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Discrimination at work?

(17 Posts)
Appleblossom82 Wed 01-Jul-15 06:47:37

In a right state this morning after tossing and turning all night. I have had about 3 hours sleep and am tearful and tired.

Looking for some advice and/or encouragement as i dont know how i can face the day.

I had a horrible day yesterday and ended up leaving work in tears. Basically i have no work to do, which i have flagged up and did so again at a team meeting yesterday. However no one stepped forward with anything i can help with. Im too inexperienced within this role to generate my own work but been here a while now and should contributing. I feel utterly useless.

This is all new to me. I usually do very well in jobs and make a good impression. Im well qualified and experienced (just not in this particular role).

Im fairly new to the team and fell pregnant within 2 weeks of starting, but i have been in the same organisation 5 years. I only switched toles after my other role (which i loved) was made redundant.

I am starting to wonder if i am being discrimated against here.

Last thing yesterday a friend told me one of the team was bitching about me not pulling my work. This is what brought the tears. I really dont know what more i can do having said hours before thst i was available to help anyone. But instead of asking me to help her, she just slagged me off later.

I have never worked in this environment before. Feel utterly miserable and useless and ridiculous.

Any advice? Do you think its discrimination or just bad management? What should i do? How do i get through the day without bursting into tears again?

Appleblossom82 Wed 01-Jul-15 06:48:41

Pulling my weight*

confusedandemployed Wed 01-Jul-15 06:54:56

Tbh it could be either. My advice would be to request a meeting with your last me manager and basically tell him/her what you've said here. Do you have a job description? If so, what does it say you should be doing? If not - ask you limeanager to work with you to develop one, so you know exactly what's expected of you.
Presumably you're not due to go off work imminently? You could still have several productive months in work before mat leave, not to mention being keener to come back afterwards if you enjoy the job.
Ultimately, because you're pregnant you do have extra protection from redundancy but you're not completely immune. It's take a very brave (or stupid) employer to make a pregnant woman redundant ahead of everyone else in the organisation though.

confusedandemployed Wed 01-Jul-15 06:56:08

Your line manager

It'd take a very brave employer...

Bellabutterfly2014 Wed 01-Jul-15 06:58:07

Oh Appleblossom - that's awful.
My boss is being cautious about not stressing me out tho - not giving me difficult stuff to do but there's a difference.
I'd be really proactive and ask to see your boss this morning and tell them how you're feeling and say you need stuff to do and is there a new project you can work on.
Hopefully things will improve after you've had a chat and if you get the feeling s/he isn't bothered speak to HR.
I hope you have a better day today x

ARV1981 Wed 01-Jul-15 07:07:30

I really hope you have a better day today.

I don't know whether it's discrimination or not, sorry! But, I think the other two posters have some great advice.

I just wanted to say, you're not alone. My boss started out by getting me to do all her work until I got work related stress, now she gives me practically nothing to do... she hasn't sorted out my replacement yet and my leave starts in just over 3 weeks... yesterday when I raised with her the fact that it might take a while to find someone she said ' Well, we could manage for a couple of months' to which I replied 'that makes me feel great'. I was really upset! She did apologise later but it just gives me another reason not to want to go back!

How long have you got left? flowers

MissTwister Wed 01-Jul-15 07:08:03

It's hard. My situation was not too dissimilar - moved jobs internally and had to announce my pregnancy same week. Bit awkward! I've not had a problem with too little work (opposite really) but am finding it really hard having built up the role over the last few months and now handing it over to someone completely new - feel like everyone has forgotten about me already and just keeps asking me about training new person. I don't have much hope for the same job being there for me after a year even though I worked really hard to get it....

MissTwister Wed 01-Jul-15 07:08:54

Oh and my boss keeps raving about the new person and how good they will be which makes me feel fab!

Appleblossom82 Wed 01-Jul-15 07:14:02

Thanks everyone. Yes i have a role profile but there are 4 of us and no work is being allocated to me and i havent been trained up in certain areas.

I have 3 months left at work confused

I thought a meeting first thing would be the way to go. So all i need to do now is not cry....easier said than done as i tend to cry in such situations anyway let alone when pregnant and exhausted!

Appleblossom82 Wed 01-Jul-15 07:14:54

Oh they are right on with my maternity cover but lord knows what they will be doing.

confusedandemployed Wed 01-Jul-15 07:19:46

You need to tell your line manager that you still haven't had all your training and ask them to rectify this.
3 months is a long time to be sat doing nothing, so it's in their interest to give you the tools to do your job.
It must be so upsetting. flowers But, it's time for the big girl pants smile
Be methodical: go through your role profile line by line and make notes about each aspect. Do you need training? Have you been passed over in favour of other staff? Don't be accusatory, but do be firm.

Skiptonlass Wed 01-Jul-15 08:18:06

Apple, how awful. I sympathise!

Document everything! Arrange a meeting with your LM via email. Keep the tone friendly and professional, something like, "dear... I'd like to arrange a quick catch up to make sure I am fully utilised on the run up to my maternity leave - when is good for you?"

Then have the meeting. Again, keep the tone unemotional ( big glass of super cold water helps with imminent tears) and say something like,

" as you know I've been here five years and I've always found myself very busy and able to contribute well to the success of the teams I work in. I've noticed recently that work isn't being given to me and of course I want to be fully utilised on the run up to my parental leave.
I have to tell you that I've overheard a couple of office floor comments about being pregnant and not being given work. Now I don't want to take any of that further but it's highly unprofessional and potentially damaging to the business. I want to make a positive contribution in the time I have before I am out and being fully trained and up and running in the role will allow me to be efficient when I am here and able to hit the ground running when I'm back.
Right, so now I'd like to work on a plan with you to achieve this."

( you can even paraphrase that bit above into your first email if you want a full paper trail.)

Keep the meeting positive. Then after the meeting, send another email with,

" thank you for your time today, just so we are on the same page we discussed..."

That covers your arse with a paper trail.

There's very little you can do about idiots in the office, unfortunately, what you need to concentrate on is the relationship with your LM and your position.

Good luck!

Hippymama1 Wed 01-Jul-15 08:38:55

Aww Apple this sounds rubbish...

Couple of things that might be helpful.

Firstly, make a note of any comments that people may make towards you about not pulling your weight etc - seems like a lot of work and a bit of a palaver but if you need to make a formal complaint at any point (hopefully won't come to that) then those kinds of records are really helpful.

Along with that, I am wondering what your friendship is like with the person who told you that someone had commented - obviously you would be in the best position to make a judgement about that but I am not sure I would tell my heavily pregnant friend that people were talking about her at work... Can this friend be trusted?

Secondly, talk to your manager and as PPs have said, point out that your training for the role has not been completed and request a meeting to discuss this and set out a plan for the next couple of months. Could you can come up with a draft plan or some suggestions to take with you to the meeting involving some formal training, some job shadowing activity etc?

And everything that Skiptonlass says. She is well clever.

Hope you have a better day today. smile

Appleblossom82 Wed 01-Jul-15 13:51:47

Thanks everyone. I had a meeting first thing and my line manager was great. Feel so much better. I now have loads to do! Better get cracking! wink

BlueBirdBlue Wed 01-Jul-15 16:12:08

Yay! I had nothing to add to the excellent advice above, so great you manager responded positively.

Cheshirehello79 Wed 01-Jul-15 22:24:56

Apple - here again :-) this time I'm going to be nice I promise.

I wouldn't call that discrimination and I think you've taken it to heart but people talking behind your back that can be classed as bullying and I think you should raised that with your manager. No one has the right to make anyone in the work place feel that way and I seriously think you should raise that either on your one to one if you have one or call a meeting with your manager and say something.

If you feel uneasy with your manager go straight to HR and report it.

Another thing - is it a permanent job? If it is then no need to worry as they will have to keep your job whilst you go off on maternity.

Another thing I would do is send and email out to your manager when your volunteering your time something along the lines " I've got capacity to help anyone ...."

You don't need to be stressed at work and people making you feel useless- must be a horrible feeling and really do sympathise but chin up and try your best to show that you're better then them.

Appleblossom82 Wed 01-Jul-15 22:42:12

Thanks Cheshire. The job is permanent, im not so much worried about not having a job to come back to, more just about being bored twiddling my thumbs while my career goes down the toilet.

My manager took it all very seriously and i now have loads to do. Which is great. Plus she wasn't surprised to hear about what the other person had said as its not the first time these sort of complaints have been made about bitchiness. Ive asked for it not to go any further though.

She also suggested i apply for the more senior role in the team, so couldn't have gone much better really!

Thanks again everyone. Some really great advice here.

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