View Full Version : Rebuildling trust in a work relationship
05-16-2010, 09:03 PM
Pilgrimsoul has excellent advice. I also agree that it sounds like something else is going on.
I am not a lawyer either, but it seems to me that if you have 22 years of experience with this company *and* good performance reviews, it is going to be very hard for them to fire you "for cause" for one action that is relatively minor (looking at a single document in your boss' email by mistake). Yes, you lied about it, but you did not tell anyone else what was in the document, you closed it as soon as you realized what you had done, and you did not circulate the document or anything else that would compromise confidentiality.
And your boss knew that you had access to his email - even if you never formally agreed that you would have that access, he is the one who is responsible for the security of his account. If he wasn't keeping an eye on who had access to his documents, then to fire you for making a mistake relating to access to his account....I can't help but feel that it would be very hard to defend that legally.
On the other hand, as others have mentioned, if the company is going to treat you like this over a small mistake, then maybe you should consider what else is an option for you, because this is not a very good attitude on their part.
As pilgrimsoul suggests, go in on Monday on time. Be prepared that they might fire you, or try to fire you, but I think your attitude should be "I made a mistake, I'm sorry, I'd like to work to see that it doesn't happen again, and let's move forward from there". And if they won't agree to that, then make them fire you by the book. Making noises about hiring a lawyer sometimes works wonders.....
05-16-2010, 09:07 PM
No it wasn't a reorg chart, nothing like that. It was just one of those corporate happy feely lets feel good about ourselves things that don't mean anything! I didn't even read it! I guess I felt guilty and embarrassed and I had no explanation and when I am confronted I just shut down and can't respond rationally. That's just the way I am. I am not an emotionally mature person, I don't know how to answer other than that's just the way I am. I say the things in my head and I can't make them come out. Like I said, he probably didn't know because when I started working for him, I had to get access to his calendar, I just followed the instructions on how you do that and gave myself access to everything, and because I did manage my old bosses email, it was just normal for me to do it that way. But he was like no that's okay, you don't have to do that. I just never went back and turned it off, so the access was still there. If you have Outlook email, then you understand all that.
The reason that I am being treated so harshly is because of what she told me, that they consider this a serious "PVP violation", which is like the company's values and principles, and that it violates integrity and trust. I know that, but it was just a stupid mistake! I didn't mean any harm! I don't know why I lied other than I was scared when I was confronted! When they pulled me into the conf. room on Thursday, I was too shocked to say anything! I couldn't even make my body move! I sat in that chair for almost an hour and could not move! I don't know why I did that and I don't know why I didn't answer other than it was a mistake!
05-16-2010, 09:21 PM
Like I said, he probably didn't know because when I started working for him, I had to get access to his calendar, I just followed the instructions on how you do that and gave myself access to everything, and because I did manage my old bosses email, it was just normal for me to do it that way. But he was like no that's okay, you don't have to do that. I just never went back and turned it off, so the access was still there. So your boss did tell you that he didn't want you in his e-mail? That's a problem - b/c you were told not to have access to it but then never turned the access off.
I don't know why I lied other than I was scared when I was confronted! When they pulled me into the conf. room on Thursday, I was too shocked to say anything! I couldn't even make my body move! I sat in that chair for almost an hour and could not move! I don't know why I did that and I don't know why I didn't answer other than it was a mistake!I'm not trying to pile on, but that's something you need to work on. Lying about it to your boss when he confronted you was as big of a mistake as looking at the e-mail in the first place. When he asked you about it, you should have immediately explained that you clicked by mistake, barely looked at it, etc - and try to make light of it. The fact that you got visibly scared, and denied and lied made it look like you did something far worse. By Thursday, the wheels were already in place and it was too late.
The way they treated you, esp after working there for so many years, doesn't seem fair, but in a large company, people aren't going to hold your hand. I'm a little :eek: that they made you sit in a room alone for an hour and then called a nurse (or was that b/c of something you asked or said?) to come and get you, and I agree with those who have suggested that maybe the company was not a good fit. And I agree with pilgrimsoul and others have said about going to work tomorrow and throwing the ball back in their court. Just be prepared for anything.
05-16-2010, 10:18 PM
Can can you file for Unemployment if you get fired for cause? Because this would be violating policy, wouldn't it? Can you file for unemployment in the USA if you get fired that way?
Depends on the State. In Mass, it's difficult NOT to get unemployment awarded to you for a just cause termination. The Employer essentially has to prove that you violated a known policy AND that the violation was willful misconduct. Even if miscoduct is proven, the employee may get benefits if he/she can show that the misconduct was justified in some way. The State bends over backwards for the ex-employee.
05-16-2010, 10:27 PM
Not to be a naybob of negativity, but I would assume you've been terminated. I would doubt the two days off were for them to investigate the situation. I would assume it is for them to get your stuff together and get you completely removed from their system. Yes, go to work tomorrow. But I would do so with the full understanding you're no longer employed there, and they aren't interested in hearing you explain the situation.
If you can negotiate what Pilgrim Soul outlined, good for you. But I wouldn't assume any such negotiations will be made available to you.
I only say this because if you know what's coming now, you can be mentally and emotionally prepared come tomorrow morning.
Hang in there (((Baileycatts)))
05-16-2010, 10:32 PM
I am in Ohio if that makes a difference.
It was maybe 45-50 minutes I was in the room. The whole 'meeting' at 9am took about 5 minutes then they left me alone to compose myself. After about 25 minutes, she came back in and I was still just sitting there and she asked me if I wanted to call anyone or go to health services and I shook my head no and again blurted out 'it was a mistake'. I hadn't eaten or slept for days because I was so worried about what would happen when I went back to work I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. She left me alone again and about 9:45a is when the nurse came in the room and was trying to talk to me just her role was only as a nurse to see that I was okay. About 9:50 she came in again and said we had to leave the conferece room because someone else had it booked. It took me about 5 more minutes to be able to get up and nurse walked me to my desk to get my things and all I kept doing was looking around my desk at 22 years for of personal items and things I bought with my own money saying I want all my stuff back! I blindly packed up my things like normal leaving for the day and put my laptop in my bag and that is when they took it from me. I sat down in the medical office for about an hour just crying until I finally kept saying I want to go home and the nurse walked me to my car. Then that's the last I heard from anyone.
05-16-2010, 10:55 PM
Okay, I admit I know nothing about computers. I am curious about whether IT can check to see if you have been looking at Bosses email on a regular basis. I thought they could track everything that you do. Is there any chance that they have been checking on where you have been on the computer, during this 2 day suspension? :confused:
05-16-2010, 11:24 PM
((BaileyCats)) I feel for you, because from the little you've told about yourself, I gather that our personalities are very similar... so I can easily see myself doing the same things. It's not how most people would handle the situation, but everyone is different. And no matter how old you are, sometimes protective instincts kick in, though they can often lead one astray (which they did in your case).
And based on how your company has handled it so far, I would agree with the others that your termination is probably coming. I also agree that you should show up for work on time tomorrow. It will suck to go in and face everyone, all the while waiting for the other shoe to drop, but at least you have this time to mentally prepare yourself as much as possible. But hopefully 22 years of good service to the company will count for something.
05-16-2010, 11:40 PM
I have barely been able to eat for days and have gotten little sleep. I had calmed down a little bit on Saturday for a while, but the closer it gets to tomorrow the more scared I am getting. I am so light headed and weak and I know I have to eat something but I can't. I can't believe how stupid I am, I don't think it would have gone to the extent it has if I would not have lied and I still don't understand why I did that and why I was given two chances yet still did not tell the truth. He is probably the greatest boss I have ever worked for in 22 years and we had such a great working relationship and he has done so much to support me in the organization when I have the problems that I do in not getting along with the other girls. I don't know why I did this and ruined my effing life. I have nothing else in my life but that job. I don't have any close friends, I'm not married, no boyfriend, as much as I did not like those girls, I could ignore that because I liked my boss so much and I looked forward to going to work because he was so nice and I ruined all that. I would have been able to work for him for at least a good 3+ years before he would have gotten moved to another role and I threw that all away over a stupid mistake. I know those girls are just salivating over telling everyone I got fired and that I got what was coming to me when they are just as bytchy to me as I may be to them.
I just don't understand why if they are going to fire me anyway why they could not have called me up at 6p Friday night when everyone is gone and watch me pack my stuff and go and why this is taking so long. People work late in my group during the week, sometimes up til 8p people are still in the area working. Will they even let me up to my desk to watch me get my things or just pack up things like pictures and trinkets that would clearly be mine and I just lose everything else I can't remember is mine? I have 22 years worth of stuff crammed in every nook and cranny of that cube, and even stuff located and cabinets outside my cube no one would ever find that I will never get back and I want it all back.
05-16-2010, 11:56 PM
I'm not trying to pile on, but that's something you need to work on. Lying about it to your boss when he confronted you was as big of a mistake as looking at the e-mail in the first place. When he asked you about it, you should have immediately explained that you clicked by mistake, barely looked at it, etc - and try to make light of it. The fact that you got visibly scared, and denied and lied made it look like you did something far worse.
I would say the lying is far worse than the email, and to be honest, if this ends in a firing I would bet money that it's about the lying and not the email.
I know you're upset. But if you want ANY chance of keeping this job (knowing that it might be too late, but this could also salvage a recommendation) you have GOT TO be able to go in there tomorrow and tell your side of what happened CALMLY and without tears. Don't wait for them to ask..tell them. It is critical that you not fall apart, no matter what happens. Even if they yell at you (I don't think that's going to happen, but often it's a fear when we know someone is angry with us). The hysterics make you look guilty.
Focusing on your personal property at your desk is counter-productive. They will get it for you if it comes to that. If there's stuff hidden, make a list of what it is and where it is. But fretting about that is just whipping yourself into even further of a frenzy, which is likely to cause another breakdown.
It probably is in your interest to work on your resume as well.
05-17-2010, 12:09 AM
I would say the lying is far worse than the email, and to be honest, if this ends in a firing I would bet money that it's about the lying and not the email.
I would think so also. That sent a huge warning sign to the company. If I were them, I'd wonder what else you might lie about. :( Your actions after the conference didn't go a long way toward building confidence. I'd have left the room and gone to the bathroom if I felt I was going to cry. Sitting there until they felt compelled to call a nurse didn't do you any favors regarding stability. But, as Genevieve said, you can't undo what's done. You have to focus on what you are going to do now and in the future. You may well need a reference. A future employer will ask why you left a company after such a long time. Do not say anything negative about the company or the circumstance. You need to practice what you're going to say. Good luck.
05-17-2010, 12:57 AM
Yes, forget the shoulda couldas and just have do what you have to do. As genevieve said, you've got to be able to tell your side of the story calmly, even if it ends up falling on deaf ears. Personally, I wouldn't leave an employer after 22 years without challenging this serious accusation.
Layoffs and terminations happen everywhere, all the time, especially in this economy. There's no such thing as job security. There's nothing particularly unique about your circumstances. A job is just a job. You say you don't have anything else but this job? You have your health, and that's the most important thing (Just ask my friend who has cystic fibrosis. She loves her family and friends, but she'd give up those relationships to be healthy). Don't ruin your health by getting depressed over this. If you're healthy, there's always other jobs and there's always a way.
05-17-2010, 12:58 AM
I just don't understand why if they are going to fire me anyway why they could not have called me up at 6p Friday night when everyone is gone and watch me pack my stuff and go and why this is taking so long.
To be perfectly honest, that is not in their interest to consider anyone's feelings and that kind of thing would never occur to them. Employers have a habit of doing these things at the worst possible time (like firing people last thing Friday afternoon before the weekend). That is the nature of the beast.
05-17-2010, 01:10 AM
(((BaileyCatts))) Just checked this thread again today and found all this. I'm so sorry to hear it. :(
05-17-2010, 01:39 AM
I don't know why I did this and ruined my effing life. I have nothing else in my life but that job. I don't have any close friends, I'm not married, no boyfriend, as much as I did not like those girls, I could ignore that because I liked my boss so much and I looked forward to going to work because he was so nice and I ruined all that..
Whatever happens tomorrow, and I hope it works out for you, don't underestimate yourself. It's easy to fall into a pattern and not spend time examining other parts of your life when you're busy, but you're more than just your job. You're obviously well written, have good work skills, and have a sister who cares.
I know it's scary and upsetting and hard to see how anything good can come from this. But I've had friends who've gone through similar things, and a year later most of them are amazed at the positive changes they've made in their lives and the skills the talents and strength they found in themselves.
One mistake doesn't change a record of accomplishment, so even if this doesn't work out the way you want, don't beat yourself up or question your ability. Good luck!
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