My Manager is Treating Me Completely Differently From Everyone Else

I've been here three weeks and the manager has issued me with a probationary warning as he feels I am "going too fast" and doing things he doesn't understand or approve of. Everything I was doing was "brilliant" until this, and now suddenly I'm unable to do anything - make phone calls, send emails, put items on the digital to-do lists - without his consent. The tables suddenly turned like this after I sent an email to a contact which had been marked as "to follow up" by my predecessor, with nothing else explaining it. The manager apparently held some grudge against this person, and was furious I contacted them. However he is almost never here as is, and as it was an instruction left to me I simply did as I assumed I was being told. Since then he has started being very aggressive towards me and is treating me completely differently to everyone else, even though I'm not the only new one here. I've gotten interviews for this company and re-established cold project leads in the short time I've been here, using all the methods I am now prohibited from using. A meeting for a new project even came out of the "rogue" follow up email I sent. I feel as though I am being penalized for being an effective worker, as he often drops many balls and leads. Today will be my third "disciplinary" meeting. I'm exhausted and don't know what to do.


United Kingdom

ADVICE FROM ABOVE GROUND: During your meeting, talk to your boss: 1. About the issue 2. Why you did what you did, 3. And, what procedures you should take moving forward to ensure that this issue doesn’t happen again. If it doesn't end well, be on your Ps & Qs & be sure to document everything for HR.


Hey, I just wanted to say thank you so much for this. I actually took your advice and something remarkable happened. Went to the meeting prepared with a document that itemized everything he had identified as a problem and examples of how procedures might look going forward. He scanned through the paper, sat back and stared straight at me for a while. Then he said - no word of a lie - "I just feel like you're making me redundant". He went on to say that he felt like the speed and efficiency with which I worked made him feel inadequate in his role. I tried my best not to react to it and decided to talk with him about it. He asked if, going forward, I could be patient with him while he got used to - and sought professional training in - management at the level he had been promoted to. (It's a not-for-profit I work for.) I have a vague idea of what I'm going to do with this going forward - but for now, all I want to say is thank you so much to both you and CBG for giving me a sounding board for this problem. Don't think I would have been able to deal with it as calmly as I did otherwise.


Nikki:  Do you have any of this in writing where he apologized to you for being intimidated? Laws in the UK are different than in the States.  You will need documentation in writing of what’s been going on. This is a simple case of “he said, she said” and because her tenure is much less than his, a firm is more than likely to get rid of her over him.

If you want to stay, keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the company to not pay out on unemployment benefits. You can always work until he fires you, if you love the job and can bare his insecurities OR if you have the financial means to support yourself then leave! You can also file a formal complaint because you have a case of a hostile work environment, especially if he’s a white male.

Since you’re not that far from your job seeking days, it’s ok to start sending out feelers again. Get in touch with companies that may have expressed interest or even extended an offer that you’ve turned down. You may have lost some negotiating power but it’s worth your sanity to cut your losses & move on.

Nikki Davis



Your curly girl manager, just trying to live her happiest life! 

Wife, new mom, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with 11 years industry experience, 6 years of management experience. Manager a team of men in a male dominant industry, while being the only woman on the team. DIY fashion blogger, a self taught seamstress. Owner/Creator of a monthly subscription service,

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