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I had a situation in a previous workplace, where it became bullying, and I said nothing and I left the organisation, but, I wonder if this is something that I could have solved?

The project was audited by an internal auditor, and as it had not met it’s milestone targets, and the reporting to the steering committee was showing tasks on the project completed, when they were in fact, not yet completed, a political decision was made to push the schedule of the project years away, which meant that half the team had their contracts ended (as you now need less people).

One of the things audited was the expenditure.

There was lots of unnecessary spending on the project, by the management team.

A new process was put in place, where each invoice will go through a series of approvers,prior to approval.

Each manager would check only on a particular day of the week, and I would only process on a particular day of the week.

This meant that invoices with 30 days payment terms were never paid by their due date.

An issue I had was with passing the invoices along to another team.

Team members would loose the invoice, and blame me.

Team members submitting the invoices would get very angry at me, and I would be told to advise the team member,, to re-submit the invoice, and that it would need to go through the entire process again.

The team member submitting the invoice, is being pressured to get it paid, as soon as possible, and I am being pressured to tell them to resubmit and wait the entire process again.

I would receive angry comments by team members submitting invoices, and angry comments by a person in giving advice., that this is what they need to do.

At one stage, I tried to prove that the invoice was with a particular person, and just asked really politely to check their desks,

When I found the invoice on their desk, in front of another manager and team members,

They got very angry, and said nothing, but, within minutes some stationary that I had ordered had arrived, and they yelled and made a big scene about the amount of stationary ordered.

It was an excuse, due to the invoice being found on their desk, in front of others, when invoices were going missing consistently.

Another time, I had to get another team member to resubmit an invoice. It was resubmitted, after desperately searching everything on my desk for half an hour, in front of colleagues that said that blamed me,and not finding it.,

Then a week later, that same colleague that made me desperately search my desk, blaming me, in front of others, asked me to check my desk again, and said that I may find it, since there was a lot of paperwork on my desk.

The invoice was found.

She had basically found the invoice on her desk, and a week later planted it on my desk, then asked me to check again.

I don’t know what I should have done in this instance, and if I was ever in the same situation again, how I would solve it.

The issue was with being constantly blamed, when things were never my fault and I was constantly doing a great job, and being blamed for other people’s mistakes.

This scenario happens to me repeatedly and am not too sure how to solve.

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    Please edit out the “,...,” things, whatever they are supposed to be. They are distracting and obscure your meaning. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Nov 7 at 2:21
  • Sounds like a Toxic company and I doubt you could have done much. All you could do was to create a trail of proof for yourself with every task you did, which is silly. Then when you reveal that truth, the perpitrator would then get into a fit and pick on the number of times you stir your coffee. – Chris Nov 7 at 4:47
  • @Chris you're hearing only one side of the story and the word "toxic" is just a filler word. It means nothing – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Nov 7 at 14:27
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    @RichardSaysReinstateMonica absolutely I agree with you on hearing both sides. However, when we read such questions, should we just disregard them all? If we do, those who are legitimately in hell-hole companies and who are telling the 100% truth, and genuinely reaching out for help, will get no answers. I look at Toxicity as something which slowly poisons you. Work at a place which is legitimately nasty for long enough, and apathy and bitterness will come, so not sure I agree that Toxicity is just a filler word with no meaning. It paints the picture of a slow destruction of job satisfaction. – Chris Nov 7 at 16:19
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    Nothing to be embarrassed about, just a discussion. Anyways have a good day mate. – Chris Nov 7 at 16:29
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Get a proper FMIS that enables people to scan/upload PDF invoices into the system.

If you already have such a system then implement a process to ensure people upload the invoice in a consistent way.

Paper invoices can easily get lost, as you're experiencing.

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So lets find a few things in your story that you could do differently:

At one stage, I tried to prove that the invoice was with a particular person, and just asked really politely to check their desks, When I found the invoice on their desk, in front of another manager and team members

You embarrassed that person in front of peers. and although we are all adults and this should in theory not be a big problem, in reality it is. next time do not look over their shoulders when they are looking for it.

Then a week later, that same colleague that made me desperately search my desk, blaming me, in front of others, asked me to check my desk again, and said that I may find it, since there was a lot of paperwork on my desk.

The invoice was found.

So now they did the same to you. They should have let you search for it on your own instead of embarrasing you infront of peers. So this was not your fault but a way around this is to keep a clean desk.

She had basically found the invoice on her desk, and a week later planted it on my desk, then asked me to check again.

You dont know this for sure. It would not be the first time that I search some pile of papers twice and find the second time what I did not find the first time. If it is true, you did a good thing by leaving. This is pure bullying and a very toxic working environment.

The issue was with being constantly blamed, when things were never my fault and I was constantly doing a great job, and being blamed for other people’s mistakes.

I am sorry but I do not buy this. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. If you owe up to your own mistakes people will generally be less angry when you point them out theirs. And if it can be avoided do not point out peoples mistakes in public. Do it privately.

Hope this helps for your future jobs

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It looks like you have a system in place that causes everyone lots of work and stress, pisses off your employees, and pisses off your vendors. The last point will probably have consequences sooner or later.

What you need to do is not fix your tiny little problem, but explain to the people higher up what damage their rules are doing to the company and make them understand this.

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