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Hi All

 

I am three months into my six month probation period. After three months of absolute positive feedback and being told they were satisfied they had made the right decision when employing me, my manager now tells me I have been a huge negative influence on the team since the moment I started. I'm convinced this is the start of them trying to a find a way of letting me go after my probation period ends.

 

The manager has only been in the team for two weeks and the previous manager is his wife, who is now his deputy (which is the first problem). His wife was the one giving me constant good feedback; saying how impressed she was with how quickly I learnt the job and how I was a positive influence in the team. When the new manager started, he reiterated this saying that he has heard nothing but good about me and that he also during his short time in team was impressed with the quality of my work and how fast I was picking things up.

 

Then this week he announces that the feedback he has received from the management team (there are 4 managers to a ratio of 9 staff) is that I have been a negative influence during the past three months and have brought the dynamics of the team down. When I questioned this, he said that this was the now and previous feedback received by the last manager (his wife) no longer mattered. These were his observations and I should accept them or leave. He then offered to "fix me" so I could contribute to the success of the team.

 

When I joined the team there was a certain anamosity towards the new starts (2 of us started at the same time). Existing staff would tell us we shouldn't be learning beyond the basics until they felt we were ready. We were told that we were bringing the reputation of the team down amongst the other departments as it was taking us longer to do the work and we were making mistakes. As for the mistakes, this meant it was taking longer to check our work therefore this was impacting their personal lives as they were required to work beyond their normal working hours. What a great welcome!?! I raised this with not only the manager but the team leader that was training me, and how this was impacting my confidence in my ability to do the work and that I didn't feel welcomed.

 

It is this team leader who has raised a complaint against me, saying that I had a negative approach to his training and was doing this openly with in the team, thus being a negative influence. This is the same team leader who gave me constant feedback how impressed he was with my learning progress and my willingness to learn. There was a debate within the team about some misinformation he had fed the new starts but I had little involvement in this, only to say that I hadn't been trained fully in the process and wasn't aware of why I had to do this particular task. The person that actually said to this guy that his training was lacking was his friend that he socialising outside of work. I have witnesses, including the person who made the offending comment, that are willing to back me up.

 

Since starting there have been 4 leavers all citing management as the reason, bearing in mind that 2 of us started at the same time as well as someone who started a month before us. So that's 7 new starts and leavers within 4 months!! The management are saying that these things happen at the time at every company. Not at any previous company I've worked for!!

 

Another thing, I was pulled up for my personal internet usage (another concern of this trainer/team leader) which I accepted. Immediately following this feedback this team leader sends links to websites (not work related) to all the team which they all proceeded to browse and discuss... except me, I'm not allow to use the internet for personal use during working hours!!

 

What I have started to do is record everything in writing and send my manager transcripts of our conversations. That way if my worse fears are realised and he is trying to end my probation then I have evidence. I will also start to tape our 1:2:1s. Now the thing is, they've been working on one of my colleagues to the point they are now off on long-term sick leave. It was the same thing; positive feedback all of the sudden turned negative, accusing them of things they aren't capable of doing. So I think it's my turn, they've worked their way through the established staff and now it's the newbies turn.

 

Any advice beyond what I'm already doing? It this technically harrasement??

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I hope the guys will be along later, but I'm afraid I think you may have a problem because you have been there for a short time. I think I'm right in saying that if you joined after April this year, they can ask you to leave without giving reasons within 2 years. It may not be personal, possibly the company has problems.

 

I'll see if I can find something on google about the two year thing.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello again. The ACAS site has this:

 

Employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed. In most circumstances employees will need to qualify before they can make a complaint to an employment tribunal:

 

  • at least one year's continuous service for employees in employment before 6 April 2012
  • two years for employees starting employment on or after 6 April 2012.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks Honeybee13

 

I think I will do them a favour and resign, once I've found another job. I had realised this wasn't the job for me shortly after I started, with all the tension in the team etc. It's a shame because the rest of the company is a delight to work for, it is only this team that have major problems which the department head is happy to ignore. All very curious.

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A really sad situation, but Honeybee is absolutely correct - it looks as though they are starting to manage you out of the business, for whatever reason, and they can do this at any time within the first two years of starting without you having any comeback unless they are acting for reasons of discrimination.

 

Far better - unless you feel that the hurdles can be overcome - to leave with good grace, and in a manner which will not damage any future reference that you might need.

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Thanks for both your advice. It looks like I will have to put up with the treatment and do it to them before they do it to me.:wink:

 

In all my 15 year career I have never encountered such behaviour in my entire life, not only towards me but towards my colleagues. I've seen people managed out before but it was warranted and handled in a professional thought out manner, i.e. the manager didn't go in guns blazing getting rid of absolutely everyone in the hope that one day him and his wife will have the perfect team. What is that all about, a husband and wife being in control of a department!?! It's not like it's a small local company. This is a large international company, who are usually opposed to situations like this.

 

It's a sad state of affairs that nothing can be done to stop it unless somehow it reaches the senior ranks of the organisation. But with a husband and wife managing the team that is never going to happen. Or if something dreadful happens and senior management are forced to sit up and take notice. At the end of the day he is just a silly little man with issues that wants absolute control and thinks the best way to do it is to belittle people.

 

Anyway thanks again for your help. As I said in my original post I knew all along that I didn't belong there and you've confirmed that I am indeed making the right decision to leave.

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Hello again.

 

I'm really sad it's come to this for you. I just hope that you find somewhere else that will appreciate your talents.

 

Please keep talking to us if we can help.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Beatrixx,

 

Sorry to hear of your circumstances.

 

I agree that this is not a healthy environment for you to be in and you will be much better off finding another job where you will be appreciated and encouraged to progress.

 

I found myself in a similar circumstance at my previous job where the first few months it was all you are doing well, we are pleased wth your progress until I started to feel more comfortable and confident within my role and then my manager turned on me and became a bully. The important thing to remember about these people are they are sad, lonely pathetic and insecure individuals who in my case did not have any control at home so came to work throwing their weight around and pushing people around.

 

Sounds to me that you too are doing too well within your job and this manager feels threatened by you and your abilities so they are picking at silly things to belittle and undermine you. They will never change no matter how high up the chain of command you go because the big corporations cannot afford to admit they have a problem with bullying in their organisation, so they will just lie and twist things to make you out to be the written apple and management have done nothing wrong.

 

Keep in mind this is nothing to do with you and says so much about this so called manager. You are worth and deserve so much better than this, so please take the necessary steps to move on and leave this pathetic little being to get on with it.

 

Stay strong

 

DJ

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Thanks DJ for your kind words,

 

You're the second person today to tell me the "turn around" is because I'm seen as a threat, but it's to the Team Leader. My manager, being inexperienced, just handled it poorly. There's been a couple of circumstances over the past couple of weeks where I've helped my colleagues with work-related issues (only minor things) and his reaction was a little bit OTT. I just thought he was being grumpy but now I know exactly what his problem was. It was me!!

 

No matter the reason for the sudden change in attitude towards me, I've made the decision to leave and will stick with it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

An update:

 

They did it. They got dismissed me before the end of my probation period, citing I didn't do enough overtime therefore was not ideal for the team. This is the day after I worked through my lunch and stayed behind for two hours to ensure work was completed before the deadline. A colleague also worked lunch but was told to go home an hour early. Less than 48 hours before my dismissal he, the manager, tried to tell me that overtime was complusory. My response was it wasn't as per my contract (which states you may work additional hours, not MUST work) and a reminder that I had been. He then pointed out days I hadn't and asked why. When I told him it was for personal reasons he demanded to know exactly what those reasons were. There's other stuff leading to this moment but I won't bore you. But he also cited that the other managers have complained but I spoke to two managers (who's names were mentioned during my brief interview) but they state they fought against my dismissal!!

 

Now I have composed a letter to HR and the director of the department outlining my concerns and my experience. Nothing bad, all very professional outlining my disappointment with the way the situation has been and what led up to this moment. Shall I send it?

 

I have also e-mailed HR asking them to confirm certain matters, i.e. final pay and if I am able to carry out the additional work I was due to work this weekend for another department (I'm still employed by them and am under notice). I also ask for a meeting so I could discuss my concerns about the reason given. They've not contact me, do they have a right to ignore my request for information?

 

Also should I have received my notice in writing?

And it turns out the person that complained about me never complained and the manager only did it to get information out of me about this other person, i.e. he wanted me to complain.

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I didn't realise the period of continuous employment to qualify for employment rights had gone up to 2 years!

 

I remember reading about it as a possibility but didn't realise it had actually gone through!

 

Doesn't help the op as less than a year had been completed.

 

But as an overall topic, it's about time we stood up to this diminishing of rights by the government. I am appalled.

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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I didn't realise the period of continuous employment to qualify for employment rights had gone up to 2 years!

 

I remember reading about it as a possibility but didn't realise it had actually gone through!

 

Doesn't help the op as less than a year had been completed.

 

But as an overall topic, it's about time we stood up to this diminishing of rights by the government. I am appalled.

 

Yep - happened from April this year.

 

Pretty poor decision, if you ask me!

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Beatrixx,

 

Sorry to hear your situation has escalated to dismissal.

 

Personally I would not bother sending your letter to HR as they are probably all too well aware of the situation with your manager and will just continue to bury their heads in the sand. I suggest the best you can hope for from this sorry mess is a reference and submitting a grievance may only spoil your chances of that.

 

Although it probably does not seem like it now, this is probably a blessing in disguise. Your manager is evidently a bully and in my experience they never change, so to stay on would only have meant more criticism, nitt picking and derogatory comments about you.

 

You deserve much better than this and a team that will welcome and encourage you right from day one, not feel insecure and threatened by you. Get yourself registered with 3 agencies and start the ball rolling in finding a new position.

 

In answer to your question about HR ignoring your request for information, legally they cannot ignore you. However I would let it go another week and then send them a polite reminder.

 

Most important of all, remember this sorry mess is nothing to do with you and just emphasises the point that you do not belong there.

 

You can leave with your head held high, no matter what stories they make up about you.

 

Good luck

 

DJ

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Honestly? don't bother with the letter. i've just been through a similar situation with an employer who was obsessed with sacking people before they'd reached 12 months service so they couldn't 'get him' in a tribunal. nothing you can say to them will matter - chalk it up to experience and move on..it's seriously not worth the effort.

"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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Thanks all for your comments.

 

You are all right about the letter. HR must know about the situation with the manager and they don't need me to remind them. I simply want a chance to defend myself and protect my reputation. I'm not angry, I can't tell you how pleased I am to be out of that situation. What I am concerned about is the way he did it and that I can't defend myself against the lies. Everything about the situation is wrong; the untruthful reason for my dismissal and the timing not only for me but the team. They have been extremely short on resource recently so why get rid of someone they know can do the work and will do the work. Doesn't make sense. It would have made sense for him to keep me through the busy Xmas period and then got rid of me. That's why I want to know the truth and I never will. Though I am almost certain it is because he saw me as a threat; he let it slip that he had received positive feedback about me from another department, the same department who has been complaining about him constantly.

 

Anyway as you have all mentioned I must move on with life, all the above is just waffle and me wanting to get it out of my system - it's finally hit me that I've no savings, a mortgage and no income over Xmas. Thank you all for your kind words, they mean a lot.

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Beatrixx,

 

Is perfectly normal that you want some answers to your questions, but unfortunately that is not going to happen.

 

You could tie yourself up in knots wondering who did what when and why, but that will only mess with your head and not get you anywhere.

 

I am convinced that your manager feels threatened by you and has manipulated things in order to justify getting rid of you. S/he has done this dozens of times before and will continue to do it long after you are gone, but that is not your problem or responsibility. I suggest that now you concentrate on looking after yourself and getting through your notice period with as little drama as possible.

 

I know it must be tough being made unemployed just before christmas and not knowing how you will pay your bills, but do not let your manager see that they have got to you because that is what they want. Hold your head high and do whatever you need to do in order to get through the next few weeks. I know that you will find another job where your skills will be both appreciated and rewarded as you deserve.

 

Do not allow these sad, lonely and insecure people get to you, you are worth 10 of them.

 

Keep your head held high.

 

DJ

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Beatrice, DJ is correct. Don't send that letter to HR. My advice to anybody is never even do an "exit interview", as these are invariably designed to cover the employer's back. For example, say you later decide to go to tribunal, they will claim, "She never mentioned that at the exit interview!"

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