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HELP! Suspended from work during probation

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I've been working for my company for almost 4 months and my probationary period is for 6 months.

I know I have been doing a good job as the Marketing Manager as I've managed to increase the Facebook likes from 4000 to 9000 in the time I've been there, by merging the Facebook profile with the page which ultimately attracted more visitors.

 

Our annual show managed to sell more tickets than it has in past years with less performances.

I've managed to build two partnerships with other local companies where we will be advertising them and they will advertise us free of charge.

 

I've also paid out of my own money for hotels and taxis if I have worked late and I've paid for things such as nibbles for one of our press nights and the contents of 7 goody-bags that we gave to prize winners of a recent competition we ran. I work late when required and turn up early too. We also had a fatality recently and I was the one who dealt with the press.

 

The company were very appreciative of my help.

I was called in to the office yesterday after a complaint had been made following a post I put on my Twitter. My Marketing Officer and I were messing around in the office and took a photo of a teddy bear staring at a topless models on the computer. The complaint was sent to head office by a lady who had been shown it by her daughter.

 

The thing is, I didn't know that there was a upside down business card on the table with the company logo clear as anything when taking the photo. I realised minutes after posting the photo online and removed it straight-away. This was over a month ago and someone has now reported it to my manager.

I have reasons to believe that whoever it was that sent the letter was actually someone who I know. For a start, in the letter they mentioned that I worked in Marketing, and who would honestly go out of their way to destroy someone's career that they don't even know? The email they sent to Head Office was quite long and it just seems as though it may of been someone being vindictive who I actually know. They included the photo that I had posted.

 

I was suspended on Thursday and will be having a formal meeting on Monday with my manager to discuss. It's possible I might loose my job. I should of known better before posting the photo and it was just unfortunate that someone found it in the short time it was visible to the public domain.

Do you think I will loose my job? How can I fight to keep it? My manager seemed sorry that he had to suspend me as he knows I am a hard worker and he knows I've been doing a good job.

 

The company are furious that I had used company property to get the model's photo up on Google, and that their logo was shown in the image. Also as a manager I should be setting an example to my Marketing Officer. I really don't want to loose my job as I know I've been working so hard. The other day I worked 15 hours and I come in on weekends when required.

 

What can I do?

Edited by Conniff

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Well as you probably realise, you have no rights in the matter. I think that you have to hope that the company are simply trying to be "correct" in their approach to this problem and that the suspension and interview are merely part of a formal procedure - and that you will get a warning - but that they will not dismiss you.

 

I have to say that if you are responsible for the social networking part of the operation then what you have done is far more serious than if it had been done, say, by someone in the packing department or the postroom. As the person for projecting the company's image in this way, I think that they are reasonable in expecting a much higher standard of wisdom and judgement from you.

 

I think that all you can do is be very repentant, make sure that they realise what an asset you have been to the company and how you will continue to do so - and how you realise what a mistake you have made - and that in the end this error has been a jolt for you - a very good lesson - which will make you much more cautious in the future.


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Don't have much to add to the above reply, but I would also do the following

 

- make your twitter account private for now and if you think you know who it was, delete that person from following you, you can tell them that you've done this to prevent a repeat

- I'm not sure what you have in your profile on twitter, but 'all views my own' can sometimes appease a company

 

I'd just be honest with them, tell them that yes you made a mistake by posting the picture, and that you removed it within x minutes and that you're sorry. I'd also point out the good things you've done since being there and that you enjoy working there etc. Just be honest with them and tell them yep you made a mistake, you corrected it asap, you're sorry and you won't do it again. If the company doesn't have a social media policy, offer to work with HR to develop one so that the company doesn't have to go through this again.

 

Like I said just be honest, but I think you'll probably get a warning a slap on the wrist and then just keep your head down and things will pass over....and be careful on Twitter!!

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Thank you so much! I really don't know what the company will do. It's a real grey area at the moment. I'm not sure if it is down to my boss or up to a higher level. I'm only 20 and I worked really hard to get this job. I did a Internship for 8 months elsewhere and I'm worried they're going to see it as me behaving like this due to age.

The company have also had a couple of issues recently where our last General Manager was sacked and after taking them to an employment tribunal they've said he was unfairly dismissed. This could go one of two ways. Either they don't want the hassle again or they will do everything by the book this time.

It's going to be the longest three days ever! I couldn't sleep a wink last night.

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I think you're letting what happened to him affect you and that's understandable. I've been in your position so know how worried you are. It's out of your hands in some ways so try and get soem sleep and eat. You need to be alert for your meeting on Monday. Spend this weekend making out the bullet points of your good points, what you've learnt from this and what you've done. I'd defintely make your account private for now though no doubt they'll have already looked at it to see what else you're saying. Just apologise etc and let us know how you've got on!

  • Haha 1

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I really appreciate your help. Thank you so much. I will definitely let you know how I get on. I just have to expect the worst but hope for the best I guess.

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Not that it helps your situation, but above is one of the reasons why I avoid social media sites. Take along as much proof as you have of all the good work you have done and present it in a very professional manner and then beg forgiveness.

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I have just sent a message to my line manager who I haven't yet spoken to about the situation. I put in there my reasoning for what has happened and was completely honest. I listed why I want to keep my job and why I feel that I should. It was a long email but I wanted her to read it before I have my meeting on Monday. For all I know the decision could be made before I arrive for the meeting on Monday so I guess I am doing all I can in anticipation of the meeting to try and salvage my job.

Do you think this was a good move?

I am also going to print of letters to take to the meeting with me that I will hand a copy to all who are in the meeting as I read from them my emotional apology and what I will do for the company if they keep me and why they should. I think I have lost it, I really don't feel positive at all.

I phoned a colleague last night who I know was once suspended. I asked for his advice and he said it's a 50/50 in his eyes. He was given a disciplinary last year for drinking during his shift. Although he'd been working for the company for 4 years. I've been there four months. It will be a miracle if I don't loose my job. He said the GM was calling him to talk about work and he would call me back after. He messaged to say his battery was low and that he will call me later but there was no real news. I haven't heard from him at all so I am beginning to wonder if he's heard bad news and doesn't want to be the one to break it to me.

Is it better to bring a colleague along to the meeting with you or is it better to go it alone?

I want to make all the right moves to try and salvage my job although I am almost certain I've lost it.

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Sorry only just saw this. Yes sending the email was a good idea in my eyes as it would have got them thinking about all the good things.

 

But more importantly...how did you get on??

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