Due to working in a small business, my manager is also HR. Pretty much every memo we get from him says ‘see me anytime’, ‘let me know if any problems’ ‘I’m always available’ etc.
However, he is generally not available. He’s often at another building (which he is also manager for and is owned by the same owner, but it’s not connected to us otherwise). When he is in our office, it’s still not easy to have a chat with him as we are overloaded with immediate work including clients that need immediate attention.
We have monthly staff meetings which are intended for my team and this manager. He is sometimes too busy to attend and sends a memo. When he does attend, he seems to lack basic info on what we do. On multiple occasions he’s changed a protocol and all the paperwork has been done and then the owner of the business has reverted it back hours later.
I have sent him many emails about where work is at, what feedback we need, etc. I very rarely get a response.
As far as I am concerned, the manager really isn’t available for us. I haven’t had a one-to-one chat with him in months. If I approached him for a one to one chat, I would be leaving a very short staffed team under a lot of pressure.
However, there are many concerns I have about my workplace. One of which is the way this manager handles things. Today our only interaction was when he ‘scolded’ me for taking too long on a phone call. I’d been on the phone for 6 minutes to an elderly lady, we’d made an error and she was rightly complaining. I was apologising and explaining the issue to rectify it. I felt like taking the 6 minutes was appropriate on this one occasion. The manager walked in, saw from the phone that the call had been running for 6 minutes, scolded me without asking what it was about and then left.
Due to this and other issues, I’m considering leaving. What I’m concerned about is getting a lot of grief because the manager said ‘come to me anytime’ and I technically didn’t. This also could affect references from the manager/owner of the business.
Should I attempt to schedule a one-to-one meeting with him, even though this will sorely impact my team because we’re stretched so thin? Or can I point to my numerous unanswered emails if I’m accused of not going to manager?