Workplace Whispering

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctor about unsubstantiated complaint:

A coworker has made a complaint to my manager alleging that I am being unfriendly and obstructive. My manager has sent me a letter stating that she has also received “whispers” from other coworkers which justifies the complaint. This has been recorded on my work file without a face to face with both parties. Is whispering an accepted management tool? What should I do?

Signed, Whispered Trouble

Dear Whispered Trouble:

Managers are responsible for handling complaints that frustrate productivity. Therefore, they get complaints from coworkers about coworkers who make their work more difficult and/or who are unfriendly, just as did your boss. Bosses keep their ears and eyes open to see if a particular complaint echoes within a work area. Apparently your manager heard talk (whispers) that supported the complaint about your being “unfriendly and obstructive”, and put this in your file. You don’t like the fact that this was done without you being able to face the whispers. Can your boss do this? She/he did. Should he/she have?

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