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Worried about potential bad reference

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by tyrannyatwork, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Hello all,

    TL; DR: Bullying in workplace, unable to do anything about it, bully is responsible for informing boss of my performance and thus content for a reference, can I consequently get a bad reference? What are my options? How can I prove anything?

    (Sorry but not a teacher but this was the first site I could find which had a workplace forum)

    I am a recent graduate with some experience in my field of interest but the current job I have been at for almost a year. I unfortunately have to use this employer as a referee but I have had ongoing issues at work due to bullying and favouritism and feel as though it will permanently haunt me forever.

    My manager was having none of it when I originally explained that some people were teasing me about 6 months ago, instead she said in better words for me to "man up" and that this "isn't school". Because I needed the money I continued my employment there. My assistant manager who has come back after some months of illness has been on medication that is affecting her behaviour. She is very petty and keeps on being condescending toward me. We had a dispute because I stood up to her for being unreasonably bossy some months ago and she's held a grudge ever since. Because of what my boss said months ago I've kept it bottled up but it's getting worse. My assistant manager wants a reaction and is even saying things with a snide tone but I want to leave the job on good terms and I'm well into my job hunting. My manager doesn't work on the floor so all opinions and feedback she's getting is from the assistant manager and well my assistant manager has consequently taken a lot of my responsibilities away which I think isn't justified (surely if I was a bad employee this would have been mentioned in my two appraisals I've had so far/I wouldn't have succeeded the probation period?). So at the moment my assistant manager is getting other people to do my job for me essentially or monitor me and it's really insulting. For example, I was to make sure someone's medication was taken in 45 minutes time (not hard right?) my manager rocked up and told a colleague to remember that time for me. I have also been monitored doing cooking (I can cook - I've lived independently all my adult life). It's really horrible tbh and I feel incompetent even though I know I'm not if that makes sense but I don't know how to approach this, particularly as my boss doesn't care.

    Obviously the right thing to do would be to leave but the dilemma here is the worry that my boss thinks I'm incompetent thanks to my assistant manager. I feel like my only way out of there is a satisfactory reference otherwise I'm screwed. What do I do? Can I get a bad reference? Is there a point on mentioning to my boss how I'm being treated if she doesn't really care?

    Honestly, the company I work for is very "friends and family" run so that's why when I'd made an initial complaint against her niece and friend she was having none of it. It's not the greatest company to work for but I've read before that it's not really wise to mention stuff like this at interview so I just feel like I have to keep quiet regardless of me wanting to leave for very good reasons.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated thank you :)
  2. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Union advice is the first port of call. Who were you considering for your second reference and potentially personal reference? These are things to consider. Also, could there be someone lse on the team who could write the reference instead or even someone who had left? Maybe find out the reference your boss is going to write by applying for agency work (see what is written, providing clues to the likely content). Let us know how you get on.
  3. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Contact your union if you have not yet done so and check whether you have opted for legal protection with your home insurance.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Your reference will need to be factual, be that bad or good.

    If you are well into job hunting, then keep going until you get another post.
    You'll, presumably, need more than one reference, so they others will outweigh anything less than positive in this one.

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