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Just when you'd thought you waved bye bye to bullying?...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Happyregardless, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Well, well well what a lovely Sunday I have had. Attempting to be 'rational' to a head bent on 'controlling'?
    Blissfully trotting along on Supply and then to be more 'pro-active' registered with a few more agencies and gave a new referee.

    It seems incredulous I'm in this situation again. Except not quite the same as I will list another referee and it's different on supply (one of the reasons WHY I went on Supply in the first place was so wasn't under any controlling or bullying influence from 'one particular person' as you are at the mercy of in permanent posts?)

    I simply cannot understand, however, WHY there are so many 'controlling' management members in Education. is there something about Education that attracts them?

    Started with an innocuous email asking why head had said he's never heard of me ( to agency) and to let me know whether he was or was not happy to be named as a referee? Surely a 'normal' and everyday/reasonable request from a teacher? Straight away he started ranting on about a 'hostile response' and the 'tone' of the email. I emailed because I have my phone switched off at work and when you try to phone most heads to ask them anything, they are either out, on course, busy or you speak to the office manager?

    Obviously can't post actual emails here as would give fuel to his manipulation of the perception of me as 'unfit' and 'unprofessional' and for the usual privacy etc reasons. But if anyone wants me to email them a copy please let me know as I would love a second opinion as to whether I HAVE actually ANY tone in my email - who knows maybe it's ME that's blind to it?

    Straight away received 'veiled threats' about 'professional conduct' ' I will have to comment on this if you still want me to be a referee etc'? all just seemed very 'controlling' as I have said - or an attempt to be?

    Now he has escalated it and has made comments about my 'emotional health' and 'working with children' even to the point of suggesting I ask for 'professional assistance!' - bloody cheek! Nothing wrong with my emotional health mate until you started attempting to control and bully! He's just completely turning everything around on me and I'm not sure quite WHY he is being so hateful towards me when I haven't done anything wrong? But again this is the lesson isn't it- don't try to 'understand' the bully - this is what they do - manipulate everything - oozing charisma with everyone else around and then make YOU look like the problem?

    Some of you will mention Union (as I indeed to to try and help other posters) - not kept up with subscription because of other costs although i did when on permanent contract.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You aren't going to want to hear this, but if your email to the head was similar in tone to your reporting of it, then he may have a point.
    This isn't controlling or bullying, just making you aware that a row via email with the head you are asking for a reference isn't a grand idea, however much you may feel you are in the right.
    There seems to have been an exchange of several emails if things have escalated to this point. It's a Sunday afternoon, so may be leave the work emailing until a working day and then think which other schools you have done well in on supply and ask the head there to be a referee.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Why - did you even attempt to get a refeence from this person when they knew they were going to be awkward.

    Doesn't make any sense - find someone else.
  4. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    You aren't going to want to hear this, but if your email to the head was similar in tone to your reporting of it, then he may have a point. - How? - I am just standing up for myself against being bullied for no reason?
  5. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    I DIDN'T KNOW they were going to be awkward at all Peakstar that's the point - but now i know!
  6. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    It's difficult to know, without seeing the text of the emails (and I wouldn't suggest that you share them with anyone on here), but there can be a world of difference between:

    "Oi, why did you say you hadn't heard of me?"


    "Sorry to trouble you, but the agency seem to have had some difficulties getting hold of you for a reference. I've found them a bit unclear on the phone, so possibly they were using inaccurate details, etc. etc."

    Even if the latter isn't true, it gives the head a chance to gracefully sort out the mess without admitting blame or having to explain himself and looking silly. Whereas something like
    only really gives him the option to say one of the following:

    - "I didn't say that"
    - "I said that, and therefore I'm an idiot. Let me go and apologise to the agency for you."
    - "How dare you!"

    If the middle response was what you wanted, it's probably the least likely of the three!

    I'm not making any judgement about the rights and wrongs of it, or whether your email was badly judged in tone or not!
    Happyregardless likes this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A head who tells a supply agency he hasn't heard of a supply teacher, isn't bullying, just being a head. If he isn't the one who books cover and organises it, then he won't have heard of you.

    Did you have a conversation about references before you gave his name to the new agency?
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The vast majority of HT wouldn't have a scooby doo about supply teachers working in their school even after they had been there some time.

    They have many other things to think about
  9. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    This is true Peakster - as are all the other comments - its just more 'toughening up' experience and to remind me to trust life and not 'a' or 'one particular person' to do the right thing.

    Some previous posters have made it sound like I am some sort of 'yobbo' calling out the head, which is simply not the case. I have been polite and matter of fact in all communications.

    You have to remember you cannot control how ANYONE is flowing back to - this is to do with THEM and not me and to mind it, just ties you up in knots when there's nothing you can do about it.

    One day those in positions of power will also be held to account for how they affect others and then maybe you will retain quality staff - just a though when there are regular accounts of the 'staffing and recruitment teacher crisis"

    I just wanted to share it, as when you have moved on and experienced some good days in Lovely schools you tend to leave behind this kind of thing, but I know many who are still enduring this, which is why I posted as an example.
  10. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Errmm... HE was the one who had a meeting, who wished me all the best, who said he was happy to be a referee etc etc? Which was why I gathered the impression it would be okay? Which was why I asked him in the first place? Maybe he wanted the opportunity to character assasinate - who knows?
  11. mrs-badger

    mrs-badger Occasional commenter

    Heads can be a flipping nightmare for references. You're welcome to send me a copy of the email, @Happyregardless - my curiosity is piqued! I guess tone can be difficult from text. Otherwise assume maybe OFSTED announced they were coming. I think if this was me, I'd just send an email back apologising profusely for any unintended offence and maybe saying something along the lines that I'd been anxious about the reference and the anxiety perhaps translated into a curtness that was certainly not intentional x
    Happyregardless likes this.
  12. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Understand completely what you're saying dts but there really wasn't any rudeness or impoliteness from my side? I just wanted to know why he's said he hadn't heard of me when he's been the one to suggest I could use him as a referee? I can see that its been a few months and that he was given different dates by office staff or something and may have genuinely forgotten? i can also assume yes maybe I thought he was saying this to get out of it and making an assumption that maybe he didn't like?
    I really don't see how it warranted such a vicious back lash though? If it was me and the tables were swapped I would be quick to reassure that worker and say " Oh yes I remember you - yes of course, you worked from (this date to (this date) and I'm either happy to give you a reference ( like I said at our meeting) or am no longer happy to for the following reasons?
  13. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Already sent email saying 'If it was an assumption I made then I apologise" etc?
    But this is the point? The more rational, reasonable and 'matter of fact' I tried to be the more it appeared to flame his anger?
    I really don't know - it felt/feels like bullying though.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    How long since he said he'd be a referee?

    I think you should probably have checked with him again after the summer holiday. "Thank you for saying you'd provide a reference. I'd like to take you up on that. Is it OK if I give your name to X supply agency within the next week? Thanks."

    Better to be absolutely punctilious about that kind of thing.
  15. anon8956

    anon8956 New commenter

    To the OP
    I am sorry for some of the unsympathetic replies you are getting from certain people who should know better than to judge your emails by your informal posting here.
    Heads are capable of point blank lying.
    They abuse the power they have over a teacher regarding the reference system.
    I have no answers for you but sympathy. As I was shocked by the tone of some of the replies.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  16. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I think I would have moved on after the first email really. I am not sure there is an 'innocuous' way of asking 'why have you said you have never heard of me' when phrased like that, and by the medium of email

    The problem with email is it can quickly lead to misinterpretation. Just like posting on a forum. You, in your post have come across as angry and a bit awkward. You probably aren't but written words can lead to that.

    In a similar manner you have interpreted his as bullying and controlling. He may not be that either.

    Please try and salvage this regardless whether you need him to be a referee or not as mentioned above. Some battles are not worth fighting.

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