Wrongly Accused

Question:

I have been wrongly accused. We had a job fair at the mental hospital I work at. I escorted 10 patients to the fair. Several people, including a supervisor, state I went with no one. I signed them in before leaving our learning center for the job fair. The same supervisor wrote mine telling her, in addition to me not taking anyone, that I said, “This fair is about filling out resumes, finding a job, and all that crap.” I don’t remember saying crap. The patients kept asking me what the fair was about. If I said crap, I meant “stuff.”

I’m accused of bringing down another department’s program by saying the job fair was a lot of crap. I have been wrongly accused in the past. My supervisor now believes nothing I say; hearsay counts more than my work. What can I do before I’m wrongly fired? She stated, “Why would the supervisor say that if it hadn’t happen” I have witnesses that saw me leave the learning center, but because I was escorting 10 patients, I was at the back of the group, so they saw me enter the fair alone. I have no proof. Help. I am considering quitting.

Signed,

Discouraged


Answer:

Dear Discouraged:

Don’t quit if you need a job. You are discouraged. Don’t permit this incident to run you off. I predict that you can survive this. How?

First, don’t allow it to be an obsession; thinking about it 24/7. If you mull it over and over and over, you will increasingly see your supervisor as an enemy and your work as sour.

Second, let it pass. You probably already explained that if you said crap, it was a poor choice of words. I doubt that there will be a major investigation, and if there is, you can have them interview witnesses that you were at the fair. If you were written up for this, you can submit an explanation, just as you did in this note to Ask The Workplace Doctors. Don’t gossip about this matter. Let is pass and it will. Third, focus on your job. Be the most responsible and thoughtful caretaker possible. The patients need you. Think about them and their welfare. Come to work and spread cheer.

Fourth, keep you supervisor informed of what you are doing. Speak to him/her about your patients, about ways to help them be happier. Some of us are in jobs that we don’t like, and that will not change. However, in small ways, we can help shape them to be more than just a job. Find ways to cut wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted electricity, and wasted money. Suggest ways to brighten up the place where you work.

Fifth, decide if this kind of work is what you can best do with your life. Can you love it? If not, get the kind of training that will qualify you for another career. A job is just a job to put bread on the table, but a career comes from seeing a way to make a contribution; to do good for others while putting bread on the table for you.

Sixth, get a life beyond your work. Sing. Joint a choir. Dance. Take lessons. Walk. Explore the trails near you with a friend. Paint. Decorate your room. Read. You have a library. Give. Tutor at your school and donate blood for the Red Cross. Words such as crap will not be part of your vocabulary once you are caught up in laughing and loving life. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. You will understand the meaning of WEGO when you see your job as helping your supervisor, your patients, their families, and your community to respect what all of you are trying to do each day.

William Gorden