Question: About a year ago, while working an evening shift, I accidently walked in on the CEO's secretary in a compromising position with one of the vice presidents. From then on, this secretary did everything possible to make my life miserable, even though I never mentioned the incident to anyone. This is a small company with no human resources department, so I had nowhere to take my concerns.
To escape this woman's ongoing harassment, I recently decided to quit. However, I know that reference calls from potential employers will probably be transferred to her, so I'm worried about what she may say. I am also concerned about her access to personnel data, like my Social Security number and credit report. What can I do about this?
Answer: Given your knowledge of her extracurricular activities, this amorous secretary is probably just glad that you're gone. To be on the safe side, however, you might as well take steps to insure that reference calls get to the right place.
Instead of giving interviewers the main company number, provide both phone and email contact information for your former supervisor. If the supervisor doesn't have a direct work line, request permission to use a cell phone number. This should reduce the risk of any calls going to your nemesis.
Regarding your personal information, it seems unlikely that this woman would try to steal your identity or commit credit card fraud. Having a tryst in the office is one thing, but engaging in criminal activity is quite another.
Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach. Visit www.yourofficecoach.com for office tips.