This post, update: my new team is taunting me because I have a nut allergy , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
Remember the letter-writer whose new team was taunting her because of her nut allergy? She had repeatedly found Snickers bars lined up on her desk, and her manager knew and wasn’t stopping it — and thus become a Worst Boss of the Year nominee. Here’s the update.
I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your advice. I genuinely was going to quit a job that I have been in for years and that I love over it. Your advice and comments from readers gave me the confidence to tackle it.
I did approach HR, who advised me to speak to my boss if I felt I was being bullied. Obviously that wasn’t feasible as the boss was fully aware of what was going on.
I scheduled a meeting with the head of site who is second-in-command to the CEO and laid out everything that been happening — the bullying, but also the toxic environment.
I was promoted to implement training and coaching because the department wasn’t performing and it was having a knock-on effect on other departments and ultimately customers. He wasn’t aware of any of the issues with the department — it’s a small department which has flown under the radar for years.
He promised me the situation would be investigated and to log every single incident in an email to him personally. I felt incredibly stupid having to send email after email listing the many incidents that occurred. But I logged everything.
He came in personally one morning to catch the person putting the nuts on my desk. She was fired instantly. It was the boss’s right-hand woman who believed she should have got the promotion not me, and this was her attempt to make me leave.
The boss was suspended pending investigation. It turns out that for the last four years, he has not been doing any paperwork — return to works, 1:1’s, PDP, CPD’s, nothing. During the investigation, they also looked into staff turnover and there have been numerous accusations of bullying which have been ignored and a high number of staff have quit. He resigned last week before they could fire him, and I know it’s unkind but I’m absolutely thrilled!
It’s been hard work making changes within the department. There has been some pushback and major changes have needed to be made. Two staff have quit because they now actually need to perform. But we have two staff from different departments and a new manager who are all incredible. The head of site has been incredibly humble about it, which I did not expect. He apologized and acknowledged this should have been picked up years ago and assured me that going forward the business will be putting more measures in place to ensure it can’t happen again.