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  • A Question Regarding A Written Warning At Work

    Good Afternoon,

    I'm currently in the beginning stages of the hiring process for a city police agency, which I applied to several months ago. On the application, when asked "Have you ever received disciplinary action or a written warning at work?", I put "no", because at the date of the application, I had never been written up before at any job. This was in early April.

    Today, I received my first write-up for the first time ever, in my entire working history. I work at a car dealership, and I was helping a coworker push a dead vehicle. My boss did instruct me to go help my coworker push it, so I was following orders. I go out there, and approached the side of the vehicle - my coworker started pushing it without me in it... the vehicle was rolling down a slight slope. I urgently tried to enter the vehicle to apply the brakes or steer it clear of the other vehicle, but the doors automatically locked with the keys in the car, due to a malfunction (which it was also being serviced for in the first place, among other issues). I then tried going to the front, pushing against it (my coworker switched sides as soon as he realized what was going to happen) but we weren't strong enough to stop this 4500 pound minivan from rolling.

    This vehicle collided into another brand new vehicle on the lot, inflicting minor fender damage. I immediately notified my boss of the damage and I followed all company procedures. It is, however, company policy for an employee that's involved in any incident involving a vehicle to take a drug test, and receive a written warning - which was given to me.

    My police application was already submitted, so I cannot change my "no" answer now. But I intend on being fully transparent when it's brought up in the background process. My other question is, would this write-up be a disqualifying factor for some agencies? I know I've read posts by other members, who had received DQ's for write-ups - as some agencies may want one full year without any incidents. It's frustrating to have this mistake ruin my perfect employment history.

    Any input would be appreciated.
    Last edited by NickG0103; 07-16-2020, 02:55 PM.

  • #2
    Don't sweat it. When you get to the interview stage or questioned by your BI just report it. No big deal. They may ask if there is a video of the incident. It would be good for a few chuckles.
    183 FBINA

    Comment


    • #3
      Wouldn't be an issue for a security clearance, Secret or TS background as long as you disclose it. Same applies for PD's as long as you disclose it, you're fine. If your BI tries giving you a hard time about "WHY ISN"T IT LISTED", they have no business being a BI since this occurred after your paperwork was submitted. Things that are accidental happen.

      Comment


      • westside popo
        westside popo commented
        Editing a comment
        Did you read the rules?

      • Levithane
        Levithane commented
        Editing a comment
        westside popo Yes I am aware of the rules. The only times I pop into this section is if someone has a BI question (due to BI experience), or I have a legitimate question. None of the mods or other senior members have taken issue with that.

      • westside popo
        westside popo commented
        Editing a comment
        So you're special? I guess I missed that exception part?

        The thing is a security clearance background checks has nothing to do with this. Sure you may check some of the same stuff we do but we also look for stuff y'all don't. Like suitability for that specific department. My department turned down applicants only for them to get hired somewhere else. We also hired a couple that got turned away from other departments.

      • Levithane
        Levithane commented
        Editing a comment
        Suitability isn't up to me, thats for an adjudicator to decide and or agency, all I do is report what I find. If I find derogatory material it gets further looked into, this also includes me reviewing the BI you all conduct at a local and or state level. Point is based on what the op posted, and compared to what I have seen from other Officer's files prior to being hired and after he shouldn't have an issue. OP has one write up from what he posted on here, sounds like an accident, tried to stop it, but was unsuccessful despite trying. If he's given a hard time about it, well probably best to apply elsewhere.

    • #4
      Back in the day we had two types of memos that went into our files. One type was called "attaboy" when you did something good. The other type was called "aw****" when someone didn't like what you did. The general rule of thumb was that one "aw****" wiped the slate clean of all prior "attaboys".

      Retired now with a wall filled with commendations and awards, but somewhere out there is a file cabinet full of "aw****s".

      The only people who make mistakes are those who are trying to do the job, making decisions and taking action as the situations evolve. Hopefully, as your law enforcement career evolves, a crumpled fender at a car lot will be a very small thing to consider.

      Comment


      • #5
        I wouldn't worry about it.

        Comment


        • #6
          Don't worry about it.
          If they call you in for anything, let them know it happened sometime after submitting the application. If they are currently working on the background part then call them or email them.

          Comment


          • #7
            Thank you for the responses.

            I wasn't sure if I was overthinking it, but I realize that integrity is everything in law enforcement - and I don't want to appear deceptive or have any variances in my background.

            I'm not even close to that stage yet, the city is still planning the hiring process to adhere with pandemic guidelines. They received 500 applications (almost half of what they normally receive). They want to fill 30 positions for the academy, assuming their budget doesn't get slashed.

            I'll be sure to bring up this change in my background as soon as I meet the BI, if and when I get that far.

            Comment


            • #8
              I'm just curious, what did your boss say you did wrong in his write up? Did he write up the other employee as well? Did he say the same thingf in their writeup or was it different? I have a reason for asking.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by retired1995 View Post
                Back in the day we had two types of memos that went into our files. One type was called "attaboy" when you did something good. The other type was called "aw****" when someone didn't like what you did. The general rule of thumb was that one "aw****" wiped the slate clean of all prior "attaboys".

                Retired now with a wall filled with commendations and awards, but somewhere out there is a file cabinet full of "aw****s".

                The only people who make mistakes are those who are trying to do the job, making decisions and taking action as the situations evolve. Hopefully, as your law enforcement career evolves, a crumpled fender at a car lot will be a very small thing to consider.
                There was this incident that happened back in 1977 that I still hear about every once in a while. NOBODY that was actually working at the time cares but the local "lore" has told everyone at my old state agency job about it and SOMEONE always brings it up
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                  I'm just curious, what did your boss say you did wrong in his write up? Did he write up the other employee as well? Did he say the same thingf in their writeup or was it different? I have a reason for asking.
                  Both of us were written up.

                  We compared our write-up notices, and the two were identical word for word. Simply stating that lot damage occurred, and we were both involved - and that we should be more cautious in the future. Since there are no cameras on the property, I assume it was the only fair way to do it.

                  There were 1000 ways it could have gone right, but in this case, it went wrong. If there's something I could have done different, perhaps it would have been asking another guy or two to help us before I walked out there. Or if I reacted faster - I should have probably just immediately went to the front of the vehicle, instead of trying to get inside of it.

                  My boss is actually a good friend of mine, as I knew him before I even worked at this job. He felt bad about doing this, but it's company policy and he had to write us up.
                  Last edited by NickG0103; 07-18-2020, 10:42 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by NickG0103 View Post

                    Both of us were written up.

                    We compared our write-up notices, and the two were identical word for word. Simply stating that lot damage occurred, and we were both involved - and that we should be more cautious in the future. Since there are no cameras on the property, I assume it was the only fair way to do it.

                    There were 1000 ways it could have gone right, but in this case, it went wrong. If there's something I could have done different, perhaps it would have been asking another guy or two to help us before I walked out there. Or if I reacted faster - I should have probably just immediately went to the front of the vehicle, instead of trying to get inside of it.

                    My boss is actually a good friend of mine, as I knew him before I even worked at this job. He felt bad about doing this, but it's company policy and he had to write us up.
                    You really didn't answer my question - what did your boss say you did wrong in the write up? That you failed to comply with his instructions? That you failed to follow policy? If so, what policy?

                    If I understand your narrative correctly, your boss directed you to help another employee who was charged with pushing a dead car. By the time you arrived, the employee already had the vehicle moving to the point that it was at risk of crashing into another car, something you had no reasonable control over. You tried to enter the vehicle to put it in park and apply the brake but the doors were closed and locked with the keys inside, something else you had no reasonable control over. At risk to your own personal safety, you then placed yourself in front of the car in an attempt to keep it from crashing into another vehicle but it's uncontrolled speed and momentum were such that you were unable to stop it. Again, this was something beyond your reasonable control.

                    I would remind you that one of the minimum requirements of a police officer is the ability to answer simple questions so I will ask again, What exactly did your boss say you did wrong in this situation?
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by L-1 View Post

                      You really didn't answer my question - what did your boss say you did wrong in the write up? That you failed to comply with his instructions? That you failed to follow policy? If so, what policy?

                      If I understand your narrative correctly, your boss directed you to help another employee who was charged with pushing a dead car. By the time you arrived, the employee already had the vehicle moving to the point that it was at risk of crashing into another car, something you had no reasonable control over. You tried to enter the vehicle to put it in park and apply the brake but the doors were closed and locked with the keys inside, something else you had no reasonable control over. At risk to your own personal safety, you then placed yourself in front of the car in an attempt to keep it from crashing into another vehicle but it's uncontrolled speed and momentum were such that you were unable to stop it. Again, this was something beyond your reasonable control.

                      I would remind you that one of the minimum requirements of a police officer is the ability to answer simple questions so I will ask again, What exactly did your boss say you did wrong in this situation?
                      The write-up mentioned the failure to safely follow company procedures in relation to moving of vehicles on the lot. It continued on, saying that me and another employee were both involved in the situation, and we failed to stop the vehicle from colliding. It then said that I must be more cautious in the future to avoid future damage on the vehicle lot.

                      My boss said (not on the paper, but talking to me) that I should have communicated with my coworker in a shorter time frame, and to concisely tell my coworker that I wasn't in the vehicle immediately upon approach. I didn't do so until he started pushing it. I'll admit that I should have spoke sooner. I don't think my coworker heard me either, as he didn't switch positions until he saw me move towards the front.

                      I explained that I couldn't get into the vehicle because it was locked. I was then told that I should have been able to visibly see the door panel lock mechanism having been pressed down from the exterior of the car. Having known that, I could have potentially saved a few seconds, dedicating more time to stopping the vehicle. That I agreed with my boss on. I didn't entirely agree with everything, but I feel as though I did the best I could in the moment. I do believe that this wasn't entirely my fault, but I still accepted the reality of what happened.
                      Last edited by NickG0103; 07-18-2020, 12:57 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by NickG0103 View Post

                        The write-up mentioned the failure to safely follow company procedures in relation to moving of vehicles on the lot. It continued on, saying that me and another employee were both involved in the situation, and we failed to stop the vehicle from colliding. It then said that I must be more cautious in the future to avoid future damage on the vehicle lot.

                        My boss said (not on the paper, but talking to me) that I should have communicated with my coworker in a shorter time frame, and to concisely tell my coworker that I wasn't in the vehicle immediately upon approach. I didn't do so until he started pushing it. I'll admit that I should have spoke sooner. I don't think my coworker heard me either, as he didn't switch positions until he saw me move towards the front.

                        I explained that I couldn't get into the vehicle because it was locked. I was then told that I should have been able to visibly see the door panel lock mechanism having been pressed down from the exterior of the car. Having known that, I could have potentially saved a few seconds, dedicating more time to stopping the vehicle. That I agreed with my boss on. I didn't entirely agree with everything, but I feel as though I did the best I could in the moment. I do believe that this wasn't entirely my fault, but I still accepted the reality of what happened.
                        The bottom line is that it is a written warning that you POSSIBLY can refute to the satisfaction of the Background Investigator.

                        Notify the BI at some point and be prepared to state your case.........................
                        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by NickG0103 View Post

                          The write-up mentioned the failure to safely follow company procedures in relation to moving of vehicles on the lot. It continued on, saying that me and another employee were both involved in the situation, and we failed to stop the vehicle from colliding. It then said that I must be more cautious in the future to avoid future damage on the vehicle lot.

                          My boss said (not on the paper, but talking to me) that I should have communicated with my coworker in a shorter time frame, and to concisely tell my coworker that I wasn't in the vehicle immediately upon approach. I didn't do so until he started pushing it. I'll admit that I should have spoke sooner. I don't think my coworker heard me either, as he didn't switch positions until he saw me move towards the front.

                          I explained that I couldn't get into the vehicle because it was locked. I was then told that I should have been able to visibly see the door panel lock mechanism having been pressed down from the exterior of the car. Having known that, I could have potentially saved a few seconds, dedicating more time to stopping the vehicle. That I agreed with my boss on. I didn't entirely agree with everything, but I feel as though I did the best I could in the moment. I do believe that this wasn't entirely my fault, but I still accepted the reality of what happened.
                          I liked my version better. You're not going to have a problem on your background with this particular incident.

                          Always remember the following when dealing with matters like this -

                          No set of rules or policies can be written so thoroughly as to anticipate every possible contingency. As a result, it may be necessary to deviate from policy from time to time to address the needs of an unexpected situation.

                          It just may save your a** from getting written up in the future.

                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

                            There was this incident that happened back in 1977 that I still hear about every once in a while. NOBODY that was actually working at the time cares but the local "lore" has told everyone at my old state agency job about it and SOMEONE always brings it up
                            Is that the one about the two hookers, a shotgun and the monkey?
                            Last edited by OneAdam12; 07-20-2020, 11:29 PM.
                            Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."

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