I’m a home-based office worker. My line manager is causing me mental health issues, which has become a serious health concern.

One of the main issues is that they give too much work. Another main issue is their untrue claims of what happened, which worries me in the sense that they can continue to do so with no consequence or apology.

They insisted that it's my performance issue that I find the deadlines difficult. They claimed that they spoke to another manager to justify the deadlines. I had to speak with other managers in the same company to find out that the tasks have actually been unreasonable.

However, the head of the department said it’s not useful that I contacted other people to gain support to my view, whilst they have not objected to my line manager’s doing (that my line manager claimed that they contacted other people first to support their view). My action was based on Citizen’s Advice, that if I don’t want to speak to my line manager about concerns of overwork, I can speak to another member in the team. Why do they make me feel like I’ve done something wrong?

I’ve requested to swap to another team, based on my health condition, which is deteriorating. However, I’m told this is not usually how it works. If I look for a new job, my line manager who often contradicts themselves, is not going to write me a reasonable reference. I feel cornered. What can I do to help myself?

(My line manager’s boss seems to be a reasonable person when I spoke to them. But they will leave the company soon.)

  • 1
    Your line manager will have no part to play in giving you any reference - only the HR department will do that. Find another job. You could ask HR about a transfer, but remember the golden rule; HR is NOT your friend.
    – PeteCon
    Apr 14, 2020 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


I feel cornered. What can I do to help myself?

In other situation, I might say that you should try to learn as much as possible from the current job and from the current problems. As in... don't be a quitter.

However, when enough is enough - and this seems to be your case now - just quit and find another job.

Why do they make me feel like I’ve done something wrong?

Sometimes, management acts exactly in that way to get rid of employees, for not paying them unemployment benefits.

... my health condition, which is deteriorating

Considering that your (deteriorating) health is more important than those benefits, just find another job.


It sounds like your idea of workload does not align well with your manager's. This is a skill that needs to be learned in any job. Have a discussion with your manager about what you think is difficult about the work and see if they have any ideas for making it easier. That should help in the meantime, and if it doesn't help then look for another opportunity and make sure when you interview that you get a good idea of what the workload will be.

Don't worry so much about a reference from your manager, I've gotten two jobs without references from my managers. I usually just ask a friendly coworker to give me references which is totally acceptable for most reasonable companies.

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