The following is my side of the story:
I will never forget looking on my phone screen, thinking my phone has switched off the conversation again as it used to do sometimes. Out of the blue the phone call just ended and hung up, while I was talking and talking not realizing the person on the other end of the line wasn’t there anymore! A funny monologue happens then while speaking to a switched off machine! I looked at my screen but the phone call was still in process, so I asked you, “Are you still there??”, and you replied very quietly, “Yes. I am listening”. And after I finished my side of the story, you raised my concerns as a grievance which at first confused me, but later I realized it was the right thing.
What I didn’t know at the time was that you were already very involved in my “case”, but you never heard MY side of the story until that phone conversation. When I received my file months later that I applied for, so many “bells” kept ringing when I saw your email correspondences with managers and HR. I understood then why you were so quiet on the phone and why you then raised my concerns as a grievance. And I will always be grateful that you did, even though I didn’t understand and was in a fog of shock anyway because of my brother’s death. And this would be my plea to anyone in HR (and in general!) to always hear BOTH sides and not take the word of a superior as face value over the word/experience of the person they are over.
Before I worked in Pret I never knew what a grievance or a disciplinary was. And I never got fired, I was never even close. But after all the threats and fear management, bullying, avoidance of me during the darkest time of my life, I guess subconsciously I wanted to “deserve” what I have been threatened with so unreasonable for a prolonged time.
On your last day when you invited me for an informal meeting to check what I needed after the terrible experience in the previous shop and also some difficulties in the current shop, (it was clever by the way, for you to be advised to meet me as the last person, on your last day, during your last hour at work, as this would avoid further emails from me 😉 Smart move and I would have done the same). And even though I saw your nervousness, understandably, you cared and tried to help.
But when I learned that it was your last day after having worked in Pret for 6 months, I went home and in my irrational fears thought that you were fired for having raised my concerns as a grievance! I was so out-of-sync that I thought you lost your 3 or 6 months trial period because of the grievance!
Later I learned you were just an interim HR advisor covering for maternity leave! And I remembered that you were wearing a black shirt with silver glitter on it, as this may have been for a farewell party with colleagues because your last day was a Friday anyway and your dress code usually was not “glitter”. It dawned on me that no one in their right mind would wear a glittering outfit after being dismissed!
You know I was so naive and in trauma that I didn’t see clearly. You were planning and scheming on how to deal with me and get rid of me before you were confronted with my side of the story. You not being present at the first grievance hearing that you yourself have raised was an indicator that HR did not want any grievances raised against a leader as this reflects back on them.
Your emails to OPs managers and HR are quite sad to see how you in HR are working to get rid of people in bereavement. It’s amazing to be like a fly on the wall seeing how HR really operates.
HR did manage after 3 years to finally get rid of me, unfairly of course, using all kinds of tricks and traps, ultimately with the development manager, but you heard the story no matter how far away you live. You guys are all in contact. But again, this is my side of the story.
This is your side of the story: