Accusation of Taking A Photo Escalated To Write-Up and Firing

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being fired:
I was fired for taking a photo that I didn’t take, wouldn’t sign a write up, and I was deemed insubordinate.
I went in early to my job to inquire about some hours for which I hadn’t received pay on for a few months. I had been inquiring on these hours for some time now. The lady to whom I spoke was very rude when I asked her about the information. She told me I would have to come back around 4 p.m. when the next person in charge would be here and would have the answers.

I told her my shift would have started by then. I asked her if I left a note would she make sure the one in charge would get it. No reply. So I pick up a sticky note and began writing on it to leave the note. Also I left my email address on the back of the note. As I re-read the note I opened my phone to make sure that I leave the correct email that I have on my phone.

The lady assumes that I am taking a picture of the note. I tell her I’m only making a note on my phone where I left a note so that I could go back to that date. She goes crazy and says, “Yu know I can write you up for taking a picture; don’t you?”

I told her I’m not taking a picture I’m making a notation in my phone. I let her know I’m not on the clock I’m just here inquiring about my pay before I go to my job.

She said, “I can still write you up because I seen you take a picture. Let me see your phone right now.” I showed her every picture I have on my phone, but she swear up and down I deleted pictures off my phone. I told her I have a new phone I don’t even know how to use. I can send messages and call but all that other stuff I don’t know how to work. I’m not into all of that up to date phone stuff.

She wrote me up anyway. I disagree with what I’m written up about and I don’t sign the write up but I make a notation why I disagree. They have written me up before and I had a problem with it and they tried to get me to sign a write up that was 3 months old I refuses to sign it because I didn’t know anything about something that old.

Now if I was in the wrong I’m in the wrong and I will sign it. But I have a sexual discrimination suit going on against them and they were just looking for something to get rid of me. That’s what I see about this situation.

Please help me I have worked as a temporary employee at this place for almost 4 years. Now they have turned my life upside down because I won’t sleep with my boss. I refuse to do any wrong doing.

Signed, Did Nothing Wrong

Dear Did Nothing Wrong:

In an effort to untangle what you have sent us, I have changed some of its wording, and I apologize if I have misinterpreted what you sent. I have boiled down you lengthy description of an incident in which you were seeking back pay that escalated into a shouting match between you and an employee over whether you photographed her and a write up that you didn’t sign.

Obviously, there was a misunderstanding that was not treated coolly. You add that you see the write up as retaliation for a discrimination suit concerning your refusal to sleep with your boss.

I’ll not try to unravel the photographing incident nor its possible connection to your discrimination suit. Let the EEO and/or your attorney deal with these matters as the slow legal process wines its way forward as it should.

My advice is that meanwhile you had best not allow yourself to play and replay the write up or other incidents over and over in your mind. To do so can make your daily life miserable. Signing a write up doesn’t mean you admit guilt. You can sign with a note of disagreement. You can also request an investigation of it.

Now is the time to find another job, if indeed you are fired from this temporary one you have had for four years. Or if you are allowed to resume employment, resolve of think like a responsible, cheerful employee. How? I’m sure you don’t want another photographing flare up. So put that new phone away. Tend to the work assigned. Don’t gossip. Gossip about you being mistreated or targeted with anyone at work will not help.

You don’t mention your age, but most likely your working life is not over. Build on the skills you have acquired and seek out others that will make your career path as successful as possible.

Doing good with whatever life has dealt us is the wisest advice I know. I suggest you access a winning Toastmaster speech by a former student of mine, Richard Breiner. (Rich 2004 Doing Good with what You’ve Got youtu.be https://youtu.be/YLI32qolqFo) It should cheer you up and help you reframe an unhappy confrontation to one more positive. Working together with hands head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Please let us know how all of this progresses. Life is not for sissies and I can tell you are not one to think it is.
William Gorden
RESPONSE:
Thanks for your response I did file an EEOC compliant against this company. They’re trying to fight me for unemployment. I will never get a job back in that place due to kissing up sleeping with this one and the other. Long story short: I’m in the process of having to move. I will have to work 3 jobs to maintain my lifestyle and pay bills. $19 an hour is hard to come by. This is why I am so angry. I work hard and very long hours 6 days, sometimes 7 days a week. Sunday is double time. So my life has been turned upside down I have a family that depends on me daily.