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Old 12-21-2013, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,264 posts, read 11,132,912 times
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Once you are exonerated, if you do not get a written retraction from the person who wrongly accused you you should consider talking to a lawyer to sue them for defamation of character.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:45 AM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,705,154 times
Reputation: 3235
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
This is just a vent, I guess. I am a painting contractor. Clients routinely give me keys, garage and security codes so we can work in their homes. They trust me with their homes and property and I do my best at all times to honor their trust.

A general contractor I've worked for for about two years told me today that clients on a job I worked on for him accused me of stealing four dinner sets and some towels. According to him, their rationale was because what was taken was "women things" so it must have been me. (I am the only female subcontractor he has. About a dozen people had access to the home over the course of the job.)

I hope he is telling the truth when he told me he believed me! I feel absolutely sick over this. And very hurt. He is meeting with them early next week and they said they had hidden cameras and proof of who took their stuff. I hope they do! Because that would completely exonerate me. And clearly if one of his guys is stealing - I know them all and can't imagine who - he needs to know.

Accusing someone of stealing without incontrovertible proof is a very serious charge. If the only rationale these people had (and they seemed very nice and reasonable people) was that "women things" were stolen then that is BS because I assure you there is no possible proof I took anything, because I didn't and wouldn't.

tl;dr version: Be careful when accusing someone of something. It really hurts to be wrongly accused.
I hear you on that. I was once accused of stealing money from the cash register at the pizza place where I worked as a delivery guy. The manager said he had cameras and proof... when he first announced that to everyone, I thought "okay, cool... I wonder who did it?!". However, as time went on, I put some puzzle pieces together and got to thinking that he was suspecting me. First, he announced it to everyone immediately after I returned from a delivery... and it's not like my return meant that everyone was finally in the building - another driver was still out on a delivery, and not everyone was even working at that time. Second, he had insisted upon accompanying me to the drop boxes to get my cash, for a day or two prior to the accusation. Third, he had started treating me oddly. Fourth, when I asked him to state for the record that he did not believe it was me, he refused.

He told us that if the guilty party came forward before midnight, he would not press charges... but he had scheduled to meet with a police officer at that time. Since I had never stolen any money, it stood to reason that there'd be no good evidence that I had. So he met with the cop, the cop eventually left, and I asked him again - "Now that you've met with the cop, are you willing to tell me that you don't believe it was me?"... and again he refused to say that.

A few days later, I quit. At that time, the manager finally told me that he believed I had stolen the money. I asked for his evidence, quoting his statement that he had pictures. He said that all he had was pictures of me going into the cash register, to which I said "of course I went into the cash register - you TOLD ME to go there to get the drop box keys one day! Does the picture show me taking money?" and he said it didn't. To explain the drop box issue, you have to know that there was a set of 25 drop boxes... they looked like a cluster of post office boxes. A metal rod went through a series of holes in each column, and when it was locked into place, the doors couldn't open because the rod obstructed them. To access your box, you had to pull the rod out (theoretically exposing all five boxes in that column) and open the door to your box. Apparently someone had told the manager that $100 was missing from his drop box, and it was in the same column as mine. (The fact that the guy could have very easily pocketed the $100 and then told the manager it was missing at count-up time at the end of the night evidently never crossed his mind.) He had no pictures of me going into anyone else's drop box. Ultimately he said that he didn't have enough evidence to prove anything, so it'd just have to be written off as a loss. Maybe my refusal to admit anything, even when the cop showed up and I knew his threat was real, told him that I probably wasn't the guy even though he strongly disliked me. Who knows. At any rate, I know from this experience that it is indeed maddening when someone wrongly accuses you of stealing... especially when you're the type of person who wouldn't steal even if he (or she) was desperate.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:59 AM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
8,984 posts, read 14,595,837 times
Reputation: 14868
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Once you are exonerated, if you do not get a written retraction from the person who wrongly accused you you should consider talking to a lawyer to sue them for defamation of character.
Ahhhh....this. Tell them if they don't give it to you, you will go for slander.

I agree with a previous poster that they are probably just trying to get something free or at a discount. They have already proven they are liars because, like already mentioned, why bring up your gender when they have a tape? I hope the general contractor realizes that to give in means more of the same.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,166,245 times
Reputation: 39828
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
The more I think about this, the more bizarre it becomes.
There cannot possibly be any "proof" because I didn't steal any stupid plates or towels. I did not even touch any plates or towels in that house.
So how can they possibly blame me? It's simply not possible.
This is entering some sort of alternate universe.
I'm so sorry this is happening to you!

For a person of integrity there is almost nothing worse than being falsely accused.

And being falsely accused DOES hurt, so consider yourself very "normal".

After all, this is your reputation on the line - professionally and personally

Sounds to me like someone has misconstrued something somewhere and I wish you all the best in getting it straightened out.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,748,334 times
Reputation: 4758
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Once you are exonerated, if you do not get a written retraction from the person who wrongly accused you you should consider talking to a lawyer to sue them for defamation of character.
Written retraction or not the word is out. If you had heard this would you want this person working in your home? If they can not prove the accusations I would OWN their house.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:24 PM
 
20,129 posts, read 16,370,608 times
Reputation: 37791
Quote:
Originally Posted by longnecker View Post
Written retraction or not the word is out. If you had heard this would you want this person working in your home? If they can not prove the accusations I would OWN their house.
You can't sue for this. They didn't take out a full page ad, they told his boss. I think it sucks, but it's not something you can sue for.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,748,334 times
Reputation: 4758
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
You can't sue for this. They didn't take out a full page ad, they told his boss. I think it sucks, but it's not something you can sue for.
Of course I am not a Lawyer. I bet if they told the boss they told other people of the "theft". Would this not be defamation of character? I have watched a lot of the Judge shows.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,263,800 times
Reputation: 10248
Wow, thanks for the support.

Actually they told the GC that although the job was very well done and to their satisfaction, that they would not recommend him since he brought a thief (that would be me, oh yay) into their house. So, materially, he would the one more harmed than me. I was a subcontractor and have an implied "non compete" arrangement with him that I not work independently for any of his clients. This is standard in the industry.

Anyway, regardless, I'm not interested in suing. I just want my name cleared and I do NOT want anyone having any lingering doubts that I'm stealing from clients or jobsites! Because in my trade, people HAVE to trust me and my employees. (On this particular job I was the only one working, I had no helpers or other painters with me.)
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,484 posts, read 3,300,356 times
Reputation: 2409
and of course they had no video.. ::sighs:: they were trying for a discount and are the real thieves .. they tried to steal your good reputation..
I'm sorry ..
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,823 posts, read 17,116,304 times
Reputation: 40512
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Contractor wanted to meet with them this week but they said they were busy with holiday stuff and visiting family, so it will be Monday or Tuesday.

Also, I agree this makes no sense, the more I think about it! I agree with those of you who said it was a bluff. It has to be, of course.

Huh. Hadn't considered talking to an attorney. They're not talking about filing charges as far as I know (and how could they, there is NO FREAKING PROOF); so far it's between the GC, me, and them. I'll see what happens when he meets with them.

I don't know whether I'm more hurt than angry, or the other way around. Some of both for sure. Along with a hefty dash of confusion.
I agree that they are probably bluffing. Perhaps, you should suggest that they just call the police & their insurance company to report the missing items as you know that YOU didn't take them and there must be a cat burglar in the neighborhood (stealing kitchen towels and silver wear).

I would be irate to be accused of a crime that I didn't commit.
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