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Nasty email (sorry long)

(37 Posts)
Tallgirl Mon 16-May-05 16:05:14

I wasnt going to post about this but i thought i may as well to see if anyone has any advice on how to handle this.
I found an email about me written by personnel to my manager and his boss (used to also be my manager) relating to when i was on maternity leave (but before i'd had the baby). What happened was that the girl i had trained to take over my job walked out after a few weeks (she was a bit up herself but that is another story) and although i had left full job instructions and copies of documents etc at one point i was phoned at home by a colleague. I can remember not being that happy about it (i was about to give birth a week later). HOwever according to this email i was completely unhelpful etc and she made various other comments about how she would expect this sort of behaviour from me and how this should be remembered for the future. This email had been stored in one of the public folders on our outlook system therefore could be accessed by anyone in the company. When i saw this i felt sick and was horrified - no one has told me anything about this or there being any problems with my behaviour or conduct at any time. I havent spoken to my bosses about this yet (they have been out of the office) and do not want to confront personnel directly. I think this is outrageous and completely unacceptable - seems to be alluding to other things that may be on my file etc and contain a veiled threat.

I am hoping to have a meeting about this tomorrow and would appreciate any advice on how to handle.


Tinker Mon 16-May-05 16:08:28

Well, do you think they're trying to get rid of you? Good on them for sticking it in teh public folders - this would bugger up their case surely?

Good luck tomorrow but I try and stay very cool at meeting and make notes

Hope sis sees this - she's hot on this stuff.

Newbarnsleygirl Mon 16-May-05 16:08:35

Go in guns blazing.

Thats what I'd do. God, you must be livid.

Newbarnsleygirl Mon 16-May-05 16:09:06

Yes, deffo make notes.

starlover Mon 16-May-05 16:10:01

just wanted to say though... if no-one has said anything about it to you (in particular your boss etc), then it may be that they took the e-mail with a pinch of salt iyswim

They may well have realised that whoever sent it was stirring perhaps, and have now forgotten about it.

coppertop Mon 16-May-05 16:10:49

Have you printed off copies of the nasty e-mail - just in case it 'accidentally' gets deleted? Sorry I have no idea about the legal stuff.

purpleturtle Mon 16-May-05 16:10:59

I assume you have a print out?

purpleturtle Mon 16-May-05 16:11:22

crossed post

Newbarnsleygirl Mon 16-May-05 16:12:01

Even if thats right SL, it's still a major booboo on personnels part, letting the e-mail "slip out".

koalabear Mon 16-May-05 16:12:22

i would go in calmly, and say to your boss that you have seen this email (print it out and put it in front of him/her), and then ask for he/she to explain how this email was viewed, and what action was taken in respect of this

it gives your boss the opportunity to say, actually, the girl was unrealiable and he/she puts no weight in the email at all, or conversely, explain the situation

regardless, i think that you have a right to see your personnel file, so after he/she has explained their version of events, i would ask to see it in full

do you have a union representative you could take advice from?

Marina Mon 16-May-05 16:12:29

Tallgirl, this sounds horrible and very upsetting, as well as completely incompetent from an HR point of view.
I'm not sure how you could go about this, but is there someone helpful in IT at your place who can provide you with conclusive proof that this file has been where you saw it for such and such a time?
It's just I can envisage someone moving the file or deleting it and claiming the situation never existed. Distasteful to even have it, I know, but you do have a printout of this nasty e-mail?
Good luck with the meeting. If you are in a union I'd get them involved PDQ. This breaks so many laws - Data Protection for a start.

Marina Mon 16-May-05 16:13:01

Lots of people think you should have a printout Tallgirl

Tinker Mon 16-May-05 16:13:15

Can you get a colleague to access it as well and print it off to prove it was accessible to all?

Marina Mon 16-May-05 16:14:06

Yes, I really am worried someone will get it moved to an inaccessible folder.

tarantula Mon 16-May-05 16:18:53

Jsut to say that even if it is moved to an inaccessible folder now there will be a backup of all folders taken every evening from the server and it can be proven from the backup exactly where the email was. If you are worried speak to your IT people re their backup procedure. Also save the email in your inbox and in your personal folder and also send it to your home address. I am presuming it is in Public folders in Outlook.

ediemay Mon 16-May-05 16:26:33

How dreadful. Careless, complete disregard for confidentiality and potentially libellous.
I would try to stay very cool during the meeting, take notes in with you and minute the meeting yourself. Definitley involve your union if you're a member.

Ask to see any replies to the email
Ask to see full co policy on maternity leave
and on confidentiality
Ask for witten explanation and/or apology

Circulate your minutes immediately and ask for replies certifying them as a true record of the meeting.

Stay calm, refuse to enter into any "he said, she said" discussions - stick to the black & white.

Good luck

Tallgirl Mon 16-May-05 16:28:40

Wow - thanks for all your emails in such a short time! Yes i have printed off a few copies (first thing i did), sent it to my personal email address and yes it is still there. It has been there unbeknownst to me since September last year! I am not suprised at the person who sent it as although she is 'personnel' she is the most subjective and opinionated person in the company (dont get me started!)and even if my bosses try and dismiss it out of hand i will not be happy as it is wrong in so many ways (as most of you mentioned). Also i cant believe they were stupid enough to put it in a public folder in the first place (albeit one that not many people would look in - but i saw it). Although i know i am right about all this (and yes it does feel horrible and upsetting) i will still be nervous talking to them about this as the Marketing Director can be a bit scary. Will definitely demand to see my files. She cant be allowed to get away with this not just for my sake but for other people who may not put up such a fight as me - just because she has decided she doesnt like me (and i dont even know why!) doesnt mean she can say stuff like this and make vague threats etc
There are 2 aspect to this - the fact that it was in public folders and the fact that she said all the stuff about me.

Watch this space and thanks for the advice so far.

Tallgirl Mon 16-May-05 16:30:58

By the way - no union rep to help i'm afraid - do you think i should take a colleague in with me? I did talk to ACAS about this and all they said about being on mat leave was that they could still contact me but they couldnt harrass me (which they didnt). Doesnt say anything on the system about confidentiality of mat leave policy that covers any of this.

Newbarnsleygirl Mon 16-May-05 16:33:19

Tallgirl, It'll be the Marketing director who'll be scared of you when he hears about this one!

koalabear Mon 16-May-05 16:35:50

i think you have right to take in a colleague or representative (non lawyer) for support

Tallgirl Mon 16-May-05 16:49:10

I think will be difficult to stay really cool as am so upset about this - unfortunately neither my boss or the Mktg D (female and my old boss) were in when i discovered this so have been stewing on it all weekend and probably wont get as upset or emotional (hopefully) as when i first discovered it.

hunkermunker Mon 16-May-05 16:53:48

Ask to see your personnel file too - you have the right to see it, plus to ask for untrue things to be amended, IIRC.

This is horrible though - I had a similar situation with an evil ex-boss. I feel for you, hun xxxxxx

Tallgirl Mon 16-May-05 16:58:38

Thanks - how did you deal with it? P.S. What does IIRC mean?


hunkermunker Mon 16-May-05 17:01:43

If I recall correctly.

I left my job Not particularly helpful for you, I know! But every single day I was going in and my boss was finding more and more ways to both undermine me and pile her work on me. She used to rifle through my desk drawers while I was sitting at my desk, without saying a word to me, for instance. And always stood swivelling my chair - when I was sitting in it... Total control freak, not good at her job, very threatened by me and a complete bitch - not the kind of person you want within 100 miles of you, really!

Chandra Mon 16-May-05 17:54:21

TallGirl, try to find out about the Data Management Act (i'm not sure if management is the right word...) as they may have been incurred in a grave fault. Under this act your information remains private and is totally ilegal for your employer to display it in a public place without your approval. I don't really know how does it says exacly but I remember that it was something to be extremely careful about when I was working with information of other people.

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