I came to work and my colleagues told me how one of the staff had a one-on-one meeting with our supervisor and bad-mouthed me. She told him that I was lazy, inefficient, and always missing from my desk when that was a perfect description of herself. Unfortunately, I was not present to defend myself and she has a better relationship with the supervisor. I am so angry. What can I do?
Welcome to the world of office politics. You can be the most efficient and professional employee and you’ll still hear people talk. The bad news is that she complained to your supervisor, which means it can go on your official record.
A good supervisor will at least let you know about the complaint and ask to hear your side of the story. You can laugh it off and simply give evidence to prove yourself.
On the other hand, if you feel you cannot get a fair hearing, you can always ask for a skip level (talk to the next-level manager). You’ll need to be prepared with evidence to support your complaint to avoid this becoming a she-said/she-said situation. Be prepared for a battle and possible blowback if you do this.
Option A is to collate details from your sympathetic co-workers and set an appointment with the same supervisor. Relay what you know and defend yourself objectively; ready a letter that this supervisor will acknowledge. He should be able to confirm what the bitter co-worker reported to him. Should the supervisor cover him up, prepare an incident report and forward it to HR.