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Boss making my life difficult re leave when child related

(48 Posts)
Tanzie Tue 08-Feb-05 22:44:23

My boss will never, never agree to me taking leave earlier than 6.00 pm on the night before I want it. I asked last week if I could have half a day off to go to DD's school party tomorrow. She said she would have to see and would let me know later. I said if half a day was a problem, I would just got for 2 hours (half an hour's drive each way and an hour at the party). She said she would see. I said I could take time off in lieu if she had a problem with annual leave as I had worked 12 hours last Saturday. She finally agreed to this at about 5.30. I started packing up, and she said that I was needed tomorrow at a meeting with someone senior and she would have to cancel my leave - or I could leave after the meeting (and from the timing of it, I'd have missed most of the party and would have got there just in time to pick DD up). I said no, she had already agreed my leave - the Someone Senior would not remember if I was at the meeting or not, but DD would probably remember if I did not turn up for her school party. She pulled a face like a cat's bum and said she "supposed she would have to cover it." And then made me stay late to prepare some briefing for her as she claimed not to know anything about the subject.

I know she has also bitched to a friend of mine (how clever is that?) about "having to do everything because people with children are always having time off." I ALWAYS take annual leave for child related things - school holidays, illness, new nanny etc and do not take advantage at all. I am absolutely sick of her attitude - I can't plan anything and am on tenterhooks all the time in case she won't agree leave and I have to cancel plans I've made. I get 8 weeks leave a year and can never take it all.

Any advice? I am the only woman in the organisation with young children and have noticed that men never have this problem - they are more applauded for being new men and hands on. And I am seen as a nuisance.

Tanzie Tue 08-Feb-05 23:10:15


charliecat Tue 08-Feb-05 23:12:24

I read and felt on your behalf but have no advice...and thought all the new, hands on mens wifes probably have the same problem
No help sorry!

Tanzie Tue 08-Feb-05 23:14:51

But your sympathy is much appreciated! I'd really like to have it out with her but she cries a lot and goes sick at the drop of a hat, so I think I will have to have a word with her boss and he can deal with the tears (while I do her work...)

charliecat Tue 08-Feb-05 23:17:53

I hope she remembers when she has kids the things shes said and done... its good you have stood your ground, but I bet you feel dreadful asking, I know you do actually.
Make a point of taking the 8 weeks off, nomatter how inconvient it is. on your behalf...bump this up in the morning!

Tanzie Tue 08-Feb-05 23:22:41

Yes, I will. I am going to bed now. I do feel guilty as I think she is a bit out of her depth with this job. Her father is also chronically ill which must be upsetting for her. But I don't complain when she leaves at 2.00 on a Friday and comes back at 11.00 on Monday and doesn't take leave for it.

ScummyMummy Tue 08-Feb-05 23:23:44

She sounds like a nightmare, Tanzie. i would be tempted to be assertive in taking the time I needed and was entitled to without emphasizing the reason why I needed it, I think. Unless you can get those six days of child specific leasve? i think your daughter needs to be under six for that though?

Tanzie Tue 08-Feb-05 23:25:17

She is under six. But that leave is unpaid, I think, and I don't see why I should take unpaid leave when I have 8 weeks annual leave from this year, plus the three I didn't manage to take last year.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 08-Feb-05 23:27:11

Typical workplace bully - what a cow.

Is there anyone more senior, or someone in HR you can discuss this with? You have an entitlement and she is being extremely obstructive.

ScummyMummy Tue 08-Feb-05 23:28:51

Absolutely. I think you need to ignore this woman- just take your annual leave as and when you want to within the rules and refuse to back down/discuss it. Sounds like she's playing on your insecurities around level playing fields and resentments from "child-free" colleagues to me.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 08-Feb-05 23:29:55

Whatever personal problems she has, she should not be taking them out on you in this way, sorry you are having to put up with this.

Tanzie Tue 08-Feb-05 23:30:18

I think I am going to have to go to her boss, who is fine about these things. What gets me is that I really am flexible - I will come in early if necessary, I am there late most nights and come in at the weekend if I have to. So she can hardly say I am not pulling my weight.

Tanzie Tue 08-Feb-05 23:31:54

ScummyMummy - she has to agree my leave. Otherwise I can't take it. I think next time she pulls this one, I will just go straight to her boss and say she won't agree my leave but can't give me any good reason for it.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 08-Feb-05 23:32:22

Does sound like you need to go over her head Tanzie - I suspect her boss won't be surprised by the sounds of things.

bobbybob Tue 08-Feb-05 23:38:04

My mum knew she wouldn't be allowed leave for my graduation as lots of people were already on holiday, so she never mentioned I was graduating and then just went sick on the day. Next time she had leave she went back clutching the photo, as if it had all happened during her leave (still wanted to show off). She knew if she asked and then went sick it would be noticed.

My dh has had 2 amazing bosses since ds was born and he has been allowed paid leave for antenatal appointment, ds's Christmas party at preschool, and he has taken sick leave when ds has been in hospital. He is also allowed to take a shorter lunch hour and then leave early to pick up ds from nursery. A woman he works with never asks for this type of leave, just struggles through and then gets really miffed when he says where he is going "I missed xxxx's party last week because I was working". I deffo agree with you that the tide has turned in favour of men being "hands on".

oops Tue 08-Feb-05 23:46:01

Message withdrawn

ScummyMummy Tue 08-Feb-05 23:49:28

Yes- sometimes going to the boss of the boss can help, IMO/E. But surely it's none of her (official) business why you want annual leave? Either it fits in with the rest of the team's a/l plans or not, surely?

nightowl Wed 09-Feb-05 00:09:57

stupid cow. i got made redundant for having children so its a sore subject for me

WideWebWitch Wed 09-Feb-05 07:50:34

Is this the awful woman who was a pita about holidays before? I think you should document this and take it to her boss. It's totally unreasonable that you can't take your holiday and absolutely none of her business WHY you want them. for you.

Tanzie Wed 09-Feb-05 08:39:51

WWW - yes, that's the one. She has decreed when I can have leave at Easter too, marked it up on the calendar without consulting me. I am fairly flexible on this - as long as it falls within the school holidays that is OK. But I was a bit surprised to see it up and cast in stone.

I admit I often don't ask for leave until a week or so before (just when I want the odd day off), but when I used to give more notice, she always used to say "let's see how busy we are nearer the time." (We lurch from one crisis to the next - no-one's fault, just the nature of the job).

DH is taking leave on Friday to do something with other DD and her class. I didn't dare ask, but his boss is fine about his leave, happily covers his work etc.

batters Wed 09-Feb-05 08:46:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tanzie Wed 09-Feb-05 08:49:47

Batters - I am the only one she directly line manages. The secretaries loathe her as well as she keeps them late unnecessarily - eg doesn't start her "urgent" work until 5.00, then demands it is typed up and sent out that night.

Bozza Wed 09-Feb-05 09:03:15

Tanzie it sounds like you are working long hours and really need/are entitled to your leave to recharge your batteries and spend family time together. I agree with scummymummy - its none of her business why you need the leave. If she says we will have to see about it can you say something along the lines of I need to know by close of play tomorrow or something - what if you were buying theatre tickets or something and forking out - you would want to know that you weren't wasting your money.

Metrobaby Wed 09-Feb-05 09:43:26

What an awful sounding woman. She has no sympathies or understanding about childcare issues so in future I would not tell her about them. When you need to take time off, just tell here when you are taking it, rather than why. It is no business of hers anyhow to know what you'll be doing.

I remember some time ago another mumsnetter saying that she less hassle asking for time off when she said she had problems with her car rather than her children. IMHO, I think this is often the case - especially concerning childless bosses. They have no idea and never will unless they have any of their own.

Tanzie Wed 09-Feb-05 22:10:03

I am going to speak to her boss next week (he is off this week - half term!). Things have got worse. She has now effectively told me that instead of working pretty autonomously on the three projects I deal with now, she will take one of these off me and the new person we are getting will do the other two. And what am I going to do? Help her with hers, of course, so she will be even more directly involved in my work. And instead of chairing my own meetings, I will be sitting in the corner taking notes at hers. No way! No, no way!

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