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Turned down and offer and slandered

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What is the name of your state? Michigan

I interviewed for a sales rep position with a large global corporation a couple mos. ago and after 2 interviews with the district manager and an in-field ride along with a rep, I was offered the position.

However, I turned it down, stating that I just didn't think it was a good fit for me after all--even though I'd been really enthusiastic about it up until I saw what the job was really like during the ride along.

Two months later, a co-worker mentioned they'd heard that I didn't take the position because I didn't want to take a drug test.

Apparently, the person I did a ride-along with is friends with a woman who is in the same industry, but used to work where I currently do. This woman went to lunch with a couple of my co-workers and told them that this is what she had heard about me.

The rumor is preposterous but harmful to me professionally. Although I've explained that it was a lie to both co-workers who had heard this directly, it casts a shadow on my reputation.

Certainly this is untrue and can be proven. However, it so far hasn't tangibly affected me. But who knows when it could come back to haunt me someday?

What should I do?


I'm a Northern Girl
Ignore it.

You can't prove a case for slander unless you can prove 1.) who started the rumor 2.) that they knew it to be false 3.) that they started it with the specific purpose of doing harm to you and 4.) you have suffered damages.

By the way, this does not necessarily do any harm to your reputation. There are other reasons than being users why people do not want to take drug tests. I have talked with people who have never taken an illegal drug in their lives, but do not want to take a drug test because they feel them to be an invasion of their privacy. Even if the rumor were true, this is as likely to be the reason as any other.

It's highly unlikely that a rumor of this sort will ever do you any kind of tangible damages. You are best served by letting it die down. Trying to take any action will only keep the rumor live and to some people, that in itself will "prove" it. Leave it alone and it will die a natural death.

In the exceedingly unlikely event that there is ever some tangible fallout, you can always revisit the situation then.


Thanks for weighing in, cbg.

Without knowing whether it was the hiring manager or the rep I rode with, I can't prove who started the rumor.

It could be a case of "well, I can't figure out why she WOULDN'T want this job so it must be that she didn't want to take the drug test." It could have been a flippant remark from the manager to the rep or from the rep to the woman--then distorted in translation.

Regardless, I would like to email or call the manager and professionally advise her that this has occurred and although it may have been unintentional, it still is disappointing and has caused me emotional pain.

Then at least she would learn that either her lie has caught up with her, or that her rep has been spreading falsehoods.

I guess I would like to simply reassure the manager that this was not at the root of my declining the position. Hopefully she would set her rep straight as well.

Do you see any harm in that?


I'm a Northern Girl
If you feel you absolutely must do this, then do it. I would advise against it, however. I still believe that by giving any credence to this rumor at all, any action you take may end up working against you. In plain English, it's going to sound like "the lady doth protest too much".

If someone raises the question, of course you would want to reply that, "No, that wasn't the reason. It was..." But by going out of your way to deny it, you may be giving weight to it.

Again, please remember that even if it were true, it does not follow that you did not want to take the test because you were a drug user. I can't tell you the number of times I've answered questions on this and other boards from people who believe that all drug testing is an invasion of privacy and a violation of their constitutional rights.

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