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    Hi guys, I desperately need some advice on this huge problem at work.

    Basically, I work in retail and we've had some new management take over the store a few months ago. Anyway, the store manager and this other member of staff (a sales assistant who I shall call X) don't like each other. Just recently, a customer kicked off at X and started swearing at her, being really aggressive and telling her to shut up. X defended herself and told the customer to shut up themselves without any swearing. This happened in front of some other members of staff on the shop floor and in front of the store manager. The store manager later filed in a report claiming that X had verbally abused and had sworn at the customer and is now trying to get X fired (firstly because she hates X and secondly because she is underperforming in her sales). A short time later X has been suspended until further notice and is now facing a possible threat of dismal.

    This is where I come into things, me and X get on really well and I owe her so much. She has helped me countless times, when other members of staff couldn't be bothered to or gave me the cold shoulder especially when I first started and struggled to get to grips with procedures and processing. When other members of staff would bully me or have a go at me she would always step in and stick up for me. In my first month when I started I was absolutely terrible and my sales were shockingly bad in comparison to the other new guy who was so much better than me. All the other members of staff had doubts over me and said I was ****, in my first review with my store manager (different manager back then) she told me that I would be fired unless I improved. My store manager would constantly tell me off and would be judging me all the time as she thought I wasn't right for the job. But out of everyone it was X who looked out for me and told them to give me a chance, as not everyone picks up things quickly. In short, she pretty much saved me from getting dismissed and helped support me a countless number of times, as well as being my only true friend at the store.

    A while ago, I over heard the store manager talking about some of the staff. I heard her mention that she has finished dealing with the boys (2 guys who used to mess around on the shop floor) and just had the girls left to sort out.
    It was pretty clear that what she meant by the girls which were X and this other girl who she hated (This other girl happened to get sacked by the store manager not long ago). When I mentioned this to X, she went mad and told me that she knows all along the store manager hates her, she even told me that all the other members of staff have told her that the manager has been constantly talking about her behind her back.

    Now X just recently contacted me not long ago and asked me if I could provide her with a character reference for her appeal. I gladly offered to help her but she asked me if I could mention in there about that conversation I overheard of where the manager had the girls left to deal with. I was a little reluctant but desperately wanted to help her and was worried she was going to get sacked, so I ended up putting it in before emailing it over to her.

    Today at work, I was talking 2 other members of staff who I sort of trust about this. One of them told me that X had also contacted her but she refused to get involved. While the other member of staff, who just found out about this, said that if X contacted him he would help give a reference but would not put anything down against the manager or any evidence of what he had heard or seen of the argument with the customer. They both constantly repeated that they did not want to get involved in the investigation and appeal with the possible risk of losing your job as you're going against the manager. He even told me that if things get escalated that they might end up calling me to the appeal as evidence and i'd have to say what I heard in front of the area managers and in front of the people in question which would be X but more importantly my current store manager herself which would be very awkward and scary.

    Now this is what is really scaring me now, in that I've written a reference in support of X but mentioned the dislike of the store manager with X from what I've heard. I'm really worried that my store manager is going to find out and things are going to get really hostile between me and her. She is quite ruthless as she has already fired 2 other members of staff at my store in the past couple of months as well as snitching to the area manager that the old Assistant manager was a bit "too soft" with some of the members of staff and not strict enough resulting in him being transferred to another store. I'm worried now that I will have effectively put a target on my back and given her a reason to hate me and possibly keep an eye out for an opportunity to sack me next.
    But on the other hand, I desperately want to help X as she has done so much for me and I don't want to lose her next as it looks like she is going to get sacked. The sad thing is that nobody else is going to stick up for her, even though the issue with the customer happened in front of other members of staff who said she didn't swear and they've also admitted that they've heard the store manager say bad things about her behind her back. She doesn't really have anyone else within the store to help her and it's effectively just me.

    The problem is that I've already sent of the reference to her last night by email. In the reference I've mentioned the conversation I overheard and the store manager having a potential dislike of certain members of staff.

    I honestly am not sure what to do and really need some advice on this whole problem. I think i'm doing the right thing by looking out for her, but chances are I reckon she will get sacked as the store manager is very influential and has strong connections with the regional managers. After her, I worry that i'm going to be next as she's going to hate me for trying to get her into trouble and putting her job on the line. I think I may have to quickly move to another store and get out of here
    I am so sorry that this is so long and complicated but this whole problem is literally eating me up right now!
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    (Original post by Solid.Snake)
    Hi guys, I desperately need some advice on this huge problem at work.

    Basically, I work in retail and we've had some new management take over the store a few months ago. Anyway, the store manager and this other member of staff (a sales assistant who I shall call X) don't like each other. Just recently, a customer kicked off at X and started swearing at her, being really aggressive and telling her to shut up. X defended herself and told the customer to shut up themselves without any swearing. This happened in front of some other members of staff on the shop floor and in front of the store manager. The store manager later filed in a report claiming that X had verbally abused and had sworn at the customer and is now trying to get X fired (firstly because she hates X and secondly because she is underperforming in her sales). A short time later X has been suspended until further notice and is now facing a possible threat of dismal.

    This is where I come into things, me and X get on really well and I owe her so much. She has helped me countless times, when other members of staff couldn't be bothered to or gave me the cold shoulder especially when I first started and struggled to get to grips with procedures and processing. When other members of staff would bully me or have a go at me she would always step in and stick up for me. In my first month when I started I was absolutely terrible and my sales were shockingly bad in comparison to the other new guy who was so much better than me. All the other members of staff had doubts over me and said I was ****, in my first review with my store manager (different manager back then) she told me that I would be fired unless I improved. My store manager would constantly tell me off and would be judging me all the time as she thought I wasn't right for the job. But out of everyone it was X who looked out for me and told them to give me a chance, as not everyone picks up things quickly. In short, she pretty much saved me from getting dismissed and helped support me a countless number of times, as well as being my only true friend at the store.

    A while ago, I over heard the store manager talking about some of the staff. I heard her mention that she has finished dealing with the boys (2 guys who used to mess around on the shop floor) and just had the girls left to sort out.
    It was pretty clear that what she meant by the girls which were X and this other girl who she hated (This other girl happened to get sacked by the store manager not long ago). When I mentioned this to X, she went mad and told me that she knows all along the store manager hates her, she even told me that all the other members of staff have told her that the manager has been constantly talking about her behind her back.

    Now X just recently contacted me not long ago and asked me if I could provide her with a character reference for her appeal. I gladly offered to help her but she asked me if I could mention in there about that conversation I overheard of where the manager had the girls left to deal with. I was a little reluctant but desperately wanted to help her and was worried she was going to get sacked, so I ended up putting it in before emailing it over to her.

    Today at work, I was talking 2 other members of staff who I sort of trust about this. One of them told me that X had also contacted her but she refused to get involved. While the other member of staff, who just found out about this, said that if X contacted him he would help give a reference but would not put anything down against the manager or any evidence of what he had heard or seen of the argument with the customer. They both constantly repeated that they did not want to get involved in the investigation and appeal with the possible risk of losing your job as you're going against the manager. He even told me that if things get escalated that they might end up calling me to the appeal as evidence and i'd have to say what I heard in front of the area managers and in front of the people in question which would be X but more importantly my current store manager herself which would be very awkward and scary.

    Now this is what is really scaring me now, in that I've written a reference in support of X but mentioned the dislike of the store manager with X from what I've heard. I'm really worried that my store manager is going to find out and things are going to get really hostile between me and her. She is quite ruthless as she has already fired 2 other members of staff at my store in the past couple of months as well as snitching to the area manager that the old Assistant manager was a bit "too soft" with some of the members of staff and not strict enough resulting in him being transferred to another store. I'm worried now that I will have effectively put a target on my back and given her a reason to hate me and possibly keep an eye out for an opportunity to sack me next.
    But on the other hand, I desperately want to help X as she has done so much for me and I don't want to lose her next as it looks like she is going to get sacked. The sad thing is that nobody else is going to stick up for her, even though the issue with the customer happened in front of other members of staff who said she didn't swear and they've also admitted that they've heard the store manager say bad things about her behind her back. She doesn't really have anyone else within the store to help her and it's effectively just me.

    The problem is that I've already sent of the reference to her last night by email. In the reference I've mentioned the conversation I overheard and the store manager having a potential dislike of certain members of staff.

    I honestly am not sure what to do and really need some advice on this whole problem. I think i'm doing the right thing by looking out for her, but chances are I reckon she will get sacked as the store manager is very influential and has strong connections with the regional managers. After her, I worry that i'm going to be next as she's going to hate me for trying to get her into trouble and putting her job on the line. I think I may have to quickly move to another store and get out of here
    I am so sorry that this is so long and complicated but this whole problem is literally eating me up right now!
    Where do you work ?
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    (Original post by democracyforum)
    Where do you work ?
    I work in a phone store
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    (Original post by Solid.Snake)
    I work in a phone store
    Its a hard one i always do to others how you would like to be treated yourself. If its a big company couldnt you speak to hr anom and see what they suggest withold your number. Sounds like the store manager needs the sack
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    (Original post by lilac_glitter)
    Its a hard one i always do to others how you would like to be treated yourself. If its a big company couldnt you speak to hr anom and see what they suggest withold your number. Sounds like the store manager needs the sack
    It is a very big company, it's one of the big phone networks in the UK.
    However, I don't think there would be any sort of advice I can get internally.

    I actually don't have a problem with the store manager at all, in fact she is very nice to me. However, I'm worried that once she finds out that I have effectively tried to back stab her, she will treat me completely differently and will potentially look to sack me next.

    The thing is I don't want anything to happen to my manager, nor to my friend who is being suspended and most likely about to be sacked. I just want there to be peace...
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    I think you've done the right thing by being honest on your reference for girl X. Worst case scenario you get sacked or transferred - do you really want to work for a manager like that? Just be careful, don't give her a reason to sack you and she can't.
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    (Original post by Solid.Snake)
    ..............
    This is exactly what writing a reference for someone is about, and why family and friends are no good at it, and aren't usually allowed to give employment references.

    You took responsibility as soon as you accepted the role as a reference provider and then again when you put an over heard conversation into the reference. You now can do nothing but see how it plays out.

    Actually, very few employers fire people simply because they dislike them, the efficiency of the business and impact on sales figures is nearly always the over-riding concern, so no matter what the personal relationship, so long as the employee is hitting their sales targets, you don't waste time and money recruiting, training and waiting for new people to get up to speed. So make sure you are working effectively and meeting targets and you will probably be fine. And next time you are asked to be a Referee, consider what that means!
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    (Original post by EmperorMustard)
    I think you've done the right thing by being honest on your reference for girl X. Worst case scenario you get sacked or transferred - do you really want to work for a manager like that? Just be careful, don't give her a reason to sack you and she can't.
    To be honest with you it is easy to make mistakes in my job with all the processing, customers and paperwork.
    For example, one guy got a disciplinary when he was dealing with a customer about booking his phone in for repair. The customer's phone was badly damaged and the member of staff told him that it'll void the warranty and he'll get a charge for sending it off for repair. The customer still got it sent off, got charged and then made a complaint about the company and lied saying my colleague never told him (when he did but had no proof as he never wrote it down on the paperwork). You just have to be very wary and try to cover your back with everything which isn't easy.

    Thanks, I feel as though I am definitely doing the right and honest thing here. But i'm just really worried about the potential repercussions with my manager finding out. If she hates me for this and wants to get rid of me like the others, she will just be patient and wait for a moment where I make a mistake or I have an issue or a customer complaint and then use that as a reason to get rid of me.

    Sadly I think may have to quickly move elsewhere...

    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    This is exactly what writing a reference for someone is about, and why family and friends are no good at it, and aren't usually allowed to give employment references.

    You took responsibility as soon as you accepted the role as a reference provider and then again when you put an over heard conversation into the reference. You now can do nothing but see how it plays out.

    Actually, very few employers fire people simply because they dislike them, the efficiency of the business and impact on sales figures is nearly always the over-riding concern, so no matter what the personal relationship, so long as the employee is hitting their sales targets, you don't waste time and money recruiting, training and waiting for new people to get up to speed. So make sure you are working effectively and meeting targets and you will probably be fine. And next time you are asked to be a Referee, consider what that means!
    Yes I agree, I do accept responsibility for my reference and I have been honest in what I have wrote there but i'm just so worried.
    Even though it is the truth it puts my manager in negative light and she is going to think i'm a two faced snake for listening in on her conservation like that. It's going to put her job on the line and if she finds out I was involved she isn't going to be too happy with me.

    The only thing I can do is to wait and see what happens. But in my opinion, I think my colleague doesn't stand a chance as no one else in the store is really supporting her and I think she will be sacked like the others before her. Which will leave me and my manager in an awkward situation where I may be the next one. I can only I try my best to ensure I perform by hitting my sales targets, but I can only do so much. And in my job it is unfortunate that there are many different ways that you can get into trouble or make mistakes regardless of how good you are at selling, especially you have someone actively watching over you waiting for you to make a mistake. Also, she has a few favourites from old store that she will be happy to transfer over to fill any vacancies created.
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    I think I might contact her again and see if I can give her a new reference but this time removing that comment I made on the store manager's conversation I overheard.
    I'm literally panicking and can't stop thinking about this...
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    What is your friend appealing for exactly?
    Unfair dismissal on the grounds of discrimination?
    Because I swear in my lecture of freedom from discrimination. The reference giver/supporter was also protected from discrimination during an appeal process. You might want to look this up.
    (I'm an A level student, so do not know the fundamentals of these situations.)
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    (Original post by Gina)
    What is your friend appealing for exactly?
    Unfair dismissal on the grounds of discrimination?
    Because I swear in my lecture of freedom from discrimination. The reference giver/supporter was also protected from discrimination during an appeal process. You might want to look this up.
    (I'm an A level student, so do not know the fundamentals of these situations.)
    She was wrongly accused of swearing at a customer when she did not.
    Also, she is mentioning the fact that the manager has a dislike towards her and has been making constant negative comments about her behind her back. I think there are many more other issues between them which she hasn't specifically told me about but has she that she is going say everything.

    But i'm worried that she is bound to use what I've said as evidence in her appeal and my manager is going to find out what I've said about her.
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    (Original post by Solid.Snake)
    She was wrongly accused of swearing at a customer when she did not.
    Also, she is mentioning the fact that the manager has a dislike towards her and has been making constant negative comments about her behind her back. I think there are many more other issues between them which she hasn't specifically told me about but has she that she is going say everything.

    But i'm worried that she is bound to use what I've said as evidence in her appeal and my manager is going to find out what I've said about her.
    Maybe you could contact your union? Or join one in anticipation.
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    You're doing the right thing! If it was me, I wouldn't change the reference.
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    She can't sack you because she doesn't like you. If you are performing well and you're not doing anything wrong, then she can't sack you.

    If you feel you are heading towards a sack for no apparent reason, speak to your managers manager or the HR team.
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    (Original post by Runninground)
    She can't sack you because she doesn't like you. If you are performing well and you're not doing anything wrong, then she can't sack you.

    If you feel you are heading towards a sack for no apparent reason, speak to your managers manager or the HR team.

    True she can't sack me straight away for no reason.
    However she is quite smart and sly, so she'll just wait for me to make a mistake in my processing, paperwork or get a complaint from a customer and then use that as her reason to try to get rid of me.

    She is also very close with the area manager and i'm not too sure what help the HR department could offer me.
    Right now i'm just trying to look for a new job as I want to get out of here...
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    (Original post by Solid.Snake)
    True she can't sack me straight away for no reason.
    However she is quite smart and sly, so she'll just wait for me to make a mistake in my processing, paperwork or get a complaint from a customer and then use that as her reason to try to get rid of me.

    She is also very close with the area manager and i'm not too sure what help the HR department could offer me.
    Right now i'm just trying to look for a new job as I want to get out of here...
    She'll need to follow the disciplinary procedure before sacking you.

    The HR department are there for you, if you are concerned they should help you. However as you say, you need to think what you would like them to do before speaking to them. If you find your manager is specifically bullying/ treating you unfairly then you can speak to HR and ask them to speak the the area manager or your manager.

    And if you feel she is making your job difficult, leave it and you can claim constructive dismissal. Obviously it needs to be something substantial (like she changes your shifts to times that you've told her you can't do, or if she allows other employees to bully you).

    And if anyone says they overheard your manager speaking about you ask them to write out what they said- it may help if you get into problems with her.

    You may find that everything is perfectly alright and there is nothing to worry about though!
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    Speak to someone higher up, both you and X could speak higher up and talk about the managers behaviour and how it affects everyone and the store. Off to HR you go.
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    (Original post by Solid.Snake)
    True she can't sack me straight away for no reason.
    However she is quite smart and sly, so she'll just wait for me to make a mistake in my processing, paperwork or get a complaint from a customer and then use that as her reason to try to get rid of me.

    She is also very close with the area manager and i'm not too sure what help the HR department could offer me.
    Right now i'm just trying to look for a new job as I want to get out of here...
    If you reckon she's a psychopath, bringing this up with higher ups may help you. Psychopaths are known to destroy businesses.
 
 
 
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