Defamation verging on libel...
Over the weekend I received an e-mail from someone at our head office. It was CC'ed to my MD and other people high up in the company. It came out of the blue.
"He has continued to abuse the permissions given to him on (company wide systems) and if he continues like this one day he will create a disaster in the London (office). Please try to put a stop this, otherwise his permissions will be revoke or reduced to stop him from doing any damage."
When I read it I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. Not only is there no truth in what they suggest but it is an e-mail sent out of spite and fear. From someone (high up in head office IT) who I thought I got on with really well with. Then I started trembling with rage. How could he lie like that? Was there something else that I didn't know about (i.e. paranoia)? I couldn't concentrate on anything else I had to do today. By lunchtime I was sick with anger. I couldn't eat. My MD asked to see me early this afternoon to explain the e-mail. I couldn't. I tried to tell him that I didn't know why someone would have said these things about me. He looked concerned but unconvinced. When things like this get into print others can start to believe it's true. Mud sticks of course. I sat in my office drafting and redrafting possible replies trying to defend my position, sheepishly appeasing my accuser or just plain venting my ire. Personal attacks are not easy to cope with. Unjustified ones even more so. I take criticism very badly, and when I think it is not deserved in sends me into a state of fear and depression. I just want to die.
About 15 minutes ago my boss came to see me. I'd sent him one of my draft replies to proof-read. I wasn't sure what my boss's reaction was going to be. I needn't have worried. He said, "in 32 years of working with IT professionals I have never worked with anybody as outstanding as you. You are head and shoulders above anyone else I have had the pleasure of working with. If as a result (of this e-mail) you even consider leaving this company the loss to me personally, the London office or the company as a whole would be incalculable. These accusations are defamation verging on libel. I am very angry. I will defend you in print." He went back to his office to draft his own reply. Let's hope he doesn't make things worse! Nice of him to give me 110% support though. My professional confidence has taken a bit of a knocking today.