Last week we had an open house at our office – you know, where strangers can come and go and there are lots of people milling around. Well, my dumb-ass boss wants to impress everyone by playing Mozart in the background so he turns his fancy iPod on and leaves it hanging around. Guess what – the iPod disappeared and supposedly I’m the thief. So my boss, thinking he’s some kind of special prosecutor, cross-examined me in his office for half an hour asking me to account for my exact whereabouts that day. Now I’m no Sherlock Holmes but I figure there are a lot more suspects than just me and I had nothing to do with it. Now my coworkers are looking at me sideways and hiding their pens and clutching their wallets as I pass. I’m insulted and pissed off. What should I do?
-Jerry, San Francisco, CA.
Being accused of things is never pleasant especially if it is unjustified. Having said that, if your boss thinks you are the thief, then there must be some form of mistrust in your relationship to cause him to feel this way. I would sit down with him, and ask him why he feels you are the thief. No matter what he tells you, I would simply listen to what he has to say without being defensive. Then I would ask him if there is any way you might be helpful in trying to resolve the mystery of the lost iPod. This will send a message to the boss that you are serious about rebuilding the trust in the relationship, and will significantly lessen the chances of another interrogation if something else goes missing.