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Question
Posted by: Lollie | 2008/02/03

Politics at work

Hi there,

I am the manager of a guesthouse. Last week I discovered that the lady that has been with the owner since the opening of the guesthouse was stealing from her, and reported it. At the end of the day, she told the owner very rude and hurtfull lies about me, that I steal money, alcohol etc from the guesthouse. On Friday every single staff member had to do a lie detector test. The owner was so distant and rude towards me, and obviously she thought all the lies to be true. The tests showed that no-one else steals or is dishonest. But now, I feel hurt that my boss suspected me, I work very hard here and never expect anything back. How can I work for someone who does not trust me? Now there is a definated tention between us. I want to resign but I don't know how.
Dont know if I'm overreaction, I do take anti-depressants.
Thank you!

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like you need to consult a good labour lawyer, among other steps. I wonder how legitimate it is to compel workers to take a lie detector test ( and bearing in mind that their results can be very unreliable and are not admissable min court ). Don't rush to resign, as that way you might lose some of the rights you have. You need legal advice as to the best steps you could take. This must have been very hurtful, frightening ( even a wholly innocent person can get into trouble in such situations ) and insulting. I would think that the owner owes ALL of you an apology. If it had been you stealing things, why on earth would you have told her, even if you accused someone else ? It made no sense to believe the other woman or to suspect you. Maybe see a counsellor for a few sessions to talk this through, and free yourself from the bad feelings and the urge to take steps that might not really be good for you.

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