I'm an (legitimate, I hasten to add) observer to a recent situation, and I'd like to take a bit of another look at it.
Employee A has been working on a small technical advice note for most of Friday. Her project manager, B, who asked her to do it, was working from home. There's a nominal deadline for the note at the end of the day, though it's not critical.
There have been emails going back and forth between them for most of the day, co-ordinating what the note should say, how it should be phrased, etc., as well as for A to send her work to B for review. That's fine, that's normal.
17:45, and A received an email from B essentially saying the following:
Could you finish off the note by 18:00 and send it to me for review? I'll do the check and send it back to you to send out to the client.
At this point, A had left for half an hour or so to get to a pre-arranged meeting on a different project, so didn't get this email until about 18:05. By that time, there was another email received at 18:00, essentially saying the following:
It seems you've gone home. I'll finish off your work and send it out. I don't understand why you've gone home when you know there's unfinished work left. We'll discuss this on Monday.
Now perhaps, if A had indeed gone home, this would have been reasonable. However, as far as could be determined, B made no effort to verify that A was in the office or not beyond not getting a response after the 15 minute deadline he gave.
A sent the email trail to her line manager and project director, C. Having read the emails, C sent a rocket to B along the lines of
This essentially amounts to bullying language, and is not acceptable. I'll discuss this with you on Monday.
It seems like B got a strong email response given their actions. I am trying to understand what the best way to deal with such situations is - how should C have handled this? Was an email the right response?