilities aren't applicable all the time, though I am still doing them. Its almost like I'm having to now justify why I should be in role above her - does that make sense? He's mentioned about thinking of additional responsibilities to add to my role and I don't think I should have to do this, or if they are going to add more responsibility then I should renegotiate my contract. It sounds to me like A has been possibly poking him about. I do appreciate A does her job and she can do it well, but it just seems like those who shout loudest (repeatedly) get their own way. My manager doesn't want to have to deal with her moaning at him so will give in to keep peace.
In terms of the compassionate leave I'm just wanting to be prepared. I won't take an extended period of leave, just a day or two if we need to travel over for when he goes downhill and then a day or two around the funeral. There is a policy in place for compassionate leave for up to 5 days but the rule isn't clear on my case because it's my father in law. I've had 5 days this year for my dad and I was also signed off for two weeks as I wasn't fit to be at work. My manager made the comment yesterday that it's bad I'm having to ask for compassionate leave again and I just replied I'd rather not have to go through this again to be honest. I think sometimes it's just the way he puts things. He asked after my dad died and I returned to work about how my DC were doing. I said they were coping better than I thought they would and eldest two (9 and 6) were talking to someone at school who was in a pastoral capacity every other week. The sessions are called counselling by school. Manager made the comment of how he was really upset when his grandad died when he was 11, but he didn't need counselling. I then felt like I needed to justify it to him. There have been other things he's said and I mainly just let them slide - he looks down on people who are on benefits etc.
The working from home thing, more so if DC are ill, I'm not sure why he really brought it up. I know of other people in the company who occasionally work from home and to be honest what they do isn't any of my business. It's worked when I've had to do it before and my manager has never had a problem before, so I was just surprised by the comment yesterday.
Should I speak to him next week or not? I think I'd like to actually state that it's not just my extra responsibilities that got me to be promoted and to go through some of the things he mentioned too. I don't know how much of a good idea it is but I do feel I need to address some of the comments.
Sorry Candle, I didn't see your reply before I posted. It's taken me since 8.30 to type and post as I kept getting interupted by DC. We're currently at in-laws to spend time with FIL.
Thank you very much for your post and advice, I appreciate it. I think you're right that I need to reassess working for the company in the longer term, there's a lot of office politics going on right now and it's not making it a nice place to work in general. Morale is low across the board.
I will distance myself from A as much as possible. I know she badmouths others, she did about colleague that left and manager has let her. I don't doubt that in her own supervisions she probably has some things to say about me. I know I'm good at my job and I know there's no issue with my performance so I'm not worried about that, but I've worried about the whole situation since yesterday. Emotionally and mentally I've not got the headspace to deal with it right now but it is impacting on me.
Thank you again.
how long has he been your manager? I agree, I don't understand why he's hassling you when you're exceeding your (current, new) targets, doesn't make sense. I do think you're over-worrying about it a bit - do you think that's because you're generally a bit stressed?
At the end of the day, you do sales, you're exceeding your targets, I'd say things were fine.
I am not sure you can fix your manager's communication style or personality, but you can limit the chats with him to what really matters.
I'd be tempted to take my amazing performance and look for a new job though, if it's getting you down.
He's been my manager since day one, I had my interview with him. At the start he was ok with me, though the other two members of staff who left the company had said he would start being his normal self after a few months. Compared to a number of managers at the organisation he's alright I suppose, but I'm seeing more and more of a side of him that's not very pleasant.
I think when all of this is over I will start to look properly for another job as in the long term this isn't good for me.
No, a amanger that plays people off against each other isn’t great, best to get away from him
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