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Where do I stand on recorded conversations at work?(22 Posts)
I've been having issues with my manager for ages, at first I thought I was being stupid, it was little things like she'd ask for something to be done by Friday then on Wednesday ask why I hadn't done it and deny she ever said Friday, it was Wednesday and I must be confused or misunderstood her etc.
She talks over me in meetings, undermines me, I feel constantly sick at work. She's very friendly in the office but in meetings she's nasty and speaks to me like dirt. DH said I should record her and catch her out well last month I did that, she told me to do X for early Feb and I did it. Then yesterday she denied telling me to do X and said it was Y. She emailed me copying in the team manager and said we had to have a chat on Monday. I felt like I was losing my mind, I had a panic attack at work I was sure that she said X and when I got home I listened to the recording and what do you know she said X.
I keep crying and I dont want to go in on Monday, it's her word against mine unless I get the recording out but my sister said it's illegal to record people and that they'd sack me for doing that even if I prove that I was right.
I am absolutely terrified of losing my job and reference, I have a mortgage and bills to pay and I don't know if I would find work quickly I've been here so long, I can't think straight for all the stress.
Help me what do I do?
Ask her to put all requests in writing in future.
Phone acas re the recordings.
In future email her to confirm everything you agree. Ie "dear x, further to our conversation I wanted to confirm xx will be completed by Monday as required".
Do you have HR where you work. I would raise it as an issue with them.
Agree with above. Everything in writing. Every time.
I wouldn’t record her.
I am really sure the recorded conversations are no good, but do check with ACAS for sure.
What do you want from the situation? Is there any way you could swap managers?
I cannot help you with Monday but I do have a suggestion for all future times she tells you to do something specific - summarise the conversation back to her by email. If she asks why, you can breeze it off by saying that she's pointed out a few times recently where your recollection of a conversation was different to hers, so you want to improve your performance by being sure of what is being asked/when.
Actually where I used to work emails would go “missing” —they were deleted— so we used to copy ourselves in on our home email addresses. I’d probably do that if you don’t trust her.
My manager does this, not out of malice but because she talks out of her arse and changes her mind at the drop of a hat.
Every time she verbally asks me to do something I summarise it back to her in an email
No advice ref the meeting, I'm sorry, but start taking notes when she asks for things. Keep a specific notebook just for her, and let her see you make the notes. If she challenges you on it, as per the above breeze it off.
Then follow it up with an endo and cc in anyone else that you can who might (or might not... ) need to know about it, and bcc your personal email in too - if its not information that would be illegal / massively inappropriate to email outside your company.
Go to the meeting with a notepad, ask for it to be minuted. See what she has to say, you can say there does seem to be some miscommunication between you, dont blame her or take responsibility. Suggest that in future she confirm all requests in emails and copy in relevant staff, that way theres no confusion. Dont mention the recording unless it becomes an issue when you can discuss it with h.r, or your union. Dont delete the recording but keep it quiet for now. You could ask her if she would like your meeting on Monday recorded or for another member of staff to be there to take notes.
Our HR department wouldn't allow the use of a recorded conversation like this but you've had great advice on this thread. Don't progress this.
Going forward, after meetings, drop her an email confirming anything that's been agreed. If she asks why, explain it is to make sure you've understood her properly.
If she asks why, explain it is to make sure you've understood her properly.
I'd phrase it as "to ensure you've both taken the same thing away from the conversatilm" rather than implying you've got something wrong.
I don’t think it is illegal to record some one with out their consent.
I’d take that recording to the meeting and if she starts launching in to you or you feel you may - ‘ I’d calmly interrupt and explain that actually you started recording requests as there had been previous misunderstandings.
Bullying in the work place should be taken very seriously.
The issue you have with the recording OP is that covertly recording is often considered to be a gross misconduct offence.
A friend of mine did this and only escaped sacking (I suspect) because the recording was clear evidence of discrimination.
What you did could be seen by your employer as a huge breach of trust and confidence and they could dismiss you if they were so inclined. I would be very cautious about using the recording at all.
What you need to do is raise a factual grievance, explaining what she has done and asking the company to investigate. And look for another job in the meantime!
Recording are not illegal. And they can be used as evidence in employment tribunals in many cases.
BUT covert recordings would absolutely be something where is could be considered gross misconduct or lead to them either saying you'd clearly lost trust and confidence in them for doing it or vice versa.
I'm not saying don't record. I'm saying don't use the recordings at the moment for anything. See how it plays out. In the meantime, the advice above about emails and making notes are spot on. You could even retrospectively make notes from the recording and say next week "look, these are the notes I made after the meeting. It definitely says this"
If the notes are detailed enough, it should be a warning to her.
Do you think she is doing this because she is a bully, or might she just have a poor memory? She could also have some type of dyslexic type problem where she says a different day to the one she means. (I have s slight problem like this, so always give instructions in writing).
Either way, taking obvious notes and confirming any instructions by email should stop her doing this. Do it straight away, so she doesn't have time to change her story and you have maximum time if she really meant a different date.
agree with others.
use the recording(s) to write acurate notes for now.
I don't know she seems to hate me just in the way she talks to me 121and over me in meetings etc
These kind of managers are everywhere. IT sounds like a narc to me,
Don't get sucked into the energy -sapping , blood sucking game playing.
Be prepared for the drama everyday, email and confirm everything it says, forward the copy to yourself and build your evidence.
It will trip itself up sooner or later..