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quirky
03-31-2006, 11:00 AM
Do you ever do something at work and wish you hadnt? Like blown up at someone?

Thats what I did last night. I am absolutly sick over it. It was my review. Lately some high profile cases have been in the news regarding work and blogs and public posts in general. I dont want to post anything that will come back to bite me later. But I do want to tell my tale. Therapy.

As I said it was my review. My boss was of the opinion that I have been ignoring direction and have been making up my own rules (all her words) because I choose to tab through menu selection on the computer. She thinks I should eneter the menu number directly. Yes, this tabbing was the example she gave when I questioned what she ment that I make up my own rules. Seriously. Yes this pettiness and micro-managing malarke were on my review.

I consider menu selection a question of personal style. Like walking, eating and how I button my shirt or what hand I write with. Tab or number - the next screen is identical. My boss claims that tabbing is too slow. Now I could agree that she would have a point IF my typing in general were too slow. Or if every split second I was slower than anyone else cost the company money. But this isnt the case with either of these things. And certainly there are any number of areas in my day when I am faster than others and therefore can easily make up time for those split seconds gained in tabbing.

I am sure any reasonable person can see how rediculous this is. And it all goes back to day one. I have been in this position for 3 months now. Give or take. And right from the beginning this tab or number was an issue. It all started on my first day of work. She stood over my shoulder and watched as she walked me through the processes. Every screen we use is a menu driven screen with aproximately 25 choices. Everyone has a numerical designation - or you can tab and highlight.

On my very first day she started telling me to "just put in X number". I have no problem with this except that I wanted to have a few seconds to read the screen before moving on. Memorizing a string of numbers to get me through because of impatience is not good training. I explained that I wanted to read the screens and that I wanted to know where I was going. But she stood behind me chanting "just do it". Her impatience was obvious. So I tabbed so I could take the time to read the screens. After all, once she is not standing behind me I still have to do the work. I asked her several times to be more patient and allow me to get the feel of where I was going. Imedeately she chimed in with "why arent you willing to just do what I tell you to do". I should have walked right then, but instead I did my best to explain that I needed time to learn the screens and get familiar with them at my own pace. She began to argue with me about this and frankly I blew up. After a brief shocked look on her face I never heard about tabbing etc again.

Now here it is three months later and its on my review that I make up my own rules, choose not to follow proceedure and "has to do things her own way regardless of the way she has been instructed". This sounds like I am a loose cannon and I create all my own proceedures without regard to SOP. It sounds really really bad. So I asked my boss to give me more examples of how I disregard proceedure - she named off tabbing and an area where I had made an error just a few days ago.

Now I am getting really mad. People make errors. These are areas that need to be brought to attention so that the behavior or sloppiness can be corrected. An error, a mistake, is not a willful disregard of instruction. Its an error. Period. And I appologize and I know why that error was made and I will correct this. But it has nothing to do with me not being willing to follow proceedure. Certainly put my mistakes on my review. I expect that. But to blanket my error as "has to do things her own way" is not constructive or helpful. In fact, it paints a picture of me that is not accurate. I have been with this company 3 years, this is the first time someone has said I make up my own rules. But this goes in my permanent file. And will impact my future career with this company.

To shoreup her claim that I am so willfully negligent of proceedure she stated that there was a "stack of training audits" to prove it. I said I did not think that the few I had were so out of line for someone new to the job (its a new department for me) and that all of them had happened in the first couple of weeks. She said "you have at least 15". I asked to see these as I had only seen 3 or 4. Where were the rest? How can I be held accountable if I have not even seen them? She did not produce her "stack" and instead dropped that line of reasoning. As she was unwilling or unable to produce her "15" I have to assume she was exaggerating. In any case how can I correct myself if I dont even see the errors in question?

Now at this point I admit I am hopping mad. And yes I had some tears in my eyes but I was not crying openly. I was trying NOT to cry. But I was so damn mad!!! And so my boss says to me - "and thats another thing, you are way too emotional". Now I have never cried or yelled in front of clients. And until that moment I had never cried in front of her. So I asked my boss to cite examples of when I have been too emotional to do my job. And she gave me some suprising examples. None of which I was with clients or on the floor. None of which had she herself observed my behavior. All examples were times when I was having a private conversation with another individual and believed that conversation would be held in strictest confidence. 2 of the 4 examples were on my own private time when I was not even on the job. One was a telephone conversation made from my home to the HR manager, one was when I had gone into see HR on my own time. 1 example simply never happened. I asked her to provide details about the incident that never happened because I could not remember it. She stated she couldnt. Only 1 of the 4 was I on the clock and I did not cry. But I did have a brief training discussion with the manager. Perhaps I looked upset and he mentioned this to her. In any case it was a private conversation and I was not on the floor at the time of the incident.

What the heck????? My private conversations with the HR department and others are entering into my review?? I did not think that was legal. And then there is the missing stack of training audits - "proof" of my poor performance. I did not think making up errors was legal either. Even if she did not intend to make up anything and instead, humanly, exagerated how many training audits I have, if this exageration is believed and impacts my review - it is still not right.

Later after my review was over my eyes were red. Another employee asked me if I was OK. I responded that I was. He did not believe me and asked me again. My boss was standing there as he asked. Again I said I was, thank you. But my boss decided to tell him "she just had her review". WHAT????????? I looked at her and said "That is not his business and you had no business telling him about it" What the hell is that?????

I am so frigging mad! What really makes me mad is that the times I had my discussions with HR is because my boss was calling me at home on my time to chew me out about something work related. I am an hourly employee and have no files to show my case at home and even though I stated where the information could be found, my boss just kept telling me "you did not". When I asked her if she had looked at the file in question she stated no, but that it didnt matter because I did not do what I had said. How in the world can I possibly deffend myself from home if the "proof" that I had not made an error was not even going to be looked at by my boss? So I made a complaint to HR that my boss should not be calling me at home but specifically if she was not going to take the time to actually read the information she requested, calling me at home to just bawl me out is not OK.
A few days later HR told me that she told my boss I had talked to her and that she had told her that is was not OK to call me at home. So here my private conversation comes up in my review as "proof" that I am too emotional. I feel that these comments are retailitory in nature for my complaint.

I asked another manager if there was a formal process for making a complaint. He gave me a phone number that I could call. But then cautioned me that the phone call goes right back to our HR manager. Now what the hell is that??

If you have taken the time to read this - bless you. It is really just therapy for me to get it all out of my system.

rebecca
03-31-2006, 11:16 AM
I am so very, very sorry that you have had such a terrible time with this person. It does sound as if she is bringing in issues that are of no consequence in a review :shock:
I do hope that you get this settled & this doesn't damage your work history with this company :D
Hold you head high ;)

nicolethegeek
03-31-2006, 11:18 AM
Oh do I ever feel for you!!! I have problems at my work with one of my managers too. Unfortunately, she is the only one that does my reviews. She picks on me quite a bit, but I have no proof of that {to go to the store manager with} since there never been a written reprimand in my file.

Laws vary from place to place, so I cannot advise you at all in that respect. I will say, however, that it is completely wrong of the HR department to reveal ANYTHING said to them in confidence to ANYONE. Case in point, when I went to HR to complain about being singled out and picked on, HR couldn't really do anything to help me because it would reveal that I had gone to them. Since you've been with this company for 3 years, is there anyone that you can go to for confidential advice, even if they aren't in a position to actually help? It seems so wrong to me that you have no real course of action when it comes to a problem like this. Since you are an hourly employee, I would "try" to bill them for when your boss calls you at home on your own time.

Say what you will about Wal-Mart, but at least I know that if I have a serious problem {like yours is} that I can go all the way up to the company president if I have to... and I cannot be retaliated against for speaking up to defend myself. They are pretty serious about the "Open Door" policy, and if someone betrays a confidence in an Open Door session, the consequences are very serious.

AnreeAce
03-31-2006, 11:27 AM
Oh honey, sounds like a really rough one.

I don't have any good advice about getting your resumé in order or conflict resolution or anything like that, but will a great big virtual hug do any good?

Keep you chin up, I'll be sending you happy thoughs.

quirky
03-31-2006, 11:54 AM
Thanks for the hugs and well wishes!

I have decided to just go and get a new job. Luckily for me Schacht Spindle (makers of looms and spinning wheels) is near me. They are looking for a shipping clerk. I am sure there is a lot of competition for the job available. But I have loads of experience including international large container freight, rail freight, air freight and of course standard domestic shipping. So I do have relevant experience. and I can not think of a company that is more suited to my interests! Even as we speak I am awaiting the arrival of my new spinning wheel!! :D

My new wheel is not made by schacht, its better suited to my budget. But having an interest in the product should count for something right?
I have an interview on Monday at 10:30 am. How is that for fast work?
Wish me luck!!

brendajos
03-31-2006, 12:13 PM
good luck! that seems like the best choices. i have tried to come up with a response to your post three times and no "solutions" seemed like good choices since your normal means for dispute resolution (HR) doesn't even seem like a good choice there. Once you get a new job and give your notice, i would STRONGLY urge you to be as honest as you can in any exit interview you do, without burning the bridge. They need to hear the truth of what happened, even if it is a bit watered down.



(don't you hate being a girl sometimes? why is it that men so rarely get so mad that they cry? It's just not fair! hmph!)

quirky
03-31-2006, 12:33 PM
since there never been a written reprimand in my file.


Nicole, I am not a wiz at this work stuff. That is obvious. But you do have the right to request criticisms be written down and put into your file.
If it isnt written down then it becomes your word against hers. And either one of you can call the other a liar.
"he said, she said" is not legally binding. Not for you or her.
If she has more to say to you I would say, as calmly as possible, "I want to address your concerns. But it will be easier for me to track my progress if you put this in writting." If she refuses to do so then you CAN take action with the store manager or your hr.
Be sure that you have also documented your request.
I hate to say it but given that we are "at will" employees we are at a severe disadvantage in regards to our working conditions.
We have a lot of work to do in order to document our employment conditions. Little in the "at will" employment sceane protects us, as employees, from bad managers.
I am sure there are actions we can take to protect ourselves. But finding out what we can do and what is legal is really difficult!

brendajos
03-31-2006, 12:43 PM
well that is the reason why the Unions are important. I have seen bad union situations where we are dealing with unions that provide inferior work but you have to use them in order to maintain goodwill (yeah it's politics.) But the fact is that the unions are pro-worker and are there when we are in bad situations. There are so many in this country (sorry Nicole I don't know what the situation is like in Canada so i can't speak to that) that are anti-union for a variety of reasons but i think it is because we have been conditioned to believe they are bad. We wouldn't have a lot of the benefits we do (the WEEKEND!) if it weren't for unions. They aren't the answer to all employer/employee relations issues but it is certainly a big help in the right direction!

CarmenIbanez
03-31-2006, 12:46 PM
Well I did take the time to read your post, and I read it with utter disbelief and a little fascination. Number one I can't believe in this day and age, companies have employees (your boss) who have absolutely no idea how to manage employees and department (HR) who can get the entire company into legal trouble!

I am glad you are going to get a new job. I was going to tell you to give your notice (never burn bridges) and find a new job. Your dignity doesn't have a price tag, and neither should your sanity. NO JOB is worth being treated the way you are being treated.

Good luck on the job hunt!

sara_jayne
03-31-2006, 12:47 PM
I'm glad that you've decided to move on and find another job. It sounds like this person will never be a good "boss" nor someone you can feel comfortable working for. Unfortunatley we all have to work for a living....and I'm including all the SAHMs which is a full-time job (and then some)....so why not do something that you enjoy at least a little.

:thumbsup: Good for you for standing up for yourself and taking control of your own life - even if it means leaving.

horve1
03-31-2006, 12:50 PM
Ouch! Reading that made me want to grab her and ... and grab you and hug you. Good luck Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

feministmama
03-31-2006, 12:55 PM
(don't you hate being a girl sometimes? why is it that men so rarely get so mad that they cry? It's just not fair! hmph!)

That's called sexism. And if you can get this in writing then you could have a strong leg to stand on for sexual harrassment. What a horrible experience. My heart goes out to you. I hope you get that new job and leave all this behind you. Good luck :heart:

Holly
03-31-2006, 01:13 PM
Your description of having a manager stand over your shoulder and just insist impatiently that you "just type the number in," sounds like just plain, bad management skills! Unfortunately, I have witnessed a Managers training a new employee in a very similar manner :( . Some people are very narrow-minded and ungifted when it comes to being open to different learning styles and training techniques. Your best bet is probably to find a better job -- kudos to you for taking those first steps :D . I also agree with the advice to not burn any bridges. Good luck!

RachelJean
03-31-2006, 01:41 PM
I can sympathize about the bad review...I had one 2 years ago. Luckily, I work for a big company and there are formal procedures in place for stuff like that. I went to my second line manager and everything was worked out.

Sounds like your current boss is a bit of a control freak. Good luck on your interview.

Yvonne
03-31-2006, 02:10 PM
I did read your entire post, and the more I read the more incredulous it seemed! I am so glad I read further down the page before replying, because my advice would definitely be to get another job!
Good grief. Number vs. Tab? Is she for REAL? If this is the person you answer directly to, then you'd gain more by banging your head against a brick wall than try to reason with her.
The fact that you became angry enough to cry (been there, done that, and it's infuriating all the more!) does not indicate to me that you are overly emotional but rather that your job is causing you way too much stress.
You did the right thing. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by staying in that job. Good luck with the job interview. The first time you hear number vs. tab, pretend you're going to lunch and never go back. :D

Jan in CA
03-31-2006, 02:34 PM
:shock: I am sitting here so shocked that I don't even know what to say. I think someone above your "boss" needs to know what kind of employees they have and how they are treating you. You probably aren't the only one.

Good for you in looking elsewhere for work. That is the best solution all around. Good luck! :heart:

cheesiesmom
03-31-2006, 03:01 PM
I assume that a written report of the will be put in your personnel file. You should have the right to place your own written response in there, too. I would request that I be allowed to review my file and carefully write a factual account of the criticism and respond to any negative points. Also, if you have an exit review when you move on to your next job, I would definitely point out that the managerial skills of your supervisor was the motivating factor for seeking new employment.

This whole episode seems to be rather petty on the part of your supervisor. Administration should know what's what.

One would think that a company would value hard-working employees who show up, do the work, and try to make a contribution.

People are pretty fast to bad mouth unions, especially here in Michigan where they've been so prevalent for many many years, but some one has to protect employees. Employers certainly aren't looking out for your best interest.

Good luck on your interview. Hopefully, you'll find a new position soon where you will be appreciated and valued. You deserve better than you seem to be getting now. Here's one more long distance hug!!


Gladys in Michigan who hates it when her mad comes out in tears!

quirky
03-31-2006, 06:16 PM
Thank you so much for the support!! :heart: :heart:
I am so glad to know my perception of the situation is not way off base! Its so easy to tell yourself you are right and never see how you are wrong.

I did contact my HR manager again this morning. I think she was dismayed at the situation I presented to her. She did indicate that my concerns were legitimate. Concerning her own role in discussing what was said behind closed doors - she said she never told my boss that I was emotional. But that she could hear I was upset. Fair enough. Its also fair for her to broach any subject I bring to her if that means there are issues to address with my boss. I agree.

She did not place blame or fault but reminded me that I am not the only one who has a learning curve. That my boss is new too and as such is in need of further training.

Ok all things being equal I dont feel quite as stressed now as I did this morning. Getting the interview set up helped. But also playing skee ball with my son for a couple of hours really blew off the steam! Hey that kid is good! His top score was 290,000. Thats not too shabby.

Ok - since I brought him up - I have to share my pride. He has struggled greatly with reading this year. He began the year with reading skills just above a kindergartener. He is in second grade. But after all his hard work this year he has improved his skills to where he is in line with his peers. His reading teacher even called to express his excitement over Theos progress. And then last night I discovered that he started reading a new book with his dad. He is reading Mark Twain - Tom Sawyer. :cheering: :cheering:

Ill keep you posted on the job hunt. I really love the idea of working for such a cool company. My only real concern is going back to full time hours after a nice long break of working only part time. But perhaps there are discounts and employee purchase plans that would make the move sweeter?

kitkat
03-31-2006, 11:26 PM
This story is unbelieveable. I hope you find something better. I have been pushed to tears too - nobody deserves to be treated that way, nobody!

Sending you cyberhugs - hope that boss of yours gets some karma coming back at her.

Shandeh
03-31-2006, 11:58 PM
Hopefully, this advice will help you. I was an executive assistant for several years in a high profile business. I have seen a lot of situations, but never one this ridiculous.

I read your entire original post, and was flabbergasted by the unprofessional behavior of your supervisor. She has taken matters into her own hands instead of following company policy, to the detriment of her staff. She is also endangering the company's reputation, possibly causing unnecessary legal recourse.

When you called HR, that discussion should have remained confidential. Your situation has been wrongfully handled by everyone involved.

You need to go HIGHER than HR. Write a letter with DETAILS about what happened, similar to the posting in this forum. That letter needs to go to the President of the company so they can see how things have soured in their management staff.

You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your on-the-job harassment and discrimination.

Good luck!

VictoiseC
04-01-2006, 11:19 AM
Man that is one drag of a boss.... Sounds like she is a Uber Control Freak and just wanted you to buckle under to her at all times!

Sorry you had such nastiness to put up with but I think a new job would be really good for you! good luck on the interview and if you don't get that one there will be other opportunities. :heart: Vic

AnreeAce
04-01-2006, 12:13 PM
She did not place blame or fault but reminded me that I am not the only one who has a learning curve. That my boss is new too and as such is in need of further training.

I'm not convinced it should be your job to train your boss. How's that work? :??

Knock 'em dead at you interview on Monday. With any luck at all, you'll be on your way out of your current situation before too long.

Best of luck to you, more hugs on the way!

ecb
04-01-2006, 01:23 PM
I had a similar situation
a Suprervisor literally stood over me telling me to use the Database with mouse clicks, when I could Tab, or keyboard shortcut MUCH more efficiently
she would freak out anytime I brought anything up to her about work, if it was something that was not caught by the computer edits, or review (hers, mine, other people) I was not placing blame, I was trying to make things more efficitent
She was eventually moved to a new project, and they needed someone to train the new transfers on how to do the review
the IT training person assigned me, and this supervisor found out within a few hours (long distance Micromanaging from her NEW different assignemtn) and FREAKED OUT
the IT person told her, in front of my NEW boss that I was the ONLY person working with the system efficiently, and everyone else had these BAD habits that they were told to do, that CAUSED problems with the Finished Product
the cou de gras was that SHE put her freaking out on me from long distance in Writing, in an attempt to make problems for me, so the IT trainors response went in BOTH our records and it is on her evaluation that she INSTRUCTED people to do it WRONG, and was innapropriate when people chose to do it right

Life CAN be good
my New Boss took me with her to a Whole new job when she left, and I got almost $5 more an hour

MaggieL
04-03-2006, 07:40 PM
How did the interview go?

mulene
04-04-2006, 09:59 AM
ok a number of things stand out in your original post;

You are being abused by a less than experienced supervisor.

Calling you at home is not allowed - how did she get your number, and why is she calling you at home? HR should be the only people available with your telephone number.

I once temped for an agency and this bitch of a cow who was a super where I was temping demanded my agency give her my mobile telephone number. She called me while I was driving home and demanded I return to the office to help her find something SHE had lost. Clearly I told her to shove that where the sun doesn't shine and told my agency they were in breach of the data protection act (something we have in Europe but you don't have there).

Anyway, I've been a manager for years, I teach people to use our database and tell them "you can click with the mouse or you can tab through the options, whichever you find more comfortable."

You sound like a strong character, and I doubt you are "too emotional." The fact is, even if you are "too emotional" by what standard is your super guaging that against? You aren't an instant cryer to get your way that much is clear.

It seems a shame to leave a company after 3 years because of a *&%$ of a boss like her. If your decision to leave is final, then while looking for another job and interviewing might I suggest you keep a full "daily diary" of events while at work.

Track *everything* including the amount of work you get through and what you did from one hour to the next - including brief conversation overviews. Keep the tracking going until the day you leave, and then when you leave, on your last day present it to your supervisor as a copy and say "over emotion this - this is MY evidence of the abuse by you and this has been copied to HR and the president of the companies office - you need to re-train and this will help them assess the areas YOU need to work on"

If you are not successful in your endeavours with the job interview from Monday, and time marches on, then you can use the diary as evidence when your next review comes up. You can produce evidence in a clear way and it will show her that her evidence is sorely lacking.

Write it all down day in day out. It really is the best way to handle it.

I had an employee attempt very strongly three times to have me dismissed because she simply does not like me. Why doesn't she like me? I don't like that she spends all day making personal calls and never doing the work I give her to do, so I tell her to get off the phone and to do the work. She sees that as me being a bitch - go figure. She makes upwards of 100 personal calls a day (I'm not kidding - I tracked her in a diary as evidence).

Her third attempt to have me fired she copied some crap or other with a bunch of lies about me to my boss, my bosses boss AND the chairman of the company. When I pointed out the fact that she had done this, my boss took her aside and asked her why she did it. She admitted to him (but never to me nor did she ever apologise to me) that she had done it out of spite. Spite for what? No idea.

Anwyay sorry this is so long winded - but just to repeat - write it ALL down and keep it. Use it when you really really need to and not before!

aylaanne
04-04-2006, 10:43 AM
While it looks like things may work out at your current job, I'd still look for a new one.

I'm a nursing student, and last semester I was taking a class with a woman who was a lot like your supervisor. I showed up über late one day due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, and it was the wrong day to show up late due to equally unfortunate circumstances. I was unable to contact her because I had forgotten my phone, and she was ripped. She ended up failing me on my midterm grade for that, and I had a nervous breakdown. The school worked with me on a solution, but ended up screwing up again this semester in similar ways. Now my graduation is in jeapordy.

Bad management never goes away. Even if your manager needs more "training", as your HR person says, that's no excuse for accusing you of being too "emotional". Training can only do so much, and the HR person not coming right out and saying that her behavior was uncalled for and she'd be spoken to says to me that you work for a company that likes to smooth over problems and pretend they don't happen rather than deal with them and keep them from happening again. I'd be looking for another job like gangbusters.