What should I do?

June 12, 2009 6:26pm CST
I work in an administrative role in a customer service company, and a few months ago, a customer sent in a document which we would normally not accept; however when I asked my assistant manager, she said that is was ok to accept it. Recently, a similar document was sent in, and based on the previous case, I accepted the document, and processed it. A colleague checked my work and asked me about it, and I told them that the previous case and that the assistant manager had accepted a similar document on a previous case. The assistant manager and my colleague both came up to me and the assistant manager advised that we could not accept the document, and she was adamant that she would not have said the document was ok now or in the past. Things had not been going well at work for a couple of weeks, on this particular day, there just seemed to be one problem after another. Therefore, I had been getting more and more frustrated and stressed out all day, and this incident was just the last straw, and I vented my frustration and told my friend and colleague about the incident, almost immediately after it happened. (The assistant manager seen me talking to my friend and colleague about the incident.) Since then, the assistant manager has told other colleagues about the incident and my telling my friend about it not long after it had happened, which I have overheard. Therefore, now my other colleagues think I am two faced and a backstabber. She has also split my friend and I up, and my friend is now sitting a few desks down from me in the office. She also asked my friend to organise a night out so she can get to know the other team members and colleagues. What upsets me the most, is that the assistant manager did and does not believe me when I had said that she had accepted and approved the document to ok it for processing, as she believes she would not have said it. It seems as though she thinks that I am trying to place the blame on her by making false accusations, but I was not trying to do this. I was merely trying to explain to my colleague who was checking my work why I had thought it was ok to process it. Also, the problems at work that I have been having recently is not widely know, as I have only told my friend and colleague about it, as I do not want a lot of people knowing about it. I know that what I did was wrong, but I think I was in shock at the time that she did not believe that she had ok'd a previous case, and she felt I was making false accusations about her, that I felt I needed to talk to someone about it straight away. I am not sure what to do, as it has now become rather awkward at work. I am thinking about quitting and looking for another job, as I do not feel I can carry on and work in that kind of atmosphere and environment. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
13 responses
• United States
12 Jun 09
Unfortunately, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't do right by your asst. manager. My heart goes out to you, because I have been where you have been. I agreed to a layoff, because I had a Boss that was mentally abusive, a liar, and I never knew if I was coming or going. I loved my job, and the customers loved me...we worked together well. Unfortunately, the Boss and I despised each other. I was told by outsiders that I had grounds to take him to court, but I had to make sure everything I said was on the up and up. And because I did not document everything he said to me, It was going to end up my word against his. So, first, I would not quit...don't give your boss or supervisor that pleasure. Secondly, from this point on, I would document everything she does or says to you. I know it will be time consuming, however, everynight you go home, jot down anything that goes on in that office that is played agianst you. You may need it someday, if you get fired, only because she doesn't like you. But, the important thing to remember...every company owner/president, will side with the big guys, you are just a little guy. They will side with your supervisor whether or not they agree with her. She is management, and believe me, management counts. So you will have to suck it up. Also you may want to try being very nice to her and sweet...she may know what you are up to, but she can't fire you for being nice.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jun 09
Well I don't know that I would quit. These things tend to straighten themselves out. Take it from me... I used to manage a retail store for years! I constantly would have people "tell stories" about me, or take things out of context and trying and hold a coup with other employees. I found the best way to handle it was to continue on with my job and ignore the "drama". Certainly, insisting that your assistant manager was wrong and trying to get people to agree with you... will only perpetuate things. If all else fails it may be helpful to take your assistant manager aside and have a friendly conversation. Sometimes it's easiest to simply say, "I realize that their may have been a misunderstanding between us, but I would really like to move forward from here..." Good Luck.
14 Jun 09
Thanks a lot guys, for your helpful advice and support. It means a lot.
• United States
31 Jul 09
I personally would just apologize to the manager that had previously ok'd another situation and the colleague that had checked my work. Just admit that you had made a mistake and ask what to do in such a case as this (having possession of a document that you are not sure if it would be approved.) Then if the situation doesn't improve I would go to a higher up management person and explain the situation. If at that point you still are not comfortable then I would look for another job, but you also need to remember that in this economy good jobs are hard to come by.
• Belgium
31 Jul 09
If you still want to keep this job, just stop talking about this issue with your colleages any more. Invite your assistant manager to have a dinner in the restaurant (or something else) in private and try to clear the misunderstanding ASAP.Maybe you don't think it is your fault, but you still had better apologize and make self-criticism. Anyway, there is something wrong in your work. Both you and your assistant manager are responsible for it, however, she is your senior, your direct boss. It is very easy for her to give you some "small shoes" if she hates you. And by the way, there is no friend in the working environment and you had better take care of every word you want to say to your colleages or your bosses. If you decide to quit the job, just try to find another job before quitting it.
@Hurray (65)
• Canada
26 Jun 09
Hello; If you leave your work, it will not resolve anything and certainly not save that friendship. If friendship it was in the first place. This is an administrative protocol that obsiously your company hasn't put in place: When something requires approval or for someone to take a decision, it has to be done in writing. You send the report, the letter, whatever, to the decision maker, accompanied with a note - dated - addressed to the person and their title (important) who will take the decision. You keep copies for future references. If the person tells you verbally without commiting to it in writing, you can say something like, "I hear you." and send it all back with a new date on top of the first one.You add a little note asking for clarification. Something like that. Important: If you have to do this or re-send because the answer is really not clear (vague enough that you can be in trouble in the future), you ADD another person to the note sheet: The superior of that person - as information. Don't ask 2 person to make a decision on one thing. You need to go to the next to you. If that doesn't work, you send back with the name and title of their superior (again, for information only). If you need to produce the copy of that person having approved or disapproved and signed, you do not produce the only copy you have... You make another copy. You always keep one secured. And, you NEVER take up frustrations or the like with co-workers, friends or not. As for now, the only thing for you to do is to go to the boss of your assistant-manager and explain without complaining, just giving facts of the incident. Skip the dramatics that insued. You ask that boss to have the assistant-manager here in the office with her boss and you. You tell the assistant-manager that you are totally aware of your position which is not to take decisions on your own on such a thing. That you are sorry if you embarassed her, that was not your intention. And you're sorry to have vented the thing without consideration to her position. This will never happen again. And, can we all agree that in the future, all making decision type of situation needs to be done in writing, signed and dated. So, we can refer to each situation if they happen again and act accordingly. You need to maintain your position without being the victim and/or the accusator. Be professional. Then, in front of your co-workers, you show respect to your assistant-manager. You don't have to like her but you never let that transpire in any way. To the person that you "vented", you will say the situation has been clarified and really, you should not have criticized your assistant-manager to others. You say that so your assistant-manager can hear it. You do not develop and you let your friend make up her mind. If she's your friend, you'll see. You follow? And, get this book: The Problems of Work, by L. Ron Hubbard. Many of his books are now translated in 50 languages. I think this one is one of those. You can ask. It's a small book and easy to read. If it is not in your local library, get it from: www.bridgepub.com This is pretty long. I hope I didn't loose you. If it's not clear, just let me know and I'll see how I can simplify. Try to do it just like a demo (don't send anything to anybody - do it at home) - and see if it's easier to understand. Hurray
@reckon21 (3487)
• Philippines
19 Jun 09
You sure had a hard time with your workplace. Sometimes the people around us refuse to take the responsibility if they do or committed something wrong. We are always at the receiving end. But the damaged has been done. I think you have to stick to your job a little bit. It's hard to find work nowadays. Just be extra careful next time.
@Ammudoll (549)
• India
17 Jun 09
Even I had similar experience with one of my superiors, I know how it is going to be. We really get distracted and can't enjoy our work. But I didn't quit because I need job anyways we do not work in the same building. So it didn't bother me for so long, however I have moved from there as the environment is not too well, one or the other day some or the other issue is been coming out. So I searched for another job and started working here. I am feeling very happy now. I personally think when we can't handle the things in such situation better to leave. But due to the current market conditions and recession we have to think twice before you take a right step. I pray for you and will hope everything sets up in ur office. All the Best!!!
• United States
14 Jun 09
Ok first off this is not the time to leave your job. Second try and set a time to speak with this manager. If you get to talk with this manager. explain to them you did not mean to start any confustion. explain to her your point of view. also before having this talk think of that mangers point of view you made them look wrong to another person whom they may also be managing. I will you all the luck you can hold and then a little more.
13 Jun 09
i think that your boss is evil and you should just try and get past it and you should just try and talk to your friend and just ask why she is being distant
• United States
13 Jun 09
Do not let them push you out the door. You made one mistake, everybody does. It may seem hard to deal with at first, but eventually everybody will get over it. Just do your best at work to show that it isn't something that happens all the time. I've worked in situations where approved documentation changed due to state and federal law on a normal basis. It can be easy to make a mistake. Just do what you have to to right your wrong and handle it in a responsible manner. Eventually co workers and managers will get the hint that treated you that way has no effect on you and it will stop. Never show weakness in a group full of women. They will eat you alive.
• United States
13 Jun 09
I would not let anyone make me quit my job. I would just try to let it go and act like nothing happened. Just drop it. Jobs are hard to come by right now. It sounds like you are back in high school and not at work. I would not talk to the assistant manager anymore unless I had to. Don't let that two faced witch cause you to quit your job. Next time you have a disagreement with someone at work do not discuss it with anyone on the job. Wait till you get home and fuss about it with a family member or good friend that you can trust. If you can't wait, go to lunch somewhere other than work and call someone and complain about it. Don't do it at work no matter how much you want to.
• United States
13 Jun 09
To bad you can't remember who that document was sent in from the first time so you could of shown it was approved before and if it has her ok on it then you would of had proof. I tend to remember them quirky things like that if it's an unusual case. I would start documenting things like the other commenter said. Don't forget to be clear and document everything especially dates. You have to watch out for some of the companies out there because even if they fire you they like to put down you quit on your exit papers. They will hide that in there so if this does happen to you look them papers over good. With all your documentation you are keeping up with when it comes to unemployment you should have no problem collecting if you don't have another job lined up. If there is any way to figure out who that original customer was I would be finding it too. Just so you can have the name and date the document was approved on. Then if it comes up in any discussions later if you are let go they would have to admit you were wronged and they would more than likely bring you back on in the company and pay you back wages plus interest. In hind sight for your future you should make it a practice of keeping up with that quirky approvals management makes so it never falls back on you like this one is. Management has what I like to call selective amnesia when it comes to things they did wrong, and can't seem to remember it so naturally you are at fault.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
13 Jun 09
That is a terrible position to find yourself in but I would look for another job before you quit. Jobs are hard to come by and you don't want to be stuck without a job. I can't believe that they wouldn't believe you about the AM telling you that it was ok to accept. For me I have alway found it difficult working with all women. I'm not exactly sure if its a bit of jealousy going on but find another job before you quit.