How would you react in this situation?

  1. I've been working at the same place for the last 10 years and consistently received an evaluation of employee exceeds expectation and things have so far been great until today. I work at a location where there is a constant flow of expensive equipment and I have often lamented to my bosses about the shoddy security system in our location where we have seen multiple thefts of small items which when compounded still cost a good chunk of money. Three years ago we lost 40 pieces of equipment which cost around $600 each and it was only then that they decided to install a security camera within the premises.

    Today four more items of significant value were taken and when the camera was viewed, it was apparent that someone had deliberately unplugged the security camera from the network, causing the screen to darken, thereby unable to record any activity. The last captured video was of the door left open (nobody caught on cam) and in two seconds the camera was off.

    I come to work an hour earlier than my coworkers since I live an hour away and avoid traffic with this schedule. When my boss was going through the footage, the time frame during which the camera was supposedly disabled was within the hour that I arrive and before everyone else did. This is what transpired during the conversation:

    Boss: "Eucalyptic, did you go to the XXX on the morning of XXX?
    Me: "Friday? No, I didn't go, in fact I've never been to XXX in weeks."
    Boss: "Well according to this, the camera looks like it was deliberately turned off on XXX at this time in the morning. You're the only one who comes in here that morning."
    Me: (Already feeling dejected and appalled at the insinuation.) "No, I don't think I did, specially since that was the day I had that very important presentation for XXX."
    Boss: "Yeah but this happened earlier than your presentation."
    Me: "Exactly, and since I had that presentation which I had to prepare for, there's no way I'd have left my desk to do anything else."

    :cursing::cursing::cursing:

    -end of discussion-

    I played that scene over and over in my mind and as much as I tried to brush it off, I felt so bad that that conversation felt more like an interrogation than an inquiry. While driving home, I felt convinced that I was treated more like a suspect than anything and I felt so upset to have been suspected of anything. Granted that my boss may not have the best tact in the world, I felt that he handled it in the worst way possible most specially since there were three other coworkers present. I was kicking myself in the behind for having responded to his questions the way I did when I should have been more non-accepting of the way in which he questioned me. I just didn't want to get into a confrontation with so many people to witness it.

    Now that I have thought it over and talked it over with my husband, I am more inclined to not just brush off this incident and sit down with my boss to tell him exactly how I feel. He may not have been accusing me of commiting anything but his manner sure did imply it. Also because of it, I am now very uncomfortable about having access to the said location since with what has happened, the mere fact that I come to work earlier than most is enough ground for me to be the thought of as the most likely person to have had access that day (despite the fact that there are 20 other people who have a key and may have arrived early).

    I guess I'm sharing this because I want to get your input regarding this situation. I don't want to over act
    and normally I know when I am but in this case I don't feel I can continue being comfortable around my boss if I harbour feelings of resentment over what transpired unless I clue him in to my sentiments.

    What will you do if you were in my shoes?

    Thanks for all your patience and for reading through this long narrative.
     
  2. My brother was interrogated by someone for suspected hacking at his job (he works in IT). He was pretty mad. He said when someone interrogates you it's like they are assuming you are guilty and it's the worst feeling. He basically decided afterwards to get some sort of hacker certification because he was so mad about them accusing him. I guess that was his way of saying not only am I not hacking your system but I'll learn how to better protect it. I don't think he ever really got past being mad at the person who interrogated him though. He just accepts that the guy is an idiot and goes on about his life.
     
  3. Thank you for sharing this. I am sure you're worried about this situation and I hope you can find some comfort and advice here.

    I would definitely sit down with your boss and explain how you feel. I would not, however, accuse him of doing anything wrong. I think in these kinds of situations, you have to be very clear that perhaps, your boss did not intend to do what he did - but the way he presented the information and questions to you made you feel inferior. You should start your sentences with - "I felt... when you said this..." Not "you made me feel.. because you said this..."

    That way he'll understand that your feelings were hurt because you've had a great track record for over 10 years, you're a valuable employee, etc. So overall, I would just approach this situations with grace and humbleness and not with anger or resentment. I would definitely try to work things out because it would eat me up inside if I didn't. Hopefully everything goes well. Keep me posted!
     
  4. ^^This is great advice. I hope everything works out!
     
  5. I would sit down and clear the air with my boss
     
  6. Ten years is a long time, but in this situation, you might want to start considering a change.

    Even if the real culprit is caught, and your boss gets down on his knees and delivers a sobbing speech of apology, you will have to honestly ask yourself how comfortable you are going to be there.

    And awful as it sounds, you cannot overlook the possibility that your boss is the real culprit, or in someway associated with him/her, and hopes to hang the blame on you!
     
  7. I agree with all the posts, in terms of speaking with your boss, but I might add that it would not hurt to have HR present as well, in case things go south. Also, I have to say that since this theft was a crime, the only people who should be asking employees questions about the incident are police. The boss was on thin ice here.
     
  8. Your boss' conversation with you was so inappropriate.
    What a jerk!
    Myself, I'd would be looking for another job.
    How come the camera wasn't on a battery backup system? We have several cameras, 3 years old & they are all on battery too in case what you described happens. Who was responsible for purchasing it & for installation. Cause they screwed up big locationing it where they did. Or maybe that person purposely positioned it there.
    You need to be reporting these thefts to the police. Wonder how your boss would feel about doing that? Something is not adding up with his behavior.
     
  9. This is EXACTLY what I thought!
     
  10. ITA...
     
  11. Good point Irishgal. And the police should be making any question-asking arrangements through the lawyers, an accessory the Original Poster might consider adding to her shopping list, whether she goes or stays at that workplace.
     
  12. It does not sound as though your boss really thought you were guilty. otherwise you porbly would have made off with goods way before this. and ay how you pointed out to your boss that at the time this occured you were occupied with something that in your mind was far more important. i would suggest if you do want to say anything to your boss regarding this, perhaps about aprpoaching his tact not to further declare your innocence which to me always looks like your indirectly trying to avoid looking guilty.
     
  13. Thank you very much for everybody's advice and sorry for the late posting. My day was spent much on talking to my boss and so many other issues at work and I felt it best not access tPF at work.

    Here's what transpired: I asked to speak to my boss in private sometime in the afternoon and took LV mania's advice about not sounding like I am attacking him. I said I understand he was not trying to make any accusations and that he was just trying to get to the bottom of things but that the manner in which he inquired was perceived as such. I specially felt it because while there were four of us coworkers in the room that time, I was the only one who was asked which made it really look like he singled me out and only on the basis of me coming to work earlier than everybody else.

    He apologised profusely and said it wasn't his intention because if he went straight to the police and if interrogated that he cannot account for his employees then things might look worse in their eyes. He also said that he was just doing exactly what the police will be doing once an investigation was opened because the people who had access to that location were us. To this I replied that I certainly do not mind that the police interrogate us and well they should because they will just be doing their jobs but they will be asking everybody. It ended with more apologies and I just said that I hope he understood the reason I brought it to his attention was because I have much respect for him as my boss and I would feel very uncomfortable working with him again unless I came clean with him with what was bothering me.

    At the end of the day, I saw him again and his demeanour has changed dramatically. He kept reassuring me not to let this incident spoil my Easter weekend and that in the end it's the administration's refusal to grant us better security that cost them this. He also later found out that they cannot account for the actual number of people who have keys to that location and that there are people turning up with that key whose names were not on the list of who are known to have them. :wtf:

    alvie223, I completely agree with you on your last point and I never even mentioned that during our talk today.

    Vegas Long Legs, the security system there is a joke. So many other stuff have been stolen from other offices but we're under fire because of the cost per item stolen.

    Well I'm not going to let this bother me anymore. Thank you for all your support!!!
     
  14. This also happened to me! There was $400 missing from the deposit (the day I quit) from the retail place I used to work for. A week later a COP shows up at my other job and tells me to go down to the station and he INTEROGATES ME!!! :cursing: :cursing: :cursing:

    I had a felling it was my boss that had taken it!!! I can't believe they thought I did!
     
  15. Thank you for keeping us informed! I'm so glad things went well for you. I'm sure it must have been a stressful time. As for me, I absolutely hate confrontations - so I know it would have been super hard for me to even approach him! But I am happy everything worked out. Before you know it, this will all pass and it'll seem like it never happened.

    Hope you have a good Easter weekend!