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Manager refusing to acknowledge work-related stress

(16 Posts)
warpandweft Wed 25-Oct-17 10:32:27

To cut a long story short, I am suffering from work-related stress. My workload is extreme and I'm subjected to bullying behaviour from colleagues. I'm becoming physically unwell now not to mention previously well controlled anxiety and depression threatening to spiral. I've had no time off sick, however, and the senior managers confirm that I am not under performing.

I tried to talk to my line manager. Apparently as I'm not putting in extra hours I can't be stressed. Everyone is under pressure, so I can expect to feel stress. Apparently I need to be better at prioritising and my time management is at fault. This is unfair: I am the only person in that team who delivers anything (in my case everything) on time. My issue is I literally have too much work to do. My line manager wants to ensure that others in the team aren't overloaded so is refusing to consider delegating anything I do.

The only suggestion was to go on an internal stress management course but there isn't one scheduled for months, if at all.

Mercifully we have an employee assistance programme which I have accessed and am seeing a counsellor. Despite this, my line managers insists there is no problem.

I just don't know what to do now.

2014newme Wed 25-Oct-17 10:34:21

Do you have a HR department?

warpandweft Wed 25-Oct-17 10:37:45

Yes we do

2014newme Wed 25-Oct-17 10:38:30

Have you spoken to them

warpandweft Wed 25-Oct-17 10:43:24

Senior managers reckon there's not much point.

2014newme Wed 25-Oct-17 10:43:55

Carry in doing nothing then. Good luck.

Theducksarenotmyfriends Wed 25-Oct-17 10:47:04

You have to talk to hr. What do you mean senior managers think there's no point?? They've no right to suggest you don't take concerns to hr.

warpandweft Wed 25-Oct-17 10:47:07

I'm trying. I really am.

daisychain01 Wed 25-Oct-17 13:10:28

Have you tried giving your line manager a log of everything you are doing incl the time you need to complete all tasks, and also highlight the deadlines you have met against each task.

I don’t actually know why HR should be involved at the moment, at least unless you feel you have exhausted all the alternatives with line management. HR may just throw it back at you “ have you spoken to your line manager about your stress?” as they won’t have real visibility of the day to day issues you are facing. They could intervene on your behalf to get LM to take you more seriously, but I would try to do some self help first.

AppleKatie Wed 25-Oct-17 13:14:03

If you are suffering physical and mental symptoms that are negatively impacting your life please see your GP.

elfinpre Wed 25-Oct-17 13:16:02

Get signed off and look for another job. They don't deserve you, OP.

warpandweft Wed 25-Oct-17 13:36:32

I did go through my tasks with my lm but they maintained that I wasn't expected to do any more than anyone else and therefore can't be stresssd.

At my last appraisal my lm said I should have produced a project plan for something and that was why I didn't feel I was on top of things. The lm said this while holding a copy of the project plan I'd produced (and continually updated) 6 mo prior. When I pointed this out the response was that it was "too detailed to be useful".

Same appraisal I was told I hadn't been clear with the management of something else. I produced guidance documentation immediately. Again, lm stated what I'd done was "far too detailed", but it wasn't clear.

2014newme Wed 25-Oct-17 14:40:48

But you won't go to HR or submit a grievance or get signed off. Your other option is to get another job in a different company

daisychain01 Wed 25-Oct-17 21:07:07

When I pointed this out the response was that it was "too detailed to be useful"

I have to empathise with your frustration. I had exactly the same thing with a previous manager who criticised the plan I was using successfully to manage our deliverables. So if the plan was no good, how come everything was being delivered on time?!

If a manager undermines their direct report so badly, that criticism becomes normalised and they never try to see things from any other pov than their own, it’s time to look for another job.

I’m now in a job where my LM is 100% supportive and wouldn’t dream of picking holes in what I do. It makes a huge difference!

LondonMum8 Thu 26-Oct-17 07:48:58

Sounds like you are aubject to management bullying - they probably want you out for whatever reason, e.g. line manager is useless and feels threatened. Organisations tend to be very poor at dealing with those kind of issues. You have already spoken to senior management with no effect. By contacting HR you will start an open war which could end up in the tribunal. Is there a possibility of sex discrimination? Ar any rate, just look for another job if you are not happy.

warpandweft Thu 26-Oct-17 09:18:39

I'm definitely job hunting.

What makes me so very sad is that I love my actual job. In professional terms, it mostly incredibly fulfilling. But it's made very difficult by th behaviour of others.

I've no doubt they want me out. I've been there for the best part of 10 years and I've always refused to subscribe to the "this is the way we do it here and there shall be no deviation" thing which some struggle with. Doesn't stop me from doing anything which makes things worse tbh but I am not about to compromise my principles. My lm as a massive problem with that (even though I've a proven track record of successful project management in my department). I am actually still the "newcomer" believe it or not!

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