I listened with much interest and sympathy at WG, a contract officer at a government department relating how he was being wrongly accused and slandered for apparently doing little work in his department. No investigation was done to establish the reliability of the accusation they (some staff of the organisation) have leveled against him. I could almost feel his disappointment and deep anger.
While they seem to respect him face to face but behind his back they slander him by making up stories about his supposed wish to limit his workload at the expense of others. Without so much as enquiring the reasons for his lower workload, the immediate superior summarily marked him down with the intention of terminating his contract. This officer chose to listen to others instead of calling up WG for an explanation. The omission is a mark of an immature leadership.
Perplexed and disappointed WG did not know what he had done to deserve such slander. He was wondering whether his appointment as a contract officer on a relatively high scale is a subject of envy by some staff at his place of work. Has someone made up a story which has subsequently gone viral and later accepted to be gospel truth? Had someone taken the trouble to establish the cause for the low workload, people would have understood that it was not within his control and would not have slandered him in such a cowardly manner.
I remember, as morbidly inquisitive residents of a boarding school, we did an experiment to see how a misinformation passed around verbally would develop in our surrounding. We came up with this piece about what one of our friends said and so the news that ” Micheal thought he saw a ghost” was repeated around the school and before long the whole school was talking about some residents having encountered a wandering hideous female ghost and there was fear and panic all around when students refused to walk alone after preps in the evenings and dormitory beds were placed closer together at night. The scare-mongering went on for many weeks before it died down.
I employ this analogy on WG’s case. Someone in his organisation must have thought that WG had requested for a low workload and the story was magnified to later become that he, WG has truly and personally wanted to work less for the high salary that he is receiving. It is therefore not uncommon for someone innocent to be victimised and defamed in public. Another factor is the readiness to believe has clouded peoples’ judgement. The mind, by default, is lazy to think and analyse. It would rather take the least resistant path of belief with impunity.
In real life, you cannot run away from problems and challenges. What makes one different from the other is how one handles and copes with the situation. In this instance, the best thing is to personally meet with the superior officer and explain in earnest the true situation. If you are in the right, you will never waver in your conviction and it would be best if you could come up with your evidences in the form of records and documents and contributing changes which took place over the period of your work.
Talk about your disappointment to any staff who would care to listen and most people can gauge whether you are speaking the truth or not. It is best to identify the ‘chatterboxes’ in the organisation and just fleetingly tell them how you feel and that you think you know who is behind this slandering and believe me it will go viral before long. And eventually the culprit or culprits who make up the tale leading to your victimisation will come to know and, better still, you spread the word around that the person or persons who slander (or “fitnah” in Bahasa Malaysia) will be taught a lesson by the Almighty (Nature, God, Supreme Being etc) they will never forget however long it takes and that you will never forgive the son of a gun till you die. ( Most people, like it or not, do have what we refer to as conscience).
For more impact, say something like this ” If the retribution does not catch up with you, then it sure will ensnare your children, grandchildren or loved ones, one of these days indeed!” ( no one likes to be so cursed ). Let the damned culprits realise the hurt and defamation they have caused others.
Some people will say it is better to forgive and forget. This is a cliche that is easier said than done until it happens to them. I would tell all the slandered and the victimised, do not take things lying down. Fight back and let the truth prevail. The legal way might be too cumbersome,convoluted and costly and so do it in the non-legal way.
Some might even say that the issue is a small matter, one which does not need to be pursued further but having one’s contract potentially terminated based on false information and unsubstantiated rumour is a big thing to a person and he needs to clear his name in the organisation through any means at his disposal.
To WG and other innocent victims of office politics, I would say this, unless you go through this non-legal process, you’ll never be at peace with yourself and might even suffer from unnecessary depression. You must stand up and fight back. You need a game changer.
Go for a blitz!