Tampered With My Time Card!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time card error:

About three months ago I took a new job as a supervisor. The problem was that the guy that was in the position got demoted to being under me. He could not handle the job. Well today I got called in to the owner’s office and got accused of messing with my time card. I went around and around with them telling them it was not me. After almost losing my job we come to find out that it was my co- worker that set me up. He has it out for me and now I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping he gets himself caught. Is there anything I can do legally to get him off my back.

Signed, New Super

Dear New Super:

How did you find out that it was this demoted co-worker who “messed with” your time card? If you have evidence of that, the owner should deal with this person immediately–penalize or fire him. If indeed, the owner believes this person punched or distorted a time card, he should be on your side. What can you do? Watch your back? There is nothing else that I know you can do if the owner does not discipline this guy. You can become obsessed with thinking this guy is out to get you or you can take it in stride–treating him respectfully as you do all other co-workers. You also can clear with the owner that you wish to confront this person. If you cannot prove that he tampered with your card, you can ask him if he did and tell him you have good reason to suspect that.

Also you can tell him that you want to put such thoughts out of your mind and work cooperatively with everyone. You as a supervisor can have regular skull sessions with those you manage in which you talk about how those in your work unit can help each other be more effective and make each others’ jobs easier. Staying busy as a supervisor does not mean policing those under you. Rather, in the best sense, it means supporting them–seeing that they have the materials, training, and applause for doing good work. More than that it means expressing an interest in each employee’s needs and career development. If you are busy with doing your job well, you won’t have time to obsess about a co-worker who might do you harm. Moreover, you will have a work group that is excited about their jobs because you have shown them respect and encouraged their involvement in continuous quality improvement. And a team that is supported by a coach in turn supports that coach. That’s what I mean by WEGO mindedness. Get the point? Let me know if this makes sense and how things go after a few more months on the job.

William Gorden