As a probation officer, I was off on Friday. I came in today and had a voice mail from the NAACP - supposedly someone filed a complaint against me, and they wanted to discuss it. I recognized the man's name from a story in the local newspaper I read last year - a story where the NAACP was stirring up some trouble. Anyway, I thought about it after I got the message, and figured it was one of these things where someone doesn't like being told that they must do something, and they are trying to screw me.
My mother used to be a hospital executive, so I phoned her, and asked if she agreed with me - that my supervisor should be the one who gets back to them. That way nothing I say on the phone can be twisted and later used against me. I know I did nothing wrong.
I let my boss know about it and gave her the #. She was in court all morning, but at the end of the lunch break, she came and told me that she spoke w/ the person from the NAACP - She said that the person on the phone would not tell who the probationer was, but that it was a serious matter, and that there would be a full investigation. She claimed that they would not identify the probationer who made the complaint, and she added that I must call them to deal with it.
So, I call around 1pm. Remember, I have been irritaed about this whole thing since 8am. I've been trying to think who could do this. And, I know that this being a small town, if someone prints a story or something in the local newspaper, it could be a major problem. So, I can't just ignore it.
Anyway, I call the number. The phone voilume on the other end is very low, so I have to strain to hear the guy. I ask what the problem is, and the man starts to talk about it. The conversation goes on for over 5 min, and it's just going downhill the whole time. Then, a co-worker of mine opens the door and I see him talking on the cell phone.
It was a joke. But, I am very pissed. This was a co-worker whom I occassionally do stuff outside of work with. I told my boss I was very pissed, and that I did not think this was a suitable practical joke - it's not funny. I'm also pissed that the boss discovered that it was a joke when she called the #, but still came into my office and told me what she did.
I can see that complaining about this to her will do no good, because she was in on it at the end. I am very tempted to call our director and complain. A practical joke is 1 thing, but this was not funny.
Ya' know, it may have sounded like a cool thing to them to start with but with the stresses you deal with (I work with Probation Officers locally on different issues dealing with the school district) you definately do NOT need any more. If this all took place in the span of a half hour or so, it might be tolerable, but not to extend out to a half day or more. Just be careful not to over-react and get a bad rep as a whiner. Going to be difficult to work out. Or...........you could just shoot them all.... Good luck.
I agree with Charlie. That seems like alittle too long to cary out a joke on someone, especially in your type of occupation. I would be pissed too. I would just suck it up and go on with things unless it really is bothering you, then I would report this incident to higher personel. Just be careful in the manner your address it. Hell, play a trick on them, paybacks hell.
Yeah, when they tease you about it, or say anything at all.........just smile and don't say much. It'll make them nervous and they will be watching their back for a long time. The key is to just be pleasant and don't engage anybody in conversation about the joke. And find a button like this one to wear at work.
Well, I decided not to report it to the director. Someone was fired very recently for sexual harrassment, and w/i the past 2 weeks, we all had to sign some of the paperwork again (stuff that's in the admin manual). Some of what we signed would be covered by this joke.
So, if I complained enough (considering all of this just happened), he might be fired. But, as the boss was in on it, she might get in some slight trouble too. And, then that would affect my job later on because I got her in trouble.
I did just go and speak w/ her, however. I told her I was pissed, and I told her why. I've had people threaten me before, and have had other issues come up - I have to watch my back everytime I leave the court house. There is a joke in the office that if anyone comes up here w/ a gun to kill us, they will be coming for me 1st - because I do my job well, but that doesn't always make me popular amng the probationers. Anyway, given those facts, to throw this onto me was very stupid on his part.
This coworker is also an African American. Had I done the reverse of this prank to him (whatever that might be - I have no idea), then I would probably be in a lot of trouble.
This guy (the coworker) was someone I occassionally went to lunch with and went to gun shows with on the weekend. Now, I want nothing to do with him. I explained to my boss that he changed the office dynamics w/ his childish prank. I will speak w/ him for work and do what needs to be done that is work related, but otherwise, I want nothing to do with him. I already did him a favor by not callingt the director.
If I'd of been more active on the net yesterday, I would have recommend that you "sleep on it" , before making any decision on what to do... But since I missed it yesterday, I can't tell you that....
Funny thing is, you did it anyway... :-D
So, how's it going today? I bet they don't want to mess with you, eh?
Well, my boss came in and apologized again (this morning). I explained to her why I was upset - an executive with our dept was just fired for sexual harrassment, so I had that in my mind. Plus, I've seen the NAACP cause problems locally. And here I was, sitting in my office yesterday, wondering if I'm gonna get into trouble for this - How am I going to pay my mortgage, get another job w/ a different dept if I have to leave over this, etc. These were all things they never considered for this "joke." - This thing was dragged out for over 5 hours. Plus, while I know I didn't do anything, I didn't want to be known as the "racist" probation officer. If it were real, and I came out of it w/o being fired, I would still be known to everyone as the racist.
I still want nothing to do w/ that guy. And next year on my eval, if I get dinged for not getting along w/ "everyone" in the office, I'll be filing a grievance for sure. I wrote down the whole thing and e-mailed it back to myself, so I have a record of it w/ a date and time.
Personally, I would pull your co-worker aside and explain just how much of an ill-feeling he has caused with his "practical joke". Be honest & sincere and TRY not to be an asshole about things. (I tend to get very assholish on stuff like that.) Some jokes are funny, but messing around with borderline racist complaints just ain't anymore in today's world.