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Oh Shit! I really need advice ...work related!

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Exit Wounds posted 7/12/2013 08:44 AM

I really need help BAAD and FAST!!!

I am totally freaking out here. A few weeks ago my manager at work was really overstepping his boundaries. Too detailed to discuss here (nothing sexual just procedures at work). I decided I had enough! I went to HIS supervisor and stated my complaint. His supervisor said he will look into it. A few days later the manager called me into his office and basically "backtracked" and in so many words had to agree with what I had stated in the first place.

Fast forward a three weeks.

We were in the office said manager was out. We were just all talking and joking (small office of five). One brought up the fact that now said manager is trying to dictate about the times we can and can not go to the bathroom. -He doesn't want anyone leaving the office 15 min before closing etc.
Everyone was shocked b/c we work in a small office and it's pretty laid back. We are all adults and females at times have to use the bathroom more due to periods etc. Anyways as we were all just openly talking and "bitching" about how we can't even go to the bathroom without being "noticed" I said :"If it gets too bad, do what I did. I went to X (his boss) and I put Y (manager) in his place!"
That is ALL I said. I have to admit I probably sounded a bit cocky and I am aware that that was a BIG MISTAKE on my part. -I was just comfortable, thought I am making friends with the other two women in my office and I thought I was giving great advice!
Well, now the men thought nothing of it, but the two women went to that manager and complained! X (his supervisor) got involved pulled me into the office and asked what had happened. I was honest to a point. I said I don't remember exactly what I had said but in so many words I said to go to Y's boss if they feel that Y is overstepping his boundaries! Now HR got involved!
I have not been told details yet as far as what if anything will happen to me but I am scared to death!!! I am scared that I will lose my job over this.
Am I overreacting?

I am scared to death!!!
Maybe its not a big deal b/c of freedom of speech?! I said nothing threatening. But I did say " I know how to put him in his place." I went to his boss and he had to retract what he originally pulled me in the office for."

Please help!!!

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 9:03 AM, July 12th (Friday)]

FeelsSoRight posted 7/12/2013 08:54 AM

Wow I can relate. I have that hoof and mouth disease myself...

If I understand it correctly, if it were me, I'd just write out a statement of what happened - exactly. And mention the part about women needing to use the restroom more frequently because of female issues. If it still does not go well, that little nugget is your saving grace. The manager is discriminating against you because as a woman, you may need that extra restroom visit. And above and beyond that, it is discriminatory period (no pun intended) because you cannot help your bodily functions as a human being...if ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

The only thing I can see that they do have you on is that you told someone about an issue that shouldn't have been shared with coworkers. I can't see much more than a verbal reprimand/warning for that. (kind of like discussing wages/salary amongst coworkers - it is a no-no in most workplaces.)

sunandmoon posted 7/12/2013 08:55 AM

It really could be nothing. Or there could be issues they are working through with the manager and HR is involved and needs to document this as an example. All of that said- be honest. If something comes up and it looks like you have been dishonest regaining your credibility and people being able to trust you will take a lot on your part. Take the hit now if you have to.

Just my $0.02.

sunandmoon

Exit Wounds posted 7/12/2013 08:57 AM

OK first off thanks for the quick replies. I am shaking I am so scared right now.

So from what I see, neither of you guys thinks I could loose my job over this, right?!

ETA
I did not say WHAT I talked to his supervisor about just THAT I did. And stupid me...I bragged about the fact that "I know how to put him in his place"
Yeah, I cringe just thinking I said that. I am so embarrassed. It was just the convo and we all were laughing about being watched for bathroom breaks etc...

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 9:01 AM, July 12th (Friday)]

Tred posted 7/12/2013 09:19 AM

EW,

From your description, I wouldn't be overly concerned. First, not sure how your manager can dictate potty breaks, unless it's a rule in the corporate handbook. The only thing I can see where they would have any beef with you is advising your co-workers to jump over the manager and go to his boss before you take your beef up with him. Now, if you are concerned about retaliation from him, then it's justified. And just because you bragged about putting him in his place isn't grounds for discipline unless you've been warned about it before. And technically, his boss put him in his place - you just provided the information to make it happen. IMO, HR is involved as they want to document this before it escalates: three women complaining about a boss to his supervisor in this short of a time period probably perked some ears that all isn't well in your microcosm. They probably want to document what is going on before they are dealing with a lawsuit. Just my opinion as a manager...

Exit Wounds posted 7/12/2013 09:23 AM

Tred,

thank you for your help. Let me clarify something. The other two women did not complain about him beyond "bitching" amongs ourselves. I was the only one to go to his boss and complain. The other's backstabbed me by going to the very same boss they just bitched about and snitched on me for saying what I said.

[This message edited by Exit Wounds at 9:38 AM, July 12th (Friday)]

Tred posted 7/12/2013 09:33 AM

The other's backstabbed me by going to the very same boss they just bitched about and snitched on me for saying what I did.

Then even less to worry about. If I had to act every time someone comes to me about another co-worker I'd have to work an extra 8 hours a week. From what you related in the original post, you explained what you did under a circumstance to your co-workers that alleviated an issue you had with this manager. That part is true, correct? That you embellished it with putting him in his place can maybe get you a reprimand just for insubordination, but that's all I could see. And unless there are clear written guidelines on potty breaks your direct supervisor shouldn't be setting bodily function time. It really sounds to me like the HR department wants to make sure that things don't escalate. And since it's a case of you telling peers, who subsequently went to your boss, it's not like you directly offended him. Just be honest with HR and say you vented like you did because he was making nonsensical demands, and you related how you dealt with that situation in the past. Admit you could have phrased it better, but it's still the truth.

Exit Wounds posted 7/12/2013 09:38 AM

BIG sigh of relief!
Yes, this manager is off his rocker...he is micormanaging to the nth degree.
Thank you again, Tred.

tushnurse posted 7/12/2013 10:37 AM

I agree with the others. I would also suggest that those women, who act like that cannot be trusted. EVER.
As a Nurse who has worked with primarily women my entire life, I can say that they treat each other horribly, and tend to for whatever reason work against each other. I have seen it time and time and time again.
If you have an issue keep it to yourself. Be nice, have fun with them, but remember they are workmates, NOT friends.

Exit Wounds posted 7/12/2013 13:37 PM

I am just shocked that the very people who were complaining are the same women who then turn around and "turn me in" to that so hated man...

nowiknow23 posted 7/12/2013 13:40 PM

I am just shocked that the very people who were complaining are the same women who then turn around and "turn me in"
Sadly, I am not.

Catwoman posted 7/12/2013 13:53 PM

Despite how friendly they may act, it is highly important to set personal behavior boundaries at work. Your situation illustrates why this is very important.

What you said and how you said it was highly inappropriate in a setting of peers, and them running with the information has set you up (potentially) as the boss's enemy.

But enough of the lecture--I hope you use this experience to put and keep a lid on your workplace demeanor and remember that these people are your co-workers, NOT your buddies.

More importantly, maybe some self-introspection to figure out why you would say something like that and how it can and should be avoided in the future.

In life, but especially at work, some bells just cannot be unrung.

Cat

jrc1963 posted 7/12/2013 13:54 PM

but remember they are workmates, NOT friends.

This should be your mantra from now on...

and I agree with NIK... I am not at all surprised that those women went and tattled. Sadly, I'm afraid it's S.O.P in todays current workplace environment.

Exit Wounds posted 7/12/2013 14:02 PM

Point taken but will I potentially lose my job over this?

jrc1963 posted 7/12/2013 14:08 PM

If your boss is off his rocker and feels like retaliating then you could find work life very uncomfortable for awhile....

As for losing your job, I think it really depends on the procedures and policies in place at your company.

I personally don't think you're going to be sacked... You may be talked to tho...

uncertainone posted 7/12/2013 14:47 PM

What you said and how you said it was highly inappropriate in a setting of peers, and them running with the information has set you up (potentially) as the boss's enemy.

This. Problem is it can be not just your boss that views you as this. Companies don't like workplace drama or those they feel instigate or foster it.

If you are in at at will state you can be let go regardless of reason, unless it's a clear discriminatory act that involves protected classes.

I hear people bring up "hostile work environment" IRL along with cracker jack wisdom of "they can't do that". In almost 90% of the scenarios described the reality is "yes they can".

Just taking "the win" and not registering it was the way to go. That said lay low, keep your answers short, polite, and try to distance yourself as much as possible.

One thing positive, most managers I know, including myself, HATE tattle tales. When an employee comes to me and starts "you know what so and so said about you?" my response is always "do you know what you're doing is saying about you?". That usually stops the nursery school recess antics.

Hang in there and line up back up options. Always a good idea anyway.

Dark Inertia posted 7/12/2013 20:41 PM

I just want to say I am sorry, that sucks, and I feel like I would know how you feel... Embarrassed and slighted. I wish I had better advice :(

Phoenix1 posted 7/13/2013 01:30 AM

After 20+ years in management, it is highly unlikely you will lose your job over this. They may or may not discuss it with you. If they do, own up to it since there are two witnesses, and acknowledge that what you said was inappropriate and won't happen again. The other advice of keeping a low profile and not trusting your coworkers is highly advisable.

Never say anything to make your boss look bad or that could be perceived as humiliating to him/her. They can make your life a living hell in retaliation for the sole purpose of forcing you to leave. I've seen that tactic used many times. And NEVER trust that your coworkers won't rat you out - there are a lot of brown-noser's out there looking for such an opportunity.

Until your micromanaging boss actually tries to implement restricted potty breaks, it is all conjecture. If/when that happens, you try to reason with him directly. If that doesn't resolve it, THEN you take it to the next level. Don't jump the chain of command until you have no other choice.

[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 1:45 AM, July 13th (Saturday)]

Deeply Scared posted 7/15/2013 12:00 PM

Hi EW...

Just thinking of you and hoping your day isn't too uncomfortable

Exit Wounds posted 7/15/2013 12:44 PM

Thank you guys!
I feel so loved...

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