It’s Not Gossip When It’s True

, , , , , , , , | Working | June 18, 2018

I work in the security industry, as a concierge in a condominium.

A few years back, a coworker was told to train a new guy who was rather dimwitted, slow to learn, and annoying. I know because I had him for training for one shift.

[Coworker] told me later that he got tired of training the new guy and went to the condo party room to watch television, leaving the very inept trainee to manage the lobby desk by himself. I warned [Coworker] that the party room looked out onto the back patio where the BBQ grill was, and that the curtains were very see-through. If a resident went out on the back patio and peered through the windows, they’d see it was a security officer sitting there watching television, which we were obviously not paid to do, and would complain, getting us all in trouble. He laughed and waved it off.

He told me the next day that he was forced to continue training the same inept guy, so he ran off to watch television again. I warned him, again, not to do that.

The next time he bragged to me about watching television on duty, I just contacted my Client Service Manager — the security company manager responsible for our team — and told him what [Coworker] was doing. I’d reported other security officers for risking the team with their own personal antics. I don’t like being a snitch; I like having a stable work place where fellow officers aren’t screwing it up for us by being selfish d**ks.

Apparently, [Coworker] was called into the office and when told to explain himself, said that yes, he had been watching television, and then went on to say that I was spreading crazy gossip about him to anyone who would listen, and that I was mean, so wasn’t that worse than his television-watching offense? For the record, I had never gossiped about him, nor was I ever mean to him. I just asked him to stop risking our jobs with his unprofessional behavior, and he blew me off.

I got called into HQ the next day. That manager had a form for me to sign. “[My Name]? Why does it seem you like to backstab other officers? [Coworker] told me about you gossiping about him, and I see you’ve reported other officers who needed disciplining. That’s why I’m having you sign this form where you acknowledge that you’re a gossip, and you swear to never be caught for gossiping ever again, or more serious consequences will happen. This will go into your permanent file. Do you understand?”

I argued that I had never gossiped about [Coworker], and those other security officers had been problems, and my manager said, “Oh, really? Because [Coworker] said you have. Why would he come in here and lie to my face? He sounded very sincere every time I’ve had to speak with him, and you have been involved with the disciplining of several officers. No… I think you are the one lying because you enjoy getting other guards in trouble. Sign this or face disciplinary action.”

I was so floored and cowed that I stupidly signed the d***ed thing just so I could get the hell out of there.

Thankfully, not long after, this manager was fired for being caught on camera cheating on his wife with residents in buildings when he was there for manager meetings. No one cared he was cheating. They cared that he was there for a meeting with the building’s property manager but instead was seen feeling up a resident of the building. Other officers said he would sometimes touch female officers, too. My company finally got fed up and fired him, but not before he did a ton of damage to many innocent officers.Thankfully, I got out of that company, and I am now working for a much better local security company. I will never forget what that a**hole manager did.

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