How do you deal with workplace bullying?
My friend at work had a computer crash, well a till crash. So he came to me since I know about Epos.
The till crashed on him, he reset the till, but while the till was down, £xx was down. His manager says he does not have time to deal with this. The supervisor says he has to deal with it. This means he would have to pay out his own pocket. How would you deal with this without making a fuss? There is CCTV, but he has no access. My advice was to phone the area manager, but there are no rules on what to do here. Maybe someone has better advice for him.
Firstly I should state that I am not a solicitor, but have worked in fraud and similar areas.
Do you belong to a Union such as USDAW, since they have a specialist legal team.
This case is not just bullying but what I call "Sloping shoulder syndrome management". If the Supervisor says he has no time to deal with the situation, then it is his legal duty to report it to a higher authority; his line or Branch Manager to make time.
The Branch Manager MUST make time; that is his job and purpose!
In this case you both have to make a fuss, since there is an inference about you and your colleagues integrity. You need to stamp on it immediately, and two complaints will make the matter more serious and draw more attention.
I think your suggestion to your colleague is spot on. Phone the area manager, but I would add "make an appointment to see that Area Manager on a face to face basis", and given the scenario you outline both of you see the Area Manager together at the same meting. The sort of manager you are working under is a danger not just to you and your colleague but to the Company as a whole. That is something that needs to be brought to Head Office attention, as I mention above it is an inference on your colleagues integrity.
Any difference in the till, whether it be a cashier in a bank or buidling society till or that in a retail environment, and should not be made up by the till operator. The manager here is totally out of order to make such a suggestion. I have checked tills in audit both in banking and retail situations. This appears to be a one off situation, not something that is happening reguarly (correct me if I am wrong).
Whilst working covert operations in fraud and the shop floor, particulary when checking a bank cashier or a retail till, I have always been more concerned about a till that is over, than one which is short. Most fraudsters will never leave a till short and put the money in their pocket or re-direct EFTPOS because of the inference. That is the inference your manager is making ; i.e. the till is short then someone must have stolen the money.
It may well be that the wrong change has been given out, but that may be a genuine accident not malicious. If the errors were frequent that may be a different matter, but this appears to be a one off, but in either case the cashier should not be asked for the money. If there is any question of false accounting, then the member of staff should be suspended until investigations are complete.
If they show that there is foul play, then the manager should send the person to Head Office for disciplinary action. It is then up to Head Office to decide whether the matter should be referred to the case to the Police on the grounds of false accounting and theft. It is then up to Crown Prosecution to make a decision to commence legal proceedings. This would usually be Trial by Jury.
It will be an Order of the Court which states whether the would be perpetrator of the crime which has been proved should repay the money with interest to the employer, plus costs and whichever sentance the Judge imposes, including a custodial one; in this case the floor manager at the branch.
You definately need to see your Staff Department, and I would seek further advice from a Solicitor as quickly as possible. Do Not repay anything until you have seen your staff department/Regional Manager at Head Office.
I wish you every luck with the matter and do not be bullied in to stopping your actions as you are entitled to go through the grievence procedure.
Affilliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.
Face it bravely enough. Firm, but civil, well-thought and very steady. Not a drop of worry, tension or fright surrounding this scenario is necessary. If your friend has a valid point well and truly and it's the employers/bullies who are being a deliberate bunch of blunt headed malicious entities, then there is no way your friend will ever lose this short conflict. He's the one, who's gonna win it. This time. Every time. Hiding, fleeing and escaping won't solve a problem. A coward/escapist has never had no patch of land. Nowhere. Ever.
No matter what happens, you always want to have an internal locus of control. That means recognizing and reminding yourself that it's not what others say and do, or that happens that really makes us feel the way we do. It's what we choose to think about such things that does. And we always have a host of cognitive choices that we alone can make that really determine how we feel. If we see what others say and do as being the cause of how we feel, it puts us at the mercy of what they say and do. It gives them power and control over us that they really don't have. This usually leads to us feeling worse than helpful or necessary. Having an internal locus of control also means recognizing and reminding ourselves of what we do and don't have control over. We never can control what others think, feel, say or do. We only control what we do, and learning to do that is a big enough task for most people. Focus on what others say and do and your life will feel more out of control. Focus on what we do, and it gives us a greater sense of power and control. Third, an internal locus of control means not taking unnecessary responsibility for how others make themselves feel. People do that too often. No one upsets others, they upset themselves. What we do is just an event in their lives. It's the way they make those same choices that really determines how they feel. We all come into situations with a host of cognitive, emotional and behavioral ruts from our past experiences. These make the way we make our cognitive choices automatic and make it seem like we have no choices in matters. An overreaction emotionally is also often an age regression. Something is reminding us of past experiences and triggering emotions that went with those. It also helps to know the basic types of irrational thinking that we all engage in that cause us to feel worse than necessary or helpful in situations - that cause us to turn our emotional thermostats up. And how to correct for those. It helps to practice doing so before we find ourselves in such situations. Become proficient at keeping your think and feel thermostat turned down, or in turning it down quickly should it go up, allows us to get into the best possible mental and emotional place to deal with any adversity in the best possible way. The rest is all just simple problem solving. But you have to be able to get and stay in the best possible mental and emotional place to problem solve effectively. I call developing these abilities "Mental and Emotional Karate".
First of the first sentence really tells the tale..."his manager SHOULD be dealing with it..."that would give me license to continue up the ladder until I got help
Note: your managers are there to support you and I'm sure you can remember that, in a crisis it's easy to feel totally responsible but it's not true you are just part of a system...and often that system is flawed...
To me, this is not "bullying" it is worker exploitation.
Going "up the ladder" is fine and may be worthwhile. At that same time there should be explicit work contract documents he may have signed upon employment, he should read them.
If this contract says he is responsible for the till as a normal course of work, so be it. At the same time, the contract must also be explicit that that responsibility includes "equipment failures" - if not, the company must accept responsibility.
If the work contract includes "equipment failures" and he is not given full training and other tools to apply a "fix", the company is still likely responsible.
In the end, he will have a poor local working environment, so he should prepare to leave this company.
Workplace bullying is difficult to discern. The primary method I'm aware of - and have used - is to keep a record. If the communications have grown such that the two parties cannot settle moment to moment issues, and that the emotions are easily escalated, then keeping records of: what happened, who was present, what was said, how it made you feel, observations of others' feelings, and observations of others' actions. Then the conversation moves back onto facts. Having this record in your pocket allows you to go forward with confidence, either with the other individual/party, and/or superiors. Hope that helps. ~Phil
"The supervisor says he has to deal with it." -- Doesn't automatically mean that " he would have to pay out his own pocket". It merely means that he needs to use his own best judgement on this issue. One suggestions is to ask your manager that - since he doesn't have time to deal with this, would he like you to contact the 2nd line manager (his manager) about this. Or does his manager have someone else your friend should contact. This often gets your manager's attention. Now that you have your manager's attention - you can work on a solution together.
He's quite an old bloke and really honest I can see there is a problem with no procedure in place. The supervisor is going above his own rank. The manager is so buzzy looking after other shops. The CCTV will protect him in this instance i believe. I think the supervisor should of helped deal with this. Ill let everyone know how it goes thanks for everyone's input.
There is far too little information here to make a clean judgement call.
Firstly there must be a way to remove the emotional element of any confrontation.
You appear to be suggesting that a THEFT has occurred here - a sackable offence.
Have the police been involved - it not why not?
Has the company got an HR department? Have thy been involved for the same reason.?
This is not for the feint hearted but when faced with reality - most bullies will do one of two things - back down for fear of losing face - or ramp up to a level that will force the bullying into the open.
A must is to involve a third party on these grounds to bring evidence to the fore. Fact before fiction. Next is to record all meetings officially. Finally agree an outcome before deciding on a closing action.
Kevin, the safe approach here would be to report the event to the right authorities thru email. Wait for the response and ensure all future correspondence on this matter is exchanged only thru emails. Till there is no clear, written directive from the management about any payment, no need to even think about paying.