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So yesterday, as part of the internship program, I had to give my review of an intern’s performance and overall skill set. In the review, I was honest and did not recommended him for a regular position within the company. As a result, the sales manager had a conversation with our CEO and accused me of being “…a bad supervisor that refused to help his fellow coworkers.” She also mentioned that she felt uneasy and unsafe while working alone with me in the office (we start working at 9:00 am but the CEO and IT Manager always arrive after 10:00am), and asked if it was possible to have my keys removed or change my shift, so that she would not be alone with me in the office.

I have always been honest (maybe too much), responsible and as far as I know a good employee. However with the sales manager’s recent comments I’m afraid that I might lose my job. Is there anything I can do to work out the problem with the sales manager or something I can do to protect myself from being fired?

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    I'm having trouble seeing the connection between the employee review you gave, and the statements "I feel unsafe while working alone with [him] in the office". Are you sure she's saying this based on your review? Also, did anyone come and address this to you directly (e.g. the CEO) or are you just hearing about this conflict on the grapevine? – Brandin Sep 23 '15 at 15:20
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    My "Spidey sense" is telling me there is some unknown personal connection between this intern and the sales manager. You need to ask your CEO immediately what this connection is. the sales manager is trying to "fight dirty" against you. In my experience, this will only end when one of you is gone. Document EVERYTHING from this moment forward, every single interaction you have with the sales manager, even saying "Hi" in the hallway. Try to never have a conversation with her without a reliable 3rd party present. You just stepped on a landmine. Be VERY careful what your next step is. – Wesley Long Sep 23 '15 at 15:31
  • The intern that I reviewed was a good friend to the sales manager. They were always hanging out and having lunch together. – Eldry426 Sep 23 '15 at 16:10
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    This went from no issues with this person to she wants your keys removed? – paparazzo Sep 23 '15 at 16:14
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    @Eldry426: You should add this point to your question; without it the whole question doesn't make much sense. – gnasher729 Sep 23 '15 at 19:08
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You need to go to your manager and get some feedback and guidance. Explain why you reviewed the intern as you did, and ask if your manager sees it differently. Was your manager in this review session? If not, tell your manager what the sales manager said about feeling unsafe around you. Tell your manager that you are very concerned, that you don't want co-workers to feel unsafe, but that you also don't want to be falsely accused because of a friendship between the sales manager and the intern. Ask the manager what he recommends, for guidance in providing accurate and useful reviews, and the best way to deal with this sales manager.

Treat this as something very serious, something that you want to make better. Don't say directly this is a false accusation, but make it clear that even if it is a false accusation, that you do want co-workers to feel safe and you want to make sure this resolved in a way that makes your team better. In other words, let it be clear that it's possibly an accusation based on your poor review, but that you still want a good and safe working team, and YOU will be working hard to make sure that is the end result.

You want to be the professional one, directly addressing issues, willing to change if you're doing something wrong, listening to feedback, working for the best outcome.

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    +1 for taking the problem to your manager and making him aware of what is going on. An accusation of harassment is very serious. You need to get his help before anything starts flowing down from the CEO because at that point it may be too late. It's a lot easier for a person in authority to simply not do something than to "take it back" and lose face. – Francine DeGrood Taylor Sep 23 '15 at 18:13
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    Thank you very much MR. @thursdaysgeek So I did just that and It was the best thing that I could have done. We talked and it seems that my honest and straight-forward personality made everyone think that I was constantly mad (the fact that I sometimes have a dark sense of humor and suffer from cluster headaches didn't help my case). Now I just got to work on projecting a more positive attitude, Just because I feel bad doesn't mean I should look like it (at least that's what she said). Things won't change instantly but at least hopefully nobody will feel uncomfortable around me. – Eldry426 Sep 23 '15 at 19:33
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How is the review connected to this other person making a complaint about you? Are you sure it isn't just a coincident that you gave a bad review and at the same time she made these comments? I fail to see where the connection is made. Perhaps you can come back and explain in more detail.

My 2cents is that you should wait until you hear from the CEO. So far it sounds like you heard from a secondary source. I would wait until you sit down and have a chat and hear what is said.

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    This reads more as a comment than an answer. – Jane S Sep 23 '15 at 21:44

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