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is she accusing me of theft?

(50 Posts)
loopsylala Sat 14-Nov-15 23:12:04

had to NC for obvious reasons

So I've changed offices due to a change in position (higher paid position). In last job I had a number of (unpaid) responsibilities which have now been passed to other people still in that team.

last week I got an email from a member of the old team who I've never liked. I've always found her patronising, treating me like I'm stupid, but I've never stood up to her because I didn't want to get myself into trouble or know what to say in response. The majority of the team like her so I would have been on my own if I stood up to her. I was glad to leave but I will still come into contact with her ocassionally

anyway, in her email she states, (and I have summarised it so as not to identify me) with parts underlined and in bold - "xyz item has gone missing. have you taken it home. I am the person who is now in charge of abc so I will have to report this to (senior manager person)"

the responsibility is something she does not get any extra pay for and takes about 2 mins each week to do, yet her email makes it sound as though she's been promoted and is oh so important.

Also, she appears to be implying I have stolen the item which I have never once seen. I haven't and wouldn't take anything!

And there's what I think is a threat at the end!

I have replied saying I don't have it and sorry I can't help but now I think I should have said something else, but I'm not good at effective responses, especially those that won't get me into any trouble.

Should I leave it at the response I gave? My previous manager, which we shared, was a bit crap at dealing with her and the union rep is her friend.

FuckingLiability Sat 14-Nov-15 23:17:25

No, don't engage. Your response was fine.

The temptation in these situations is to write a long-winded semi-eloquent response intended to put her in her place while placing yourself above any conceivable suspicion.

She asked you where xyz item was, you said you didn't have it and couldn't help. That's enough.

nettlefairy Sat 14-Nov-15 23:18:24

my opinion is that if you haven't seen it then you have given the best - ie the most straightforward answer to her question, without getting into the sub-text or innuendo and that is a good thing as less is more. If you did try to be clever with your response you'd be in danger of escalating the situation and if you know you haven't done anything, she will be the one who ultimately looks bad and you didn't rise to the bait.

Diggum Sat 14-Nov-15 23:19:06

I'd leave it at that, though you could have added some PA agreement that senior manager would definitely want to know that unpleasantteammember has lost these items so early on in their role.

But no, best to rise above!

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sat 14-Nov-15 23:20:33

Is xyz item anything to do with any of the responsibilities you had before changing role? If not I'd leave it at what you've said. If it is something you'd usually have expected to have as part of your former role but didn't it might be worth following up with an email explaining that you'd never had it, explaining why you didn't enquire about it etc.

And keep copies of all emails and other documentation about this, just in case.

Sighing Sat 14-Nov-15 23:23:39

Detach. You don't know where the thing is. How important she thinks it is/ letting her ruffle you for power play is just giving her power.

loopsylala Sat 14-Nov-15 23:24:02

I never had said item nor was I ever told I should have it.

I spoke to my DH and also a member of my new team about it (whom I really like). They both think I should send another email, cc old manager in, asking if she's found it yet and offering to speak to senior manager myself (who incidently works a few desks away from me)...

I'm just not sure

EleanorRigsby Sat 14-Nov-15 23:25:27

Your response to her email is absolutely fine.
Enjoy your new role.

loopsylala Sat 14-Nov-15 23:31:41

Thank you everyone.
So far I have not risen to the bait but she persists in treating me like shit. things said in the past like "do you understand? are you SURE you understand?"....
Sometimes I wonder how much longer I should continue to bite my tongue!

FuckingLiability Sat 14-Nov-15 23:33:31

No, don't send another email.

cdtaylornats Sat 14-Nov-15 23:48:45

"do you understand? are you SURE you understand?".

The answer to this is "Yes, your explanation was quite adequate. You shouldn't doubt yourself, you can make yourself understood when you try."

BlinkAndMiss Sun 15-Nov-15 00:21:06

I'd leave it, she sounds like she's panicking by saying she has to tell the manager rather than threatening you (although I can see why you'd take it as a threat, it does sound like that). Your response was fine, if you email again it sounds like you are also worried which means she'll see she's able to have that kind of effect on you. If you didn't have the object and don't know anything about it then you've nothing to hide and it's her problem. By copying in others to your response it could be construed as you having something to hide, I'd wait and see if she comes back to you with anything.

cdtaylornats's suggested response to her patronising questions is brilliant!

TheHouseOnTheLane Sun 15-Nov-15 00:28:17

As other have said, detatch and ignore further emails. If she gets back again about it, forward it all to your manager and say "I have already forwarded your emails to X, I can't help further."

I had a similar thing once but less worrying in my DDs school. One Mum organised a cinema club...I paid in full for the whole term at the office.

Club starts up and many parents have yet to pay. She approaches me in playground to ask for my money...I told her I'd given the slip and cash to office.

NExt day she comes back to me saying they haven't got my slip or payment.

I go to office who have lost it...I tell office, "Well when you find it please give it to X"

She returns DAILY to me to enquire about it...eventually I all but told her to never speak to me about it again and piss off.

It wasn't MY problem but the office's. THey found it some time later in the dinner money payments....

Leelu6 Sun 15-Nov-15 06:23:20

YANBU, OP. Could she be jealous of your/ your promotion?

Narp Sun 15-Nov-15 06:32:49

I agree with your DH. I would have replied, cling to the senior manager. Pull the rug from under her feet

Narp Sun 15-Nov-15 06:33:09

not cling - 'ccing'

NotAnotheChinHair Sun 15-Nov-15 08:06:49

I would have replied in exactly the same way as you but would have also copied your and/or her line manager.

loopsylala Sun 15-Nov-15 10:28:34

I might leave it a few days and maybe if she doesn't get back to say if it has been found, I could email asking for an update but ccing in her old manager and the senior one? Including the original email with the parts either bold or underlined...

MytwinisMilaKunis Sun 15-Nov-15 10:43:48

No don't email looking for an update or cc her manager - that would be odd. She asked, you answered so leave it at that.

ICantSpellNoffink Sun 15-Nov-15 10:47:34

Your reply was fine. I wouldn't follow it up.

Noeuf Sun 15-Nov-15 10:52:08

How important is it? Box of staples? Entire years worth of petty cash? If you ask again it shows you're concerned it's missing. Should you be? Is it your problem?

Annecyinyourpantsy Sun 15-Nov-15 10:56:19

I would just leave it, otherwise you are giving her knowledge that this is really getting to you. An air of could t care less is what is needed.

roundaboutthetown Sun 15-Nov-15 11:01:13

Yes, just leave it. If she wants to keep it going, you will hear from her. Keep messages she sends and your replies, though, in case ever needed as evidence of her bullying and harassment!

OnlyLovers Sun 15-Nov-15 11:05:08

Seriously, leave it. She's after a reaction. Don't indulge her. Save it for if she comes back to you about it.

laffymeal Sun 15-Nov-15 11:16:35

I've seen this kind of nonsense play out in office environments many times, she sounds like a queen bee who doesn't like the fact you got promoted and is now desperate to undermine you. As others have said, remain detached and ignore her, she's clearly lost the item and wants you to get the blame for it. Don't give her anything to work with by sending more emails.

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