Toxic boss, advice needed

So after nearly 2 years sober, i have worked really hard on my physical and mental health which i really neglected while i was drinking, self care was non existant.
Coinciding with my sobriety i transferred to another location with a company i have worked for, for nearly 8 years now, i work in Optics, have 11 years experience and love my job apart from one thing, my current boss.
She is very disorganised, extremely stressy, reacts to situations constantly rather than planning and purely focuses on any negative things that happen during the working day. I feel that i am treading on eggshells, never know what mood she is in and whatever or however much i do is never enough or good enough. The biggest bugbear is her lack of self care, she works 12 hour days for no good reason, wont eat or drink anything or take a break whilst making sure we know she hasnt had a drink or food all day ( very martyrish ), the main difficulties being she often wont let the team go on their legal entitlement of breaks and if we are allowed to go on break its given very grudgingly.
As i care for my mum with Alzheimer’s when i am not working, this is often my only break.
Yesterday i only got a half hour break instead of an hour, but when i got in today a note had been left on the desk for everyone to see stating 6 minutes had been docked from my time due to me taking 36 mins instead of 30! :flushed: this was not mentioned to me at all at the time and obviously i didn’t realise i had come back on shift late!
I need advice, i am a hard worker, always work my arse off and just feel drained and weary of being flogged like this every day…btw this issue has been brought up by me with my boss multiple times and i have had 2 meetings with her boss but nothing changes. My self care is very important part of my recovery from depression and anxiety and i can feel the stress building and just feel very drained. Do i ask for a transfer to our sister practise 3 miles away who need experienced staff or do i write a formal letter stating i no longer wish to forgo my legal break entitlement to accrue time in lieu ( which we have to fight to take back ) . Having worked at several locations with the same company, this is not company practise but something particular to this one manager… i am in no danger of relapsing but feel miserable, drained of motivation and very tired…

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That sounds like such a terrible work environment, I’m so sorry Carrie. If I were you I would actively start looking for another job and request the transfer as well. This lady sounds very hostile to be around and it doesn’t sound like change in a positive way is coming. If you have some leverage with another job or just peace of mind with a transfer, you might be able to separate yourself from her f’d up managing style until one of the two happens.

I agree ask for the transfer! And notify HR about the break issue. You should be able to get our break and report if you are not without any repercussions BUT it is not worth your stress level. Also your coworkers must notice it too they need to report it as well. Life is too short to deal with that. I am currently looking for a new job because I feel I am not listened to and the workload in my department is very unbalanced (with me doing more work!) I also want a better work life balance then what I have and am looking for opportunities to grow my career so I’m not just looking to leave for any old thing but having that imbalance pushes me to pursue other opportunities. I think when I wasn’t sober I would have just lived with it and told myself that my mental/physical health was not that important but I know it is. And congrats on 2 years what an amazing accomplishment!

I have a toxic relationships with some people I work with as well. I am learning that I have to accept what I can’t change about these people and have the courage to change what I can. About, 100% of the time, this means I have to change something about myself. In your situation, if seems like you have the power to change your environment entirely by moving on from this office. That might be scary and require courage. But it might be the best thing you do for your own self care, especially since the situation with the breaks isn’t the only issue affecting your work environment. Good luck!

Only you know the answer for you love, go with your gut! :heart:

If it were me, I would request a transfer and make sure HR knows exactly why with a documented complaint. 3 miles is nothing, if you can go-I totally would! Nothing you can ever do will satisfy a person like that and breaking the law to be nothing more than an ass so isn’t anywhere I would waste my time or mental health staying at. Been there, done all that and I don’t want the t-shirt!

If transfer is an option, ask for it. It is the least messy/confrontational approach, and in lieu of your previous meetings with her boss, a reasonable escalation.

Thank you all for your advice, i have emailed my director today, asking for a transfer and i have also written a formal letter to my boss stating that i am no longer willing to forgo my legal breaks and accrue time in lieu. A copy of this will also be sent to head office. I also found out today thst this practise is against company and H &S policy and should be reported to my line manager :joy: . Have discussed this privately with close colleagues and they admit they dont want to miss their breaks either but feel intimidated by this manager and dont want to be the one to stand up to her… all this will be done calmly and respectfully but i will be firm in my demeanour as life is to short to be unhappy everyday :star_struck:


Amazing what you can see, by the light of a burning bridge.

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I have no intention of burning my bridges, keep it polite and respectful at all times😎