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Don't know what to do.(18 Posts)
I am in a proper 'mean girls' situation at work.
There is a queen bee, who used to be my peer until she was promoted above me after I came back from mat leave (she doesn't have kids - not sure if that's relevant but just to give some context.) Normally I stay out of all the politics and playground nonsense - it's not my MO at all. But this QB thrives on it and I've somehow been sucked in and chewed up.
After she was promoted, our 'big' boss made her my direct boss, which was super awkward and totally lazy team planning on his part. I am very senior at my level and because she's only just been promoted she is now junior at her new level. Obviously not a good idea, but I sucked it up because I didn't want to look petty or like I wasn't a team player. In hindsight I probably should've said something. I dunno.
I should say at this point that no cross words or anything have ever been exchanged between us. I've never said a bad word against her to anyone. She did my appraisal and tore me to shreds in it, when previously my appraisals had been very good. I don't know why she doesn't like me. She just doesn't.
Anyway, she took one of the junior members of my team under her wing and they have formed a little clique together. This totally undermines my position as this junior person's line manager because I know they have regular informal contact outside of work, which is fine, I guess, except that as their friendship has developed, junior person has significantly cooled towards me and our working relationship is suffering - which makes me look bad. ( I think this is partly intentional??)
There was a big social event at the weekend, organised by QB and everyone from our team and extended team, including our 'big' boss, was invited except me. Not that I expected to be invited, or would have gone if I had, but the whole thing felt very pointed and just highlights how badly things have deteriorated in general.
I'm pregnant and due to go on mat leave again in five months. My dilemma is - do I ask to be moved off the team and onto a different one (our company is huge - plenty of other places I could go), or do I just brazen it out and hang in there until I go on mat leave?
If I ask to move teams might I potentially rock the boat and look like I'm flouncing? I'm not sure how I could pitch it right so that our 'big' boss doesn't think I'm making it personal.
If I stay, I really fear my mental and physical heath is going to deteriorate. I'm already incredibly stressed about this and it's impacting my private life. In short, I'm miserable. And even though there's an end in sight, I don't know if I can bear to be this miserable, even just for five more months.
Sorry that was long. Would hugely appreciate others' perspective.
That sounds horrible. Yes I would ask boss if you can be moved. Say you are feeling stressed by the situation and want to move ahead of maternity leave as you feel the stress is not good for your baby . Puts him in a very difficult position if he says no.
Ask to be moved, but frame it is a positive way. Eg I'm looking to get more experience of areas X and Y and to develop my skills in Z
Thank you. I've never come up against this type of thing before, I feel a bit blindsided by it. I'm a very straight-down-the-line person and don't 'do' mind games.
I feel in a really weak and vulnerable position here. She has power over me and is now all chummy with the Big Boss. feel like since she became my line manager I've been set up to fail and I've been too naive/trusting/honest to be able to pre-empt it.
I worry that if I ask to be moved off the team, that's somehow the wrong move that plays into her hands and I end up really fucking myself.
My confidence is in tatters. I used to be a completely different person.
Unfortunately I don't have no words of wisdom. However I know how hard it can be when stuff like this is on your mind, it must be making work life awful.
I think for your own wellbeing it would be best to at least ask to move teams.
Yes, move teams.
From the side-lines, it really does look like a no-brainer because the current situation is having a negative impact on you and you say there are plenty of alternatives.
And sorry that this might sound harsh, but I noticed an off-note in what you wrote. So do remember, in the new team in a hierarchical organisation, that no matter how senior you are in the junior rank it is still the junior rank. If your aim is career progression, you will work with that (to show yourself both invaluable and ready to promote) or risk being tarred, no matter how unfairly, as the know-it-all who is hard to manage.
or risk being tarred, no matter how unfairly, as the know-it-all who is hard to manage
No that's not the case at all.
I was on a trajectory, with my career objectives set out and part of what had been discussed in the past was me having a line manager who was at the upper end of their level, so that there was enough headroom for me to progress.
This was totally gone back on by making her my line manager. Because there's really not an awful lot between us in terms of our skills and experience. Even Big Boss has acknowledged this to me.
I really don't want to play the 'motherhood/glass ceiling' card. But I can't help but feel that if I didn't have to work condensed hours and leave bang on 5pm every day, I might not still be where I am.
But I try not to think like that. It's not helpful and I can't prove it.
There must be more you're not saying -
Snide digs - different work - any comments from others? Did anyone notice you weren't invited etc?
Sounds like work place bullying
As a line manager her job is to ensure staff welfare etc and she's failing big time
If your aim is career progression, you will work with that to show yourself both invaluable and ready to promote
And that's exactly what I've been doing, but it's ultimately been to my detriment.
Ask to move... don't give it a second thought as to whether this decision will "play into her hands" or not. You aren't happy where you are and to spend all day every day like this ludicrous.
Request the move and then enjoy being on a new team. Should any further issues crop up as a result of this decision then you can deal with them if/when they happen.
This sort of playground nonsense is so unbelievably shallow and childish - move on and leave the adolescents to it!
Snide digs - different work - any comments from others? Did anyone notice you weren't invited etc?
There was one overt snide dig once. But that's the only one I can remember.
QB gets really involved in people's personal business. She's a busybody and a gossip. I used to be closer her and in the 'in crowd' but she gossiped to me before about other people and told me things I really shouldn't and didn't want to know about them. Also she was really mean about some colleagues behind their backs and I just didn't want to be part of that. Once I had the measure of her I distanced myself and I think that's what pissed her off tbh. That I kept her at arm's length. That's when things started going south.
It's all been incredibly insidious. No one thing I could pin it on.
My junior team member was definitely briefed not to mention the event to me. I don't know about the rest of the team. But junior and I would normally have a chit chat about plans for the weekend, etc, however last week she was really evasive with me and I noticed an atmosphere.
Your appraisal where she was basically a cow from the sounds of it. Did you say anything back to her about it?
I've been there when I've had great reviews, had a new boss (who basically has no idea what they are doing) and then downgraded me as he had no idea what I do. I would have argued this to him but I was pregnant and didn't care in the end (as he's broken the team) However my big boss really rates me and that helped a lot - especially coming back to work.
I was wondering if you could take your appraisal to your big boss and get his view (if you think it would benefit)
As its affecting you, I would ask to move departments but form it as career progression / business breadth blah blah
Did this start when QB found out you were pregnant? Wonder if she's jealous (as a side note)
No it kind of started before I was PG. I think it was when I made it clear that I didn't want to be part of the bitching.
Big Boss is very nice, but not that keen to get to close to the team organisation stuff. He tends to delegate that to QB's level. Also, as good and nice as he is, he's a bit 'anything for an easy life'.
I didn't say anything about the appraisal at the time. She wrote it all but Big Boss delivered it. He was nice but the stuff she'd written was as slanted as possible towards making me look like a dick. I argued back on the points I felt I could and Big Boss took them on board. But back then I was still in the mindset of 'oh well, this has happened, but I need to be a team player and defer to the hierarchy and show I can work with the changes', etc...
But in the couple of months since I've just got more and more pissed off about it and wish I'd challenged the whole thing harder at the time. Like, when she did the appraisal, she'd only been my line manager for two months. It was supposed to be covering the whole previous year. We'd barely worked together at all for her to even have a gauge on my performance.
Mmmm it's a difficult situation to be in. At least you only have 5 months to go!
For your sanity might be worth asking to move to a diff department if there is a job you can go for?
Btw the BBQ would have pissed me right off! If I was being spiteful I'd do an evening out and not invite QB but that won't resolve anything.
However I would casually ask everyone how was the BBQ as I bet everyone would feel awkward and ashamed.
I think with people like this you have to move out of their way as quickly as you can. She sounds awful, but you know she will almost certainly be found out for what she is.
I think with the event, you could go down the bullying route, tbh, and I would be very tempted to do that. It's not on to leave out one person - that is bullying behaviour and she should be called up on it. I've just re-read your thread header - everyone on your team and your extended team was invited except you? File a complaint against her and ask to be moved to another part of the organisation. Awful woman.
You'd like to think people like her get found out but I don't think she will. Everyone thinks she's amazing. It's so weird. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
She talks about herself a lot. Whatever topic is being discussed, she will find a way to turn it into an anecdote about her.
No one else seems to notice. They hang on her every word. I mean, to give her credit where it's due, it's a definite skill - to be able to work people the way she does. She should be on staff in the White House or something. Her evil genius is wasted doing what we do.
You've all confirmed what I think the right way forward is. Will try to get put on something else until I go on ML. The alternative feels untenable.
i absolutely agree with asking to be moved. your big boss will continue to like the quiet life and moving you will keep his life very easy if you can frame it that way for him. leaving you out of the group social was a shitty thing to do, and you can use that in the meeting if you have to. i'd personally find a reason why you should move rather that a reason why you're leaving. this sort of thing never goes down well, even though you're not to blame, as people like qb aren't easy to manage.
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