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Topic: My Job is getting me down

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Polly101
    Polly101 avatar
    3 posts
    12 September 2018

    Hi guys,

    I dont really know where to start but my boss has pulled me into a meeting last week and told me my anxiety and depression has been affecting my job performance. He said I would not have a position unless I get myself sorted and this next roster my hours were cut.

    I don't know where to look for support and advice, and I feel quite intimidated by my boss. I feel pushed by him into talking about these issues and very much like I am worthless as a worker at this stage because of the comments.

    Some people have suggested HR as a way to help negotiate some terms while I get help for my mental health but I am too scared to contact them without consulting my boss. I am also to the point where I feel like I should complain about him with the hours being cut and the way I was spoken to by him, but no one heard the meeting so it is only my word.

    I am going to the doctors tomorrow for some help but this feels like I am hitting rock bottom. I didn't want to be forced into going to the doctors but I'm scared if I don't do anything I may end up jobless.

    I love my work to keep me busy and my friends and customers are great. But my boss has ruined what I feel is one place I feel safe and to be myself. It's been stressing me out and most likely made me perform worse.

    I would love to hear back from anyone with advice or maybe sharing an experience that's similar. It has honestly been a struggle the past week to feel ok.

  2. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    13238 posts
    13 September 2018 in reply to Polly101

    Hello Polly, please let me welcome you to the forums.

    What you have been going through and been subjected to, is illegal, it's discrimination because no one should be picked on if they have any mental illness, not by a mate at work or your boss and if your hours are cut down because of this then you are being bullied.

    If your boss has done this with you, then surely you're not the only one, so if you report him, then hopefully other cases will appear, then your word would be more honest than what he says.

    Polly go to your doctor and tell them, so it's then on record, if you need time off work then he will also help you, but don't feel as though your boss has won, he hasn't.

    You sound to be a kind person and I don't want you to break because of your boss.

    If you contact HR then your boss doesn't need to know an inquiry will take place, and don't forget about what other employees might have also mentioned in the past and if this has happened, that's even better for yourself.

    Take some time off while you see a counsellor, there maybe others who have done the same.

    Try not to worry, you are protected.

    Geoff.

  3. SammyD100
    Student Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    SammyD100 avatar
    49 posts
    13 September 2018 in reply to Polly101

    Hi Polly

    As Geoff has already said, welcome to beyond blue - I hope you get lots of support for what sounds like a very stressful thing to be going through.

    Geoff is right, it sounds like your boss is trying to discriminate against you based on your mental health, and that is illegal. This website: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/quick-guide/12067 has a quick summary of what your boss can and can't do in relation to protecting you in the workplace. Your employer needs to consider the ways in which they can support you in the workplace and it sounds like your boss is doing the opposite.

    I can understand feeling very intimidated by your boss. He is in a position of significantly more power than you and he is obviously using that position to his advantage. He may also think that because you have some mental health concerns, you will be less likely to speak up - perhaps out of fear or a lack of confidence. You are definitely not worthless, please remember that!

    Would you have another think about going to HR? Your boss shouldn't need to know you are speaking to them, and they should be there to support you and other staff. Perhaps write down your recollection of the conversation so that you go to HR with your evidence written down in a clear and logical manner? You could also go to them with questions about what sort of warning system should be in place for staff in the case of underperformance, if that's what your boss is suggesting - there may need to be documentation amounting to two warnings before staff can be fired or placed on reduced duties for example. The fact that your shifts were cut immediately after his conversation with you also sounds very discriminatory and suspicious. As Geoff has suggested it is also possible that there is a pattern of intimidation and harassment that HR are slowly becoming aware of and your information could help them build that picture?

    It must be really hard feeling like you're not supported at work, when it's a job that you have loved. I can completely understand you feel like your boss has ruined that for you - and of course if you're feeling stressed about the situation you won't be able to perform as well as you usually would.

    You said you were going to see your GP (today)? How did that go for you?

    Best of luck,

    SammyD

  4. Polly101
    Polly101 avatar
    3 posts
    14 September 2018 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for replying. It's too early for me to say if the hour reduction or change of duties is due to this but I have considered trying to contact HR without anyone from my work present, or a trusted coworker to guide me on what to do.

    Its very hard just feeling like the one place I use to escape a bit has become a place where I feel pushed into a corner. I know this isn't a normal thing to feel at work too.

    It feels like I won't get better fast enough and I will end up losing my job just feeling this way and trying to manage.

    I hope if I contact someone in HR theres support.

  5. Polly101
    Polly101 avatar
    3 posts
    14 September 2018 in reply to SammyD100

    Hi Sammy,

    I would say he pulled me into a meeting a while back but wasn't a mention of underperformance. Just a chat saying he had noticed I was down and thought getting some help would be good.

    I feel that wasn't a warning but a talk about the issues probably to him presenting himself more as a friend. I feel the meeting Friday he used the things we spoke about as ammo to push me into doing something.

    I've sat down and wrote the meeting in bits but was unsure if my word is any good as I had no one present with me. I heard some coworkers walk past but am yet to ask if they heard anything.

    My doctor and also a thing repeated from many coworkers is that it's none of his business from now on because I have the ball rolling today with going to the doctors and taking a step to do something.

    It is a time thing also and while I'm stressed I'm worried they are going to push me out the job before I can even see anyone to help with mental healthcare.

    They have probably tried to minimize my customer interaction by changing my role to dish work on 2 days as well but it upsetting to know that in some way without being consulted or asked if it's ok they are doing it.

    I feel very small and like no matter what it's hard to win.

  6. SammyD100
    Student Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    SammyD100 avatar
    49 posts
    20 September 2018 in reply to Polly101

    Hi Polly

    I'm back on the forums today (I tend to just be on here on Thursday mornings) and have checked back in with your post. I'm just wondering how things have been for you this week?

    Well done on going to your GP, and writing down your thoughts about the meeting. I can absolutely understand your concern about having only a small amount of time to 'prove' yourself before decisions may be made about your employment. As you allude to, you're kind of stuck and unfortunately don't have a lot of power to change things without time.

    Have you been able to speak to anyone in HR this week too?

    Would love to hear from you if you get a chance!

    SammyD

  7. Tweet-Heart
    Tweet-Heart avatar
    74 posts
    28 September 2018 in reply to Polly101

    Hi Polly101

    This is nonsense, do not put up with this rubbish ! this is the 21st century and there are anti-discrimination laws that protect you. What is happening to you is direct discrimination, you are being unfairly treated and targeted due to a protected attribute and this is illegal. I recommend you lodge an adverse action claim after sending an official complaint to HR in writing !.

    Hi HR, my manager has threatened me with dismissal due to my anxiety and depression, he told me ".... quote exactly what he/she said", I want to try and resolve this matter internally before taking it further to the Fair Work Commission"

    Give them 48 hours to respond, if not file an anti-bullying and adverse action claim.

    The law says they must provide reasonable adjustments and a safe working environment.

    It is up to HR to effectively manage this situation but they are the employer's representative, they know the law and they know their obligations to provide reasonable adjustments. In any fairwork case they will look at how HR handled the situation, under the Fair Work Act they can potentially face fines for any breaches.

  8. Tweet-Heart
    Tweet-Heart avatar
    74 posts
    28 September 2018 in reply to Polly101
    You don't have to consult your boss before going to HR. You can also go to your senior management with specific examples. I recommend printing off any e-mails too so if you terminated you have evidence that might be useful later on.

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