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Everything posted by DaringD

  1. Feeling under threat at work

    As an update, I spoke with the "trusted people" (this sounds so much like the name of some awful cult) and they really made me feel a lot better about it.    They didn't try to make excuses, but agreed that it was a bit of a shit show, and they're happy to keep a log of it if anything comes of it in the future.    I think as the weeks go by I'll probably start to feel more comfortable again, I'm just not looking forward to my performance review on Tuesday where I know my reliability will be used again as a reason not to give me a rise. At least I'm expecting it, and I'll be taking someone in with me, so let's just see what happens. Hope for the best, plan for the worst and all of that.    Thanks to you all again, for your advice, tough love and willingness to cut to the chase.         
  2. Feeling under threat at work

    At the end of last month I sent an email to my boss asking if our company had any plans to help out employees with the cost of living, fuel, energy and other price hikes that essentially devalue our wages.   After some back and forth the email was passed on to our HR who invited me for a meeting, saying they "would be happy to discuss my concerns in this personal meeting".   At this meeting  other than me was my boss and his boss, a member of HR and the head of HR.   after an initial explanation as to why the HR team were there (to mediate and take notes) they meeting began and I realised that this was not about my concerns, but instead they began to fire accusations at me that included absenteeism (the practice of taking time off work without good reason) and also synonymously used the phrase "your reliability issues". I was directly attacked by the head of HR who asked me how I could have the nerve to ask for more money when I had this record of absenteeism.    I'll briefly explain for context, I was off work for a long period of time due to mental health problems, bipolar, insomnia and acute anxiety. I am diagnosed now and on medication plus i have regular visits to a Psychiatrist and Neurologist and every two weeks with a therapist,  and I also did a stint at the local Psychosomatische Tagesklinik during my time off. I have had to take off more time than usual since returning to work in April 2021 as my kids were not allowed to go to kindergarten if they had so much as a sniffle, plus when they actually had covid, followed by a period where I had Covid too, the last years have been tough.  I was also signed off work three times over the last two years since my return for chronic bouts of insomnia. Every day off is accounted for with doctors notes for myself and my kids, I have no days of absence without holiday or a sicknote.   During the meeting I was pressured into giving specific details of my condition, and they also tried to make me commit to a "solution to my reliability problems".   I was also told that this "absenteeism could not be tolerated and that there can be consequences, though this was never elaborated on, and it was mentioned many times how terrible this was for the company and what hardship I was causing them.   I was also being goaded into making a statement that my problems were stopping me perform my duties, and that I didn't want to work there, though in both cases I refused to go along with it.   I felt very pressurized and very anxious the entire time this was happening and all I wanted was for it to be over.  I felt out manned and out gunned and unable to defend myself properly as I was so flustered. In hindsight I wish I had called a halt to the meeting and asked for it to be rescheduled, but I was frankly scared to as I felt intimidated by the HR manager and the fact that I was one against four.   I really feel that I was lured into a de-facto disciplinary hearing, the email I got inviting me mentioned nothing about any of this and only that we could discuss my concerns, which we actually didn't discuss because I was totally stonewalled on that front every time I attempted to bring it up.   I was offered no Protokoll for the meeting, there was not real conclusion to the meeting, I was left confused, angry, scared.   No one has ever taken this tone with me before, no one has ever mentioned anything about my "Absenteeism" before I sent this email, and certainly no one has ever made me feel threatened in such a way. I really feel that this is some sort of indiscrete warning, or their attempt to shut me down with regard to the questions I was asking.   I'm absolutely floored by this, for the last two days I have, ironically, suffered from not being able to sleep properly and being almost constantly anxious, I have butterflies and that stressed feeling of tightness across my chest, I'm finding it hard to concentrate - in short, I'm having a very bad reaction to this and worried about where this is going, but not only that, I cannot believe this happened.  I'm now scared to take the time off to see my doctor, which I normally would if I began to feel like this since it's incredibly bad for my health, and I'm even more worried that if I do his first action would be to sign me off.   There is no official Betriebsrat at my place of work, though it is big enough to have one.   Any advice or insight would be appreciated, I've never felt so powerless or violated in my life.   D    
  3. Feeling under threat at work

    A last word though Fraufruit.    It's totally possible to want revenge AND not want other people not to go through something.   I think as humans we're all allowed to be complicated and simultaneously hold opposing opinions, desires and feelings.    
  4. Feeling under threat at work

    I don't kniw how to do quotes from my phone, but never mind.   I can see your point Fraufruit, but I assure you that this is e a tly what I mean. I'm not one of those chumps who bangs on about what people should do and doesn't do it themselves, I'll put myself in danger to protect other people and I have the scars to prove it. I stood up for my pregnant colleague when my previous employer refused to renew her contract, but renewed everyone else's, and that ended up badly for me but I don't regret it, I did the right thing, maybe more people should. I was arrested here in Germany because I lay on top of a guy that had seven soldiers kicking him while he lay unconscious (he was so confused he thought I was one of his attackers, I was later released and apologiesed to). I lost my no claims bonus and a lot of money because I swerved in front of a driver who was about to hit pedestrian, and though it was acknowledged I did the right thing, my insurance refused to pay out and I only very narrowly avoided a dangerous driving conviction because I was lucky enough that an off duty policeman saw the whole thing.    So when I say I don't want this to happen to someone else, believe me.    That being said... You are right, in that right now there is a lot of anger in me and yes.. I absolutely want revenge. Sone of you are pointing out that I seem to not know when to walk away, and there is truth to that too.    It's hard to let this go, and hard to admit that some if you are right, a lot of you actually.    I'm going to just make our "trusted people" aware of this but stress I want no action, just a record of it, and then I'm going to have a coke and a smile and shut the fuck up.    As difficult as its been reading sone of your opiniins, thank you all for putting them out there.    Toytown Forums has prescribed a chill pill. Point taken. 
  5. Feeling under threat at work

      Isn't that the truth...  I know that no one owes me a living, but this isn't like I have slowly deteriorated and they decided "ok its time to let this guy know what time it is" it's the fact that its... it's retaliation to something I did that isn't at all unreasonable.  There was not a peep of this problem until I sent that bloody email. You also have to love that in Germany people love rules until they get in their way, then they'll happily mow through the rulebook with a machete. "How dare you cross the road while the light is red!" said the man, as he sped past at 20 over the limit.   As infuriating as all of this is, I can't imagine what it must be like for all those people still living in the UK right now, at least Germany has laws against this kind of thing for employers to ignore, this November 5th the biggest bonfire in the UK is going to be the one with all the workers rights in it.   Thanks everyone...  again.
  6. Feeling under threat at work

    I know you're trying to talk sense into me and for that I'm super grateful.    So what's the move here?    I can't believe or accept that there isn't anything I can do that will serve justice. That's is just accepting that they are literally above the law, they can run roughshod over employee rights and laugh in the face of regulations.    It makes me sick to my core that this can go unchecked.    I'm not having a go at you, I'm just super frustrated.    The idea that this guy can sit there with his little-mob-boss mentality and think he's untouchable AND be right about it... Makes me, and should make everyone of us shake with fury.   
  7. Feeling under threat at work

    I wouldn't plan on living from the support indefinately, but since before I returned to work I was encouraged to look at this possibility by the staff in the clinic and by my therapist. The job centre do offer some pretty good courses on retraining through accredited organisations, and I've already considered and investigated exactly what I might do if this happened, as it was obviously a big decision to be made before returning to work last year. So I'd take the support, both financial and in terms of education and make the most of it to find work in a different sector. But I absolutely wouldn't want to live off that support for any length of time. To anyone that is interested I would be looking at moving towards programming.
  8. Feeling under threat at work

    Again, thank you all for your advice,   I'm fully aware that I could go the route of being declared unfit for work and not have to wait three months, this is partly the reason I have decided that the risk to benefit ratio is about 1:1 in this case, the worst thing that can happen is that I lose my job and immediately receive support.     I think at this point I am beyond that.  After the meeting I had I think it is clear that they already consider me a problem. The fact they hauled me up on this in an illegitimate disciplinary as opposed to talking it over with me in an understanding and normal way kind of tells me that as far as they are concerned the gloves are off. To everyone concerned about this making me worse in terms of my mental health, I hear you.  I'm also concerned, but I think in the long run it would be worse for me to not do something.  It's a matter of principle, and one of the biggest contributing factors to my mental health problems is the fact that people don't seem to take action and instead back down and give in because of the risk of the consequences to them (not that I am angry at them, but angry that this is the way things generally work and the people in the most secure and powerful position more often than not get away with exploiting and abusing the rest of us).  It's a hard to dispute that if everyone pushed back in these kinds of situations then this then this kind of thing would happen a lot less. So on pure principle, even if the risks far outweighed the benefits, I'd still feel compelled to do this.   If it turns out that there is a legal route to them dismissing me for medical reasons, then I'm perfectly happy for them to pursue that in a legitimate way, but what they did was wrong and I would like to think that even if I go down, I'll make them think twice before they pull this kind of thing with someone else, and that they are made to do this the correct and lawful way and not employ the tactics of intimidation.   Looking back through my paper work I have also noticed that I was refused a pay raise in my last performance review on the basis of "reliability".  Now I know what they meant by that I think I'll have a decent shot at having them answer for this too.        
  9. Feeling under threat at work

    I've given this a lot of thought the last days.    catjones is right, HR prioritise the needs of the company over the needs of employees. I haven't always known this but since Thursday I wonder how I ever missed it before.    I've sought legal advice which I'm waiting to hear back from, specifically asking the best way to protect myself and to begin compiling evidence, should I ever need it.    Being a fan of James Comey and having read his biography, I thought to make contemporaneous notes as soon as I could after the meeting, and that helped to rebuild a time line of the meeting filled with everything I can remember.    I've always been a person of principle, and I don't think this is a fight I can walk away from, it's just wrong that they think they can get away with treating anyone this way, so I'm going to go the distance and try to back them into a corner.    So far I have no official meeting log, which I have requested along with clarification of what exactly they mean by "Absenteeism" and "reliability issues" and what exactly they expect me to do to fix it.  Clarification on what exactly my pattern of behavior is, and if they consider the matter of pay rises or help with regard to inflation and fuel & energy rises to be closed. I've aked for these clarifications in the context of being sure that I am able to know exactly what is expected of me, which I think no one could argue is unfair. And I'm going to insist on written clarification.    I'll also try to get an appointment with my doctor for tomorrow after I finish work so I can get it on record that this has badly affected my mental health.    Thanks to anyone who has commented so far, I'm looking at unions for the future and help with setting up a Betriebsrat ASAP.   
  10. What made you laugh today?

    Today I watched Theresa May's Speech in the Commons about the passing of The Queen, and to my surprise she let rip with a few absolutely amazing, touching and hilarious anecdotes about the Queen that had the whole of the Commons laughing.  Absolutely shocked by this, I really didn't think she had it in her, and I'm even more shocked to find myself being glad she did.   I never thought I would say this, but credit where credit is due, Tory or not, thank you Mrs May.    
  11. A couple weeks back my wife took our car in to get new tyres fitted all round at Euromaster in Hallstadt, Bamberg.    Long story short, after an hour she returned and the tyres were wrong and weren't fitted, annoying but OK, these things happen.    The next morning the front drivers side tyre was flat, completely. Coincidence? Maybe. These things happen, I used to run a garage so I give them the benefit of the doubt. My wife calls and tells them and the guy is rude to her, tells he they didn't even touch the car.    Few days on I have enough time to look at the tyre and try to get it to hold air long enough to get to the garage to get new tyres put on, only when I inflate it the valve core is not tight and air is leaking very slowly from the valve. I take pictures and video and then tighten it and the tyre holds the air, no puncture, but a loose valve core.    I write to Euromaster customer care and I get a stock reply asking for our invoice number. We didn't have one because they didn't do the work, so now we are in a very gray legal area.    I know for sure they touched the car because the seat was in a different position then it was left in, there are also fresh Tool marks on the front drivers side wheel nuts and they didn't put the wheel cap back on properly.    The fact they did work on the car means that they should have raised a job card for it and it should have been checked over before leaving, and that there is a contract between us for work carried out, even if that was just opening the door and closing it again.    It's been 9 days with no reply.    Am I in a position where I need to hire a lawyer or are there governing bodies or Chambers of commerce I can speak to first?    As always, any advice is appreciated.    If I've left anything out just ask...    D
  12. Yeah, so do we, but he said he can't get tyres as cheap as the chains and it's not worth his time to change them, not in a bad way but like "i don't feel good charging you 150 EUR more than them" way.    Anyway, I've taken out legal cover as of two weeks ago so in 3 months when my waiting period is up we'll be covered for shit like this in the future.   In fact if I could give one pie e of advice to my past self it would be to get legal cover from the moment I could afford it.