My manager reprimanded me because of something I said in a meeting last week. I was with my manager and three other supervisors (my peers) to discuss upcoming employee evaluations. When we were talking about one of my employees (who is known to be difficult to supervise), my manager asked me if I was having any problems with her. I said nothing that a hit man could not solve. He reprimanded me in writing for making a comment in violation of our policy against workplace violence. Would you have reprimanded me?
First I would have slapped you silly (despite the anti-violence policy) and then I would have reprimanded you, but not for being violent. I would have done it because of your gross stupidity. The first rule of using hit men is that you never talk about hit men. Talking about hit men in front of potential witnesses is known as “circumstantial evidence”. Once the problem person goes missing, circumstantial evidence often leads to arrests and even convictions.
— Evil Skippy
While it is obvious that you were joking, you were also being unprofessional. Imagine a scenario where you end up having to terminate the problem employee and she files a lawsuit for some sort of discrimination or retaliation. During the course of preparing the case, it comes out that you joked about hiring a hit man. Your ex-employee’s attorney will have a grand time emphasizing your comment and forcing you to explain to the jury that you were just kidding when you said you wanted her dead. Of course, when you have to explain that you were joking you are just reminding all those jurors that you made the comment in the first place. They won’t think you actually wanted to hire a killer; they will just think that you are a jerk. Bottom line: your credibility will be sleeping with the fishes.
At the same time, unless you’ve had a long pattern of these types of comments I would not have formally reprimanded you. I would have told you the comment was unprofessional, instructed you not to make the comment again and then moved on. No big deal.
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