I work in retail. We recently got a new manager. She has a very difficult job as she already is a manager of another store and is almost never here in person. When I was not at work she called me saying she "got information from staff today that I've been saying unkind things about her". I asked her to elaborate. She said she heard from a co-worker that I've been saying she's "bad at her job, bad at communicating and bad at responding to messages". I told her something must have been misinterpreted. She said she believes me. She also said it's up to me if I want to escalate this to head office but then everyone's names would be involved (I don't even understand what this means). I pointed out that I felt the timing was strange as I just got back from a 4 day vacation and today worked alone. So there was not even a chance of gossip with coworkers. This is a very small team in the first place and this had made me suspicious. I know my past questions have focused on negative aspects of the team (after all, I wouldn't post a question unless there's a problem) but currently all of the people I work with on a daily bases I get along well with. (one quit, one was fired, the other I just don't get scheduled with much)
Are the claims true? They are rather vague and general, but on the whole, no I haven't been bad mouthing her. Now, it is a fact that out of my past 30 messages I sent to her, she has responded to 2. I asked the other coworkers if they experienced this and they said yes. There have also been multiple things she said she would do and hasn't. Even in the phone call itself:
At the end of the call I told her that we can discuss it further in our in person meeting we had scheduled for tomorrow. She told me that the meeting may not happen as another co-worker is having a meeting with her. I was really looking forward to the meeting because 1) I value at least some face-to-face communication with management and 2) for weeks she said she would be training me on new responsibilities which I would like to get.
- regarding the "bad mouthing" should I follow up in anyway or just forget about it unless its brought up again?
- would it have been better to flat out deny the claims as opposed to saying something I said was misinterpreted?
- In these types of allegations, is it fair to ask for specifics and should the manager give them?
- Is it fair to ask who made the claim and should the manager give the name?
- The whole point of the call was about open communication. Should I tell her I don't like having our meeting canceled? Should I phrase it as "is there something urgent about the other meeting that we can't stick with our plan?"
- Is there any explanation aside from sabotage why someone would go out of the way to tell the manager this (whether true or not)?
- Was it unprofessional to be contacted about this while not at work? Should I tell her not to do it again?
- How should I bring up not getting enough replies to my messages?