False Accusations of Theft

Question:

I have worked as a pharmacy technician for 18 years and with only 3 employers. When I started my new job there was a problem with drug theft that had been ongoing before I started. It has been almost 2 years now and whenever something comes up about changes to handling of drugs one pharmacist has been said to say I was responsible.

I have done everything I can to protect myself from not taking anything personal in or out of the pharmacy. But she just goes on and on. I am getting very pissed off. She is a trouble maker and I want her to stop making these inflammatory remarks to my peers. Please help me.

Signed,

Tired of the remarks


Answer:

Dear Tired of the remarks:

I imagine everyone would be very happy if the conflict between the two of you were to be over! I say that because I imagine this situation is just part of ongoing dislike between the two of you. Do your best to avoid this person and don’t gossip about her or her remarks about you. Just focus on your own work and take action if you hear slanderous remarks made.

If an coworker tells you about something the woman has said, tell them you need it in writing so you can make a complaint. I’ll bet they back off. They are wrong to listen and not say something, or to listen and not complain to managers about the woman’s gossip.

If you are a pharmacist techinician your reputation is critical to your success. If she genuinely has said she thinks you are stealing, you should submit a letter to your manager in which you say you want an investigation of her accusations and you want your name cleared.

First, however, you need to write down specifically what she has said, not what you think she means by it. You don’t say that she has accused you of stealing, just that she has implied your actions have led to changes in procedures. That could mean that you have signed in or signed out correctly or that you have failed to follow a procedure in place. So, make sure you know exactly what has been said.

If you heard her say something, what did you say back to her and what was her response? What did the other employees say when she said something about you? Those are good to put in your letter as well. If no one has ever challenged her statements, she may believe they are true. But, at worst, if you don’t ask for help about it, it might look as though YOU know them to be true!

Next, ask your manager if there is something you are supposed to be doing differently, then follow those guidelines.

Finally, say in your letter that you insist the other employee be made to stop slandering your name and your reputation. If you have been a valuable employee they will not want to lose you over something like this. And, you should mention in your letter that if she talks that way about you at work, there is no telling what she says to others away from work. All of that can damage the business.

You probably have customers around most of the time, so you may not be able to easily confront her immediately. But, the moment you can, if you hear her say something, tell her you want her to go with you to the supervisor or manager to talk about it. If she refuses, which I’m sure she will, you go to the manager. Say what you heard and the affect it could have on your professional reputation.

I’m surprised this has gone on so long, since if she really thinks you are stealing, she is wrong to not have reported it to the police. I’m sure the manager has heard the innuendos as much as everyone else has, so it adds doubly to the problem if no investigation was done.

Don’t let this go on any longer. Do something specific in which you ask for an investigation to clear your name and to stop her hurtful and slanderous comments. If your pharmacy is a franchise or has an HR section in another location, go higher up if your own manager doesn’t help after a reasonable time.

This is too serious to just let go. But, make sure you are doing the right things as well. Otherwise they will say you create as many problems for her as she creates for you.

Best wishes with this!

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.