What would you do next?

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by warren502, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. warren502

    warren502 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    For the past three months I have been going through hell. A woman at work, who I have always been good friends with, decided to get annoyed with an email I sent. Instead of talking to me about it, she went straight to HR as in her words it was "condescending, inappropriate". Without going into details, HR looked into it and decided there was no case to answer from me. I am the manager, she is the assistant and although looking back I regret the tone of my email there was nothing that meant it should go any further.
    In any case I apologised for it to keep the peace, she accepted the apology and we all moved on. Or so U thought. The next day she went back to HR, complaining I was now ignoring her. The rest of the team said this was ridiculous. 2 days after that she stormed out the office saying I was looking at her aggressively. From there things snowballed. She would make a complaint, slowly upping the stakes until HR investigated and found no case worth answering.
    As the weeks went by the accusations went to racism, sexism, and bullying. She was signed off with stress and I found myself defending myself regularly with HR. Each and every accusation was disproved.

    The final accusation came from her via email at 2am one morning (when I suspect she had been drinking). She sent in a message to all senior management saying "this is an example of how inappropriate his behaviour is". She attached an email with the saluation "hey chopsticks". She also attached a copy of the urban dictionary which describes what "chopsticks" apparently means to the younger generation. Without going into details here it is extremely vulgar.

    Her big mistake also came here now. Upon receiving the chopsticks email, HR launched an investigation off their own back Did I mention she has refused to launch any "official" complaint because it "might hinder her career". At this stage however HR went through all my conversations with her via any work medium. The one thing that was discovered was that she had used the "chopsticks" term, not me. So basically she incriminated herself (although she has since accused the IT department of doctoring emails!)
    Work have now taken the decision that I am completely exonerated, and she has been told to resign or face being sacked (which still annoys me as surely this should be gross misconduct). however my work want to keep it out of the papers.
    At this moment we are just awaiting final details of her severance package but she has now had 3 months signed off with "stress". I however have continued to go to work day in day out throughout this whole debacle. I have a wife and two very young children and the stress and strain I have been through is off the scale. My work have been useless, constantly making sure she is ok - not once has anybody (apart from my immediate manager) even told me what the investigation has found, or even asked how I am coping. One of my senior managers did phone me early on however and state "if you are found guilty you will be out of your job with immediate effect)

    I now find myself absolutely livid. Firstly at her - why has she done this to me and my family? And secondly with my employer for the wy they have treated me through the whole situation. I am fed up of thinking about it - its the last thing I think about at night, and the first thing I think about in the morning.

    What do I do to get over this? My blood pressure is through the roof, I haven't slept properly in months and I seem to have lost my confidence somewhat...which is very strange for me as that has always been one of my main traits. I feel that everybody is against me (not true I know, I have had unwavering support from everybody in the office) and have a headache that just refuses to shift.

    But I don't want to get signed off with stress...or should I? In my mind that is almost an acceptance of guilt, that I have something to hide. Am I just being stupid? All I know is that my work and home life is being hugely impacted at the moment. Should I even consider suing her defamation? I am really worried "mud will stick" and my future reputation will be damanged

    Sorry for the long post. Has anybody been through anything similar?

    Many thanks
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: warren502 Member since: Oct 10, 2019
  2. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    12,602 3,280
    You are suffering from stress. See your doctor and take their advice.

    It is pointless anyone on here saying forget about it, she was at fault, she clearly had issues, etc etc. You know that already. The fact that you cannot move on, knowing that, is an indicator that this situation has seriously affected your mental health.

    If she had attacked you with a knife you would have sought medical help for the injury, The fact that she has attacked you mentally should not stop you seeking medical help for the injury she has caused.

    Make an urgent appointment with your doctor today and, if you work for a company that cares about its employees, talk to HR about what support is on offer from them.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
  3. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,978 3,506
    Follow Cyndy's advice and see a doctor.

    Breath deeply, relax and learn to grow a thicker skin - it comes with age and experience!

    If what you say is true (that is always a very big IF in such cases!) then it sounds as if you are dealing with a deluded psychopath or sociopath who wants to cause trouble and draw attention to herself.

    Such people are poison and cause trouble wherever they go. They are extremely narcissistic and can only see one point of view and have only one way to see the world about them. They can, however, be friendly and charming for a while at least.

    Typical for such people is a lack of achievement and an inability to maintain relationships with others over a longer period. Broken marriages and partnerships are the rule. They flit without success from one attempt at a career to another. There is always a fantastically reasonable explanation of why success once again has eluded them. But one thing is clear - it is always somebody else's fault (yet again!)

    A sociopath is someone who has learned to behave like this, often through abuse in childhood. They can be cured of this behavior, but easy it is not.

    A psychopath is born that way. They are not (IMO) mentally ill, but just see the world differently, as they do not know how to empathise with others. They see the world in a deluded and distorted way in which everything must happen immediately and for their benefit. In some cases, the psychopathy shows symptoms even at birth.

    The baby in one case, drank from the mother, vomited, drank again, vomited again and then screamed incessantly, as it wanted more milk. It went on to become a classic psychopath, charming, witty and intelligent - but failing at school, failing at two colleges, failing at a trade, failing at a re-education course in IT, failing to keep employment and during all this, failing to maintain any steady relationships and having only sporadic friendships.

    The sad fact is that these people can never accept their condition. The whole world conspires against them and they just cannot understand why that is. If you try, then you become just another person that is making difficulties for them.

    Such people are nearly always harmless - the only ones to suffer are themselves and those who try to get close to them (e.g. partners, employers). They only become physically dangerous if the condition is combined with other factors such as schizophrenia and a severely abusive childhood.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  4. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,980 714
    Yes you are being stupid. You have been through a horrible ordeal and are understandably suffering from stress. Stop suffering in silence - that will make it worse.... potentially much worse. Talk to your HR and go see a doctor.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  5. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,937 9,070
    Go see a doctor, get signed off with stress and take time to recover.

    I'd have done this months ago.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  6. JeffreyMills

    JeffreyMills UKBF Contributor Free Member

    51 21
    Get signed off
    Ask your employer about support, counseling/employee assistance.
    You need to talk through what has happened with a professional.
    No one would see time off with stress at this point, as a sign of guilt. But even if they did what does it matter? You need to be off to recover.
    Have you considered that you are the victim of severe bullying?
    Forget suing for defamation, it’s long, costly, expensive, stressful and you don’t have a good case.
    It’s understandable that you want”revenge” on this woman but at the end of all this, you have your job, your employer knows you are blameless. You have all that you need to recover- don’t destroy yourself “getting even” you’ve already won
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: JeffreyMills Member since: Sep 29, 2018
  7. warren502

    warren502 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    Thank you all, my mind is made up, I'm going to see HR in the morning. I work for a huge investment bank so there must be some kind of help available.

    Once again, thanks
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: warren502 Member since: Oct 10, 2019
  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,753 1,871
    You would hope so.
    If there is not through your employer then there is via your GP or maybe local charity groups.
    Or at the very least take a break - a week or two destressing will not solve problems but can help cope while getting help.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  9. Bob Morgan

    Bob Morgan UKBF Regular Free Member

    210 47
    How had we used to manage?
    Posted: Oct 11, 2019 By: Bob Morgan Member since: Apr 15, 2018
  10. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

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    In the past we "managed" by having a nervous breakdown as a result of the stress.
    Posted: Oct 11, 2019 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,753 1,871
    Every year some manage by ending - committing suicide.
    Posted: Oct 11, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  12. warren502

    warren502 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    I have just got home from work. Got to work with my mind made up to tell HR and just broke down in tears...spent two hours crying my eyes out and am now waiting for a doctors appointment.

    Thank you all for yr help
    Posted: Oct 11, 2019 By: warren502 Member since: Oct 10, 2019
  13. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,980 714
    Honestly.... that is a really good first step.
    Posted: Oct 11, 2019 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  14. Bigred2019

    Bigred2019 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 3
    @warren502 having been through a couple of breakdowns as I believed that was how you “managed” the stress, I just want to say well done for a.) having the courage to speak out b.) listening to the amazing and supportive advice given here and c.) taking action to be kind to yourself. You should be very proud of yourself. It takes a lot of strength to seek help
    Posted: Oct 12, 2019 By: Bigred2019 Member since: Oct 12, 2019