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Office Sabotage

Office Sabotage

Office Sabotage

This afternoon, I was blamed for discarding an envelope that a temporary receptionist actually threw away.  I found it in her garbage pail.  She did not admit that she mistakenly threw it away.  I think she was afraid to be reprimanded in front of the supervisor.  (She critizes in public)

I am new at this position for only about six weeks.
In this really tough job market, what can I do to make sure that she does not have an opportunity to do this to me again?

Any helpful advise would be appreciated.

RE: Office Sabotage

Go to HR?  Better to have something documented as it happens rather than having it crop up months or years down the road.  You'll have a more difficult time explaining it then.

Otherwise, if it's a minor deal and no one really cares about it, you may choose to do nothing.

RE: Office Sabotage

River, you've helped me out a lot with code, but this is one I'm going to have to disagree with you on.

Stay away from the HR office unless it has to do with legal matters (Sex Harassment, Disability/Work Comp, Benefits, etc.). Period. Think of HR as a Marine Drill Instructor; if he doesn't know your name, you are doing something right. HR is the same way. They do not want to hear about 'piddly stuff' such as this. The more you stay off their radar the better your future will be. If you have to work with HR, then keep it to the tasks at hand. All HR wants to know is "Are you doing your job? Are you doing well?" If you nit-pick to them, they will replace you. In this job environment, we are all a dime a dozen. They'll get some one that comes in, works, and doesn't complain.

My wife is an HR Manager. This is the advice she gives me. Think of HR as a 'one-time shot' and you better have proof. You only get to use them once, so make it count. Anything after that (other than legal complaints) is not going to be favorable for you.

All in all... let it go, man. Keep track of everything in a notebook. If it gets out of hand, then talk to the source of the issue. Talk to your supervisor. One instance isn't going to be the death of your job. Multiple may be, so just keep a detailed record of any and all occurrences. All you really can do.

Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.

RE: Office Sabotage

Send an email to record everything.  Since email is admissible in court, they are valuable items.  If you've been tucked up once, you'll be tucked up twice.  Raise your shields, and set phasers to something other than stun.

Nothing makes a company toe the line like a well-founded law suit.  If they have done this to you once, they will do it twice, unless  you take measures to prevent it.  If you choose not to, then I suggest that  you seek alternative employment as a matter of urgency. 2thumbsup



RE: Office Sabotage

Personally I have found with people like this is it best to confront them early and publicly when they try to lay the blame on you for something they did. If they think you are a pushover, they will try to do it repeatedly. If they know you will push back, they will be more wary. Exception: if the person who does the blaming is in anyway sexually associated to upper management, then run, do not walk, away from the situation because no matter what you do, you cannot win.  

"NOTHING is more important in a database than integrity." ESquared

RE: Office Sabotage

Sadly, I concur.  Having seen junior (male) staff sexually "associated" with directors, and their subsequent meteoric rise through the ranks, sql sister is speaking words of wisdom.



RE: Office Sabotage

There is little HR can about that too in large corps. Sucks, but that's business.

Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.

RE: Office Sabotage

A discarded envelope?  Was there a check for $2 million dollars in it or something?  Otherwise it seems awfully petty to even care about it.  Someone obviously made a mistake and either didn't realize it or didn't want to take responsibility for it.  It happens ALL THE TIME in business, and nobody claims that it rises to the level of sabotage.

If the true offender is a temp I wouldn't worry about it.  They're usually temps for a reason, and they'll be gone soon enough.

I will comment on the whole "don't go to HR" schtick though.  If you're working for a huge multi-billion dollar company then maybe your HR department is an anonymous monster to be feared, but not all companies are like that.  I've usually worked for smaller companys (500-1000 people) where the HR staff are friendly, approachable, and actually want to make things better for the employees.


CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:System Center Virtual Machine Manager
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: Office Sabotage

Look at the facts.  According to the information you've provided, the other worker flat out lied and blamed something on you -- therefore trying to get you in trouble.  This is a completely different ballgame than someone being rude or difficult to work with.  If this is how it really went down, then I'm not sure you could expect to convince her to leave you alone.  I'm also not a big fan of just telling the supervisor because it's more likely going to go undocumented and forgotten.

I'm more apt to let people do what they do and not make a big deal over anything.  I've had a few difficult and rude coworkers in the past, and for the most part, you just learn to work with them or work around them.  However, someone directly lying to get you in trouble is really nothing I've encountered.

But I'm with kmcferrin a little on this -- why is the envelope so important?  If it's not big deal, then don't worry about it.

RE: Office Sabotage

I'm of the opinion that making a big deal of this by documenting it, etc. is simply making a bigger deal out of it than it is.  Also, just because something is found in a receptionist's trash can does not even remotely imply that they put it there.  People frequently use the nearest trash can, and a receptionist's desk is a high-traffic area.

Just let it go.  Move on.  Not everything needs to be highly documented, sent to HR, and reviewed by a lawyer.

RE: Office Sabotage


I think that it is evident (from most responses) that there is a little more to this than meets the eye.

You say: "She criticizes in public"; did she 'criticize' you, and only you?

If so, then you must tackle this if and when it happens - not attempt to use it as ammo later on, because later on: it isn't 'ammo'.

I get a feeling that the 'letter' is of little consequence - built-up into an important affair by you perhaps?

If there is a personality clash, then talk to the receptionist - isolate the reason - solve it.

Do you feel 'threatened' by the 'temporary' receptionist after only being employed for 6 weeks?

Think about this situation seriously, be fair, and you won't need us to point you in the right direction.

winky smile



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