One Way Not To Be The Office Scapegoat

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Sometimes your co-workers won’t want to own up to their mistakes and look for someone else to take the blame. There’s one way to ensure that you are not the office scapegoat. If you want to know how, keep reading.

How not to be the scapegoat

If you go to management for assistance, do it in email form. After you get the response to the email, do one of two things with it. Print it out and take it home or send it to your private email account. Then do what you were told to do.

If any questions come up, you will be okay. You may get a little chewing out, but that’s all. That email you saved will show that you went to management for guidance and the directions you received. It proves that you asked for help and didn’t come up with what you did on your own. 

However, if you have a jerky boss, you may lose your job just so they can punish you.

How to keep that job, if you want

If you want to keep that job, you can fight for it. This email can help you. Start going up the chain of command. Go to your boss’s boss, even up to the CEO. Do your research to find out what your next step is. 

I’ve been terminated twice, but I never wanted my job back. Why would I want to work for a company that doesn’t want me? Want to read the story that helped me to realize that some folks will cover themselves at your expense.

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How I learned not to be the office scapegoat–Storytime

I was working as a temp with a small trucking company. I was filling in for someone who was home caring for her husband. My main job was getting the arrival dates on deliveries, placing orders, and filing the paperwork. Pretty basic stuff. 

One day, I pulled the orders off the printer and started calling suppliers. Our main supply rep said this was the wrong type of stickers. Our company always orders a specific type.

I looked at the order sheet and read what was on the sheet. The supply rep suggested I go double-check with someone. So I did.  

The lady I usually spoke with wasn’t there, so I asked another co-worker, Don (not his real name). He told me that whatever was on the sheet was what we ordered.  

So I got back on the phone and told the supplier rep that what I had given her was the correct item. She placed the order, and that was that.

Sometime later, Steve (not his real name), ran up to me and he was mad! He started yelling at me that the sticker order was wrong. He said it would cost the company a lot of money and time to correct this, and he wanted to know why I did it. 

I explained what had happened and how I asked for help. He wanted to know who helped me. For some reason, I couldn’t remember. So I told him that. He glared at me and, then stomped off. I was left nervous, frustrated, and angry.

When my supervisor returned to the office, I told her what had happened. So we went to have a talk with Don, and he denied everything! Right there, in front of me, he said he didn’t tell me to do it.


Well, my boat was sunk. Within a few days, the other employee was back and I was moved to a new assignment elsewhere.

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The takeaway

Some co-workers will do what they need to do to avoid trouble, and will pass the blame onto the office scapegoat. So to avoid this, first, email your supervisor or a team lead for advice if you need help.

If the information you are get from management doesn’t sound right, say so. If management insists that you do this, say thank you and then do it.

Make sure you print out the email and take it home or send it to your private email account. That email could prove you are not the one who should be in trouble. 

Just saying!

If you want to share a similar story, please include it below in the comments. It could help someone else. If you have comments, please add them also to the comment section also. 

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