So it turns out I'm crap at my job, now what happens?

(54 Posts)
WateryFowls Mon 20-Jan-20 19:51:41

I'm four months into a six month probation period. Have had a couple of scheduled meetings, all seemed good. There was one small issue that I admitted I needed a bit more explanation with as it's very complicated, they all agreed it was and we moved on.

Today I get a letter saying they've called a meeting to discuss some issues and laid out three things, two of which are a bolt out of the blue, the other one was the one I had mentioned. Meeting in a couple of days and told I can bring a colleague or union rep.

Bottom of the letter says they stress that they are aiming to help me resolve these issues but is this usually the case? I feel totally gutted and thrown. I thought I'd settled in well and was getting into the job. Now I feel like a complete failure and don't know where to go from here. Does anyone know what is likely to happen?

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Lougle Mon 20-Jan-20 19:58:59

Now that they've raised points 2 & 3, do you see them as an issue? I think that's the place to start. If you just can't understand why they are saying those things are an issue, that's quite different from not really having registered them, but on reflection agreeing there are issues.

LuluJakey1 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:02:29

I would take your union rep. They will know how this works and protect your rights. There should not be issues mentioned at this point that have not been discussed with you before.

However, I have known several people who have had concerns raised during a probationary period, support put in place and who have gone on to do really well. Make sure the support is what you need.

You are not crap at your job- you are learning how to do it well

WateryFowls Mon 20-Jan-20 20:03:50

Not really. Obviously if they give examples then I'm not going to argue with them but off the top of my head I can't think what they are referring to. Certainly nothing related has come up before and all this talk of union reps etc feels very serious.

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topcat2014 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:07:33

You need to find out more about what they mean, otherwise how can you improve. What line of work is it? Try to prioritise whatever work your line manager has given, rather than doing tasks that nobody sees. If there are hidden tasks like this, get your manager to buy in our prioritise

topcat2014 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:08:25

I had probation extended once, but ended up there for five years

Bluntness100 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:10:15

It sounds like they wish to terminate at the end of probation op I'm sorry. An offer to take someone in is just a formality, they can terminate for pretty much any reason they wish as long as not discrimatory.

Maranello4 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:12:15

I would ask them for specific examples if you’re not sure and also what their benchmark standard of good is. It it something to do with how you’re behaving or your skills/ knowledge? As the two are very different - both you can overcome with help and no I wouldn’t say you’re rubbish at your job.

Hercwasonaroll Mon 20-Jan-20 20:15:04

Do you see any truth in what they have written?

It seems underhand for them not to have said anything until this point and then put it in a letter.

WateryFowls Mon 20-Jan-20 20:20:25

No I can't think of any examples of the other two issues. I've been racking my brains all evening. If you'd asked me this morning I'd have said passing probation was a formality. That's the feedback I've been getting from colleagues and I'm stunned this has happened.

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Casualbride Mon 20-Jan-20 20:45:42

Don’t go in with a defeatist attitude. Sounds obvious but I’ve seen many employers get rid of someone because they thought the working relationship was going to become difficult rather than because of the performance concerns.
I’ve also seen employers keep people on despite performance concerns because they like their attitude and they ‘fit in’.
So go in positive, open to criticism and willing to take on additional training/support. Although it’s galling to grovel, tell them how much you love working there and that you are keen to take on board their comments and make positive changes.
There’s no guarantee but if you are super positive and open to it all you stand the best chance of getting through this. If you are perceived as being argumentative or difficult you’ll be out the door.
Take your union rep provided they are the calm, experienced type of rep, you don’t want one who will go in all guns blazing and make things worse.
Good luck!

Bouledeneige Mon 20-Jan-20 20:50:59

Recruiting people costs organisations money and lost time re-inducting people etc. So go in with a positive attitude and a willingness to respond to concerns and try to work to meet them. Ask for additional support or training if necessary and time to respond with these new targets.

WateryFowls Mon 20-Jan-20 20:58:25

Thank you all. Yes I will go in positively. I love the job, enjoy working with everyone and, on a personal level, have settled into the team well. And if they have legitimate issues then I am more than happy to accept criticism and the chance to improve.

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Bluntness100 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:01:37

I agree, go in positive op. But be mentally prepared. Because no company invites you to bring a union rep for something that's a general performance chat they want to help you improve on.

When they advise you to bring representation it's serious. Can you think hard, have you not done something, made an error, been late with something that they will find damaging?

Whatever they will put in front of you they will have evidence of. Because they wouldn't open thr discussion up to a union rep if they didn't.

Think hard about this. Because whay they are doing is very serious.

AceOfShades Mon 20-Jan-20 23:14:04

Unless you're a civil servant @bluntness then you're entitled to have a union rep to accompany you for a pee grin
Well not quite, but you get my meaning.
Disclaimer...... I am a civil servant.
It seems rather unfair if you've no idea what the mistake/problem/cock up is, but I guess we don't know what the letter says.
Good luck, stay calm, take representation if you think it will be useful.

Bluntness100 Tue 21-Jan-20 08:00:36

I'm sorry. But on normal performance reviews to iron out a few wrinkles and improve performance companies do not write to uou advising uou of your right to bring a union rep.

That's a very different thing to whether you have that right,

Pretending they do this as the norm isn't doing the op any favours.

BubblesBuddy Tue 21-Jan-20 08:31:59

A union rep is ridiculous in this scenario. I would treat it as a “what can the company do to help me improve at my job?” I would see it as a mid way check on progress and offering further training or advice.

A few things to discuss: Have a mentor. Look at further training. Look at coaching from an experienced member of staff.

Ensure there is actual evidence for any shortcomings mentioned. Always ask: “what evidence do you have for that?” Tittle tattle in the office isn’t evidence. Any progress appraisal must be evidence based. You can supply this too! What are your successes? What do you do well? What’s the evidence for this?

Take any help offered. It’s not setting you up to be released. Take it as a positive move but ask them for evidence, and definitely on the two matters they have raised.

EBearhug Tue 21-Jan-20 23:39:54

Meeting in a couple of days and told I can bring a colleague or union rep.

That implies it's a disciplinary - having said that, our HR uses some mails as templates, then fails to change some details, which just confuses everyone, so it could be something similar.

Definitely ask for specific examples and evidence. How can they expect you to improve if they don't tell you what they think is the problem?

WateryFowls Wed 22-Jan-20 07:49:00

Thanks for all the thoughts guys. I have been reading but don't have much to add at the moment. Meeting is at lunchtime, I'll let you know then.

My googling (yes I know...) suggests I'm for the chop so have prepared myself for that although am prepared to grovel if they give me the chance. I doubt it though, I even surreptitiously took all my stuff home yesterday evening so I didn't have to do it front of colleagues today! <optimism>

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PGtipsplease Wed 22-Jan-20 07:58:18

The bottom of the letter stresses they are aiming to solve the issues.

Your not getting the chop more likely a ‘raise your game talk’ or to see if you need additional training.

I’ve had one of those recently blush

I think they are giving you the chance to see if you need more training before they decide if it’s shit training or your just shit at your job.

Good luck!

Didiusfalco Wed 22-Jan-20 08:04:54

I hope it’s not the chop, but it’s good to be mentally prepared. I know I get terribly flustered if something comes left of field.
In a similar situation I have turned around performance issues by working ridiculously hard, so hopefully they will genuinely be looking to support you.

WateryFowls Wed 22-Jan-20 12:07:54

Went on. They had a couple of concerns, which actually I think are very small deals but hey, I'm not the boss! Anyway, they're going to monitor me for a few weeks but they're confident it won't come to dismissal. My main problem apparently is not asking for help enough. They were actually very nice and I was told it was an informal meeting at the start hmm.

So, after two days of shitting myself I have been given a reprieve. Now to put my head down and make sure I get it right.

Thank you so much all for the support. Really made a difference to my mindset. flowers

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WateryFowls Wed 22-Jan-20 12:08:06

*went ok

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Bluntness100 Wed 22-Jan-20 12:13:05

That's great news. Honestly though what a weird way to run a company, writing to you formally and asking you to bring a union rep. Who does that for an informal chat.

WateryFowls Wed 22-Jan-20 12:31:39

Very strange. It was a very scary letter and the people involved have been a bit off with me this week, not terrible but not as chatty. Then all smiles and understanding in the meeting.

I've spent two days clearing my desk and making sure everything was up to date to leave for someone else! Still, at least I'm nice and organised though! I've aged about 30 years!

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