M not happy at work

He’s given a list of things at the start of the day and told that if he gets them done by 3 pm he can then go home and if he doesn’t get them done he’s threatened with being brought in on Saturday, but he usually doesn’t complete the tasks because everyone gives him other jobs to do and tell him to do as he’s told if he objects. As result he worries every day that he won’t get his work done. He has arranged to see his employment support worker and will discuss this and other issues.


That sounds like bullying of a vulnerable person, the added jobs by others I mean. Definitley bring it up with his support worker

Who gives him that initial list at the start of the day? He must have a line manager who is the person who directs his tasks and what he does, so hopefully that is the person giving him the list. I would insist that person hands him a WRITTEN list of exactly what needs to be done by 3pm. He should bring it back to you (and his support worker) to see if the list is reasonable in the first place …ie, not ‘too much to do in too little time’ etc.

Then, when anyone OTHER than his line manager tells him to do anything else at all, he can show the list and say, ‘that’s not on my list and I have to do everything on my list first’. He should tell the person to go and speak to the line manager and that he only takes orders from the line manager. If the line manager wants it done, then the line manage rmust take somethign OFF the list he gave him in the morning. And, he should go to his line manager and tell him/her who it is that has told him to do ‘something else’…it is up to the line manager to stop anyone else telling him to do any job that the line manager has not given him to do.

I agree it’s bullying.

the other employees giving him extra jobs to do are definitely taking advantage of him/bullying him. I agree with Jenny’s strategy. Will M be able to carry it out? Well done to him for contacting his employment support worker, they need to support him in this.


I used to use this technique in my employment, and with my own manager. Every now and then he’d float by and tell me to do something I didn’t usually do - I used to say with a smile ‘Sure, no problem - what would you like me to NOT do instead?’

He used to look flummoxed, and I explained that of course I couldn’t fit in MORE work…unless he hadn’t been giving me enough work to fill my working day in the first place (which of course he had!).

I can remember once in my youth doing secretarial temping, and doing all my work and then filing my nails - they didn’t like it, but I simply said ‘I’ve done what you gave me, and if you don’t give me more, then I might as well file my nails’. The other secretaries used to tell me to ‘look busy’ even if I wasn’t. I changed to writing letters to all my chums instead, so I ‘looked busy’.

(Another place I worked told me to always make sure I claimed a certain level of expenses every week, as they did, otherwise if I didn’t, it showed those expenses weren’t really necessary in the first place’…)

It’s a small family business and the plan was supposed to be that only members of that family were supposed to give M orders plus a certain member of staff who is in charge when the employers are not there - a man and his wife. Now they let anyone and everyone give him things to do. Furthermore, they are now saying that he has to do what they tell him to do before completing the tasks on his list. No matter what the support worker says to them, they just do their own thing. The one he had left and he hasn’t met her replacement yet.

There’s much more I could say about this, but don’t have time right now.


Does this happen when the husband and wife employers are present?


Of course - the husband encourages it.