Snow Day Call In Doubted

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss checking on an employee who called off from work because of a snowstorm:

I have two jobs and I called into my full time work because of a snow storm. I tried to get in to work; however, I ended up off the road waiting for a tow truck. My full time job called my part time employment to see if I was working there instead, in fact calling me a liar. I was upset by that. I felt they had really over stepped the mark. My supervisor at my second job wrote a letter to proclaim my innocence.

I have never let one employer down to satisfy another!

Signed When and Where
Dear When and Where:

Having to pay for a tow after sliding off the road is more than enough to anger you, but now you feel someone at your full-time workplace didn’t believe you and was checking on you. Right? So you can hold that against your boss or whoever there called and allow it to fester? Wrong.

Sure it might be the case that whoever called doubted that you were not there because of a snow storm, but the call most probably was made because your boss simply thought it was his/her responsibility to check out your story. From what you sent about what happened, it is not clear to me as to when you called. I assume you called before you had the unfortunate accident that required a tow truck. I also assume you didn’t call when you were waiting for the tow truck or after that because you don’t mention you called a second time. Nor did you say if you if you also missed work at your second job.

Bosses feel responsible to know what’s going on and some don’t realize that checking on those they boss is interpreted as being judged as dishonest, and they don’t think about how that harms their boss-bossed relationship. Perhaps your boss, I’ll call Sam, checking if an employee’s calling off was honest probably stemmed from other experiences he/she had had with others they have bossed who’d lied to them. Or possibly it was due to the way Sam himself had lied in the past to cover up some act he didn’t want known.

It is natural for you to assume Sam checked with your second employer because he thought you were lying. It isn’t natural to assume Sam’s motivation was good because you don’t know the kind of experiences he’s had that might cause him/her to think those bossed might lie. Moreover, his boss might have told him to check out call offs.

Now, you have had your honesty verified by your second employer. Will you let the past be past? Having to work a second job demands more than what you should have to do to earn a living and is stressful. Would that you can find work that pays enough so that your life doesn’t demand so much of your time. But since it does, will you guard against making you sour toward your full-time boss? Can you walk in his/her shoes to at least assume the call to your second job was just the way he thought a boss should check on an employee and wasn’t doubting your honesty? Perhaps not, but rather than allow this incident to devolve into a grudge, I suggest, you should frankly ask your boss, why he called your second employer and say you don’ like him checking on you. Tell Sam such acts demean you and is like a probation officer checking on one they are to monitor.

Also rather than allow this incident to grow into a big gap between you and Sam, wouldn’t it be smarter to be so exceedingly responsible that he will not think you were placing your second job above your full-time one? Make it your job to make his job easier. Make communication frequent and supportive. Will you do that? Working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that’s the kind of attitude you can help create in your workplace.
–William Gorden

FOLLOW UP: I called to inform I was going to be late. I called to inform I was leaving , I called to say I had slipped off the road and was waiting for a tow truck, and I also called to inform that due to the damage to my car I would not be at work that day. I wasn’t working at my other job. I wasn’t scheduled, and I have never jeopardized my full-time job to work at my second job. How many times can one employee have to phone?

Rely to Follow Up: Yes, you did what was right. Yes, your boss or whoever called should not have unless you had a record of lying. It was unwise for him to call about your to your second workplace. So the issue is still: what should you do now, if anything? Does not my advice help you realize that even if your boss was wrong to call your second job that it will be bad if you allow resentment to fester?
You have options to bite your tongue and see yourself as a victim, to assert your resentment, and/or to do what you can to build trust that was lacking. So will you do what you can to make your displeasure over the call to your second job clear and then to make an effort to build a trusting boss-bossed relationship? Please feel free to let me know what you decide to do or not do to cope with what appears to be continuing anger.
FOLLOW UP 2: My Union called me and said they are going to talk to the employer about her actions. See what happens next?
Reply: Hope all goes well. That’s what unions are for–to help its members be treated fairly, but at the same time not to make things worse. Therefore the goal is not to make the employer loose face but to foster good boss-bossed respectful relationships.
FOLLOW UP 3: Thanks for the help and advice. Just for the have recorded, I am a 57-year old man and have been in the trade for 40 years. You maybe can understand my frustrations.
Thanks again.