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There was an incident where I was accused of being rude to a customer. This is the first incident I've ever had and I thought it'd been resolved but it's freaking me out.

I know for a fact that I didn't do what I was accused of. I ended up writing the customer an apology that the head office took quite well I think. In the apology I basically said that it wasn't my intention to do what I supposedly did, and I'm sorry if it came across that way.

She (the customer) has given her side of the story and I've given mine and they're proceeding with writing me a written warning based on what she told them. Apparently I'm being written up for rolling my eyes, sighing and ignoring a customer. This girl had apparently just come out of hospital so I don't want to say that she's flat out lying (which is what I originally thought) because that could have something to do with how she interpreted it.

My question is how big of a deal is this? They're writing me up for something I know I didn't do but I don't know whether to accept it or completely say no.

Would a written warning carry over to other jobs? Will this kill my chances at a good reference (I've had a very good run there)? And is this even fully official? I've read a lot of things about disciplinary action and it doesn't seem like they're following through with everything. I leave the job in two months as it is, and they know that. Should I stick it out and will this leave a permanent mark? Or if I get out now will it all go away? I'm casual and don't seem to have any contract with them.

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    VTC - Every companies policy is different in terms of how they handle references. Your best bet is to make a personal connection and use those for references. – Mister Positive Mar 26 '18 at 11:06
  • If you are asking if you personnel file with carry over to the next job the answer is NO. – paparazzo Mar 26 '18 at 12:16
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    @paparazzo I sure hope that isn't what the OP was asking..... – Mister Positive Mar 26 '18 at 18:01
  • @MisterPositive That is literally what OP wrote. – paparazzo Mar 26 '18 at 18:21
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It's not likely to come up again and you should be fine.

Since the customer pressed an official complaint, then your company took the easiest way out of this by issuing a written warning (as opposed to rejecting their claim) - this neatly resolves this official complaint (since someone other than the customer was found to be at fault and 'punished').

If this does happen to come up in a future interview, then deal with it in a positive manner - don't try and defend it or bad-mouth this old customer but instead demonstrate that you've learned from the experienced and that it's improved your customer relationship skills.

Interviewers tend to respect an employee who's willing to learn from mistakes (even if it's not really your mistake) rather than one who blames others.

  • don't try and defend it or bad-mouth this old customer - this. Bad mouthing a customer will make you look bad most of the time. Put a positive spin on it and move on. – Mister Positive Mar 26 '18 at 18:00
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Generally you do not admit anything in a case like this, if the customer was lying, tell HR she was lying and stick to your point. It may be too late for this.

If it comes up in future, don't admit responsibility, you're in the service industry, a mark against customer service is NOT a good look. Very few other skills apart from keeping customers happy are required in many of those jobs.

Should you quit over it?

That's up to you, a blow to your rep is pretty bad, if you can get alternative employment I would recommend doing so. A written reprimand should't be taken lightly, it will be recorded somewhere forever and HR had other options they could have taken but threw you to the dogs instead. A written reprimand is also often the lead up to a PIP and eventual sacking.

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    By apologizing, the OP essentially admitted to being guilty, giving the company the "easy out" of simply blaming him. And let's keep in mind that many companies have policies stating that once you've been written up a certain number of times (typically 3), you're fired. You're better off standing on your principles, and saying "No, I did not do those things, and I have an impeccable record to back me up." The cost of that, however, is that you're then making life difficult for the corporate drone in question, and you may be labeled a "problem" employee/fired for it. Well worth it, however. – AndreiROM Mar 26 '18 at 16:36
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Depends on where you live. In the US, the company gives a reference by vouching you worked there. If you were fired for frequent complaints, they would simply say you were let go of but not state reasons. Companies avoid sharing internal matters.

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    Citation needed... This is the general principal many companies follow but there are companies, employers, and managers, who will give accurate references both good or bad. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 26 '18 at 13:23

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