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Work Stress

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


ann Report 18 Jun 2013 22:10

I have been off work for 4 weeks with work stress. Never ever been off before with it in my life. My senior as some people on here from years ago know what a lazy person she was and always amongst the missing. I have always covered her. She got greedy and gave me more work than I could handle in my hours contracted. I lost it and had to go sick as I could not do all the work. I had to see a company doctor today and feel more stressed out. He told me I should have not gone sick. Should have spoke to my manager. I did. He wanted it in writing. I did that. He wanted more specific. Cant do that as if I am on computer she reads my e-mails. The doctor went back to my arthritis and my weight. What does that have with work stress? Think I may lose my job.


~Lynda~ Report 18 Jun 2013 22:13

Do you belong to any union Annie? If so have a word with them, if not make sure you get the right advice, maybe CAB could help in the first instance.

It sounds like you are being bullied to me, and that;s not fair at all, you don't deserve that, nobody does. I hope you get some help soon



eRRolSheep Report 18 Jun 2013 22:20

Annie how long have you been there? That sort of thing can be terrible and can feel very lonely. If you want a bit of advice from someone that knows quite a bit about this subject please feel free to PM me.


ann Report 18 Jun 2013 22:25

No union Lynda, I have to go to head office now, Going to take one of my daughters with me. I am laid backed and will help anyone out. This doctor has recommended that I do a assertive course. Don't think that this course will change me as a person


Lyndi Report 18 Jun 2013 22:26

Annie, I take it you have seen your own doctor. I don't think the company doctor should be telling you that you shouldn't have gone sick, but then he is paid by the company and they don't like the words 'work related stress' :-(
Take care, and don't let them bully you x

Elizabeth A

Elizabeth A Report 18 Jun 2013 23:35

Hi Annie,
You might find ACAS, a help.. They have helped me in past with work related issues.
To quote them "Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations."

You can phone them up too, and it costs nothing. They are really up to date, ith employment matters.


Elizabeth A

Elizabeth A Report 18 Jun 2013 23:36

Just another thought, keep a note of everything, time , date etc too


JustJohn Report 18 Jun 2013 23:48

The dreaded words at work these days - we have referred you to "occupational health". They seem to be 100% employer, 0% employee. Some employers are really relishing the economic situation, aren't they :-(

Just hope it all works out for you, Annie. Assertiveness course may be useful, and probably best to cooperate with bosses. You seem a good employee, and they must need your skills. So put the ball in their court. See what they suggest at the meeting.


eRRolSheep Report 19 Jun 2013 00:03

Assertiveness courses, although often good in their own right (even though some are run by so called experts who have not got an actual clue and are only running the courses because they cannot actually function properly in the workplace themselves) are not necessarily the immediate answer. When one has perceived low self esteem, exacerbated by the way that the company has handled events and situations in the run-up and ensuing time, the last thing on one's mind is attending a course. That may come in time.


JustJohn Report 19 Jun 2013 00:12

It was the doctor who mentioned assertiveness course. It is often the boss who has low self-esteem and feels insecure. I get the impression that Annie knows exactly how useful her skills are in her employment. And how hard and effectively she can work.

I think the doctor has a point personally. Assertiveness courses can help with "managing your boss" and - heavens knows - some bosses need managing these days. The boss will be under immense pressure, I would think, if Annie cannot return soon. The work has to be done.


maggiewinchester Report 19 Jun 2013 00:22

Annie, you mention work-related stress to a 'superior' - and they'll try to blame anything/everything else!!
Five of us at work are doing twice the work the previous team of 5 were doing. Every year we have an IPP - personal plan for the year - what courses et we wat to do. For 3 years I said I wanted to go on the courses we administer, for 3 years, my line manager wrote 'unable to because of workload' - but nothing was done, more work loaded on to us.
Last year I had had enough, and was off work for 3 weeks. Went back with a typed out explanation, reasons and various reasons why the workoad was made more difficult - mainly the officers above us demanding stuff at the last minute, and basically not knowing their jobs!!
I had also been having tests for strange physical problems I had - finally was diagnosed with diverticular disease - which got worse when I was stressed!!
The rest of the team were asked if they were stressed - they were, but only 2 admitted it.
One was then off with stress - but she admitted she was having relationship problems - but which came first - and she also suffered with depression, so this was blamed as the cause of her stress.

They tried the same thing with me - blaming my home life. I pointed out that I have lived alone for 15 years, have (fortunatley) never suffered from depression - until then - and, quite frankly, one of my cats bringing in a dead mouse doesn't stress me out, but work overload, previously admitted by my manager did.
I've had stage 1 'capability' procedure - took a union rep with me, he was useless.

After stage 1 I was sent to Occupational Health. Their suggestion was to take extra strong painkillers - presumably to pretend I didn't have any infection/pain and stagger in to work. I knew I shouldn't, but tried it. I slurred my speech, concentration was zilch and ended up off work for another 3 weeks, as I had an infection!!

Problem with Diverticular disease, is, even when the stress goes, the gut is very sensitive. I staggered into work in pain for a week in May, then found out I had a kidney infection in my (one) kidney.
Went off sick and took antibiotics. Pain persisted - kidney infection had gone - but I had diverticulitis!! More antibiotics, another week off work.
Capability stage 2 looms. I look upon it as a challenge now.
All my ill health has been caused by work - but work blames me!!
In a way, having a physical reaction to stress makes it much more difficult for them. They're trying to insist the Diverticulitis isn't caused by stress, but as no-one knows what causes it, they're on sticky ground, and my doctor insists, in my case, that it is caused by workload stress (bless his cotton socks :-D)

Quite frankly, my health is worth more than the peanuts I get in pay.

When I leave Hampshire County Council, I shall write a leaflet, explaining how you can apply for one job, be made redundant/unfairly dismissed because they decide to move the office into the New Forest - and I don't drive - be unable to re-employ you - but can employ you for a year as a temp.
Then you can get another job with them as a finance assistant, be bullied, the bully retains their position, but you are downgraded, complete with loss of pay, so your take-home pay is less than when you first started, to a job you never wanted, but can teach everyone else - including the business manager how to use the finance system (as well as doing your 'own' work), suffer ill health because of this, an then have them claim you can't do your job!!!
Latest wheeze is to make our grade, and those below us 'apprentice' grades!"
Work for Hampshire County Council and work your way down the system


Annie, you're not alone. Write everything down - do it on a word document, save it to 'personal' and add it as an attachment to an e-mail to higher management. Don't let the Bustards grind you down. It's not easy on you own - I know, I was on my own when I was being bullied, but a daily 'diary' - preferably done on a word document - explaining how you feel etc can give them a nasty shock.
In writing - it's evidence.


eRRolSheep Report 19 Jun 2013 00:23

I don't think anyone was debating where the actual comment came from.
Comments like "the work has to be done" can, in themselves, cause pressure when coming from the "bosses".
However, I am sure that it is counterproductive to discuss Annie personally on a public board.

Annie, I sincerely hope (and know) that things will turn around for you soon. I don't know your personal situation but hopefully you have a good support network of genuine friends and family. They can truly be the greatest "elixir".


Eeyore13 Report 19 Jun 2013 00:24

Phone UNISON 0845 355 0845 & tell them exactly what's happening.

Yes the work has to be done John but the worker- Annie has rights & one of them is not being bullied.If the boss is under pressure it's their own fault for letting the situation escalate to the point that Annie is unable to work.

Good Luck Annie


JustJohn Report 19 Jun 2013 00:44

Point I was making is that the responsibility for getting the work done is the bosses. Employees can only do their best. Many bosses (particularly in local government) are under the type of pressure to manage scarce resources they have never experienced before.

And they will not be able to recruit and train somebody up quickly to replace Annie. In current climate, they may not be able to recruit a replacement at all. Meanwhile the work has to be done.

So Annie holds a lot more cards than she thinks. Lot of good advice here on this thread, I think. Most of us have probably been in a similar place. And usually it gets resolved to the benefit of everyone. Let's all hope so, in this case.


eRRolSheep Report 19 Jun 2013 00:59

Annie I hope my PM is of genuine help


TheBlackKnight Report 19 Jun 2013 02:18

Annie your boss is only interested in getting the work load done but does not care how it is done. That is his/her one big error, but don’t worry you can correct him/her on it soon enough.
He/She clearly does not care about his workers like you. He/She has a duty of care & responsibility towards you while you are at his place of work working for him/her. You have rights while in employment.
You say you have a meeting with the boss to attend soon, rather than take your daughter you might do well to take an independent professional person with you, Citizens Advice Bureau is often good for that.
Let them know you can do the Job that you are employed to do, & do very very well, you can even do some of the extra things that have been asked of you but with the amount of extra things that have been thrown on top it is just to much for anybody now. You can even ask for a time & motion inspection to be carried out in your building to prove it. Just a thought.
Take a note from your own doctor saying what it was you was suffering from & how long for.

Hope this helps, good luck

Nolls from Harrogate

Nolls from Harrogate Report 19 Jun 2013 04:18

Annie as you've been told above write everything down, word for word if you can and your answers and most importantly the date this can show if your being hassled on a daily basis which is definitely not acceptable. If you query anything do it by email so you have a copy in fact try and answer as much as you can by email putting in what has been said to you eg you say that stress is caused by.... but you don't mention the extra work which you put on to our shoulders...etc... and take copies home with you . Get in touch with the above bodies or a solicitor and if necessary take them to a tribunal. We had a similar case(s) where I worked the manager was a bully and didn't like anyone over 40 he was from a firm which had bought out the firm I worked for and made everyone's life a misery one after another the staff over 40 were kicked out but one lady wrote to the owner of the firm and immediately he was on that phone to the B***** manager telling him to re-instate her as he wanted no tribunal case ..big row ... of course she would not go back and guess what the B****** manager phoned her near in tears asking her "How could she do that to him" ...unbelievable A lot more to this story but not applicable here. Good Luck

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 19 Jun 2013 05:21

Annie, you have carried that useless manager for years now, don't let her ruin your life. Use a friend's computer to type out your more specific notice to the new manager or write it out in longhand, and get someone to type it up for you. Explain why it is in longhand if necessary, say you don't have privacy on the work computer. You have been pushed around enough, stand up now and if you think you are likely to lose your job, you have nothing to lose by naming and shaming that lazy b***h who has caused you so much hassle.

Best of luck,
sorry I haven't been in touch, have a lot going on here right now



JustJohn Report 19 Jun 2013 08:21

Seems like a lot of us have been in position you are in, Annie. I was very impressed with advice over night. All very good, and TBK's was excellent imo.

I do think we need to try and empathise with the bosses a bit. I know how much I used to hate (as a boss in supermarkets) someone coming to a grievance or disciplinary meeting with a solicitor or union rep as it meant I had to play everything by the book and there was no easy way to resolve the issue and it then became a very formal process with no easy way of mending the rift between the employee and the supervisor and you had to try and support supervisor's actions. I know that remark will be picked on, but you had to support supervisor and allow the employee to go or be worked out. Then try and manage the confidence and skills (and inevitably increased work load) of supervisor afterwards. So a lose-lose all round often.

So I think taking your daughter might be a very good move for this meeting. It sounds like a formal meeting as part of fact finding whilst they decide with you a plan of action. The worst that can happen is a very general first written warning about your general conduct, performance etc and a specific plan of improvement action. And all you therefore need is someone you know well who can put a hand on your wrist when you should speak and when you should shut up.

Union/ACAS would be advisable if it goes to next stage. And, yes, write absolutely everything down. :-)


DIZZI Report 19 Jun 2013 08:34