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unreasonable employer/colleague. do i just shut and put up? sorry long!

(6 Posts)
pickyvic Tue 23-Jun-09 23:14:13

i have worked for my current employer for 7 months. i have been in this industry for 10 years. its not a high powered job but i know i am good at my job and have worked/trained hard for very little.

i worked for a small independent firm for 7 years but left when my employer wouldnt advance my training or up my working hours. i went to an employer who promised to put me through a diploma which would have meant i was qualified. after a year it wasnt forthcoming and i hated where i was working, so i once again took a position for a small independent firm,

i have 2 problems. first is that my current employer wont take me off probation. ive been there for 7 months and he keeps extending my probationary period. when ive asked him why he wont give me a straight answer, yet he feels well able to go on holiday at the same time as my colleague and leave me totally in charge.(they buggered off for 2 weeks last month)leaving me totally alone and dealing with everything (even when it went wrong) im also on less money than i was 10 years ago but i figured that mattered less than being happy - which leads me to:-

2nd prob is the hours i am working, there are only 2 of us there and i am working every weekend plus mondays, tuesdays and thursdays i need the job. i need the hours but the other staff member gets her pick (she started before me but only just) - so is working 4 week days while i get to plug the gaps with the weekends etc.This also means that as i work every monday and friday any bank holidays come out of my holiday entitlement leaving me with virtually no time to take leave when i choose. i have today attempted to speak with my colleague asking if she would swap one day so i could have sunday/monday off together as at present i never get 2 days off in a row. i also have 2 children and a husband whom i never get to see!
she called me selfish,(!) we had an argument (in which she said i am over qualified and know more than i need to know to do my job!) she said she was going to speak to our employer and i feel i may be on rocky ground because i am still on probation. i wasnt rude although she got very personal and was obviously fighting to maintain her hours, she said she felt i would "get my way" in the end. i dont want to push her into doing something she doesnt want to do and id just get resented for it anyway but i was hoping we could compromise in some way so that we were both happy but she wont and has made it very clear.
can an employer just keep you dangling indefinitely on probation? and should i just be grateful for a job in the current climate and put up and shut up? or should i bail out and cut my losses and let her work the bloody weekends?
advice really needed please.ta.

tigerbear Tue 23-Jun-09 23:51:10

Gosh, sounds like a nightmare. Sorry, don't have any real advice, just wanted to bump your post for you...
Must be awful not to be able to see your DH and DC's, and not have 2 days off in a row!

1dilemma Wed 24-Jun-09 00:05:26

Sounds dreadful no real advice just a sympathetic pat on the back!!

Are you looking for a new job?

pickyvic Wed 24-Jun-09 07:20:21

oh yes. im looking and applying but not much out there at the min. thing is she said she suspects thats what i would do - ie - keep going until something else comes along. i denied it.

thanks for the replies. makes me feel a wee bit better to think im not just being an ungrateful cow!

flowerybeanbag Wed 24-Jun-09 07:49:22

The problem is that 'probation' doesn't have any meaning in law, so how it is managed is basically down to the employer and their individual policies. Once you have a year's service you get more rights anyway, in terms of notice and protection against unfair dismissal anyway regardless of whether you are still on 'probation'. But until then there's nothing legally to protect you really.

Having said that, obviously keeping you on probation longer than the normal time without explanation is not good practice at all.

Probation is obviously normally extended because there are performance concerns, and the employee should always be made aware of the concerns and given the opportunity to put them right.

I suspect that as no concerns have been outlined to you it's probably just a case of your employer not being certain you are the right person for the job and keeping his options open while he makes up his mind. It may well be because you are overqualified.

I would suggest you book a meeting with him to discuss your performance and concerns you have, and prepare for that meeting as if you are having a formal performance review. If the employer has appraisal documentation you can access, use that to prepare. Prepare evidence of how well you have been performing. In the meeting talk about your performance, highlight the good things you are doing, the benefits you are bringing to the employer, especially your extensive experience, and then say that on that basis you are formally requesting to come off probation. If he refuses then formally request details of the concerns he has so that you can address them and improve for his and your benefit. If he has concerns obviously you want to deal with them.

You can also raise the issue of your hours. I don't know what your contract says about hours and working weekends, but you should push for a formal agreement about taking turns or whatever, getting a rota in place.

Of course the risk with doing this is that you might be bringing the situation to a head and if your employer genuinely thinks for whatever reason that you are not the right person, it may bring that conversation forward. But by taking the initiative and pointing out how marvellous you are, and asking what his concerns are so that you can reassure him that you can and will address them, that conversation may well go more positively than if you just leave it.

pickyvic Wed 24-Jun-09 18:59:18

thankyou flowery bean bag. i have asked him for the reasons behind extending my probation and his answer was "just one or two niggly things" and when i pressed him saying i didnt have an opportunity to right anything unless i knew about it he refused to discuss it. i dont think he has ever taken any time to find out if i am the right person because he relies so heavily on my colleagues opinions.(he has already told me he doesnt want to upset her) after the first 3 months when he told me he was extending the probation he also said he didnt have a clue whether or not my work was any good, so i feel like the person i should be trying to impress is the woman i work with and ive so obviously not done that hence the argument!

tbh although i know that your advice of calling a meeting is good i daren't, for the very reason that it may mean i am dismissed and just now i cant afford to be. plus, while im on probation i only have to give a weeks notice and the more i think about that the easier i may find it to get something else? i just dont know. my colleague is thinking about what she would do in my position i suspect, and she is right, but i think i may be better off keeping my head down and quietly seeking work elsewhere. i have applied to the police and have passed the first stage of the application process so i may well concentrate on that.
thankyou for the advice. i just hate feeling so desperate to leave it behind but needs must for the time being.

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