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Supervisor offered face masks and then accused us of city theft

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  • Supervisor offered face masks and then accused us of city theft

    Hey guys. So my position has been made as essential and therefore still report to work daily, working minimally with the public and constantly with other staff and contractors. Last week our new supervisor, over group text, offered us face masks to which several of us said yes to.

    The next day I came into work and saw a box of masks (30-40 masks) sitting on our shared desk in the security office. Being as that my supervisor agreed to provide us the masks, I took 1. Up until this point, the city has failed to provide us with ANY KIND of PPE despite our pleads to get protection. So at this point I was thinking that they are finally thinking of us and getting us what we need to stay safe.

    Well yesterday my supervisor called me. He said everyone that took a mask needs to return them or it was considered theft from the city. I was with my family at the time and so didn’t feel like arguing with him over the phone.

    In a few hours my supervisor will be confronting me over the mask. I had already used it and therefore cannot return it and I’m sure my supervisor will say that that is theft from the city despite his texts saying we can have a mask.

    I have already reached out to my union steward about the issue and he has advised me to screen shot the texts, which I have. I’m prepared to fight my supervisor on this. He shouldn’t be offering masks he cannot give out, and telling the guards that it is considered theft AFTER he offered them to us. It is a show of his leadership abilities, or lack there of. Depending on the outcome of this meeting, I may just report him to HR for this. Since our esteemed supervisor is an hourly city supervisor, he is bound by certain rules. He’s not supposed to be contacting employees on their time off for one and definitely not supposed to be calling them. But, if he insists on calling me a thief, I’ll go down this route.

    And what really chaps my a$$ is that I have NEVER stole anything from the city. Not in the ten years I’ve been working here.

  • #2
    Work with your union on this. It may be a situation where someone above him vetoed the mask idea after he had already gotten them. (If he's new, that may be the case.) If that is the situation, you are not at fault and there should be no action taken. This a fine example of the typical petty inefficiency that plagues governments and companies big and small, and has caused a lot of the problems we're hearing about.

    I hope this works out in your favor. Even if you made a technical mistake, it was an honest one, and to say you "stole" it is hogwash. I'm lucky - my father was a DIY guy, so he had a few P95 masks in his garage. I saved them in my emergency kit for earthquakes - didn't think me and my kids would be using them to go to work and shopping...
    Last edited by Condo Guard; 04-08-2020, 04:56 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
      Work with your union on this. It may be a situation where someone above him vetoed the mask idea after he had already gotten them. (If he's new, that may be the case.) If that is the situation, you are not at fault and there should be no action taken. This a fine example of the typical petty inefficiency that plagues governments and companies big and small, and has caused a lot of the problems we're hearing about.

      I hope this works out in your favor. Even if you made a technical mistake, it was an honest one, and to say you "stole" it is hogwash. I'm lucky - my father was a DIY guy, so he had a few P95 masks in his garage. I saved them in my emergency kit for earthquakes - didn't think me and my kids would be using them to go to work and shopping...
      Hey thanks for the reply Condo. I had a meeting with my supervisor and we came to an agreement that we were both in the wrong. I was partially at fault for taking the mask and assuming it was the ones he was referring to. He was at fault for leaving them out and telling us we can have them and then changed his mind. However, he showed a breakdown in his abilities to lead. Jumping the gun and saying I was stealing was a real sh$$ move to which he apologized for.

      Turns out the masks are still for our use but he wanted to hand them out and not for us to just take.

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      • #4
        Be careful, because if ever they want to fire you having admitted to any action that could appear in any way to be theft could look really bad on you.
        To any reasonable person, if a bunch of inexpensive items are placed in an area used by multiple workers, it would be reasonable to think that they could take and use them for work as needed. It's not like it was in a supervisor's office.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Consolewatcher View Post
          Be careful, because if ever they want to fire you having admitted to any action that could appear in any way to be theft could look really bad on you.
          To any reasonable person, if a bunch of inexpensive items are placed in an area used by multiple workers, it would be reasonable to think that they could take and use them for work as needed. It's not like it was in a supervisor's office.
          Well yesterday I had a meeting with both my supervisor and the union steward. I brought the text messages from my supervisor saying he was getting us masks and my union basically said they would go to bat for me because they told my supervisor that he was gaslighting me by saying “sure, you can have a mask” and then turning around and saying it’s theft. The union also advised my supervisor that abuse of what little power he has can backfire and he would be the one in hot water.

          I also have my supervisors’ boss on my side and is upset that my supervisor is making it a big deal and basically said he was handling it wrong. He told my supervisor that you don’t call someone a thief for taking what was offered.

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          • #6
            Your supervisor is an A**.
            http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/ Greatest Comedy team ever!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by copelandamuffy View Post
              Your supervisor is an A**.
              Yep! Same guy that disapproved of me not attempting to separate two dudes mutually fighting. They both had an easy 20-40lbs on me. Expected me to just jump on in there and somehow break them up. By myself.

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              • #8
                Make sure you put in for the time he called you off duty. That’s at least 1/2 an hour.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Soper View Post
                  Make sure you put in for the time he called you off duty. That’s at least 1/2 an hour.
                  Haha I should!!

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                  • #10
                    You should. It’s off duty time and yours by law. That tends to stop bs like that in the future.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Soper View Post
                      You should. It’s off duty time and yours by law. That tends to stop bs like that in the future.
                      True. You’re right.

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