Bullying Manager - What to Do?
TLDR: Manager retaliating after I was asked to give him feedback on his performance as a manager. It was his manager that asked me to give him direct feedback. Retaliation causing hostile work environment and mental stress.
Manager - will call him “HM” for horrible manager
His Manager - will call him “big boss”
His peer using me to further his agenda - let’s call him “2IC”
HM is incompetent and a bully. Regularly rants at ppl in his team, has difficulty controlling his emotions and operating with any rationale or common sense. Ppl in our team have either left or looking for other roles. This guy lies about all sorts of things, even stuff that’s easy to check. He also regularly steals our work, passes it off as his own without giving any credit. In short, he’s the worst person I’ve ever worked with let alone report to.
A couple months ago, his peer, 2IC, randomly set up a meeting with me. I’ve never worked with him before but he started asking how I felt, what it’s been like working there. He told me he knows just what HM is like and that there are plans to fix the issue. Thinking he was being candid, I stupidly shared I didn’t like HM. An hour after this meeting with 2IC, I get a meeting request from the big boss (boss of 2IC and HM). 2IC told big boss I wanted to quit (I never said this). I had to sit through a meeting where I had to share my feedback on HM (2IC already told him what I said so there was no hiding). Basically 2IC was using me to try and get rid of HM as I later found out they hate each other. I work in another office location from HM, 2IC and big boss so was not aware of all these office politics.
After the big boss session, I was asked to share my feedback with my manager. So I did. And that was when the retaliation started. I got ranted at it my next 1:1 with HM about what I problem I am and how difficult I am to work with (never received any feedback from anyone else about this). He’s since created situations to make me look bad so he could publicly berate me. He’s calling other ppl I work with to dig up information about my work and then setting up meetings to try and catch me out. He’s leaving a paper trail of emails to make me look like I’m not performing. I escalated to big boss and was dismissed and told to work it out with HM. I’m left with no one else to escalate to except HR - who I am meeting this week. I’ve been told by my colleagues that HM is trying to build a case either to get rid of me or make me so frustrated that I’ll leave. I hate to give him the satisfaction of leaving just bc he’s making things difficult for me. I am looking for other roles and I don’t want to quit until I find something else. In the meantime, he’s making my life difficult. I’m constantly trying to protect myself from his next scheme. I get anxious and have a pit in my stomach every time I get an email or call from him. I have difficulty sleeping. I’ve started seeing a counsellor.
Not sure what to do. Just wanted to share and vent and see if other ppl have any advice.