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No wonder my ears were burning - former workplace issue

(23 Posts)
thegreencushion Thu 12-Sep-19 10:04:38

Hey guys, I'll keep this short n snappy!

Basically I worked in a small store (I was part of the management team)

From the off I clashed with my manager. I tried my best to appease her. However her views on other staff members and customers were really unkind. I ended up leaving for a better job, thank goodness. There were several instances where my manager made mistakes and tried to have the blame pointed towards me.

I intended to send a letter to Head Office on my departure, to advise them of what was going on in the store but I decided against it - move on, look forward and forget about that experience.

I remained friendly with all the other staff members once I left. We never discussed work because I was in the 'look forward' mindset still...However now, some 6 months later, I have received an email from one of my old work buddies to say that thy have been told that I have been very unkind about them all, and I manipulated them and tried to get one of them the sack due to her health issues. These are all slanderous accusations and it has left me in a bit of a mess, as a result.
The email was very direct, accusatory and knocked me off my feet.

I have decided to back away from the situation as I felt it was 'triggering' old feelings associated with my former manager. But in response, this particular friend is saying that doing that 'proves my guilt'

I really don't know what to do about the situation. I feel angry that these now former buddies of mine have listened to (and believed) toxic lies, but I also at this point, want to just get on with my new work life and enjoy time with the friends who do trust me.

Am I too late to take action against this manager? Or am I best just deleting, blocking and moving on?

Knowing that someone is trying to tarnish my reputation/make slanderous accusations is actually hurting my feelings and I'm in a head-spin right now.

Any words of wisdom or advice would be greatly appreciated right now!

x

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Thu 12-Sep-19 10:20:50

I think you just need to block and move on. If you want to say something, simply ask if it's more likely that you did that as a friend or that someone else is shit stirring.

I do think it's important to deal with any issues that arise when they arise for exactly this reason though. Whenever I have let things go I have always lived to regret it.

Dealing with them doesn't necessarily improve things at the time (in my experience it can make them worse) but certain situations are never going to come to a happy conclusion anyway.

maz7777 Thu 12-Sep-19 10:25:26

I would be asking them if they have any recollection themselves of you ever saying unkind or slanderous things to any of them, or if they are simply listening to rumours from your ex boss. I'd tell them I don't appreciate the accusations and if they feel the need to be wary of anyone it should ex manager. That you no longer work there and don't want to be involved in her workplace issues any longer, hence moving on from the role.

HollowTalk Thu 12-Sep-19 10:25:49

I disagree with the PP and would definitely do something about this.

How have you meant to have communicated this? Surely they can't be saying you did it by text or email, otherwise they'd have to show evidence for that. If they are saying you said it face-to-face, then who to? When?

milliefiori Thu 12-Sep-19 10:25:58

Contact them and explain this is a malicious lie with no foundation in truth whatsoever. That you are considering taking legal action against this slander and you are contacting Head Office for advice. And tell them you are sad that what you thought was a friendship is so fragile that they believe gossip about you rather than the evidence in front of their own eyes that you are a good and loyal friend to ex colleagues.

Leave it there. Don't get back in touch with them. But do think about following through with your claims to contact head Office and a lawyer. I absolutely hate bullying. And it's only by standing up to it forcibly that people learn they can't get away with it.

ChicCroissant Thu 12-Sep-19 10:26:08

Firstly, you don't have to turn up to every argument you are invited to.

Secondly, you could say 'Was it X that told you that? You know what she's like' and leave it at that. But it all sounds very drama-llama and I think you are probably right to take a step back and leave them all to it. Does she still work there?

maz7777 Thu 12-Sep-19 10:27:34

I agree with Millie. I'd be contacting head office about it too.

DarkDarkNight Thu 12-Sep-19 10:31:58

I would probably write a factual, unemotional email in reply saying part of the reason you left was because of your former manager trying to blame you for things and being unkind about staff and customers. I would say you are disappointed your friends have chosen to believe lies.

Refuse to be drawn into further argument then move on with your head held high.

NavyBerry Thu 12-Sep-19 10:36:15

I would def defend myself. This is a small world. You need to stand for yourself! You may come across these people later. If you didn't do anything wrong, you are not to be accused of and blamed for other people's faults

thegreencushion Thu 12-Sep-19 10:47:51

Thanks all of you for your comments. I may go quiet now as I'm off to my new (and lovely!) job shortly.

I've decided to take myself away from the situation but 'sleep on it' so to speak, and decide how to proceed.

There is no written evidence of these 'nasty comments', apparently they were spoken. However the unkind comments were never from my mouth..

It is a bit soul destroying to learn that people you thought were friends would believe what is said to them...however saying that, they hardly see me anymore and yet spend 30+ hours a week with the manager still. So I can see that if easily influenced, they will believe whatever they are told!

Thanks all, apologies again if more people comment and I don't reply as I am off to work now xx

OP’s posts: |
AJPTaylor Thu 12-Sep-19 10:53:15

That is work places for you.
Move on and don't look back

NewYellowPencilCase Thu 12-Sep-19 10:57:41

Defend yourself but cut off the friendships.

If it were more minor, I’d just smh and walk away, but this sounds vicious. What if you work with one of these people sometime in the future? Rumours could follow you around.

Write to Head Office with any written evidence telling them it is for their information, you refute all allegations and you are considering what to do about the slander.

Tell ex workmates that you have contacted Head Office and they are dealing with the issue.

Don’t make accusations back or get emotional. Just state the facts.

Thatagain Thu 12-Sep-19 15:47:54

I would do something. I would also tell your ex work friends about the boss and that's the reason why you left. All bully's should be called out. Have a catch up meal with everyone and make sure that the old boss is there.
Have no fear
Don't be shy

daisychain01 Thu 12-Sep-19 16:18:47

There is no written evidence of these 'nasty comments', apparently they were spoken

Although it's upsetting, you have your new job, new life, so I really would think twice before taking any further action.

It's hear-say, second-hand information and it will become time-consuming to document it, and it's unlikely to be an accurate account of what happened. The Head Office will probably dismiss all your hard work and efforts to escalate it - you're a former colleague so you would say that, wouldn't you

Fortunately there is not implication on you getting a reference as you are already in your new job (well done). Ask yourself why bother?

There are lots of injustices in life that are never put right, this is one to forget as you've tried to do.

I would sever contact with all of them. Clean slate, and all that.

Aderyn19 Thu 12-Sep-19 16:35:56

I'd have to reply and express disappointment that people you considered to be friends would believe slanderous accusations on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. I'd also ask who had been the originator of these accusations.

Separately I would also write to head office and explain why you left the role, that it has also been brought to your attention that this staff member is still publicly slandering you and that you are now considering a constructive dismissal case.

daisychain01 Fri 13-Sep-19 07:06:11

@Aderyn19

Separately I would also write to head office and explain why you left the role, that it has also been brought to your attention that this staff member is still publicly slandering you and that you are now considering a constructive dismissal case.

you cannot be serious - what good would that do? the OP would look seriously deranged writing things like that. Constructive Dismissal is complex enough as it is, but it's completely impossible if the OP has already resigned, left their employment and started a new job!

Aderyn19 Fri 13-Sep-19 07:22:24

I don't think it is. If you have been bullied out of your workplace, which the OP effectively was, I think you can take action a couple of months later. People can't always think clearly about a situation until they are out of it.
The difficulty would be if the OP never raised the bullying with HR because then the management haven't been given a chance to resolve it before she left.
Even if she didn't threaten constructive dismissal, the bullying is still taking place, which must have implications for them since it involves their employees.

daisychain01 Fri 13-Sep-19 08:03:32

There's an easy way for the OP to deal with this, and that's to distance themselves from the former colleagues - go no contact. That's a lot less hassle than bothering to write to a Head Office who will probably bin any correspondence as coming from a disgruntled former employee.

If they did write back it would be to ask whether the OP had reported bullying while they were employed because unfortunately it's too late now. They won't see any risk of a Tribunal Claim (for what?)

thegreencushion Fri 13-Sep-19 12:11:26

Thanks all for your appreciated comments. I've slept on it (and woke with a headache thinking about it wah!)

I have decided to just keep away from the situation. No contact.

I spoke to my current employer about this yesterday, and had a big old cry about it in the process.

They assured me what a fabulous job I am doing and how all the staff speak highly of me, and feel comfortable working with me, and how I am a breath of fresh air for the business. That means a lot to me.

Also I took a look at who I have at home. I've spent the last couple of days literally drifting around at home fretting about the situation, not wanting to clean or even eat. It's not fair to myself or my family, who have been worried for me.

I'm going to keep looking forward and put the past behind me. And I need to get over the fact that there are always going to be people out there who don't like me and want to cause trouble for whatever reason...which is their problem and not mine.

I just need to keep positive like this...it's gonna be tough! xx

Thanks again xx

OP’s posts: |
EBearhug Fri 13-Sep-19 16:54:25

If you have been bullied out of your workplace, which the OP effectively was, I think you can take action a couple of months later.

There's a time limit, though and I think 6 months on is past it.

daisychain01 Sat 14-Sep-19 07:04:47

Time limit for Tribunal is 3 months minus 1 day.

To lodge a Claim, it needs to have already gone through the internal Grievance Procedure of the employee's company, and an ACAS Early Conciliation Certificate ID needs to have been issued.

daisychain01 Sat 14-Sep-19 07:08:14

@thegreencushion you're making a very sound choice, it's been a painful journey but you won't regret leaving it all behind and moving forward positively. Letting go in this situation is healthy.

Just think, it's their loss and your new organisation's gain, lesson learned - never get too close to work colleagues, it often ends badly!

KatherineJaneway Sat 14-Sep-19 08:37:39

It is awful when this happens, a similar thing happened to me but friendship based.

I'd reply back saying that all the accusations are baseless and that you are disappointed they chose to believe such rumours but thats all they are, rumours.

Then block their email and contact on social media etc. They aren't a buddy if they blindly believe such nasty rumours and send you such a shitty email.

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