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To ask if you've ever not fitted in at work?

33 replies

Midge1978 · 29/07/2017 01:03

Just looking for a bit of advice or even just sympathy! Have been working at a place part time for a couple of years looking after children and I work in a small team of women. It's my first job looking after children so I've had some confidence issues and it's not an easy job but I always try my hardest.

One of my colleagues has been difficult from day one, muttering about my many 'errors' and picking me up on everything. I welcome constructive criticism but she is exhausting. She completely ignores me at social events too. I try to shrug it off but I'm a shy, sensitive person and it makes me even more self conscious and very uncomfortable. My manger noticed it and told me to ignore her but she's also really pally with her too.

In fact all the women are quite a tight knit group and I don't feel part of it at all. They generally ignore me unless I speak to them and I'm often thankful for the children distracting me. I do feel like I want to leave, it's a job of convenience anyway as it fits in school hours. I have never felt so lonely in a job. Has anyone else been through anything like this at all? Did it get any better or was leaving the only solution to being happy again? I just want to feel like myself again.

OP posts:

marinathehummingbird · 29/07/2017 01:05

Oh this makes me sad. You've done nothing wrong.
Please pm me


marinathehummingbird · 29/07/2017 01:05

Because I've gone through similar


KeepServingTheDrinks · 29/07/2017 01:08

my advice would be to treat work as work and social life as social life. Go into work and do the best job you can (so you can't be criticised for it); be polite and friendly; don't expect to make friends. If you do make friends then it's a bonus.

Obvs I don't know your situation, but i've generally found that if you're good at what you do, people are more friendly with you. So concentrate on that aspect and I suspect the rest will come. Or she could just be a total cow and the rest a bunch of cliquey bitches. Give it a few months and then see how things are?

Good luck. I'm sure you're lovely. Hopefully you've got a support network outside of work?


KeepServingTheDrinks · 29/07/2017 01:10

also, just picked up on the fact you're part time. That makes a BIG difference. It all takes a lot, lot, lot longer. I've been working in a place for over 5 years, and lots of staff don't even know who I am because I'm only there one afternoon a week (it's only got a small staff).


SpartacusSaiman · 29/07/2017 06:53

I have never worked part timr. But have had part timers work for me. I have seen bew part-timers really struggle. As a manager i have always tried to make them part of the team. Its an office so different environment.

Also i have not fitted in a work. Its pretty soul destroying. And i do view work as work. Its still upsetting.

How to deal with it really depends on you and the situation. I chose to ignore tge petty behaviour then look for a job as soon as i had enough experince to go get another job.

Tbh if your manager has noticed, she should be speaking to the other member of staff. Sounds like this could be down to a manager not willing to deal with their poor behaviour.


DrHorribletookmycherry · 29/07/2017 07:12

I had a lot of this in my first job, many years ago. I worked there a year I remember various things. On the day I left I walked out of a canteen type room to go and I could see reflected in the glass the manager making fun of me.
Ever since then I've been fairly cold at work. Noone can be trusted in a work environment as everyone is putting on an act as they're around people they wouldn't choose.
It sounds like poor management if you're being told to ignore someone nitpicking and undermining you. I'd be very firm, every mutter ask her to repeat. Every problem suggest a better time or place to raise it (start or end of shift) unless it's urgent childcare and immediate related. Train her out of this by being calm and professional. Sorry you're stuck with her but it sounds as though the manager is palling up because she doesn't like criticism . Be clear her comments wont cow you and do things like write down her "helpful suggestions . Be sure to raise them all with the manager too.
You could sink to their level after another comment with "that's so helpful thank you colleague, I can't imagine why manager has advised to ignore you"


RebelandaStunner · 29/07/2017 07:30

When she mentions "errors" again suggest she write them all down and that you will go together to the manager or better still area manager and discuss them in a documented meeting. Bet she will stfu then.
As for social stuff, just say no and don't go if you don't want. I don't go to any of the social events to do with work even though I have friends there, (who I meet with out of work) I have a busy social life of my own and haven't the time or inclination.


NotTheCoolMum · 29/07/2017 07:39

Urgh that is horrible OP. Good advice above. May be useful to learn some assertiveness techniques for the next time that colleague criticises you, so you can push back gently. It sounds like it could spiral into workplace bullying over time. It sucks to feel excluded from social life at work, however IME it is a result of people working together for 5+ years and even going to the same schools/unis. So no reflection on the newbie and certainly nothing to be done other than carry on being professional and keeping social and work life separate.


juneybean · 29/07/2017 07:43

Nurseries are horrible places.

It's absolutely nothing to do with you.


Mummadeeze · 29/07/2017 07:50

I feel for you. I worked on the tills at Tesco many years ago during my Christmas holiday from school whilst I was in 6th form and everyone was pretty mean to me. I felt really left out. The Supervisor was very critical and I kind of dreaded going into work. I obviously wasn't as fast as the women who had worked there years but I was new and trying my hardest. I think in your position I would look for something else given that they haven't thawed out in two years. They just don't sound like nice people, and work can be so much more fun when you work with a bunch of nice people who make the days pass quicker. Best of luck.


applebags · 29/07/2017 08:05

I've experienced this a couple of times and it didn't get any better Sad. Sometimes you just don't fit into a group of people, and unfortunately when they're colleagues you have no choice but to spend a long period of time with them.

I changed jobs both times but the 2nd time took ages to find a new job; I was miserable and it had hugely damaged my confidence by the time I left. Immediately felt better in my new job due to lovely colleagues.

Please don't feel you have no choice but to try and force the situation - look for a new job and get out of there!


Groupie123 · 29/07/2017 08:14

My current boss is like this. So what I did was encourage him to email me his criticisms that first week - he emailed me a 1k words & I implemented all of his 'suggestions' on some work whilst giving him credit for it with his boss. His boss reamed him out apparently because his suggestions were bullshit and I've been encouraged to work independantly ever since.


Midge1978 · 29/07/2017 08:19

I think part of it is my fault, I am shy and awkward but have never been ignored to this level before.

OP posts:

Brittbugs80 · 29/07/2017 08:35

I've spent 20 years working in nurseries. I've worked with some absolute bitches during that time and one set of behaviour was so awful, it resulted in me whistle blowing. I wasn't fired after but was forced into leaving. I still go past the nursery on the school run and the same woman is still there and it makes me so angry.

Honestly, the children often act more grown up than the adults there. I'd go there, ignore them and do your job the best you can. They are not your friends, you are not there to make friends and all you have to do is be professional and polite to them.

Hope it all works out.


Popskipiekin · 29/07/2017 08:39

I feel like this isn't the first thread I've read on here about people having an unhappy time working in a nursery Sad sorry OP, what a nasty environment. In the immediate short term, if you can try at all to rise above, breeze through it (I've stopped saying "sorry" at my work place if the issue is simply they would rather have it done another way, as opposed to a glaring error on my part - not constantly apologising has done wonders for my self-belief, made me feel and appear stronger; could you try this?) and don't dwell on it whilst you're there.
But you do need to pull this one individual up on how she is behaving towards you. "What are you muttering? Could you repeat that please? Do you have an issue with my work?"
Absolutely don't socialise - colleagues do not need to be friends. If it helps you to get out of a social event (and I am bracing for a ton of MN fury about telling you to lie) I would fabricate an active social life with all your wonderful friends (of which I am sure you do have many) that prevents you staying any longer at work than necessary.


Coloursthatweremyjoy · 29/07/2017 08:41

Oh I've had this. In a nursery. I was part time as well so instantly seen as not really pulling my weight. (Even though I responded to an ad for and was employed for certain hours). I just didn't fit in, they made fun of my interactions with the children...being interested and enthusiastic about a toy a child had brought to show me for example...I kid you not. I was repeatedly passed over for training courses, responsibilities and promotion. Sometimes I'd get ignored, no idea why I tried everything to be friendly.

I'm not unconfident, I know im good at my job, I've worked hard for all the relevant qualifications. But this place really upset me, I was starting to worry about going in, getting depressed and struggling to cope with everything at home on top of it. I tried, it didn't work. So I were surprised...They wanted to do an exit interview, um no, I talked to you abut all of this, you weren't interested, it's too late now.

I'm due to start a new job soon, they seem much nicer, just more like me. Don't stay where you are unhappy. Believe me there are better places. X


lou1221 · 29/07/2017 08:51

I had this happen in two nursery settings, complete bitches, so unnecessary as well. I was volunteering whilst doing my training in the first setting, thought maybe that was why. Second setting I was employed, placed in the nursery for a two year stint, it was awful, one particular woman, talk to me like shit, undermine me, contradict me, you name it she did it. I fortunately got relocated after a year and am so happy now. Don't put up with it OP, look around for another job. xx


araiwa · 29/07/2017 08:56

Yeah. They were a bunch of petty complaining twats who would have been great if they had spent the same effort working as they did complaining about each other and pointing out each others mistakes. All the managers wiuld have a weekly meeting to basically complain to each other. I started calling it formalised bitching.

I left. Fuck that. Miserable fuckers


InvisableLobstee · 29/07/2017 09:13

Sometimes you just don't fit into a team. You may have a different personality or work style to the others. Don't blame yourself. I would leave and don't look back! I know this job was convenient, but it would be better to do something less convenient but with nicer co-workers.


HemmieH · 29/07/2017 09:32

I don't think nursery settings are nice places to work. Many many moons ago I had to do placements at two different nurseries and nobody spoke to me in either. I was a very shy sixteen year old and tried really hard but to no avail.


Oliversmumsarmy · 29/07/2017 09:34

Never worked in a nursery but have worked in offices all over the country . We moved with dps job quite a bit.

I am very out going and confident and fitted into different offices with no problems apart from one place.

I felt like I had been transported back to a poit in history where living together was unheard of, not going to church on Sunday was a mortal sin only men drove cars and going to the pub on a Friday night meant you were a prostitute.

I have never known a place like it. I gave it a couple of months thinking it would get better but it didn't so moved jobs, the next job was a lot more normal but there were a few who thought like the first office. Couldn't wait to move.


CurbsideProphet · 29/07/2017 09:45

I've had this in a previous job. A month or so after I started my (all female) colleagues sat me down to say I was asking too many questions and everyone was finding me really annoying. I was gutted and so embarrassed, as I had been trying really hard to be part of the team. I felt so excluded and kept to myself for a long while.

I can be awkward and shy too @Midge1978 and that's not a bad thing! I've moved to a different job and I'm much happier. Look around at your options and plan your next move. Life is too short to be miserable at work Flowers


Crispdeficiency · 29/07/2017 09:45

Just out of interest, why are nurseries horrible places in which to work?

Sorry you are going through this op, it sounds awful. What you say about the manager sounds like a red flag to me as the working atmosphere and professionalism of a place usually comes from the top.


Oliversmumsarmy · 29/07/2017 09:45

Sometimes it is not you it is them. Sometimes it is just finding a place where you have people who appreciate how hard you work and realise you are a little shy and give you the space to be you.
Doing everything that is suggested is great but at the end of the day you could find another job and go and use your energies where they will be appreciated.

The manager knows what is going on and is very short sighted in her response. If you left and she got another part timer in who maybe wasn't as shy and who didn't have any qualms calling out the bullying nature she could find her nursery not running as smoothly as she hopes.

Presumably you are there because they need an adult because someone has a day off during the week so the ratio of adults and children is ok. If you left they wouldn't have that so would have to take less children.
Not a good strategy on behalf of the manager


Midge1978 · 29/07/2017 09:57

I'm a bit tied in because I am having to complete a training course but as soon as that is done I think I will have to look elsewhere and maybe put the children into an after school club.

OP posts:
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