Need a shoulder to cry on

Hi all

Had an absolutely horrendous day today at work. I’ve been working from home a lot recently due to my MS and Arthritis.

I was working from home yesterday morning and then had to log off at 2pm as I had a horrific attack of fatigue and emailed the team in the office to say I needed to log off and rest. No one replied. It affects me so badly that I can’t keep my eyes open and my body ceases to function. I said that if I rested I’d most likely be able to work today and get a project over the line.

I’ve been managing this project very closely over the past few weeks. Last Tuesday I sat with my Grandfather in the hospital as he passed away quite suddenly so that hasn’t helped. I kept work fully informed on all of my projects and was still emailing the project teams while I was on compassionate leave. It’s hard enough dealing with losing a member of the family, but we have been through so much since my brother was killed by someone 8 years ago and it brings it all back.

I logged on again at home this morning shocked to find a very aggressive email from someone in my team, accusing me of not doing my job properly. Apparently a couple of people in the team had to step in for a bit while I was ill yesterday afternoon as some of the project team had been difficult. It really upset me as she basically told me that " I know you’ve had personal problems, as we all have", but if I wasn’t able to manage it properly I should have given it to someone at the start who could. I didn’t know my Grandad would die and I started this project weeks ago. The project teams were very understanding and we’ve worked around it. I’ve been in tears for most of the day as despite my issues I’m very hard working and have never missed a deadline.

I feel like I’m being used as a scapegoat as they were stressed. Not only am I stressed, but I’m in constant pain, grieving and now totally miserable.

I’m one of the most organised people in the team and this has never happened before. This manager has sent me and other team members emails previously accusing us of things without knowing the full story. Unfortunately she is close to the head of department so probably thinks she can get away with it.

Anyway I worked 9 solid hours today without a break to get this project out the door successfully. I know I won’t get any credit for it though. I know it’s business but surely a bit of compassion is not too much too ask.


Dear Lou,

So sorry about the loss of two loved ones.

I hope your symptoms improve, or you find time for reflection and the rest you need.

Do you have support at home or a good GP?

Best regards


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So sorry for your loss, it’s so hard to move on the situation. I hope this will not lead to a depression. Be strong for yourself and find an outlet to make you get over it.

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Morning hun, so sorry for your recent loss it is no wonder why you feel so tired and emotional.

As to your work colleagues, ignore it, i wouldnt even bother with and I wouldnt even reply to it.

The trouble in business there is always someone on the top step, who when in a pissy passes down their bad day to the next, down to the next person etc. It alwas happens in business always will, and you have to just not take it personally.

Just concentrate on yourself and resting and feeling better. What is so stupid is if you hadnt told them they would not have been any wiser, sometimes it doesnt pay to be a good worker. They never get the benefits of thank yous.

Now just rest and grief, and try and put it behind you, as you know who you are, and its not worth you being upset over them. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Hi Lou

I too send my condolences, but I would have to disagree with the ‘ignore it’ advice. No way would I ignore it.

This team member sounds like a bully, so inform your line manager and HR department. Doesn’t matter if she’s close to the department head or not, she should be called out on this, she has no right to bully you, you haven’t caused the deadline to be missed and if a couple of other team members had to step in I’d say you are more than pulling your weight on this project. I’d make it an official complaint, depending on the size of the company.

You have written proof of her comments to support your complaint, not just this latest example but previous ones too, plus other team members have been subject to this nasty person’s spite too. . If this type of behaviour is not flagged up she will continue to victimise people.

Look after yourself,


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you have to separate the two things - you have lost your grandfather and you rightly feel your work colleagues should show you some compassion. They can’t be forced to do that - they either do it or they don’t! The other issue is that you became ill and had to log off. It is no business of anyone else in the team to be critical of that. If your line manager has concerns he/she should raise them with you. For some little s*** to criticise you is out of order and I agree with AngC - you shouldn’t ignore it. I would contact your line manger or head of department telling them of your concerns - Keep grandfather out of it. Pwms have legal protection in the work place and employers know this although many of them will not be familiar with all the ins and outs. I would tell them something along the lines of – as someone with m.s. you are covered by Disability Act and you are not happy that a work colleague can be critical of you. Remember your line manager/employer is just that they are not your friends


Hi, please let me add my sincere condolences in the loss of your grandad…it will take a long time to accept, let alone cope with.

This work situation cannot go by without it being taken further.

It is possibly thought that homeworkers have an easy ride and don’t work as hard as those in the office.

This has been proven not to be true in your case, and your past record shows that.

You need to follow the grievance procedure over this. I know it isn’t easy, but your work life will not improve if you don’t do so.

Steel yourself hun and all the best.


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OK, so she has form for being an ill-tempered and nasty cow. Which means it’s not primarily about you. Just remember that: it’s not you.

If someone pulled her up short about it, she would doubtless have a hundred bullshit reasons for her having met a stressful situation by turning on her colleagues. She has left you feeling miserable; do you think she is feeling miserable? She has scratched the itch of her foul temper at your expense; most likely she is well down the first bottle of Prosecco and feeling jolly pleased at a good week’s work and targets reached, and finds herself perfectly able to suppress any troubling thoughts of having behaved badly in the process. Do try not to think any more about her than she is thinking about you. I know how hard that is when you are feeling bruised and undervalued.

I think that home working can be wonderful, but it does have some drawbacks. When things are not going well, the home office can be a rather isolating and lonely place. I think this can make particularly hard to bear the outrageous unfairness of such nonsense as you have endured from this unpleasant woman.

I wish I knew what to suggest and am sorry that you are having such a rotten time.



Thank you Ang, your reply makes complete sense. I was so upset yesterday that I forwarded her email to our boss. No one has got the right to speak to someone else like that. In any case it’s counterproductive as I sat there head down in my laptop in floods of tears all day which obvious affected my concentration and motivation. I felt like just walking out and I’ve never been a quitter. I’m a strong person and have to be in a corporate environment where everyone is just in it for themselves.

I’ve got a meeting with HR and my boss in September to discuss how the company could support me better and I will be bringing this up. I’m also going to suggest some kind of awareness training for the team, as unless you’ve got this horrible disease you probably don’t get it. So fed up with people saying they are tired too!

Thanks again, really appreciate yours and everyone else’s support on this thread. I’m feeling so much better today. I hope you’re doing ok xxx

Thank you Polls. Again great advice. I’m not going to take this crap! Xx

Thanks for your reply Alison. She is very short tempered but I’ve always felt like we got on well, despite the crappy emails she has sent me. Probably because it’s not in my nature to be argumentative, particularly at work and I just want us all to get on. I have stood up to her numerous times before but this time it’s too much. What really angered me was her saying that we’ve all had tough times. If only she knew! Such an ignorant comment. I really think she doesn’t care as she’s going on maternity leave in a few weeks. She even commented generally that she doesn’t care anymore. It’s all about asserting her authority and she is so inexperienced as a manager she has no idea how to deal with people. My mum NEVER swears, but when I told her what she said in the email she said “bitch”. This will all come out in the wash and I’m not letting this one go!

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Hi Lou, perhaps i misunderstood your post. You wrote: to find a very aggressive email from someone in my team, accusing me of not doing my job properly. Apparently a couple of people in the team had to step in for a bit while I was ill yesterday afternoon as some of the project team had been difficult.

I was assuming it was just a team member trying to stir up rubbish for you, not your manager. Hence that is why I said i would ignore their email and just rest and grief for now, and deal with the issues later. However, if it had been your manager who sent you this email in a nasty way that is different as they have no right to do that.

Just before I finished work on ill health grounds, the person I thought was a good friend, as well as my manager, turned on me for not being the ever so umbleandBarkiss is willing ` type any longer!


Sounds like they are having a go at you as they have problems themselves and are using you to take their frustration out on.You have enough to cope with yourself and last thing you need are empathy lacking people around you,we have had our own share of unsympathetic people who say thoughtless things they have no idea. Keep your chin up and try not to let others get to you sometimes that’s what they want .

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So sorry for your loss. I hope everything will be fine. :slight_smile:

That’s so horrible. Why are people like that?! I’m feeling better today. I went into work and spoke to a colleague in another department. She has had personal problems and recommended I go right to the top and speak to the HR Director, he was a massive support to her. So she emailed him for me and within a few hours I met him in the park and told him all of my worries. He was a massive help. Amazing that in a company of nearly 5,000 employees that the HR Director is so accessible and so keen to help. So glad I got it all off my chest and he is going to arrange awareness training for my team xxx

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I think you should speak to your manager and request compassionate leave! So sorry that someone on your team could be so nasty

Take care and try not to let idiots stress you out. So sorry for your loss

Sonia x

hurray for the HR director! give that man a bonus. great to hear of someone in that position being so humane. carole x