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I'm In A Difficult Situation


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Hi everyone!

I find myself in a really difficult situation. I am joint manger at my pre-school and unfortunately, myself and my co-manger have had a serious disagreement :o It all came about because the staff came to me complaining about the amount of time she was taking off at short notice for appointments etc. this has been going on for some time and I felt that it needed to be sorted out because staff morale was low and there was a lot of resentment within the staff team. Unfortunately, the situation has 'snowballed'. I decided to have a chat with her about it (very diplomatically!) and unfortunately, it didn't go down well xD she spoke to one of the committee members (a personal friend of hers) and told her what had happened. A meeting was arranged with two of the committee with myself and then with my co-manager. I spoke about the different issues (there are more than just the time off situation to do with lack of commitment etc.). the committee members took the view that she was being 'bullyed' because other staff members have had time off for appointments (but not as many as she has taken off!). Historically, our pre-school has discouraged staff taking time off for dentist etc. and since she has been taking time off, I feel it has not set a good example to others! I now feel she has become the 'victim' in all this and is threatening to leave. The two committee members spoke to the staff and gave them all a group 'verbal' warning so I am dreading going to work tomorrow cos I feel the situation will not be a good atmosphere!

Any comments, help, suggestions etc. welcome

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I have not had to joint manage anywhere before, but see your predicament, and understand how you feel.

 

I hope someone else will have some wise words for you - just wanted to wish you luck and hope things turn around for the better.

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Oh dear! If other staff are discouraged from taking time off for appointments etc then surely the Manger should be setting an example? Did the committee not ask how much time etc was being taken? What about the feelings of other staff and their moral? Is that not important too?

 

On the other hand maybe she has personal issues at the moment? We have a staff member who kept asking for time off for appointments etc and other staff were complaining but I suggested that maybe she was finding her increased sessions too much etc, a few weeks later she asked to drop a session due to not being able to fit in other commitments. Hopefully she will now be more enthusiastic and not take uncessesary time off!

 

If you generally work well together I am sure that you can sort this out by talking it through. Although I think a verbal warning from the committee to all staff was very harsh and wont help thier moral one bit!

 

Good luck for tomorrow!

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I now feel that i am between the devil and the deep blue sea! i'm not going to be popular with the staff tomorrow either! ive always had a good working relationship with my staff and unfortunately, my co-manager just seems to take liberties all the time and it is difficult being on the same level as her. I have in the past, just said 'can't you take your daughter to the doctors later', and have also 'passed the message' on from the staff that they are not happy with her taking time out, but she just says 'I'm the manager I will do what I like!' she now says that she's still thinking of resigning and we have pushed her out the door, cos of the bad feeling between 'us' and her.

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If her attitude is like that, then perhaps it would be better for her to leave?? Then she could be replaced by someone more committed and who wont take such liberties just because they are a manager???

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I own and manage my pre-school and would not dream of taking liberties just because I own the group. Surely as a manager she should be leading by example. I discourage my staff from taking time off during session time unless it is unavoidable. They all know to make appointments out of working hours and I do the same.

If, as Susan has said, she is trying to find an excuse to leave this may be the only way how. Your committee need to speak with you both, perhaps together would be better then you know exactly what is being said.

I do feel that a verbal warning to all the members of staff is a bit harsh. A talk with you both and an agreement to speak with them would have been sufficient at this time.

Good luck tomorrow.

Linda

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Just wanted to say I sympathise with you. It's awful how things can get out of hand so quickly and so unfairly.

 

I feel the same as others, the manager should set the example. Appointments should be taken out of working hours if at all possible. The manager cannot do as she pleases.

 

On the other hand there may be more serious problems which would justify more tolerance.

 

A verbal warning seems very OTT and unjust.

 

Perhaps a meeting could be arranged to clear the air with everybody, the staff could feel very resentful at their treatment.

 

Hope tomorrow is better than you expect.

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Thanks everyone for your words of support and wisdom! today wasn't too bad - I walked in and we gave one another a hug! I think we all needed someone to stand back and see things from outside and I think having the committee involved meant that they were able to look at things objectively. When you are in the middle of a situation it is difficult to do that. Today was alot better, think we have all realised that maybe there are faults on both sides - things are never one sided. I'm glad I brought the issues up with her though because she needed to know that things had reached crisis point. Having said that the staff have not always been that understanding of her personal circumstances (there is lots going on) and have alienated her - a position no one wants to be in. We had a long chat this morning and spoke more calmly and decided to be more open and honest with one another. I hope that we can move on and learn from this.

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That's good - if only people were prepared to talk to each other a bit more with a level of honesty then life would be a lot easier. I am glad you both had a chat and hopefully now you can talk to each other and you can now move on. Conflict can be constructive and in this case it seems to have worked but perhaps you need to set some goalposts on time off - we are a sessional group and we all appreciate the difficulties when you have children and try and work around each other which makes life much easier but we have enough staff to cover. Let's face it when you are not being paid millions then I think flexibility is really important. I bet you are feeling loads better now having spent so much time dreading going in and I am sure that things will be better for you from now on.

And its been a beautiful day - so a win win day for you.

Nikki

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Hi Nicola

thanks for that - yes i think its good to clear the air cos its not a good atmosphere when things fester and unfortunately, confrontation isn't something i like - i suppose not many people do - hopefully we can all learn from this.

mel

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