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Feeling awkward at work should i say something

My boss can often make me feel awkward over my work what should i do

Hi all,

Here is the background to the issue

I have been working at my current job around 18 months as an accounts assistant. I did my degree in business and decided to go into accounting. I have complete CIMA base level and now halfway through the operational level so I have a reasonable level of knowledge. Every month end I am tasked with doing a number of tasks such as wage journal to the right department, accruals, prepayments, bank rec etc. 

In my position, I am only given limited information, for example, i have to wait for my manager to give me the payment amounts for each department and also have to request extra information to supplement the wage journal. Then when a mistake occurs my manager expects me to find the cause of the issue or she often gets in a funny mood e.g. just not talking to me, being off etc also sometimes just changing things without me knowing. The issue is I can only work with the information I have been given. For example, the wage journal was out this month due to me being told the post the petty cash receipts to the wrong place. 

This behaviour occurs at least once a month, I have approached her to allow me to do more jobs from start to finish so I am aware of all the information but this idea has just been pushed aside. Her behaviour is taking a serious effect on my happiness in my role and life. 

What would I like some advice on is what I should do next? As i dont feel as though i can approach her as I previously have and it has just been blown off.

Also am I taking her little moods to hard should I just toughen up a bit?

 

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By Ruddles
07th Nov 2017 13:29

Dust off your CV.

Thanks (2)
By mrme89
07th Nov 2017 13:43

She sounds like a mare.

As you say, if you get told to post something somewhere and it is wrong, that's not your fault. Don't let it get you down. Just correct the errors as you are presented with new information.

It would be wise to start keeping a diary of all these issues.

It also sounds as though you need to start looking for another job. You can ignore her attitude to a degree and rectify mistakes but it will never make an ideal work environment for you.

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By chatman
to mrme89
10th Nov 2017 10:53

Quote:
It would be wise to start keeping a diary of all these issues

I strongly agree with this. Even if you never need to take your employer to an employment tribunal (which you might), a log of your boss's unreasonable behaviour as well as any attempts you have made to deal with it, can be invaluable in dealing with so-called Human Resources (personnel) departments, should the need arise.

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07th Nov 2017 13:59

@ OP.

I would strongly recommend a phone call to ACAS (an independent organisation which offers sound advice to both employees and employers). Here is a link:-

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1662

Basil.

Thanks (3)
07th Nov 2017 14:50

"just been blown off" in current climate that brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Benefit in Kind".

Is there no one above her you could go to, as surely the overall employer would not want to keep hiring new staff every few months so it would need to be brought to their attention.

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to Glennzy
08th Nov 2017 12:42

.

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07th Nov 2017 14:57

Because work occupies so much of our lives and, provides a means to an end, I think it's important that you should be as "content" as one should reasonably expect in the working environment.
Only you can really decide but, in many ways, I think you've only got one choice, in the short to medium term. Move on.
And, for once, I think you've used the anonymous feature for it's correct intention.
I wish you well.
Oh, and I hope your boss manages to get some ointment for the nettle rash, on her [***].

Thanks (1)
07th Nov 2017 15:07

Your approach to her so far has been in connection with the tasks and specific work but it sounds like you now need to think about a formal grievance process.

Your employer should have provided you with the company's grievance procedures and you need to review these to see what your next step should be. Have a look at this:

https://www.gov.uk/raise-grievance-at-work

Whether this stipulates that you approach your manager or someone else, I'd suggest you have one more chat with her to set out what you have said above and that you feel you're not being allowed to develop your career or carry out your duties as effectively as you think you could.

If her response is still negative and unhelpful then you should immediately tell her that you wish to raise it as a formal grievance issue, which is when you'll need to follow the company's procedures.

If you feel uncomfortable about a face to face meeting then you should put it in a letter or email to her.

Good luck

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07th Nov 2017 17:07

Are we all leaping too hard one way on this?

We only have your side of the story to go on.

You mention not finding problems, when I worked in industry I would get hacked off when staff post garbage which they don't check properly. You mention wages, it ought not be difficult to rec the wages AFTER you post to make sure it was done correctly, at which point you would have spotted the dodgy a/c code you got given? This is day one stuff. I ALWAYS check all postings just incase they are wrong, so ensure all the balances come back to what I expected.

I wonder how much is poor direction, which means you don't know what you are supposed to be doing? A degree in bean counting isnt worth squat at this point in your career (I have one) its practical experience which counts.

So whilst you may be missing some helpful guidance, is it they don't think you are up to it? You need to prove yourself to your boss too, its a two way street.

Yes this sounds like poor management, but poor management is a fact of business life. Good bosses are a very rare thing, infact I cant think of any I have really respected on all fronts, but many I have respected for SOME aspects. Eg the one who was rubbish helping me manage my staff (which I myself am a duffer at) , but who taught me how to tie up a set of management accounts tightly all the crap comes to the top. That has been really useful. She never gave me any praise either, but when I was leaving she came out with all this stuff I didn't think she had even noticed about how well I had done with various problem areas which are no longer problem areas and how she would miss her "Mr Fixit". I thought i just got the [***] jobs as she didn't like me, but turns out she didn't think the other person at my level could have done it so they got all the easy job.s

Going through your business life you need to learn what you can, from who you can. Sometimes you do need to listen and suck it up, even if what is being said is unfair or unhelpful.

So whilst you clearly need to try and address these issues flouncing off into the sunset may not be the answer.

I would start by asking for a review, and trying to go along the lines of "I need your help to get better", "I can do more for you, but I dont quite understand XX", "how can I learn more about YYY?" "when I did the June rec it went wrong, I would like to learn how to do it right so I don't make the same mistake again, how can I do that?"

Bean counters are often "numbers people" and so poor managers, and whilst it looks like you got a bad one here sometimes you just have to bide your time and work with it.

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
08th Nov 2017 12:41

.

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07th Nov 2017 19:34

Sounds like you're being a bit soft. Someone being upset isn't always the same as the other person being a bully.

Some people have a lot on their plates at work. They don't always have the time or the patience to stroke someone's feelings and ask how they are.

eg There is an error. It needs finding. It sounds like she is asking you to find it. So find it. Fix it!

If I were here, I'd probably be wondering why I was spending my day chasing round errors when I have other things to be doing. I'd be wondering why an entire team of staff show up every day just to make errors then get narky about fixing them.

Just another perspective so that the entire thread isn't about everyone telling you that you're being "bullied" and should report her for it - in 20 years time perhaps - once she has more money to take! [joke!]

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to AnnAccountant
08th Nov 2017 12:43

.

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By chatman
to AnnAccountant
10th Nov 2017 11:04

Quote:

Sounds like you're being a bit soft. Someone being upset isn't always the same as the other person being a bully.

No, but being rude to your subordinates is being a bully. It is not for any of us to tell the OP he is being soft. Sometimes the boss just stops talking to him, so there is clearly an issue with her here. That is what we need to be dealing with, not, not using this thread to indulge our own personal emotional inadequacies.

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08th Nov 2017 07:34

Alright, it's not a case of being "too soft" or toughening up - it's about analysing the issue, isolating the key components, taking 100% ownership of the issue.

The best way to tackle a problem like this where you have a manager who isn't the best at personal skills, is to present a direct business case for change - make it so good that it can't be ignored.

Let's ignore the leadership skills of your manager and her funny moods for the moment and focus on the internal operating procedures.

I would be doing the following:

Process Map

Firstly, put together a process map of your department's functions and how things flow. This is best presented in a visual format.

So using a very simplistic example:

Post Wages --> Wait for information --> Work through information --> Wait for additional information --> work through information ---> mistake happens --> Option 1 / Option 2 ---> extra info to fix mistake received --> complete job

Be sure to document how long you have to wait for information, the impact this has on the department etc.

Improve the process

Once you've finished the map, rearrange the elements so you can come up with a more efficient process. Clearly detail why you're looking to implement changes, what efficiency can be achieved with your changes and why they would be better for overall departmental performance.

For instance:

1. Efficiency gains if you had all the information up front
2. Wages journal posted in the wrong place - why did this happen? What can be put in place internally to stop it happening? Is it an IT issue? A training issue? A procedural issue?

You should be looking for around 2000 words here, anything less then you've not thought about it properly.

Discuss with your manager

Approach your manager directly with your solution first and see what she thinks. Do not go over her head or CC in the finance director or you're setting yourself up for a whole world of resentment from your manager (based on what you've said about her).

The majority of reasonable managers would analyse your suggestion and provide full detailed feedback on why your analysis will/won't work.

Any reasonable manager would also realise that since you've gone to the effort to do this and you clearly care about you work and know the department processes inside out, you should perhaps be given more responsibility.

If she ignores your e-mail or doesn't give you feedback, this is the point you approach the FD or senior manager.

End Game

If all the above fails and you're still getting nowhere, then move job immediately.

If you think about it, this one manager has a high degree of power to influence the rest of your professional career - DO NOT GET COMPLACENT HERE.

Switch immediately and find better employment.

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to KevSteel
08th Nov 2017 12:42

.

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to kevinb5555
08th Nov 2017 12:50

Meanwhile, leave our smartphone on record to capture some incriminating behaviour / unprovoked verbal attacks / unprofessional outbursts by your bullying boss. Try to include her bad mouthing others, particularly anyone higher up the food chain.

Think of all the other ways you might stab her in the back. Does she let her guard down by drinking lunchtime, arriving late, or trawling the internet's darker regions? Find out which dating sites she subscribes to, and befriend her anonymously online. You need to dig up some dirt!

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08th Nov 2017 09:47

Been there bought the t-shirt. It can be difficult dealing with something like this. I’ve had my fair share of horrendous bosses in the past. Over time it can wear you down and affect your confidence. I recall one particular manager who expected senior staff to work all kinds of crazy hours, sometimes 7 days a week with no time in lieu. I took that [***] for five years. It was back in the old fax machine days. All senior staff received fax messages with J.F.D.I. on it when he had something on his mind. What I wouldn’t give to have a copy of one of those faxes now. I’d sue his [***] off.
I’d write down a few of your issues and have examples of why the error was not in your control or your fault. Approach the manager concerned and ask how you can do better and learn from your mistakes. Above comments are correct, it is very rare to find a good boss. It does take a lot of management time to train someone and correct their mistakes which can be frustrating.
No harm to get your CV up to date and keep your options open.

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to Slim Freddie
08th Nov 2017 12:27

Slim Freddie, dare I ask what J.F.D.I means?

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to ScribbleD
08th Nov 2017 12:48

Just
Finely/Fruitfully/Faithfully/Firmly
Do
It

I may not have the right word for F. :-)

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to stepurhan
08th Nov 2017 15:00

Stepurhan, you got it one! It’s so long ago I can laugh about it now. It’s worlds apart from what employees moan about these days. We all have to earn our stripes somewhere.

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08th Nov 2017 10:15

kevinb5555 wrote:

This behaviour occurs at least once a month

Well, there's a clue.

Do look up the minimum period CIMA accept with one employer towards your overall practical experience. Yours truly was caught out many moons ago having spent level 2 of ACCA (9 subjects over 3 years of day release in those days) with two (separate employers) employment stints of 18 months apiece; whereupon the ACCA changed their rules to exclude employment periods of less than 2 years.

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to I'msorryIhaven'taclue
10th Nov 2017 09:59

Yes - management accounts generally happen on a monthly basis.

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08th Nov 2017 10:12

another thing to consider is if this person is the same with other staff members, or just you?
do they feel threatened by you, maybe they don't have formal qualifications? Are you a replacement staff member, or in a new position - perhaps they feel insecure in their job and think you're there to take some of their "power" away. just asking as i was in a job many years ago when a large company decided to devolve some of its central services. The fixes assets were controlled by a very foreboding, middle aged lady who then proceeded to only pass on the minimum info needed and would relish people getting things wrong. she would then make a song and dance about "i told you so!" to her bosses!!!

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to Kim Jong Un's Hair
11th Nov 2017 10:01

Withdrawn as offending post now withdrawn

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10th Nov 2017 10:06

We don't have information on how well you are performing what is expected of you. If she is changing things, ask her to tell you what she has changed and why, so you can learn from your mistakes - or look through it the following month. Be honest with yourself too though: are there things that you are struggling to understand?
It is normal at your level for your work to be reviewed and changed where necessary. 18 months is not a lot of experience but it is enough time in one job for you to realistically appraise how well it suits you.
There are bad managers all over the place and you will come across them in your career. At the end of the day, whether it's down to your ability, her ability or a combination of the two, you have to decide whether it's the right place for you to be spending most of your waking time. Do you want the hassle of grievance procedures, etc, or is it easier to cut your losses and move to a working environment where you're going to be happy. One thing for sure: it won't be a happy environment if she is a bully and thinks you are out to get her.

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10th Nov 2017 10:41

Sadly experience taught me that if this continues it will effect you more and more.

I appreciate that may not want to go down the route of approaching a higher manager. This can be as fruitfull as doing nothing.

AS to CIMA rules well they cant be changed but can you go through another 6 months .... You must be pretty badly affected to put it on accountingweb.

So my advice is to start looking for a new post and move as soon as you have found another that suits. Good Luck

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By Ammie
10th Nov 2017 11:01

Not a firm platform to progress.
Time to consider a more suitable job.
I would not be surprised if this person causing you grief is of limited ability and winging her way through each day or maybe she doesn't cope with pressure too well.
Part of her job is to manage staff.
In my opinion taking the HR grievance approach will probably make your life more difficult, although it is an option, I wouldn't bother.
You need not tolerate it, leave her to manage her own little world and don't get trapped in a world of accepting substandard work and then getting in the habit of delivering it yourself, (easily done), you deserve better. Good luck.

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By chatman
10th Nov 2017 10:55

Quote:
It would be wise to start keeping a diary of all these issues

I strongly agree with this. Even if you never need to take your employer to an employment tribunal (which you might), a log of your boss's unreasonable behaviour as well as any attempts you have made to deal with it, can be invaluable in dealing with so-called Human Resources (personnel) departments, should the need arise.

Thanks (1)
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By bilbob
10th Nov 2017 10:56

Hi

You sound reasonably young and unfortunately you do come across these people in the work place. If it is a small firm with little or no managerial hierarchy the "rules" tend to go out of the window. She could feel threatened if you are part qualified and bright so does now want you having too much visibility, but this is no excuse for her. My advice would be to learn what you can and move on as over time it will get to you and will probably affect your confidence. A bit of "toughening-up" is no bad thing though! You could try and send out vibes that they are pushing it too far- answering back and fighting your corner so to speak-, but this may just make it worse if you have to work very closely with her and she has the "ear" of the bosses.

ATB

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10th Nov 2017 11:02

In a similar situation here, but before someone says 'move jobs' you have to consider the amount of time someone has been in a job...moving jobs would remove any benefits built up in that position.
Current manager just sends one line email with no follow up talking or discussion even when approached.

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to alan.falcondale
11th Nov 2017 10:09

Agree - if the job is right for you and will be a valuable part of your career, it's worth fighting for, why should it be you who has to move? If your manager really is incapable of managing and the firm's processes unable to deal with this then stick to your guns.

With regard to grievance procedures, in my experience these rarely have to go the whole way, it's enough sometimes just to raise the prospect of instigation as it has to get senior management involved who may be completely unaware of the problem.

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