Boss is micromanaging me and still in my probation

So i started a job in August and was fine for a few months but since October my boss has become a nightmare but I'm starting to think she's doing it intentional so i don't pass my probation at the end of Jan. Do I go to HR? There is no point talking to her as she can be very challenging when you even say anything she doesn't like. 

So a little run down of whats been going on:
  • she has to proofread all of my work ( none of my team can) 
  • Not allowed private calendar - but everyone else is 
  • Told me we were doing a checklist for things and i should know this - no one in the team does it
  • Tells me off for things but actually never knew about the process change
  • goes through my calendar and questions every single thing on it - even if its reminders i have put in 
  • never given me any positive feedback 
  • Never told me about whether i will pass my probation 
  • moved my 1-2-1 three times in one week - 10 min before the meeting was to start
  • seems to have favourites with another team member
What do I do ? I have a month of my probation left and i wont pass as shes making me look incompetent 
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  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,817
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    edited 1 January at 2:44PM
    Dtownie said:
    So i started a job in August and was fine for a few months but since October my boss has become a nightmare but I'm starting to think she's doing it intentional so i don't pass my probation at the end of Jan. Do I go to HR? There is no point talking to her as she can be very challenging when you even say anything she doesn't like. 

    So a little run down of whats been going on:
    • she has to proofread all of my work ( none of my team can) 
    • Not allowed private calendar - but everyone else is 
    • Told me we were doing a checklist for things and i should know this - no one in the team does it
    • Tells me off for things but actually never knew about the process change
    • goes through my calendar and questions every single thing on it - even if its reminders i have put in 
    • never given me any positive feedback 
    • Never told me about whether i will pass my probation 
    • moved my 1-2-1 three times in one week - 10 min before the meeting was to start
    • seems to have favourites with another team member
    What do I do ? I have a month of my probation left and i wont pass as shes making me look incompetent 
    Given that you can be "let go" for no reason at all during the first two years of employment then, in effect, you are on "probation" for two years.

    So called probation has very little meaning in employment law. It may convey certain benefits if passed (such as a higher rate of pay or more holiday etc) it which case that must be honoured but it is no guarantee of long term employment.

    HR are not a neutral arbiter! Primarily they are there to do the managements bidding, whilst ensuring the pesky staff don't cause too much trouble! So unless this lady's management style is causing the firm wider problems it is unlikely that HR will be much help and you may well make the situation worse.

    Obviously (based on one side of the story) this is not a good management style but it may be that she is genuinely unhappy with certain aspects of your work? Perhaps it would be best to directly ask? Within reason take on board any points of concern and try to seek a positive way forward.

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,298
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    Ask her.  If she can't or is unwilling to discuss then escalate to HR.

    Also look at your overall situation.  Has her behaviour soured the company for you?  What are your alternatives if you don't pass probation??  It's possible that probation will be extended but that should include a solid improvement plan of some sort.  If it doesn't how will you know how/what to improve?  What would happen if she says she can't continue to support you?  If you were let go how would that affect your future employment?  

    Your comments about her remind me of a manager I had a number of years back.  She replaced my manager and I got negative comments from her from the start.  She didn't like how informal I was in emails to her.  My previous manager was pleased with a simple thumb's up response but she wanted a Dear S, 3 paragraphs of discussion, regards Brie.  Having not done this on the first email I responded to she immediately put me on an improvement plan rather than having a chat about it.  She changed all of my duties and then complained I wasn't doing them properly.  When I asked for feedback on a paragraph I wanted to include in a document she criticised that I hadn't included the whole document properly formatted to a standard she hadn't told me about.  Essentially she was a bully and after a while I complained about this.  I might have managed to force the issue further but eventually I decided that she was never going to be a good person for me to work with and so I asked for a move to a different part of the department. 

    My alternative would have been to leave the company and look for work elsewhere.  And I would have needed to do that rather than being taken down a disciplinary route as that would have barred me for a lot of jobs in the majority industry in the area where I lived and worked.  This happened to a friend who kept having her probation extended and extended and after nearly 2 years was dismissed as incompetent.  She was successful getting a job at another company but when they discovered she'd been dismissed they let her go as that was the standard response in the industry. 

    Best of luck on trying to sort the situation - I hope it eventually works to your advantage.  It did for me as I remained in the company quite happily in a variety of roles for another 12 years.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • prettyandfluffy
    prettyandfluffy Posts: 643
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    Sounds to me like she lacks confidence/experience/trust.  You can keep plugging away and hopefully she'll be reassured that you're a safe pair of hands, or suggest minor changes that would perhaps remove the necessity for this level of control.  However based on what you've said, she may not be amenable to loosening her grip.  If this is the case, others will be aware of it.  In your situation I would be making a Plan B.
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077
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    Hi,
    so if she assess your performance, who assess her performance. maybe talk to them.
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,337
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    I wouldn't specifically be comparing yourself to people who aren't on probation other than to consider if that's because they have worked with this manager for longer, suggesting she will stop micromanaging once you're not 'new'. 

    Is this company one where, after passing probation, there's a good chance you can move to a different team/area or where staff/management move around a lot in general? 

    If so, I'd treat this like training - most of it you already know, but it's not going to be for much longer you're getting paid so who cares. 

    If not and this is the type of company where a team is a fairly fixed unit, then you might want to more seriously consider the situation and your options. 


    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,025
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    As someone who went thru very similar and lost my job a month ago due to it - manager involved was also HR - small family firm so no one else to go to about it, I'd say be very careful. Cover your back, if you're going to escalate make sure you've got examples/evidence to give and consider looking elsewhere.
     
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,999
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    Hi,
    so if she assess your performance, who assess her performance. maybe talk to them.
    Yup, if you want to wreck any chance of getting on with your boss, that's the way to go... (and a P45 will probably be yours next month).
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • housebuyer143
    housebuyer143 Posts: 3,168
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    edited 2 January at 9:07AM
    Honestly, I wouldn't go to HR with that, she can probably explain it all away and HR are not miracle workers, likely nothing will come of it other than your boss really hates you.

    I would talk to her and just say something casually like "have I done something to upset you?". Her reaction will show you what she is like right off the bat and it she wants to discuss why you feel that way you can raise a few of these points. I actually did this to one of my managers once and she was horrified she was doing it and she never did it again. 

    I worked on a job 10+ years and they changed the manager with someone I just couldn't get on with. She was rude, hated part timers, would !!!!!! about my work over the desk in front of everyone and honestly just a terrible manager. Ultimately I had to leave because although I was at no risk of firing, you can't make someone change if they don't want to and it was unpleasant.

    You might need to accept that if sitting down and telling her how her actions are upsetting you do no good, you might need to go if you are not happy. 
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,337
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    I would talk to her and just say something casually like "have I done something to upset you?". Her reaction will show you what she is like right off the bat and it she wants to discuss why you feel that way you can raise a few of these points. I actually did this to one of my managers once and she was horrified she was doing it and she never did it again. 
    You could also frame the conversation as natural check-in at a month before the end of probation (there's nothing wrong with explicitly asking if you're currently passing probation) - I suggest trying to stick to terms re how you are feeling, not what she is doing (not criticising, trying to understand if your perceptions are accurate).

    i.e. 'I want to make sure I'm meeting your expectations but sometimes I feel like I don't have your confidence as you seem to be managing me more closely than other members of the team. Are there specific areas you think I should focus on or any feedback you think might improve my performance?'
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,817
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    Brie said:
    Ask her.  If she can't or is unwilling to discuss then escalate to HR.

    Also look at your overall situation.  Has her behaviour soured the company for you?  What are your alternatives if you don't pass probation??  It's possible that probation will be extended but that should include a solid improvement plan of some sort.  If it doesn't how will you know how/what to improve?  What would happen if she says she can't continue to support you?  If you were let go how would that affect your future employment?  


    That is not HR's role!

    I do however largely agree with much of your second paragraph. However whilst it "should" include "a solid improvement plan of some sort", realistically there is nothing the OP can do about it if one isn't forthcoming. 
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