9 to 5
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email help@theknot.com.

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

EDIT: Not written up, just in trouble.

edited February 2015 in 9 to 5
The past little while has been very hard on me... my husband and I have been having some problems plus I have been in severe pain (migraine treatment recently stopped working) - this has resulted in me having a hard time concentrating, particularly at work.

For the past month I've noticed that my supervisor has been getting very observant of me and often I come home enraged by the end of the workday from the snide comments and insulting behaviour. Yesterday I had a strange feeling like something was really up after something she had done and checked my file on the way out. There were 4 small pages of handwritten notes from her complaining about me, dated and signed. It documents a 2 week period starting 3 weeks ago.

There are a couple of things that I expected - I had forgotten to do a couple of tasks and she had firmly reminded me that it was important to remember them. But there was a lot of other stuff that was just weird. 

One big issue she has is that I tilt my screens facing me (like a triangle)... they've been like that for 2-3 months because my doctor recommended making my workspace more ergonomic for my migraine pain. Not once has she mentioned them or asked about them. Apparently she hates them and thinks I am doing it to hide things, she admits to 2 occasions where she intentionally straightened them out and night and how she watched me purposefully alter them the next morning - I found that an extremely childish thing to be doing. She also claims that this is only a sudden change and that I have never done it before.

Then there is the issue of internet use. I will admit that I browse the occasional internet article from time to time during the workday to get a mini-break. We are entitled to 2 paid 15 minute breaks in the day, so I am not wasting time. Often if my supervisor is coming towards me I will minimize what I was reading - partially so that I can give her my attention and so that she isn't over my shoulder reading it. She has noticed that.... and in the note she mentions that she has been intentionally coming near me randomly to see how often I minimize windows. Lately I minimize anything (even work stuff) when she comes over because it is starting to annoy me that she is constantly trying to see my screen.

Except yesterday I made myself look very guilty for no reason. I was typing up a note on a report that I recently started doing and she seen me typing a lot. She announced that she was coming over to see what I was doing and jumped out of her chair (it was VERY aggressive) and I panicked and exited the window. She had seen me exit the window and I then had to stumble through files to try and find the one I had started on the report. I showed her a word document about it and she seemed very sceptical. I then felt to awful to continue the note and started doing other things, I assume she took that behaviour as proof that I was just wasting time on personal things despite having work to do.

She also goes on to speculate that I will waste entire days on nothing, that every single time she leaves the area she thinks that I stop all work and just waste time. She doesn't trust taking time off because she suspects I will only waste the time away because she isn't there to watch me. That is very untrue, I actually get so much more work done when she is away because I can concentrate more. She speculates that I am always lying about things when asked, I suspect this is because I often have to over explain for her to understand what I am trying to say (she is native French, I am English).

The worst part is that she explicitly explains that she is reviewing everything at my workspace when I leave - she checks any notes I have and goes through all of my files, calendar and emails. I now know that her friendly exterior is really a sham because she doesn't trust me at all.

I can't confront her when I go in today because I wasn't supposed to see that note! I want her to just sit down with me and talk about these things so that I am aware of the problems she is having... I don't want her secretly compiling a list about me in my file to only spring a nasty write up on me. I had always thought that people who were written up had been well aware of everything in the write up prior to it because their supervisor made sure to verbally warn them first. 

I also don't know if she considers that a write up. She signed and dated it and is keeping it in my file - I thought that they weren't supposed to put stuff like that in my file unless I signed off on it as well. 

This just completely changes everything at work for me. All I can really do it work against the note so then she has no more complaints... I have decided to start looking for a new position because I feel I can no longer trust her. I've gone from thinking that they loved me at work to now thinking that they all hate me and think me lazy and incompetent!
«1

Re: EDIT: Not written up, just in trouble.

  • I wrote this before going into work... when I went in this morning my screens were faced flat again. My computer was also logged in with the internet open, she had left the list on the screen that shows all of the different websites in my history.

    I know she was watching my every movement so I simply closed the internet, turned off the second screen all together, and just used the single screen because I am clearly not allowed to organize my workspace ergonomically. 

    I had thought that she would of spoken to me today after apparently finding a small list of websites that weren't work related, after going through my computer, after moving my screen placement... but instead she didn't say anything and acted like everything was perfect!

    I cannot stand how passive aggressive she is being about this, if I am so offensive as an employee I wish someone would just say something instead of playing these games.
  • Can you get a note from your Dr explaining the need to have your workstation set up the way you have it?

    I would submit it to her and maybe nicely ask that no one moves your monitors.  She wouldn't have to know that you've seen her notes or think that you do it to hide things from her.

    Also, if she does happen to write you up-- do not sign the notice or write any comments on it.  I would probably start looking elsewhere for employment or go above her head.

  • Well after lunch it got even worse... my boss sent me an email that he needed to see me in his office!

    So I walked into his office shaking and we started talking about whether or not I enjoyed my job. I expressed that I love my job but there are times where I feel like I have no responsibilities and that my supervisor is too controlling. He was quick to agree with me on my supervisors behaviour - he explained that she holds everyone to her own standard and understood that she can be difficult to work with if you aren't at her level. He also agreed to find things I can do that'll give me more responsibility.

    I was thrilled at that point because I thought my work conditions were actually going to improve! He then did a quick review of company policy regarding computer usage and how I should refrain from visiting personal websites despite using my break time.

    But then he called her in... she jumped right into attack mode on how I am always minimizing windows and how my screens are tilted to hide things. She even made a very smug comment about how scared I must've been when I seen my internet browsing history open this morning.

    I tried to defend myself - I explained my reasonings for minimizing and the screen tilt. She refused to believe me, which made me cry, and then she rolled her eyes at me. I kept on repeating to her that it wasn't my intention to hide the screen to be secretive but she kept on insisting I was. She even came with a list of some of the new articles I visited and websites over the past 10 months. She described the length of my browsing history as "shocking and disturbing".

    She said that if 2 screens aren't working for me that I'll have to give one up, I will not have the option to hide a screen from view regardless of the reason. That'll make my job a lot harder!

    My boss ended the ordeal with a recommendation. From now on I should be taking 2 15 minute breaks a day as allowed... but I should announce to her that I am taking it and either use my personal laptop or go elsewhere. That way there will always be a clear understanding of when I am using break time.

    Nothing is more embarrassing then crying (and stammering) in front of your boss & supervisor... and then having your boss allow you his office to collect yourself while holding toilet paper he grabbed from the washroom... and then having to walk out of his office looking like I was just fired... and then spending the rest of my day sniffling and fighting back tears.
  • Can you get a note from your Dr explaining the need to have your workstation set up the way you have it?

    I would submit it to her and maybe nicely ask that no one moves your monitors.  She wouldn't have to know that you've seen her notes or think that you do it to hide things from her.

    I think that my doctor would be hesitant to give a note because he is speculating that this will actually help me, he is a stickler for any form of note. She has decided that if I cannot work with the screens in her view then I cannot have two screens - so I doubt any note would help.

    Also, if she does happen to write you up-- do not sign the notice or write any comments on it.  I would probably start looking elsewhere for employment or go above her head.

    The weirdest thing is that I wasn't even given a write up to sign today after the meeting I had with the boss and her... I am praying that they don't spring one on me Monday. If they do give me a writeup to sign I think I would probably end up signing it while making extensive notes.

    I am also looking for work on a daily basis now - it is depressing to think that I just lost all chance for a much needed raise because of her accusations. Hopefully I'll be able to find something more suitable in the next few months.

  • I'm actually a supervisor. Honestly, she's 'documenting' you regardless if you saw the 'notes' or not. Since she is your supervisor and you admit to yourself that you haven't be as focused - I strongly suggest job searching because she can fire you and being fired from a job on your resume/new job interview looks bad. It does sound like she is a micro manager and is stressing you out even more but she is the supervisor so try to find another job ASAP

  • I agree with the PPS about finding a new job. However, in the meantime you STILL have some say and choice for how this all pans out even if you do end up leaving this workplace. You could leave on poor terms, mediocre terms or good terms.

    Clearly, this woman has control issues as a micro-manager. But, you have admittedly done some things that have caused her to lose her confidence in you, therefore, this personality sees you needing more management and she is going to do that or get you fired.

    In the meantime, here are my suggestions...

    1. Ask for another meeting with your supervisor (and the woman) and your boss (the man). This can be done under the premise of, "I've been really thinking and taking to heart our last conversation. It would be helpful for me as a person here to have a bit more face time with you two to discuss my job more."

    2. Prior to this meeting, create a list of what you want to discuss with them so you stay on target and so this micro-manager cannot distract you or him. Print it and give it to each of them at the meeting.

    3. I also suggest that you begin this meeting with an apology. As humbling as this will be, and as much as you will detest doing it, it will take your supervisor off the offensive and make her more apt to "play ball" in a productive discussion, which in the end will prove more fruitful than you coming into a meeting with guns blazing. Apologies, sincere ones, do wonders for diffusing tough situations. And, if she continues in her blame game even after your apology then, your male boss will observe this.

    4. After apologizing move to discuss what you've done well and where you need improvement during the past quarter of the work year. What successes have you had and in what areas are you needing to do better? I'm sure they will both be able to hopefully provide open, constructive feedback. Again, this too may be difficult to do, but it will further put you in a friendly, workable, honest light. And, it will make you feel better about yourself, your situation, ideally it will make your direct supervisor more likely to become hospitable.

    5. I do not think that employers have a right to know about peoples' detailed health concerns. However, your health has obviously been an issue in this work case. You need to set the premise that you are not making excuses for yourself, but that you do have a legitimate health reason for moving screens a certain way. You do not need to divulge a lot of information, but you could say something like, "I suffer from severe headaches and I have been under medical treatment for them. This treatment stopped being effective around X date and that is what Ms. Micro Manager began to notice my work falling off. I do not want to make excuses, but rather explain my situation so we can be on the same page. As a result, my doctor had advised me that proper screen placement could help alleviate my situation, which is why I moved the screens. I am capable of doing my job still but I just needed to make some physical adjustments to my surroundings to make it. If you like, I can provide a doctor's note stating this fact."

    6. Next discuss break times and tell them you appreciated the suggestion of announcing your breaks and going away to your own laptop away from your desk for them.

    7. Moving forward, you know that you need to improve your working relationship with Ms. Micro Manager. "Mrs. Micro Manager, I know I have not met your expectations. And, I'd like to work on that. I propose that at the start of each day, I come by your desk with my list of what I hope to accomplish each day and review it with you for any suggestions or changes. In the day, if things change that prevent me from accomplishing something, I will communicate this to you and by the end of the day, I'll be prepared to give you a run down of my work and my plans for the following day. Maybe we could try this for a few weeks so I can regain your confidence. Would you be willing to support me in this?"

    8. Lastly, avoid the Internet while at your desk and truly use it for work-related needs.

    My suggestions come from my own experiences dealing with a verbally abusive micro manager in an ad agency. My suggestions may seem like they are making you a doormat, but actually they are putting you more in the driver's seat than you may realize.

  • puppylove2014puppylove2014
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited February 2015
    I agree with PP's that it is time for you to move on to another job. 

    In the meantime...If you forget important tasks, you need to make a list. If minimizing your screens makes people think you're up to no good, stop doing it. If using the work computer to browse the internet makes you a target, stop doing it. You were also on very shaky ground snooping and finding your supervisors documentation. That would have earned you an immediate dismissal anywhere I've ever worked.

    It is never a good idea to use a work computer for anything personal. Most companies have Internet usage policies. If yours says no personal use, it means no personal use. Even if it doesn't specifically state it...it's a good idea not to do it. I don't care what everyone else is doing in the office. It's a great way to get rid of someone. 

    You're supervisor may be horrible and I am not trying to make you feel worse than you already do, but you need to see how your actions have contributed so you don't move to another job just to find yourself in a similar situation.

    Lastly, it doesn't matter what people at work think of you. You will come across so many people professionally and you will really remember very few. Same goes for them. Just concentrate on turning this around and doing the best job you can.
  • I agree with the PPS about finding a new job. However, in the meantime you STILL have some say and choice for how this all pans out even if you do end up leaving this workplace. You could leave on poor terms, mediocre terms or good terms.

    Clearly, this woman has control issues as a micro-manager. But, you have admittedly done some things that have caused her to lose her confidence in you, therefore, this personality sees you needing more management and she is going to do that or get you fired.

    In the meantime, here are my suggestions...

    1. Ask for another meeting with your supervisor (and the woman) and your boss (the man). This can be done under the premise of, "I've been really thinking and taking to heart our last conversation. It would be helpful for me as a person here to have a bit more face time with you two to discuss my job more."

    2. Prior to this meeting, create a list of what you want to discuss with them so you stay on target and so this micro-manager cannot distract you or him. Print it and give it to each of them at the meeting.

    3. I also suggest that you begin this meeting with an apology. As humbling as this will be, and as much as you will detest doing it, it will take your supervisor off the offensive and make her more apt to "play ball" in a productive discussion, which in the end will prove more fruitful than you coming into a meeting with guns blazing. Apologies, sincere ones, do wonders for diffusing tough situations. And, if she continues in her blame game even after your apology then, your male boss will observe this.

    4. After apologizing move to discuss what you've done well and where you need improvement during the past quarter of the work year. What successes have you had and in what areas are you needing to do better? I'm sure they will both be able to hopefully provide open, constructive feedback. Again, this too may be difficult to do, but it will further put you in a friendly, workable, honest light. And, it will make you feel better about yourself, your situation, ideally it will make your direct supervisor more likely to become hospitable.

    5. I do not think that employers have a right to know about peoples' detailed health concerns. However, your health has obviously been an issue in this work case. You need to set the premise that you are not making excuses for yourself, but that you do have a legitimate health reason for moving screens a certain way. You do not need to divulge a lot of information, but you could say something like, "I suffer from severe headaches and I have been under medical treatment for them. This treatment stopped being effective around X date and that is what Ms. Micro Manager began to notice my work falling off. I do not want to make excuses, but rather explain my situation so we can be on the same page. As a result, my doctor had advised me that proper screen placement could help alleviate my situation, which is why I moved the screens. I am capable of doing my job still but I just needed to make some physical adjustments to my surroundings to make it. If you like, I can provide a doctor's note stating this fact."

    6. Next discuss break times and tell them you appreciated the suggestion of announcing your breaks and going away to your own laptop away from your desk for them.

    7. Moving forward, you know that you need to improve your working relationship with Ms. Micro Manager. "Mrs. Micro Manager, I know I have not met your expectations. And, I'd like to work on that. I propose that at the start of each day, I come by your desk with my list of what I hope to accomplish each day and review it with you for any suggestions or changes. In the day, if things change that prevent me from accomplishing something, I will communicate this to you and by the end of the day, I'll be prepared to give you a run down of my work and my plans for the following day. Maybe we could try this for a few weeks so I can regain your confidence. Would you be willing to support me in this?"

    8. Lastly, avoid the Internet while at your desk and truly use it for work-related needs.

    My suggestions come from my own experiences dealing with a verbally abusive micro manager in an ad agency. My suggestions may seem like they are making you a doormat, but actually they are putting you more in the driver's seat than you may realize.

    As much as I would love to be able to handle it like this - I feel it wouldn't be appropriate knowing both my supervisor and the situation. In about 2-3 months they are going to be sitting down with my again for my 1 year review. To me that would be the soonest it would be appropriate to have another meeting with them. If I am still there, it will give me some time to prove that what I had done was just thoughtless and that I have gotten myself back on the right path.

    At any meeting going forward it would be wise to bring notes... there was so many things I wanted to say when I got into that office and I would've been able to express myself if she had not come into the meeting. She completely threw me off my game! When my boss was confronting me he was not being overly aggressive so I felt safe speaking and didn't get defensive - when she spoke it was only like an aggressive attack so I quickly felt unsafe and got very defensive. 

    For me I am still emotionally charged from the entire situation - to have another meeting so soon would likely cause me to start to cry again. I'm not even sure if I apologized like I had planned during my outburst, I can barely remember what I was saying because I was just blurting things out - I certainly plan on bringing up this incident at my 1 year review and apologizing.

    Since my boss had started the meeting with just us, he had a chance to mention what I've been doing good and the things I need improvement on - so I have the next while to try and improve on his list if I am still around. 

    I wish a doctor's note would be able to help me here. But in the meeting she simply refused to believe anything about my motives for moving my screen - but at the end of the day I cannot blame her for being sceptical. My boss understood as he knew I was saying I didn't turn my screen to look at things without her seeing, it was an unfortunate judgement error. She's already established that turning my screen away is forbidden and I either use both straight or none. I actually expect that when I go back in she'll have removed the second monitor. 

    The biggest problem I have with confronting her is that I feel like she doesn't want to discuss this at all. For whatever reasons she is not telling me things that are wrong - even though I know she is verbal with everyone else. I don't know if she thinks I am just a liar or if she wants all conversations to be in front of the boss so that she can get me fired. I know with everything within me that if I recommended something along the lines of her reviewing my workload for the day that she would take that as an admission of being incapable of doing my job.
  • I agree with PP's that it is time for you to move on to another job. 

    In the meantime...If you forget important tasks, you need to make a list. If minimizing your screens makes people think you're up to no good, stop doing it. If using the work computer to browse the internet makes you a target, stop doing it. You were also on very shaky ground snooping and finding your supervisors documentation. That would have earned you an immediate dismissal anywhere I've ever worked.

    I have made a point to add more lists and reminders in my calendar so that I don't forget anything routine again. I am certainly done with minimizing things and browsing the internet - I'm not going to give her a reason to complain about me. I know I shouldn't have snooped but without doing so I would've been completely blindsided by this meeting and it likely would've went a lot worse because it wouldn't have been aware by her problem with me.

    It is never a good idea to use a work computer for anything personal. Most companies have Internet usage policies. If yours says no personal use, it means no personal use. Even if it doesn't specifically state it...it's a good idea not to do it. I don't care what everyone else is doing in the office. It's a great way to get rid of someone. 

    We have a similar policy but it was one of those things where she had told me that a bit was allowed on breaks and whatnot. It is the same thing with cellphones... for the first 9 months she was encouraging me to keep my phone out to get messages from my husband and doctors... but then last week she lost her cool when she heard it vibrate a couple of times. I am now no longer allowed my phone out at my desk.

    You're supervisor may be horrible and I am not trying to make you feel worse than you already do, but you need to see how your actions have contributed so you don't move to another job just to find yourself in a similar situation.

    I certainly recognize how my own actions have contributed to this problem. If I hadn't have been browsing on mini-breaks without telling her then there would've been little reason to be brought into the office for a talk. I really have learned from this and would never think of doing it anywhere else - I even feel guilty about browsing at home now.

    Lastly, it doesn't matter what people at work think of you. You will come across so many people professionally and you will really remember very few. Same goes for them. Just concentrate on turning this around and doing the best job you can.

  • I would really like to thank the people that responded... this was really just meant as a way to rant it out to try and alleviate some of my stress. 

    The funniest thing about this is that I thought I was overreacting by thinking I needed to find a new job, this past weekend I was constantly looking through ads but at the same time I was thinking that I could just stay where I am - thanks to this I realize that I should be looking.

    I realize that the work environment has been toxic for the past while and that it is only going to get worse from here - so I am starting my search and hoping I can get out of the environment soon. I also connected that my health problems (sudden high blood pressure only a couple months after starting, increased difficulty with my migraines) are likely to be caused by stress from my supervisor and how she's always treated me.

    I have today off because I had minor surgery on Saturday but I am slated to go back into work tomorrow. I am very stressed about how its going to go... I am very worried about what she is doing today while I am not there. I almost expect to get a phone call that I shouldn't be coming in at all! I also bet that people are assuming that I got canned since I left crying Friday and I am not there today.

    I am also paranoid that I am going to get called back into his office on Tuesday or forced to sign a write up. Or even that she is going to go through the IT company we use to somehow get a time log of personal site usage and dock it off my pay - I already strongly suspect that I am not being paid the extra time for the days I stayed 10-15 minutes late this past week because she implied I only stay late some days because I was so busy browsing during the day.
  • I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through.  I have unfortunately been there myself.

    My last job had some issues like that.  Lots of micro-managing...despite having substantially more experience than both my direct supervisor and the "micro manager"...who ironically wasn't a supervisor at all.  For example, in my previous position before them, I had ordered and maintained office supplies for 200 employees.  Nobody looked over my shoulder.  But in this position, I inexplicably couldn't be "trusted" to order office supplies for 15 employees without "micro manager" reviewing the order first.  I'm sure the occasionally "scratching" 2 boxes of pens down to 1 was really worth her time (sarcasm). 

    I am not prone to headaches myself, but when I become really unhappy with my work environment, I start getting them almost every day...except the days I am not working ;).

    In that job, I felt patronized and like I had no value, despite having a BS in Business Admin and 10 years as an executive asst.  I am normally a very happy and confident person, but that work environment slowly eroded my self worth.  One of the other admins literally had a nervous breakdown because of the negative environment and was on medical leave for a month.

    My best advice is to GET OUT as soon as you can, even if it is for less pay.  Sit down and make notes of everything that was talked about in that meeting and any others.  If there is any e-mail traffic, keep those also.  I don't know if this is an issue where you are, but in the job I referred to, I started keeping almost every single e-mail I was sent or received.  I would reply to e-mails from co-workers basically iterating what they asked me to do.  So, if there was ever a question, I had proof I had done what was asked of me.  That saved me a number of times from accusations I had done something wrong.

    Start keeping an "achievements" log that you can whip out at your yearly review.  Prepare in advance for that review by outlining the problems mentioned to you and steps you took to improve them.

    On the bright side, it sounds like the "big boss" is much more fair and impartial.  And, worse case scenario, even if they "fire" you, they will have a hard time fighting your unemployment (UE) claim (if they even go that route) because there is no paper trail.  As you said, you've never been officially written up. And, writing you up the day you are fired...unless it was for something pretty egregious....is not going to fly for UE to deny your claim.  At least that is how it is where I live.  UE is VERY "employee friendly" and will almost always side with them.


     

  • short+sassy: Your experience reminds me of what our old receptionist went through... she was only with us for 4 months because my supervisor (nothing to do with her) went and micromanaged her right out of the company! I just simply will never be able to comprehend how someone demands so much control over other people.

    For me I feel between a rock and a hard place right now... as I was job searching all day long I also stumbled onto my college website. They have a new 1 year program for graduates that provides you with the qualifications to work in the financial services industry and puts you on the path for different certifications... the only hitch is that there isn't much info on it so I am unsure of the specifics. But potentially in September I could be in the program! 

    The only things standing in my way are actually getting into the program and qualifying for a line of credit to make sure the bills are paid. The only problem with this path though is that I would need to stay on at my current job for another 6 months... but it may be easier to deal with her knowing there is a countdown until I can give my notice.
  • That sounds potentially great!  At least look into the program and see if it might be the right path for you.  I agree, I could put up with "job hell" if there was an end date to look forward to.  Just keep your head down and, on tough days, fantasize about how uplifting and energizing it will be when you walk out that door for the last time.

  • Maybe, just maybe this can be turned around and your supervisor will find a new target. Or even better, she'll leave all together. 

    I worked with an office manager who, IMO, was on the verge of seriously harassing the office assistants. If I were them I would have gone to HR. BUT, she eventually was promoted (I know, I have no explanation for why these assholes get ahead) AND she is no longer over anyone so she has no one to terrorize. Everyone is happy. 

    Now, for your anxiety...let me tell you...I am almost 40. I have had 16 different jobs. None of the stress I have ever felt about a situation has made the situation one ounce better. Not one. I barely even remember situations I was sooooo upset about at the time. I know they happened, but years later, it just doesn't matter. I've never been fired, but I certaily have done things that I could have been fired for.

    You've learned some important lessons about being careful whom you trust and when to trust your gut when you think there is trouble afoot. 

    You are going to be fine. It's not easy, and I know all about crappy jobs to pay the bills...you will be fine though. Stop worrying about what might happen and take it day by day until you feel better. Worst case scenario, you get fired, collect unemployment, and find an new job. And that is the worst. That's not that bad!

  • Things are just weird.

    On Tuesday morning she broke the awkwardness by exclaiming we were going to have a fresh start and leaving it at that. But then the rest of the day I kept on catching her acting like I had to be watched... she even seemed to try and sneak up on me after leaving to catch me doing something.

    So then this morning I go in and she tells me that I either have the choice to use the second screen in her preferred position or unplug it and bring it to the boss to use (I haven't used it since Friday). I maintained my position and said that we'd unplug it because it won't work for me... the entire time she seemed to try and convince me that I should keep it. Removing my monitor and giving it away was like a walk of shame... everyone watched me in confusion about why I was suddenly giving up something everyone wanted.

    Then she suddenly mentioned my migraines and wanted to talk about why I didn't tell her about the screens months ago... this caught me so off guard due to her lack of communication recently. I just ended up telling her that I wasn't comfortable discussing things like that when my doctor and I were just testing to see what worked. I was so nervous to actually open up to her because it seemed like she was trying to set me up to say something wrong.

    Then the rest of the day she kept on making comments about how she just wanted me to be comfortable and kept on making different recommendations for how I could rearrange my workspace. She even made a couple of radical suggestions that would've taken the whole day to implement! I am thinking she was just doing this because she realized that I was serious about only being able to use a tilted monitor for medical reasons... because if I was just hiding it to be secretive then I would've just used the straight monitor instead of giving it up.
  • I actually see this as positive.  Don't let your guard down, of course!  But I would at least pretend to take what she says at face value.  Like, when she mentioned you all were going to have a fresh start,  I would have given a big, heartwarming smile and said with a peppy, positive tone, "I'm so glad you said that.  I want the same thing too.  I've been sorry to see misunderstandings between us and am looking forward to working with you toward a more positive work environment."  While really thinking you are a two-faced b**ch and I can't wait for the day I never have to work with you again.  But it will disarm her if you throw warmth and positive attitude at her suspicions and micromanaging.

    In the South, we sum up the entirety of my conversation example and actual thought behind it with the phrase, "Well, bless your heart!"  (said with my best and most sugary Scarlett O'Hara accent).

    Lol.  I would have loved to counter her "suggestions" with, "No, thanks.  I appreciate the input, but the tilted second screen is really what worked the best; however, I do understand it is not an option (even though I really don't)."

    I had something kind of like that happen when I was in a temp job years ago.  Us "temps", had to park in a gravel parking lot about a 1/4 mile away from the office because there was not enough room in the main parking lots.  Maybe not quite that far, but it was at least a 5-6 minute walk.  A few weeks into the job, I got in a weird accident (not at work) and sliced the front of my calf open.  I had to get a bunch of stitches.

    The next morning, I gave myself extra time and parked in the far lot to see how it would go.  It took me 20 minutes to make that walk and I was in AGONY, by the end of it.  I checked in with my supervisor and then went to HR.  I talked about my accident, showed her my stitches, described my walk in, and asked if it would be okay to park in one of the guest or vendor spots just for the 1 1/2 weeks before my stitches would be taken out.

    She sympathized, but told me no.  I then apologized and told her, as much as I needed to work, I would need to take the next couple days off until I healed a little more and hopefully was in less pain.  She was visibly taken aback, I guess when she saw I was "serious", and immediately backtracked and told me it would be okay to park in a guest spot as long as I provided her with a doctor's note on when my stitches were being taken out.  Perhaps it finally occurred to her the necessity of providing reasonable accommodation to an injured...albeit temporarily...worker.

  • Now that the week is up and there was no worst case scenario... I feel a lot better but still don't see myself staying long term with the company.

    It is very frustrating getting information on this program to get the ball rolling since it is brand new and isn't in the application system yet. No one can even answer basic questions about it!

    I had actually seen one of the banks hiring for financial services positions and I do qualify for the entry level ones where you need little qualifications. But now I feel guilty for some reason and I almost need to force myself to apply for the job.

    I think it is a combination of thinking they'll see this as a sign of guilt since it is so soon after the incident, that people will question why my employment was so short and that I don't know how to sit down and explain to them why I am leaving (and why I was looking for work). 
  • I'm glad you're feeling better.

    Go ahead and apply for a different job if you want. Even if you get the job, you need not explain yourself to anyone. 

    When you resign simply thank them for the opportunity to work there and be on your way. You really don't owe an explanation. As a matter of fact, it would be best not to. It's never good to bad mouth your previous boss or employer (even if it is true and would be helpful for them to know, it will only put you in a negative light) so just let it go.

    Good luck!
  • Definitely apply!  Once you're gone and have a better job, you won't care one iota what they think.  I've seen many people come and go in my work environments...some fired, some laid off, some quit...and, other than a passing curiosity, most people don't give much thought as to why someone left.  Especially if they quit.

    The gossip mills do run a little longer and harder if someone was fired or laid off.  Laid off probably gets talked about the most, but more in the context of "Oh s**t, who will be next?  Could it be me?  What's going on?"

  • I did send out applications but both possibilities came back with almost immediate rejections - I need experience or education in financial services, even for the entry level job.

    So now I am more seriously considering going to school to get the qualifications but my local college is no longer offering the program. They are helping me find something online that would be starting in September but there is a chance I can't get the loans that I need which could mean I need to stay on full time until next May! That would be 2 full years of working there and I am not sure if I can make it (I am also unsure if I will be canned). 

    I also keep on catching myself in self doubt. I find that I blame myself for everything and think that if I work hard that it'll just magically get better - but then I need to re-read my post to remind myself of what it will always be like.
  • Maybe you'll end up there longer than you wanted. That's ok. Continue to look for other opportunities. In the meantime, just do the best you can and stay out of trouble.

    Are you the only person under this supervisor? If not, how long have others been there? This really could turn itself around. Just concentrate on staying busy and doing the best you can.

    Does your company pay for tuition at all? You may be able to get them to pay for further schooling.
  • Maybe you'll end up there longer than you wanted. That's ok. Continue to look for other opportunities. In the meantime, just do the best you can and stay out of trouble.

    I keep on trying to tell myself that the longer I stay the better it will look on my resume. I am trying everything I can to stay under the radar but it is so hard... the other day I overheard her saying that she is mad I am now wearing my uniform sweater! She sees that I keep my phone in the pocket (I don't take it out except on break, in my pocket so I can tell if there is an emergency call) and she is again falsely assuming that when I am left alone I am on my phone browsing. There is just no winning it seems.  

    Are you the only person under this supervisor? If not, how long have others been there? This really could turn itself around. Just concentrate on staying busy and doing the best you can.

    I am the only one under her, we are a 2 person department Everyone in this position before me quit within a 3-4 month period - if I had known that I never would've taken the job. She is also currently responsible for causing an employee in another department to take a 1 month stress leave and got another fired a few months back.

    Does your company pay for tuition at all? You may be able to get them to pay for further schooling.

    It doesn't pay for anything since it is a small business. There is also no need for any professional development for my position! I realize that they could probably train a high school student to do my job with the few responsibilities I truly have.

  • I am planning on applying to a full time online college program next week and I am practically guaranteed a spot in the program. It has a September start date and lasts 8 months. I tried to get an online federal loan estimate and they may loan me a few thousand towards tuition but other than that I am at the mercy of the bank to extend me a line of credit to make it work.

    My worst case scenario is that I will be there until I am completed the program as long as I don't get fired or laid off. 

    This puts me into another dilemma - what to tell them about this. I have to tell them because the course requires me to be available at specific times for things like tests or meetings and I cannot surprise them with news like that without looking super shady.

    I have decided to wait until August to reveal any information. That gives me time to figure out if I need to work during my studies or hopefully find another position related to the field. I think it'd be best to only reveal that it is graduate business classes instead of that it is a graduate financial services program - that way they may not immediately jump to the conclusion that I would be leaving shortly after I graduate. 
  • I think you are being smart to tell them as little as possible.

    It's too bad your supervisor only has you to focus on. It sounds like she has too much time in her hands. I have no idea how people like her get ahead...but they do. Good luck! Keep us updated.
    TheMadHatter93
  • Just as a thought and best practice for future positions, when you feel things going wrongly, begin documenting your own notes. That way, there will always be a clear record of your perspective and it empowers you and will help you with the emotional control if it comes to confrontation. The manager has the advantage of being the only one who's prepared otherwise, causing the employee to always be at a disadvantage.
    short+sassy
  • At the end of this week it'll be a full month since the meeting and I am feeling a lot better. 

    I went ahead and applied for the graduate certificate program and was accepted the next day, so now its just a matter of twiddling my thumbs until the fall. Upon taking this step I have decided that in 2016 I will begin working towards my BBA and with my advanced diploma it should only take 2 years. *Happy dance time*

    At work I actually had a heart to heart with another supervisor who revealed a lot of what I wasn't supposed to know... I am the same age as this woman's child so she took particular offence when she caught wind of what my supervisor was doing to me.

    She revealed that it was mainly about control - I am now at a point where I don't need her and she prefers the person below her to be in her control. So now that I am in trouble I am back under her control. This is why people left when the training stage is coming to an end as she became very critical and rude towards them.

    The biggest thing that saved my skin was that she never spoke to me about this. The boss said that if I was never informed that I was doing something wrong that he couldn't blame me unless it was undoubtedly with malicious intent. He passed off what happened as a misunderstanding of the policy and knew that I would have stopped once gently reminded of the policy.

    I do realize that I was in violation of company policy and I realize that it happened because I seen everyone else doing it and assumed it was okay. Lately I am hyper vigilant and I notice how many people are browsing at work and have their phones out. My supervisor is especially bad... I clocked her bridesmaid dress shopping for 30+ minutes on company time. Then last week her phone went off nonstop for almost an hour because she was in a group convo for a wedding - it was so bad I almost had to tell her it was interfering with my work. It is very hypocritical for her to be able to do the things I was thrown under the bus for doing.

    The worst thing about it though is that she confirmed that my supervisor wanted me fired that very day of the meeting. It was the day before my costly medical procedure and without insurance I would've been ruined by it. She was striving to get me fired the day before my procedure to "teach me a lesson about working for what you have". It certainly explains why things escalated so quickly and how details were very exaggerated. 

    I also found out she had went ahead and called a temp agency (before talking to the boss) to see if they had people available to fill in my position with little notice! 

    Thanks to a lot of effort on my part we are civil with each other. I put on the fakest show when she is nearby and pretend that everything is perfect. She still keeps on asking about my screen though and how my head feels so I just put on a big smile and say "It has made such a huge improvement in my life now that I am not in constant pain, I am so glad you suggested this!" and that shuts her right up. 

  • Wow!  I'm so sorry you have to deal with such a lunatic.  I have to say you're handling it REALLY well.  If nothing else, this is a great lesson on how to deal with difficult coworkers (which you passed with flying colors).  You'll always have certain people at work that cause a lot of extra stress, but hopefully none of them will be as bad as this one!
    puppylove2014
  • I'm glad to hear about the good news with your graduate certification program and that things are at least going better than they were at your workplace.

    And I have SO been there, where I've been "talked to" about doing the same things that my boss and everyone else is doing.  Really, really aggravating.  I had a former boss who was on the phone with his wife multiple times a day/ every day for usually at least 10 minutes each time.  I RARELY took personal calls when I was working and, if I did, they were quick 1-2 minutes.  However, at one point I was in the process of buying a car out-of-state and unexpectedly needed to take what turned about to be a longish phone call (20-30 minutes) about the sale.  AND got written up for it, even though I subtracted the time from my hours worked. 

    puppylove2014
  • I have another little update about this horrendous situation - I actually had to take a sick day today so I could see a therapist because I am about to have a nervous breakdown.

    On Friday and Monday I volunteered to start on filing that another employee is responsible for, it is a 4 week job that needs to be done within 1 week. I know that it isn't going to be perfect and I offered to start so that the other employee has less to worry about. Well my supervisor came back to inspect my filing (2 drawers in) and went through the first drawer after I told her I hadn't reviewed the order yet. She threw her arms in the air after finding a file out of place (claimed it was all out of order) and told me SHE KNEW that I wasn't going to do it right.

    When she left I was nearly in tears because I couldn't understand how "everything was out of order" when I had worked so hard on them. I looked through the files going alphabetically and I counted a grand total of 3 folders that were out of place. By that point I was shaking in anger that she would berate me over 3 folders being in the wrong spot! She was just looking for a reason to do it.

    I was enraged by the time I got home that evening and ended up giving myself a huge migraine, then had a massive fight with my husband (over absolutely nothing) and by the end of the night I couldn't even eat my supper. 

    So this morning I went in to speak to the therapist and unloaded all of the problems that I am having at work. She basically told me that there are several problems happening at the same time; mainly that I am not happy with most aspects of my employment, that my supervisor doesn't know how to be a leader, that I am an easy target for my supervisor to unleash her frustrations on and that my work style just doesn't seem to match that of the company.

    She told me that I cannot sustain this job for much longer, I am going to reach my breaking point where I am going to mentally snap and potentially lose everything. She wants me to come back to work on stress relief techniques as I clearly can't handle this anymore on my own. She even offered to write me a note to take a stress leave for a week but I can't afford that kind of missed time.

    She encouraged me to begin aggressively job searching as she sees any change in environment would help my mental wellbeing at this point. 

    She even discussed my educational goals. She made me realize that if I want to go to university to upgrade to a bachelor degree that I should apply now rather than just automatically do the graduate certificate. She explained that I will regret wasting the time and money on a graduate certificate if I end up getting into a different job without it.

  • Lame :(.  I'm so sorry to hear there was another bad episode when it seemed like things were going so much better.

    I don't know your financial position, but at this point you might be better off getting whatever job you can for the time being, even if it pays less.

    Do you think it would help at all to speak to the other (bigger) boss again?  Outline the unhealthy stress in the position and work towards a solution.  Not necessarily come out "guns blazing/tattling" about your boss, but phrased more like "...that you understand you and Boss A have different working styles and you have really strived to match up with hers by doing a, b, c.  But there have still been some issues.  (Give examples, ie most recent one).  And also give examples of how Boss A has improved as well, because I know you have mentioned a few things even on this forum.

    But I think a conversation like that...phrased more like you are still trying to tweak things to improve the work environment, rather than sounding like you're mad and complaining.  A good boss will read between those lines, especially since it sounds like there have been similar complaints about this supervisor before.

    And feel free to be as mad and complaining here as you want :).  Forums with like-minded people area a great place to vent and get it out in a safe place.

    puppylove2014
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards