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Co-Worker takes PRIVATE letter addressed to her and gives it to management:

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What is the name of your state? -- California

I had written a letter to a co-worker who I had a disagreement with last night and left it in her mailbox at work today. The letter was written on my own time at home and with my own resources. I sent her an IM through our IM messaging system through our hotel lodging program that I had done so and that I would like her to read it.

The letter consisted my feelings on the whole disagreement and how I didn't appreciate her calling me out in front of a customer that I was assisting, demanding that she speak with me in a very rude tone... enough where the person I was helping was like, "what was THAT about?" Very bad form to let something like that show to our customers, especially if it's over an assumption that she had made and was wrong about.

She had taken the letter to my managers. She took a PRIVATE letter, addressed to her, and got our work involved. The managers also printed out the IM that I had sent and are sending that as well.

The managers spoke with me about it, saying that they took offense to a comment that I had made.... "You know what they say, when you ASSume you make an ass of yourself."

I explained to them that that is what I was taught and that it is a metaphor, like how you would say that there is "no I in team". It's a common saying and I felt that I did nothing wrong.

My letter is being sent to Labor Relations now and will be in my personal file. Now I felt that instead of calling her out and bitching her out like she did in front of customers and fellow co-workers, like she did with me that night, I thought that sending her a private letter explaining the situation would be the best way of not causing a scene.

I feel that she intentionally tried to damage my reputation by giving my letter that I had specifically addressed to her to my management team... and now it is going to be on my record. Who knows if this will come up again when I apply for a promotion or whatnot? My managers tell me not to worry about it, but can they get involved and try to "bust me" when it was a private letter between me and her and that I had not used any company resources or time to do so and it has absolutely nothing to do with them??

What can I do about what my co-worker did or insure that my letter is not placed into my personal file?
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I'm a Northern Girl
Once you sent that letter to her, it belonged to her and she was free to share it with anyone she chose.

Since clearly the letter has to do with your relationship at work, there is nothing whatsoever illegal about putting it into your personnel file.

So the answer to your question is, you can do nothing about what she did and nothing to prevent it being put in your file.


Senior Member
So your argument is that even though you gave her this letter, you still want to assert rights of ownership? Sorry. Once you send that letter or e-mail, it is no longer yours. She could do with it as she pleases. If management wants to put it in your file, they may.

Next time you have a conflict with a co-worker, there are better ways to resolve it. She may have been dead wrong in how she spoke to you but sending her a letter telling her how wrong she was seldom does anything to resolve the problem.

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