Wrongly Accused of Cursing

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about cursing:

The doctor I have been working with for two years has accused me of saying a curse word at work. This is not true and I told him and the office manager this. They proceeded to write me up where it states my job is in jeopardy. I filed a grievance. But due to the fact that he is a doctor the company is taking his word as gold. Is there anything I can do about this?

Signed, Didn’t Say It

Dear┬áDidn’t Say It:

If there were no witnesses, those who are reviewing the material had to decide if the doctor would simply lie for no reason to get you in trouble. If the doctor has been credible in the past, they would probably assume he wouldn’t lie about something of this nature. On the other hand, someone who is going to be in trouble would have reason to deny doing it, so you would be less likely to be believed. It appears the matter was investigated and a decision has already been made about the matter, so I would say there is nothing you can do at this point, unless you can prove without a doubt that the doctor is either lying or is mistaken.

However, it would seem there is a much bigger story to this anyway. A curse word is said in a much different tone than a regular word, so it is difficult to misunderstand. If you muttered something, it might sound like a curse word. But, it’s doubtful you muttered, “Good luck to you.” Or, “You’re in a dirty ditch.” Or anything else that could be misunderstood as a curse word.If you said it with patients around, you’d have a witness. If you said it for some other reason,it wouldn’t be a problem unless it was directed at the doctor or another employee. If that is the case, the words you would have most likely used are very specific types of words and situations and not easily misunderstood.That only leaves the idea that the doctor knows you didn’t say it but is lying to make you look bad. That seems unlikely, but is the only reason I can think of for the doctor to make up something, if that is what he or she did.I think your best solution is to be the kind of person that no one would believe you would say a curse word anyway. Or, at least, that no one would believe you would say the curse word you’re accused of saying, in the situation the doctor is describing.Probably the write-up indicated that behavior of a similar nature could result in being fired. That means not using bad language as well as not losing your temper, not arguing excessively, and being a cooperative person. You should be avoiding those first two things and focusing on the last thing, anyway.If you are a valued employee no one will want to fire you for one curse word.

If you were cursing a doctor, that would be something different, because you’re focusing it on someone who is part of the team. If that was misunderstood, just make sure you show through your actions that the accusation is ridiculous.I’m sorry this has worked out this way. You can recover from it by letting your supporters be the ones to tell others how unfair it is, rather than complaining about it yourself. Put the medical practice and the patients as your top priority. That will win you supporters among managers of the practice as well as with every patient. Avoid the doctor with whom you’re having the conflict. Be courteous and civil to everyone.I’m sorry there is nothing magical to do about this to make it better. The reprimand has already been given, now you can only move forward and make people feel guilty that they didn’t believe you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens as a result of all of this. Best wishes!

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.