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Help! My Boss Just Wrote Me Up! What Can I Do?

I am a retired professional HR manager by trade and a professional photographer.

Getting written up at work is never a pleasant experience, but here are some tips for managing this situation if it ever comes up.

Getting written up at work is never a pleasant experience, but here are some tips for managing this situation if it ever comes up.

Food for Thought About Managers

I have this continuing conversation with my son, who currently works in retail, and I counsel a lot of people who have been written up or terminated from their jobs. Most people who are terminated feel that there was an injustice done. Being an HR Manager for over 18 years, I understand the frustration of termination and ending someone’s employment.

When I had to execute a policy that resulted in ending someone’s employment, I viewed it differently than most HR professionals. You see, when you take someone’s job, you take their house payment, childcare, car payment, electric bill, or groceries from the table. I never took this lightly, and because I did that, I went to great pains to make certain that before someone terminated their employment, they knew what was happening before they ever walked across my office threshold. I looked not only into what the allegation was against that employee but how the manager did their job, whether personal issues were contributing to whatever the issue was, and if there was anything else going on with that person in their job besides just this one policy violation or job opportunity.

I never break up documentation on an employee. I always covered everything at one time so that they had a very clear, big picture of what their job performance looked like and what road they were heading down without an immediate change of behavior or circumstances. Breaking up a corrective action or discipline documentation is head-hunting. It is very apparent to the employee that you don’t care if they are successful or not. You just want them out the door, so you can fill their job with someone else. To them, you have already written them off as a lost cause.

Why go to so much trouble? Because I believe that EVERYONE deserves the opportunity to change their behavior. If you continuously do something wrong and no one bothers to point it out until they want to fire you, then what kind of manager are you really? I will tell you. You’re a manager who has his/her own opportunities to improve. Because real managers know that firing people should always be a last resort. You spend more money on hiring and training than you do any other part of employing someone. You lose countless man hours when you don’t bother to develop someone, and you allow them to fail versus develop and aid in making them successful.

The last comment I am going to make about this aspect of this article is this. If you are a manager, a real manager, then you will know that "you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with." In other words, if your people are failing, and it happens often, then you may need to take a good look in a career two-way mirror. Because people don’t fail as often as managers fail their people!

You need to lead by example; remember that if you had bad experiences when you came up through the ranks, you should never, ever repeat those mistakes to your people. Why? Because they will come out just as angry and bitter as you are, and their people will hate them, never respect them and never want to work for them, just like you did. That’s right, bosses. Don’t forget where you came from. Unfortunately, all too often, that is exactly what happens.

Before reacting to a write-up, consider the consequences of your actions.

Before reacting to a write-up, consider the consequences of your actions.

So Now That You Are Written Up, What Can You Do?

First, you need to not be reactive. Being reactive to an already tense situation is not going to make you look any better and is most likely going to prove a point to the managers that you don’t want to make. Don’t start making excuses, denying allegations, or do anything until you have all the information they are willing to give you about why you have been sat down. If you can’t be professional, then don’t speak. Just calmly acknowledge that you understand what is being said to you. That is if you do. If you don’t understand a term or something in the documentation, then make a note so that you can come back to it after you regain control over your emotions.

Why are you doing this? Two reasons:

  • So you can clarify what you heard and get more information if you need it.
  • So you can keep focused on what is happening at that moment and keep some control over what direction the conversation is going.

No one ever really expects an employee to engage actively in their discipline. It throws the managers off their game when you use this approach. Try it, and you will see that you have unsettled them as much as they unsettled you by bringing you back to talk to you. Even your playing field will allow you both to have some sense of ownership in this meeting.

There are really three types of employees:

1. The Right Fighter. This employee is about 80% of the workforce's reaction. Employees sit there red-faced, indignant that managers dare call a meeting. They refuse to own their own part in the problem. They deny all wrongdoing, push blame on poor management, time management, or another associate who is horrible at their job, "but bet you didn’t document them.”

Those employees never take the information presented constructively and rarely last in the workforce because of their own sense of entitlement.

2. The Drama Queen/King: This employee bursts into tears and either quits on the spot because they “just can’t deal with all of this stress,” or they sob uncontrollably to try to make the manager feel sorry for them or in hopes of guilting them into not completing the documentation. For the record, I never kept tissue in my office. I felt if you were this dramatic, then you obviously needed your privacy to either go to the restroom and compose yourself, or I needed to leave and go get you some tissue and give you time to compose yourself.

But either way, we are still finishing the conversation. I don’t get emotional, and I don’t truly believe professionals should. That includes you as much as it does me.

These employees often appear weak to managers and dramatic. No one likes drama. You are giving the manager signs that you lack communication skills. You also have little self-control or the ability to lead people if you can’t handle constructive criticism.

3. The Learner: This employee is a little miffed by being documented because they are typically a good employee, a hard worker, and overall someone who has a promising career. They made a mistake. Sometimes they feel that the manager should have pulled them over to speak to them. But most of them know that if they break a policy, the only way to show fairness and consistency is to do the same thing that they should be doing for everyone else. They take notes. Most of the time, they own their part in the policy violation. They thank the manager for pointing it out, reassure them they will not commit the same violation, shake hands and walk out the door with an option to return at a later date to discuss any concerns or questions that may arise after the conclusion of the meeting. This employee will request a copy of the documentation and policy violation. They request this so that they can take the time to review it later that evening when they have time to revisit it and bring out any questions or comments that they may like to submit in addition to the actual documentation.

With that said, you should always be the Learner. Here is why. You never want to appear weak or unable to control your emotions. Reactive people often say things or do things they wish they could take back after thinking about what their actions may have just done to their opinion of them in the eyes of their managers, or worse, they quit and realize that it’s not as easy to get another job and pay bills on time as they thought.

The Learner has the advantage because he proves immediately that he/she is professional and has strong control over their emotions. They instantly separate themselves from others by accepting that what is being told to them is truthful. If it is not, you are taking notes to come back and get further clarification. It shows that you thought through your actions and that you deserve the same respect in a like meeting if necessary. In addition to this, you are showing them that you are capable of following policy by accepting it when you break a policy that others have a job to do, holding you accountable.

It’s important for you to have a copy of the documentation and policy that you violated. You need to keep this in the event that the managers don’t do their job and are not fair and consistent. You need to keep your paperwork together, and if you feel that they have made a mistake, you have what you need to defend your actions should you need to request that it be reviewed at a higher level. This also makes them want to dot their I’s and cross their T’s when they deal with you because they know that you are controlled and professional and will expect them to present you only real policy violations. They will not nit-pick or present you with weak documentation in the future because they know they will be held to a higher standard. That is your edge, and you need to keep it.

If you don’t agree with the information in the paperwork:

You need to write a grievance about the corrective action. Be factual. Your opinion does not count. As much as people like to say there is a grey area, the truth is that there is not. Use the KISS method. Keep It Simple/Solid. You either broke the policy, or you did not. If you did not, then you need to use the policy and point out that the action they documented you for was not a violation of the policy that they gave you. Be specific.

An Example

Let’s say you are a smoker. You were documented because you were seen smoking in the parking lot. The policy states that as an employee, you cannot smoke anywhere in the parking lot or building. That’s simple enough. But what if you were clocked out and on lunch? Are you still an employee? The answer is no. You are no longer an employee. At this time, you are now a customer who was smoking either on his/her way to the car or on the way into the store. Either way, you are still off the clock and no longer someone who can be considered violating the policy. Therefore, you would request that your time card be pulled and compared to the time that the incident allegedly happened. You would then point out in the copy of the policy that you were NOT an EMPLOYEE during the time of the allegation. Therefore, legally you did not violate their policy. You will then respectfully request that they remove the documentation from your file. You should be present when that documentation is destroyed.

That is how you defend yourself when you are being documented. Keep it simple and always keep it within the same policy that they were using against you. If you can dispute their policy with solid proof, then you will win the right to overturn the action, and it will also show them that you were professional in the way you conducted yourself. You respected that they were trying to execute policy, but unfortunately, it did not apply during that specific incident.

Sometimes, not all information is relayed to the manager during the documentation. It’s important that you keep that in mind before you become dramatic, angry, etc. You need to be in control. Being in control gives you self-respect, and it shows that you are someone that will not tolerate substandard investigations.

Respectfully disputing a write-up does not make you a troublemaker. It makes you someone who does their homework. Don’t ever apologize for defending yourself legally. No HR manager or manager is perfect or above reproach. If they consistently do the wrong thing, then someone needs to report them to their corporate office. Never accept shoddy documentation. You have rights. Use them.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Beth5667 on August 10, 2019:

What about the 4th type of employee: the doormat?? Doesn't argue or get defensive, doesn't cry (although might be a sucky actor who tries to look poker faced but you can tell looks to have hurt feelings), doesn't assertively question anything or request an improvement plan. Just signs solemnly. Is that person more or less at risk of termination than "the arguer" and "the drama queen"? Or what about the passive-aggressive doormat, who barely says a word and subserviently signs without questioning anything, but does so in a way that's cold shoulder, silent, robotic, and without saying thank you or have a good day to the manager? Basically someone who's extremely angry or upset but hiding it behind an obvious emotionless wall.

Rose on March 10, 2019:

I’m in training & have been wriien up for low production. Manager says I am not where I am supposed to be in my training. This is the first write up in my life. I had been away from the office work place for 24 years as I had my own business & was a care giver. Soo much has changed with higher technology now. The people I work with are much younger. These are not excuses but I feel I need more training. I feel they get frustrated with me asking questions. This is the first company I’ve worked for that write up people in training.

Jake on January 02, 2019:

I was late to work 15 times for last year and was just now gives written for it can I fight it ???

Michelle on December 28, 2018:

I recieved a write up. On this write up there w

Lilly on December 22, 2018:

I work as a CNA, I was harrassed by a nurse, my managers told me she would be coached. Another thing that happened was I was sexually assaulted by a team member. HR head manager said there was no witnesses and could not due anything. An investigation was conducted and team members where not allowed to talk about the harrassment. My peers started to avoid me or refuse my help.I started to feel very scared and unmotivated to come but did my best to keep working efficiently. Another person was harrassed by this team member and he was fired. I got injured at work, I was scheduled to do light duty. I was written up for not using a gait belt even if refused, which I agreed with. My head manager told me that the doctor's note did not mention that I could not use my right arm. But I mentioned it hurt when I did, but the same reply was said to me. I have a problem to saying no. While working I wanted to help the most I could. I tried to say I could not do certain things but felt pressured to do them because this task where asked when there were others present or the families of our residents. My peers kept asking me about my injury and how it happened several times or when they saw me. When responding I said I helped with an assisted fall, but they wanted to know how it happened and who. Or when finding out I was still in light duty they would walk away. I started to get avoided or moved around a lot. My head manager said I could walk with residents. I felt that it was unsafe because some do not have very good balance but she said to use my better judgment. I missed my appointment because I was asked to come in then go to my appointment and come back to work. I felt it was inconvenient and stressful to go back and forth. My actions were seeing as deviance. I miss heard a recording and came to work when I was not supposed to. I qas asked to come in. Both my managers told me I was doing things out of my restrictions and doing whatever I wanted. They said I changed a lot and seemed unhappy. My manager told me the she was being sympathetic and working with my restrictions rather than seding me home. Also that I was sharing information, that other of my peers came to tell her they did not want to hear my problems. She then told me that she was taking me off the schedule to heal, and find something that makes me happy because I am misserable while tearing. It was really hurt by these words. I said I was sorry and that I did not mean to hurt anyone. I said if I could give my two weeks. I know I can improve but I believe those words where very harsh.

Arlene Aquino on December 21, 2018:

I work as a Supervisor at a retail and i got write up due to a 0.02 overtime that is not allowed in my workplace.Overtime is need to be approve by the GM.My temporary Sales Area Manager was aware of my schedule but he keep on discussing an issue to me and he is aware of my work hours.After 15mins i already interrupted him and told him i have to clock out since i am over my work schedule and he said frantically to go and clock out.After a week he sat me down because he received an email with my overtime.So now he is putting all blame to me when he is actually aware of the issue.I did my remarks on the communication record he presented to me but up to now i felt that i need justification because my remarks is not fully detailed as i was upset when we talk face to face although i made myself calm while talking to him.

In addition to that, a week before the incident i pass my resignation letter but my boss didnt accept it but offer me a 3monts leave without pay. I am a good worker and the company do not want me to go.But with what happened,i lose motivations in going to work.I am planning to go to HR and discuss about the issue.Ive been with the company for 3 years and never documented before this is my first.He is mean to me because i complained to the big boss about him him on depriving my breaktime when i am eligible for 15mins break every 2hrs.

What will i do.I am so bothered and cant focus on doing my job.

Brittany Underwood on November 09, 2018:

I have been late to work a couple times and received a written warning once i improved and started being early. I had some personal issues going on with family and i picked up a second job that always had be closing. So unfortunately I was late recently. I had to clean baseboards as part of a punishment I then completed my usual task. As I was clocking out for the day my boss pulled me to the side to fire me. I tried asking if i could be suspended which still sucks or if anything I could do to prove i wont let them down again. I truly LOVE this job and dont want to just let it go. It breaks my heart! I had already notified my other job i can not close anymore after I was late this last time. I live in Florida. Did my boss do this the right way is there anything i can do or say to save my job?!

Andrew Martinez on August 16, 2018:

Everything you've said sounds right but how about a employee with 28 yrs

Of service who is a diabetic and gets sick goes home and gets admitted to

Hospital for 4 days gets out is 5 days vac pay that his supervisor did not pay

Him upper management told not to ends up being off work for 2 months

Returns to work for 3 days and while doing a leadman job I'm driving 23

Mph by a 15 mph zone so they say I'm speeding for maybe 6 yards they

Take me to investigation they tell me just go in admit to violation n we will

Send you to repair facility n you will b disqualified. From company vehicles

I didn't want to I felt I wasn't driving unsafely but I did what they told me

And they terminated me you give 3/4 of urr life to a company urr honest

And urr hard worker and there must b a person in management that has

It out for cus this is wrong discrimination to the foolest and get get away

With it shame

Jess on May 07, 2018:

Is it possible to get written up over something that's not in the hand book or even a rule from management? But they make up this rule out of the blue to get u written up?

Glen on March 06, 2018:

My supervisor is NOT accusing me of keeping her in her office, but still wrote a letter to the owner stating she felt "uncomfortable" (although she said I didn't approach her, and she didn't attempt to leave) as I stood in the hallway at her door to speak to her concerning an issue with another employee. My supervisor documented this, which was read to me by the President of the company. Am I entitled to ask for a copy of this documentation? I also thought about suing for Libel if my pay decreases.

Glen on March 02, 2018:

My supervisor is NOT accusing me of keeping her in her office, but still wrote a letter to the owner stating she felt "uncomfortable" (although she said I didn't approach her, and she didn't attempt to leave) as I stood in the hallway at her door to speak to her concerning an issue with another employee. My supervisor documented this, which was read to me by the President of the company. Am I entitled to ask for a copy of this documentation? I also thought about suing for Libel if my pay decreases.

Sharrie on February 09, 2018:

I am an administrator in an assisted living facility the ceo is my bosssnd just wrote me up because the resident census is low. The company has a “marketer” on salary to do just this and market the facility for residency .can I be written up with a possible termination as mentioned in the write up if I don’t improve in thirty days she also stated I do t come in at the same time every day however my hours of work are always over an eight hour day as I am salary and my end time varies as will my start time is any of this valid especially for a manager in a position for only seven months I am experienced have al other areas of my job in place except these two area which semtocontinue to be a sore spot with my boss as I am ready to lose my job and more importantly my reputation as I have never ever been written up .. even during my school years I’m confused and frustrated can u advised

Monica on January 05, 2018:

I have been being bullied at work. It got so bad this last time a nurse manager from another department came in to break it up. I left because I knew I wouldn't be treated fare. I tried to talk to her about it but I was so upset I was shaking. The girl that was talking to that manager harrassed me and bullied me. She was lieing to the nurse manager and i knew i wouldnt be listened to. I should of calmed down and explained to her what was going on, but the other girl was asalting me so i just left because of the past i have with her is not good.

Anyway I was told we were going to get together and sit down in a meeting with all of us that didn't happen. On my day off I went in to discuss it and the human resource person and my boss took me in a room and sat me down to have me sign a violation that I disrupted the buissness. I was defending myself. I was being bullied and harassed and ganged up on by these two girls, so I left. I wrote my boss and there was a investigation so, I thought I was coming in on my day off to talk among everyone and work it out so it don't happen again, but I was escorted in the human resources office with my boss and I was written up. I put in a comment that I was just defending myself, at first I said I wouldn't sign cause I'm the victim here. But I ended up aligning it after I wrote a comment. That I stayed as long as I did cause I was trying to do the right thing and do my work but they wouldn't allow me too. Should I ask the human resource if I could be transferred she said next time I'll be fired. I really don't want to work with those ladies. I get along with everyone else, but them! Advice on how to handle this please.

Lori on January 01, 2018:

I need some help, I am currently fighting to receive unemployment from a previous employee for firing me over reading her a text message sent from an employee while already having had a write up for being on my phone. I was also made to sign a document for being on my phone and only me not anyone else that spend time on their phone. Is this legal?

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on November 09, 2017:

I’m sorry to hear this. Your company should have an Human Resource Department. You have a logistics problem and some really bad luck. However, you also appear to be being singled out and harrassed by this Manager. Because he seems to be targeting you and I am assuming you have pointed out logistic issues and tried to change your schedule to better suit your problem, then HR needs involved. Ask for a reasonable accommodation for say 6 weeks. This will allow you to work out logistics and also get settled into your new home state. Although they are not obligated to do this, if you are forth coming, tell them how much you not only enjoy your job and the company you work for, but you have never had the kind of negative write ups being placed in your file before and do not want it to be a situation where you look like a bad employee when you truly have worked hard for them. I believe honesty will help you more than anything at this point.

frustrated on November 06, 2017:

I was previously in management and stepped down to accept a position and go to graduate school. I took a position in another state and this is the first time I have ever live anywhere then where I grew up. I remained with the same organization but work as a part-timer in a location an hour from where I now live and go to school. Since transferring, I have had to deal with the embarrassing issue of a manager who is said to be "by the book" having taking disciplinary action against me for the fourth time now. He is displining me for tardies. The handbook says we are allowed 3 and he has writes me when I hit 4. The unfortunate part is everytime these tardies are most of them consisted of an interstate shut down, a family member put on life support, a police officer showing looking for a animal that fit my animals description, and needless to say I still have not learned any secondary ways to work. The place that I have moved has seem to cursed me and my morale has never been so low. I recieve a write up for being 1 min late!! I have never in the 8 years with the company recieved the amount of discipline that I have in the total of eight years that I have in less then six months.

Jill on October 28, 2017:

This was the best article. It helped me a lot, thank you for printing it out.

Vicki DC on May 13, 2017:

I was written up yesterday do some mistakes I made on paperwork. I'm been feeling overwhelmed with my workload. I'm in the lending industry so there's not much room for mistakes. I have never been written up before, so it left me reeling to say the least. I wasn't dramatic or emotional so I think I handled it well. I'm trying my best to make it a learning experience and to improve. My boss wants to meet again in 2 weeks. I hope that gives me enough time to improve and that this is not the beginning of the end.

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on January 18, 2014:

The thing about retail is that they expect quality customer service from you. Yet when the store does not produce an alternative product to make that sale and make the customer happy, they seem to lose interest in the customer. What you did was right. When your company just does not have the product the customer wants there is one option. You tell the customer where they might find it, and you encourage the customer to return to the store for anything you can help them with. That leaves the customer with a feeling that you still took care of them and you will more times than not receive repeat business because is your professionalism and honesty. The manager who wrote you up sounds like a child who has a chip on their shoulder and are abusing their power. When in doubt, take it to HR and ask what they suggest you should have done for that customer. Trying to get you to break into some kind of emotions again a very unprofessional and sign of immaturity on the managers part. I realize this is a little late as I have stopped writing hubs to focus on health issues and other interest. But, for future reference just remember to always check to see a policy number that you violated and what specific clause of that policy. If you don't agree with it, then counter with a rebuttal citing your side and always keep your emotions in heck. If the manager is abusing their authority, document dates, times and facts only. Finger pointing without facts looks more like a tit and tat situation. Always back up your claims with facts.

mvecho on September 08, 2013:

I love this article and hope you can give me some advice. I was written up less than a week ago for not writing a log in my deposit book. During the coaching I took full responsibility of my actions but my manager seemed to provoke an emotion out of me. She would cut me off during me apologizing and state how I was wrong for not paying attention to detail Its strange cause I ve been recently promoted but they would avoid answering my question about pay until they raised my pay to a dollar more without my approval for acceptance. When I approached them about this professionally things got weird and the write up came. its important to note that a senior manager made the same mistake the exact day I did and the person who wrote me up made the mistake the very next day. now they are going to write me up for recommending another retail store to a customer for a product we did not have in store nor online and I don't know what to do I just want to step down now sadly but feel like management is just trying to get rid of me

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on June 30, 2013:

Hello Evenso. I appreciate your opinion. I don't think you really took the time to read the entire article. But, never the less we live in America and you are entitled to your opinion. On a side note, you do sound bitter, almost like someone who lost their job. I hope that is not the case. I never used the "my way or highway approach". You see, there is usually three sides to every store. The employee, the manager and somewhere in the middle of the two lay the truth. I am the person seeking the truth.

I have had the displeasure of having to firing managers as well as hourly associates. One never wants to see someone lose their job. It is an ending that is a loss to the employer as well as the employee. However, managers can be hateful, disengaged and they do cause a trickle down effect to the employees becoming both angry and disengaged in their jobs. Sometimes, it is better to let the manager with a history of behavioral issues go than the employee. Bottom line, you have policy that has to be executed fairly and consistently in order to practice terminations that are fair and consistent. Meaning you have to actually investigate, ask questions, listen to what is not being said in monitoring body language and talk to the people that work with those people. You compile the evidence that is factual, see where it points and make the best determination possible for that situation. But, if you are someone waiting in the wings to see what was done disclosed to the rest of the gang, then you would be disappointed. I would never discuss what I did, how I came to my decision and what the outcome of the investigation was with anyone aside from my superiors. I have NEVER fired someone who did not see the light and hear the horn blowing because they had a paper trail that led them all the way to the station. That includes Management. It's always sad when people try to lump one position into so many other HR Managers who have made poor decision practices. I am not perfect, but I can tell you that I still get calls from employees who ask me about policy and what they should do with their new HRMs. Mainly because I NEVER sugar coat it, I NEVER lied to them, and I always followed this one rule. If it's not Illegal, Immoral, Unethical, or Unsafe then it's part of your job. If you feel you are being overly exposed to crappy jobs out of retaliation and you don't tell me, I can't help you. If you are being harassed and you don't tell me, I can't help you. If you are being sexually harassed or even think you are, and don't tell me I can't help you. If you think someone violated policy or your violating policy by doing something and you don't ask me, I can't help you. Because despite all my God given talents, being a psychic or mind reader was not one of the abilities that I was blessed with.

evenso on June 13, 2013:

This article is written from the point of view of a standard HR person, and one who, not surprisingly, assumes the employee is at fault from the get-go. He doesn't address the scenario of a corporate culture that cultivates bad managers! What happens then? If an employee defends himself from a manager out of control he has no options. The article typifies a "my way or the highway" approach to employment. One reason America teeters on collapse.

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on May 07, 2013:

dreamiegirl, I apologize as I have been a bit ill and just read this. Please email me at every detail, dates, times, witnesses, state you live in, tenure etc... If this is not already resolved.

Kittydog: I am happy this worked out for you. It is a guideline and for informational purposes to help give people a different perspective than emotional anger and personal feelings. Its very difficult to separate it when you feel wronged and by knowing what you are allowed to request and what managers look for when they do corrective actions, it gives you composure, control and dignity. Three things, I feel SOME managers try to take away when they document people. We all put our shoes and pants on the same way and I never felt that I was superior to anyone that I worked with. Because we are ALL great at some things and I can ALWAYS learn something from everyone I meet. Kudos to you for taking control.

kittydog on May 01, 2013:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, I can not say that enough to y'all. Reading this article,the comments, and experiences afterwards have probably saved my job. I did get written up yesterday and I handled it like a learner. I will go in level headed tomorrow and ask for a copy for my records. That way I my boss knows she will have to write up everyone for the same mistake, and will be held accountable for making store policy that was not in place before.

dreamiegirl on January 11, 2013:

I have a situation where the incident took place about 3 weeks ago. Mgr says I broke policy & therefore Hr has recommended me to be written up. I requested to see the policy. 3 weeks later & still no written document nor specific policy I supposedly broke just a meeting 2 days ago where mgrs just thru me unduer bus. I was told not to spk to anyone but I vented privately with another mgr who knew about situation all along. 1. How should i be handling this? 2. Did I do wrong by venting to a mgr? 3. I feel like one of the mgrs is trying to squeeze me out. 4. I feel how management has handled this is wrong & I don't agree with their decision ...any advise u can give would be great. I am an excellent worker & I am not sure how to keep myself grounded. I love my job & would like to grow there but this has stomped my growth.

Kelsey on August 03, 2012:

Hello, thank you for your article! It is helping me calm down a bit. It is a Friday and I just got sent home early from the medical office I work at. I never worked in a medical office before now and was kind of thrown into the position of handling medical records with little training. Despite that, I have been praised numerous times for how great of a job I do by the physicians I work for and my office manager. A few days ago, I received a request for records with 3 fax numbers on the release. Normally there is only one, so I assumed it was the 1st fax number and sent the records after having a dr. sign off on them. Today, I received an irate call from the patient stating I had faxed her records back to her office and all of her employees have now read her her personal medical history. My heart sank, I try so hard to be careful at work and it was honestly my fault for not reading through the entire release. I was immediately sent home and told to come in Monday to sign a formal write-up. I'll be an anxious mess all weekend and just have to ask somewhere, what are the chances that I would have been fired on the spot? After I sign my write up will I be sent home for good? I am sincerely sorry and I have no doubt it was my fault, and I'm worried.

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on February 06, 2012:

I am sorry to hear that you were documented. However, I hope this comment may help you with the peace of mind side. The easiest way to handle this is sometimes the hardest for people. Own it. If you want your supervisor to respect you, change their behavior towards you and see past this small mistake in your career, then you need to take charge of the error and just own it and move past it. If it were me, I would handle it this way.

Employee to Supervisor: When you have some time, could you schedule me in for about 10-15 minutes?

Why am I scheduling this time? Because you want them to know that you know their time is as valuable as yours. You also want to make certain that you have their full attention and by scheduling the time, you should be able to accomplish that.

The Meeting:

Employee to Supervisor: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I will not take much of your time. I wanted to sit down with you to apologize for my recent behavior. It is not who I am, but I was not doing my job as well as I am capable of doing. I apologize for that and I am not here to provide you with excuses. I want you to know that there were some things in my life that were distracting me and I did allow it to transfer here to my job. But, I am resolving that and I will not allow something like this to happen in my career again. I value the opportunity I have to work here and enjoy my job and the people I work with. I wanted you to know this, because I feel like I owed you an answer to my behavior, and to make certain you know that I own it, have resolved it and will never allow it to happen again.

Your supervisor if they are worth their salt should thank you for your honesty. Ask you if there is anything that you feel he or she can do to help you get back on track or if there are any employee resources that you feel may help you get through any future issues. They should tell you that by policy they will most likely have to still document you. However, it should be more like a coaching than a written and you should walk away with a mutual respect that you have identified the problem, resolved it and resolve to never allow it to happen again. This is where your peace of mind will kick in and you can now go back to your job and continue being the quality associate you have always been.

If you have a jerk for a supervisor who tries to antagonize you, disengage you, or make you feel worse for coming to them. End the conversation abruptly with. I am here to put you on notice that I did have a lapse in judgement, I have resolved the problem and it will not happen again. I can't imagine why I need to be lectured any further. If you need to document me for my behavior I am willing to accept it and move on. I would like to know how long it will remain on my record and I would also like to make certain that I can add an attachment to it that states my side of this situation to be added for record.

You should never have to go through with something like this if you have a professional. But, if you have a jerk and they try to make it worse, seek higher counsel and explain your case and again revert back to the professional side always.

It is best to never engage with a bad boss when you are angry. If they are bad, then they are also typical bullies and your anger and their attitude only creates more drama. I would expect from any professional to another professional that they never engage in bad behavior, even if the person displaying it has higher authority. Just because they lack professionalism, does not mean you should ever stoop to their level. One day they will meet that professional who puts them on notice and replaces them with a professional like you.

Keep your head up and let me know if I can help you in anyway. Replies alert my iphone, so I will know if you respond. I hope this helps you in some small way. Best of luck and my hats off to you for being such an honest and dedicated employee.

J on February 05, 2012:

This article really helps. I just recently got wrote up. I have been under so much stress outside of work that I fell into one of my old bad habits. A few of my friends/family just told it is like picking up on smoking again after you have quit because you were so stressed. I was "picking" through my tasks at work and working the easier stuff. I knew better, and I can't believe I stooped that low. I did it when I first started and then started it up again just recently. My supervisor said that he wasn't for sure if he was going to give me a written warning or a corrective counseling which still has me worried. It is the first time in 4 years that I have been wrote up. I can say that I am a learner. I plan on bouncing back, and I know that I won't do it again. I just wish I could get it off of my mind.

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on April 22, 2011:

You are correct. The deck is sometimes stacked against you. I am sorry to hear of your recent documentation. It seems that the "Human" part of HR is falling short in a lot of organization. A lot of the stories I have heard fall back on being more of a corporate "yes" person than someone who is there to protect the assets of the company, which means their people too. You did a great job of keeping your composure and that made you a better person than your HR. Shame on them for being so unprofessional.

pathfinder881a from Grand Gorge, NY on March 30, 2011:

I was written up and I handled it as professional as possible but, the "Boss" kept repeating items already discussed. I felt he was trying to goad me into an emotional or unprofessional response. It seemed to irritate him that I would not fall into the trap.

Sometimes the deck is stacked against you.......

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on March 22, 2011:

You are so right. It is very important to keep that book and any updates printed. They are always revising things. It's important to have that as well. Awesome point. Thank you.

Tom T from Orange County, CA on March 22, 2011:

Great Hub. It is also why employees need to keep a copy of the employee handbook and become familiar with its contents. They may be written up for something that is not even covered. Thanks for shining some light on a very tricky subject.

tigergirl15 on March 22, 2011:

Excellent information. You are right. A lot of people will not share this information with their employees. Coming from someone in HR. I can tell you that my management team would not want this out there. But, you are correct. How can you develop them if you can't teach them. If you shut yourself off to this kind of learning, you will never move up in any company. I think it is sound advice. I look for the same things in my people.

epigramman on March 20, 2011:

......well it's a wonder the 'boss' doesn't write me up - lol lol - because I do a lot of my writing in rough form at work (which eventually finds its way here and posted online at the Hub) .....although I am always doing my work at the same time and I work in a union job - so that is a big factor too - I've worked in retail and normally they don't have unions - so the boss can get away with a lot more .......

You are a terrific writer though and this is a stimulating thought provoking piece - I could see you writing easily for a magazine doing investigative columns and articles ...... so nice to have met you and thanks for making my day and dropping by to view my humble hubspace!

Ugagirl66 on March 19, 2011:

Thank you. I appreciate the feedback and am very glad you found it helpful.

Have a great day!

Serena Zehlius from Hanover, PA on March 18, 2011:

Voted up and useful. This is GREAT information to have! I really enjoyed the part about the smoking policy. I'm a smoker and have worked in 2 places now that have the policy that an employee cannot be seen smoking by clients. I've never been written up for it, but it's nice to have that information in case it would ever happen!

I also like you comment that everyone deserves a chance to change their behavior. I totally agree with that. I think before anyone is terminated there should always be a time beforehand that the employee is made aware of the behavior that is "frowned upon" so that they have the opportunity to change it. I also think that even if it hasn't changed completely, if they're showing an effort to change it, that should count for a lot. Okay, enough rambling. :)

Regina Harrison-Barton (author) from South Carolina on October 01, 2010:

Thanks Daniel. I will be glad to help you anyway I can. If you need specific advice, just email me. My email is

I will need to know the stste you reside in as well as the industry and what type of policy they think you may have violated.

Daniel R on September 30, 2010:

I really like how you explain this troubling situation I find myself in now. Thanks for some mager key points. Keep advising, we/I need your help.