Can I Complain About A Negative Email?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about insulting email:

Should I file a complaint about a bad email written about me from my assistant manager to my manager and vice-versa?

Signed, Angry and Hurt

Dear Angry and Hurt:

Even if you complain–the issue is whether or not your complaint is likely to be given serious consideration. The action you take will depend upon the overall situation. If your manager and assistance manager wrote emails criticizing your work or your behavior or actions at work, they can do that, even if you don’t agree with what they wrote or even if they may have used angry language in their writing.

If they wrote something about you personally–your private life, some aspect of your appearance or some other private issue–it would be inappropriate for them to use a work computer for comments of those kind. In that case you could complain about their discourtesy and lack of professionalism.You will need to provide proof of the emails or a witness who will say he or she saw them and they were inappropriate. It would also be beneficial for you to say how the emails might keep you from working effectively. (It might be that you will never feel that your manager or assistant manager really want to see you succeed, because they wrote such negative things.)

Whatever you do about the complaint, it would be wise to analyze why the emails were sent. If there are situations that need to be corrected, you may need to take the first step to rebuild the relationship between your managers and you. Best wishes in your efforts!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.