When Someone Complains About You At Work


etiquette anksimageSomeone has lodged a complaint against you at your workplace and now you’re being investigated – what should you do? Do you wait to possibly get fired, or do you resign? How should you act and react to such a situation?

Try Damage Control

When someone complains about you at work, it is a difficult situation to control or predict. Find out about the Complainer and the nature of the complaint. Try to take your direct supervisor in your confidence. You can try setting up a meeting with the complainer through your supervisor, and apologize in your supervisor’s presence. Having your supervisor in the same room will save you from further damage. Try not to speak or interact with the Complainer in private. And make sure your supervisor is aware how genuinely you regret your actions. And most importantly, keep your cool. Do not cry, shout or create any kind of scene at the workplace.

If your organization has a separate human resources department, chances are your supervisor will not be involved in these happenings. You’ll be investigated by someone from HR, but rest assured, they will try to mediate between you and the Complainer to resolve this asap. However, it’s still important you involve or at least report your dilemma to your supervisor. It will build your relationship with the boss and further down the line, your supervisor can turn out to be an excellent character witness for you.

Trust Your Instincts

If you don’t see any good happening any time soon, do a quick evaluation of your value vs the Complainer’s value to your organization in terms of how you add to the value of your work. If you are believe you will get terminated, it’s not a bad idea to look around for references from sources other than your supervisor before word gets out. Remember, your supervisor can not give you a letter of recommendation if you’re fired from the job, no matter how ga-ga your supervisor is over you. So, get those recommendation letters and job references from people you’ve worked with and those who you’re confident will back you up even if you’re not in the same organization any more.

The next course of action is actually dependent on time. Begin your job search if you feel your job is in danger. Set up interviews at every opportunity. And screen your offers. If you’re particularly fond of your current job, try to stick it out till the very end. Your friendly supervisor can give you a heads-up if a pink slip should eventually come your way. At such a point, you can maybe persuade your supervisor to accept your resignation instead.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in the incoming offers, don’t lose any effort on any of the above. Just pack up your favorite stapler and get going. It’s not running away, just because someone complains about you at work. It’s about taking advantage of the situation when the moment arrives.

Accept The Change

Changes happen in life all the time. Sometimes you are ready and sometimes you are forced to get ready. Be prepared for whatever life has to offer. I know it’s easy for me to say this because I am not in your situation, but you have to try. Good luck :)

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