No Smoking Day
2,651 members31,360 posts

Ok, I know i keep ending up in here

And it's not good.

Has anyone had to cope with a lot of stress when giving up? How did you do it?

To explain am having huge stress at work. Being bullied by boss who is discriminatory against women and basically anyone who isn't his nationality. He has reduced someone elses hours (She's making a formal complaint)

and now a colleague has told me he wants to get rid of me and replace me with someone of his nationality. I've worked at the job for four years with no problem. I believe he's building up a "case" against me for the most trivial things...and he's undermining my abilities to the senior management. He rings me at home to shout at me for " mistakes",i'm supposed to have made- These are mostly things i haven't even done! He's not let me take holiday i booked ages ago, and given it to someone else, He's told someone else he doesn't want me to do any nights which i have never agreed to (because I'm a woman)He's told me i would have a certain amount of hours which i don't.

so my hours and pay drastically reduced (My nights have now been given to his friend- He's basically created a new job.)I think i'm gonna have to start a formal grievance procedure, but this is just going to make my life a misery. I believe i can get some support from colleagues, and i also think i've seen him pocket cash from early check ins (and tell me to check them in later) so my complaint could probably get him sacked as he's had a complaint against him from a customer too.

I have six days off now. I don't know what to do. How can I do all this without smoking? If I complain now, how can i go back in and work with him again? Should i wait until he starts disciplinary procedures against me? I'm logging it all (It's several pages)

He told me yesterday, that it "Was silly" of the other woman to complain, because it was all the DMs doing.He blames everyone else for all his mistakes.

14 Replies

Sorry, I do realise this is a bit off topic, and i would actually still be smoking i think but have run out- as my pay been cut by approx £60 . I can't really think about anything else at the mo. I had to go home yesterday as i was ill cos of the worry. He's being very nice at the mo as i think he realises i'm going to complain.


Personally i would use the time off to get myself feeling quite a bit better.. and perhaps even quit during this time too? Stress and worry are part of every day life sadly, but it does seem this chap is going out of his way to make it happen in this case.

I'd be tempted to wait to see if he has the balls to try the disciplinary procedure, but i would think the evidence you are collecting would prove v. useful if that ever came about.

Most companies do say though if you cannot talk your boss, then talk to their superior..can you do this?



Jude.... there is always going to be stress in life. I admit it may be a bit tougher to start a quit in the midst of stress but I am sure you could do it..... it sounds to me like you don't have an outlet to manage your stress..... just see you get mad, bottle up the anger, and light up (and drink).... sure that's one way of dealing with your stress..... another might be exercise. I mean really wearing yourself out to calm your body and mind again..... to be honest when I started working out again, my quit finally became the strongest.

You are using stress as an excuse to smoke and you're probably using drinking to have an excuse to smoke as well...... you're smoking right now? Use this time to really think about it all, don't jump right into it again..... prepare first, make some changes so your next quit will be the one.... it makes no sense making the same mistake over and over...... quit, drink, stress, light up, patch.... etc.

You can do this but it seems you need to work on the right frame of mind.... we're here to help you!


Sorry to hear you're having such a bad time Jude - there's some great advice already posted so I just wanted to add a bit about the smoking.

When the rest of your life is spiralling out of control, stopping smoking seems like one step too far but, conversely, it gives you a tremendous amount of power - you are taking control over one aspect of your life that you, and you alone, can control.

Do it for you - no one else. Don't let your b****** boss be the reason why you are not doing something YOU want to do - stop smoking.

Yeah, the first three days are tough, but I promise you it does get better. And every time you get a craving, just remember you're taking control and not letting your boss beat you.

And keep posting on here for support - doesn't matter if you go a bit off topic; if it helps you to stop smoking, then we don't mind at all :)

Take care


Thanks for the advice all - I was thinking about going to the CAB.I was reading anti-bullying websites and it says you must use the grievance procedure, and get him fully investigated.But how uncomfortable is that going to make my life?i don't think i can work with the guy after i complain about him.?

I'm just not sure i can face it all (with or without fags)

I do hear what you are saying truly Bella. It's kind of embarrassing coming back to day one all the time.I can be full of resolution one minute but the next i can be smoking. It's like theres not enough time between thinking "i want , need, must have cigarette" and me smoking one. Poor impulse control or summat.


Hi Jude, sorry to hear about all your problems with your boss. I am a CIPD qualified HR practitioner so should be able to help you with some useful info when I get back from the office in about 15 mins.


Many of us can empathise with you - giving in to the ciggies is so much easier than NOT giving in ! That is why it is so hard for people to stop - no matter what they say - it is difficult - and heaps of people keep trying and falling off the quit - I know it has been said a thousand times but I think trying again is all you can do - and I hope for you as I hope for myself that it will " click " and you will make it through - it is very true that the " desire " for a smoke is in our heads - once the first three days have passed - the nicotine has gone but to my way of thinking the really hard bit starts there - you are thrilled to have got to that point ( certainly the first time you give up ! ) - and then the mental tussle starts - and I am quite weak willed I am afraid - then you have 1 - and then you are disappointed - and then you might as well have another - and hey ho we are back where we started - I hope you will keep trying and wish you the very best - maybe I will take heart from the people who have managed - it clearly is possible as you know - good luck - best - Peta x


Thanks Hobo and Natallie :)Not smoking anyway so it's a start...

Natallie i would appreciate any advice from yourself. My main issue is whether to start the grievance procedure as i think he may be sacked soon anyway. I also have issues with his immediate manager as she is extremely patronising , and i don't want to go to her. I believe he has been undermining me to her and she was there one day and pointed out something that i did slightly wrongly (because she was watching) and i told her that i didn't agree. She was quite rude.Then i came in the next day to find someone there who was evidently monitoring me....which i found extremely uncomfortable about. He himself (my boss) has threatened me with disciplinary procedures. It's like he's finding excuses- the things are really petty or completely not my fault.I have been in the job for over four years, with no disciplinary's ever and 3 good appraisals from other bosses.I was actually offered the Assistant managers job but turned it down.

Before this guy came there, we had no managemnet for 6 months because it is so stressful with higher management - we couldn't even take any time off. He has been in the job for less than four months and has had customer complaint and disgiplinary himself.

If i complained to HR, who it seems to be very hard to get in contact with, would i have to work with him? Would it obviously then go back to him?I have pages of incidents logged on him and it's pretty damning.


Hi Jude,

Right firstly you need to found out what your companies grievance procedure is, this is normally in an employee handbook and/or written particulars of employment (contract of employment), you need both as normally your handbook will state what the procedure is and you written terms are the express terms that your company must follow to the letter, otherwise they will be in breach of your contract of employment and could be liable for constructive dismissal if you were to leave your employment.

It really is worth having an informal discussion with your HR department as they can advise what your company procedures are, secondly they may be able to log keep a record of your discussion, so should your boss try to instigate disciplinary action against you, at least you would have a record to show that your grievance is not retaliatory.

I understand your concerns about continuing to work with your boss after you have made a complaint, but it depends on what your companies grievance procedure is as to how this would be dealt with, as an example if your HR department consider that your complaint should be treated as a formal grievance, then following a fact finding interview with you boss and possibly with other witnesses they may choose to suspend your boss whilst an investigation and remain suspended until a formal grievance hearing.

Clearly if your manager is dismissed following the investigation then this problem is resolved, if he is disciplined rather than dismissed then you could ask your HR department if you could change to a difference department in the company, but you may find that your managers attitude may change for the better after the grievance hearing.

Clearly suspension is only going to be used by your HR department if they judge that the allegations are very serious, and that it would create an impossible working environment for both parties to remain at work.

Unfortunately you may find that your companies grievance procedure may be a two step procedure were initially you will have to approach your managers line manager initially, whilst I appreciate you don't like her - remember that she will have to follow your companies procedure on this, if your compaint is not then resolved then it will get escalated to your HR manager/dept, however judging on how you have described the actions of your manager personally I would judge your complaint serious enough to skip a step and commence with formal grievance procedure but it just depends on your company, its procedures and your HR manager.

Keep accumulating as much evidence as you can whilst your complaint is in progress, remember that lots of companies will allow hearsay evidence to be produced in a grievance hearing so include everything, possibly discretely ask colleagues who feel wronged by your manager if they would be willing to be a witness during the investigation and hearing.

Lastly, with regards to reducing your pay as a result of changed working hours/loss of overtime, if you routinely have the same types and amounts of (routine) overtime over say a 6 month period of time you might not be aware but this overtime will become an implied term in your contract of employment, as it will have become custom and practice. This means that your manager cannot reduce your overtime or your normal working hours without consultation, if your manager has reduced your hours without consultation then as the result of his actions your employer is currently in breach of your contract of employment and you could take your employer to an employment tribunal. This is a nightmare legal area however, but it is something worth mentioning to HR during your informal chat with them.

I hope you find the strength to start a grievance complaint against your boss, and I hope you also find the strength to restart your quit.

If you need any other information or help feel free to PM me.

(The advice given is based on a HR point of view, and cannot be deemed to be professional legal advice. Without specific information this can only be used as guideline information, you are advised to take up professional legal advice.)


Thanks Natallie. I really appreciate it. That was very helpful. I have been worrying myself about it terribly.

I will let you know how it goes.


Have tried to ring the HR department. The company i work for do not really want complaints from anyone, even the customers , so they make it very difficult with the phone numbers. Ages ago, i tried to ring an employee relations no. and left my number, but not my name. Noone ever got back, I have found some direct numbers for HR staff, and left a message. Phone never answered- noone rang back.

Today i rang the head office. The woman asked had i rung before? Which was strange. Said could only give me Service desk number and they would give me HR number. I ring them, but have to leave my name, and place of work. Someone is supposed to be ringing me back, but i don't particularly trust in the process of this-I've asked for confidentiality.

I also think they are worried because one of the reasons my manager told me they gave for reducing the other staff members hours is that shes disabled and couldn't do a fire evacuation, which she has done... they then found a mistake she'd made and used that too (it was a card declined)

I haven't obviously told her any of this, and not sure whether to.Bad situation all round. I believe DM responsible at least partly for that thing. Still not sure what to do, but want to get something logged, so that i have comeback in case they start disciplinary procedures.

It also worries me because one of the anti bullying at work websites, while helpful with info, is very negative about any positive outcome. It basically says when you become a target , thats it, you might as well kiss the job goodbye. Also, it says your companys HR dept. is just there to protect the company- no offence, to yourself Natallie, I'm glad to get independent advice, but it worries me to have to speak to someone within the company, if you know what i mean. How do i know they will keep just my details confidential?


good luck Jude

Sorry your back here, hope you make it, never stop giving up. I had many quits before this one, the right quit will be successful because regardless of anything else that is happening, you will be more determined to not smoke. Once you've got further and further away from smoking the thought of giving in and losing the quit you've strived so hard for becomes a factor in itself.

Hope you've been keeping a diary so you can re-read the turmoil of the first few days of cessation, this might help keep you off the smokes.


thanks MAH, hey i didn't smoke today:D. It dawned on me today as well that if i can do this without smoking -then i can do anything at all without smoking and i will prove to myself that i don't need it. It actually feels like a switch has flicked today and it feels like a revelation a bit.

Fast forward 5 days time walking into work and see how i feel then.


Hi Jude,

Good job on not smoking! :)

I had a situation in my job similar to yours. I won't go into the details, but it became clear to me that keeping the job was not worth it. I went on stress leave (this is perfectly fair as it is too emotional to survive) and started to look for a new job immediately. I found one which is a couple of steps up the ladder with better pay and I really like the team. It is a terrific job. So, the old adage rings true again: As one door closes, another opens.

Good luck with all of that.



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