Friday, February 12, 2010

The Nightmare Before Christmas

That which I could not mention has now been resolved, although I am still fuming that this particular piece of nonsense took seven weeks to sort out.

My son, D, works as a trainee manager for a well known supermarket chain. By all accounts he is highly thought of and popular with customers and staff alike. He had also met the love of his life through working in his particular store as she also works there part time. Since he met her he has not so far as I am aware looked twice at another female – and has in fact been known to row with his younger brother if in his opinion his brother was being too friendly with another female because his brother is also in a long term relationship and D is firmly of the opinion that you must never flirt with anyone else when you have a Significant Other.

So therefore it was, to say the least, something of a shock to us all when D, was suspended from work two days before Christmas (a Wednesday) due to two young girls alleging he had sexually harassed them.

On the Tuesday evening D had been working and these two girls were supposed to have been stacking some shelves. Over the course of the evening, D kept having to speak to them about their complete lack of progress. I gather they did not take kindly to being told their work was not acceptable.

The next day D went to work as usual, but was summoned to the office and told serious allegations had been made against him. He was suspended on full pay until a hearing set for 6th January.

Naturally he was absolutely distraught, but his major fear at first was not that he might loose his job, but that he might loose his girlfriend. Luckily she knew him well enough to know at once that it was all lies, and an attempt to get back at him for the words that were exchanged on the previous night.

Now of course D is my son, and I love him dearly, and we all hear mothers of vile men announce to the world at large that they know their son and he would not do whatever it happens to be that he stands accused of. I would always defend him even when I might fear he had done wrong. In this instance though I did not for a single second consider there could be any truth in this at all and I never doubted that that would be proven to be the case. I was however incandescent with rage that such allegations had been made, although I understood why the store had to suspend him pending investigation of the claims.

What I suspect is that the girls aim was to cause trouble between D and his girlfriend. This suspicion was somewhat enhanced when the first thing one of them did was to contact D’s girlfriend via Facebook to detail in gory detail what D had been doing to her. I don’t think they had the faintest idea that their accusations would lead to a major investigation which would eventually lead to practically every member of staff being interviewed by Head Office employees.

I told D to just treat it as unexpected paid holiday over Christmas, and to try and put it to the back of his mind. Easy for me to say of course, but we did succeed in having a good time over the Festive Season, whilst mentally crossing off the days till 6th January when all would be resolved.

Expect that on the 6th January we had snow. We had so much snow the guy charged with doing the investigation could not get to the store to see D and the meeting was cancelled.

I will not go into detail about what caused further delays but they included sickness, incompetence and holidays. Finally – this Wednesday just gone -D was told that he was completely exonerated, not a scrap of evidence having been unearthed to show that he had done the things they alleged, or even that any other colleagues considered him capable of acting in such a manner.

It might be supposed that as the investigation dragged on and on I might have had second thoughts about whether there was in fact a shred of truth in what they said D got up to but I never did. Partly I never did because I know D, but a major part of why I never doubted him was because of the words of the girls themselves.

In written statements and in their Facebook exchanges with his girlfriend they declared that there was a pattern to his behaviour and that the sexual harassment which began about last September always occurred on a Tuesday.

The Tuesday of the dispute over the shelf stacking was the only Tuesday D had worked for the past six months.

Oh, and on Wednesday but before he had heard that he was fully cleared, he had a call from the manager of another store who had heard what had been going on (what price confidentiality eh?), but thought it was a load of shit, and asked D if he would consider coming to work as his deputy (ie, a promotion from his current role) and with better shifts that he has been working at his store. Not surprisingly, D has accepted his offer.


trousers said...

My goodness - this made me so angry. I cannot imagine (apart from your phrase "incandescent with rage) just quite how angry it must have made you. I could rant, but I shan't - I assume it's all stuff that would have been going through your mind anyway.

I'm just so glad for you and yours that this had the right outcome - and good for your son for accepting the promotion. Many warm wishes from me.

Jennyta said...

I really feel for your son and for you and the rest of your family of course. It seems we are moving ever closer to being seen as guilty until proved innocent.

Steve said...

What is it about this world we live in where allegations as serious as these are spewed out by two girls who had obviously not a clue about this could have ruined a young man's life. D could have ended up on a sex register with the rest of his life hanging in tatters.

It makes my blood boil!

Have they been punished?

You all must have had a crap Xmas because of these two pieces of shit. One day they may have sons and perhaps be just a little ashamed of what they did here.


Gill said...

Glad it all worked out for the best- it's difficult to understand the mentality of such losers.

jay said...

Good heavens... the stupidity of young girls! Doesn't it make you want to slap someone? Yeah, that's politically incorrect, isn't it? But in my opinion, PC is what has allowed so many lives to be wrecked by baseless accusations by idiots like these two shelf-stackers. They think ... I don't know what they think, actually, but I agree, they seldom realise what they're about to unleash. They think it's just going to get the poor guy (and it's usually a guy) into a spot of trouble and serve him right. Well, I hope they will have the sense to think twice about doing it in future - and I hope they were disciplined, too!


Yorkshire Pudding said...

Those two vile and lazy girls should at the very least have been dismissed from the supermarket. However, we seem to live in crazy times where accusers get away scot-free even when their accusations are ill-founded and simply malicious. On the other hand, even when the accused prove their innocence there is a sense of mud sticking. By the way, "D" is an odd name for a kid but at least it is easy to spell.

J.J said...

I honestly can't express how grateful I am to all of you for your comments about this.

It has brought home to me just how vulnerable we all - but especially men - are now to totally fabricated accusations which have the potential to wreck lives.

And so far as I am aware tehre will be no punishment for the two girls - beyond that of being ignored by all their other colleagues throughout this entire episode.

And yes Steve - I can't help but wonder if in the future they do have sons themselves if they will remember what they did, and feel maybe a modicum of shame?

I don't have the words to express my opinion of the two of them, but sincerely hope they don't cross my path at all - ever. For everyone's sake.

JoeinVegas said...

Facebook is good for something.

Nedine Says said...

Indeed we are living in strange times where polical correctness has run amok. A 5 year old here recently charged at his school with sexual harrassment of a female classmate because he snapped the waistband of her knickers. Common sense is becoming a rare commodity.

J.J said...

Yes Joe - on this occasion it saved my sanity over Christmas as I had already seen what they had written and knew we had evidence they were lying.

Hello Nedine and thanks for visiting me. Teachers at that little boys school should be sacked.