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jca's avatar

Have you ever been accused of doing something that you didn't do, and if so, what was it and what was the outcome?

Asked by jca (36046points) April 1st, 2017

Have you ever been accused of doing something that you didn’t do?

What were you accused of doing (or not doing)?

Did you defend yourself?

What was the outcome?

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12 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

I was accused of “mansplaining” recently.

On a conference call…
to a mixed audience…
That I was asked to participate in because the head of the company wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page…
for an explanation that I started with “This might be review, but I just want to make sure we’re all using the same terms”...
after it was obvious we weren’t all using the same terms to mean the same thing…
by someone on “my side” of the call…

How did you defend yourself?
I think I mostly went silent for a second, and tried to figure out how she got that impression. Was it my tone? Had I directed anything at her specifically? Had I implied anything? I really hadn’t. There’s really nothing to say. Saying I was there to make sure everyone understood what we were talking about really doesn’t help.

So I stumped through something along the lines of “I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to be rude or patronizing, you all please continue.” and then just put my phone on mute.

What was the outcome?

I got a message while the call was still going on from the person who hired me to be there apologizing. She said she’d talk to the person who threw it out there.

Mostly, it just highlighted how little you can say to defend yourself from some things. What do you say there? “I love women, I’ve got lots of friends who are women, they’re like… super smart! And definitely don’t need my help.”

Your only options are to apologize, or dig in.

jwalt's avatar

Yes, on a number of occasions. Usually this sort of situation results from a misunderstanding, and I will do whatever is needed to correct it. On some occasions, the accuser is playing some game. In either case, apologising is not useful. In the first case, an apology will not fix the misunderstanding, while in the second, you are falling into the accuser’s ploy. Unless this person has power over you (e.g. it is your boss), the only option is to refute the accusation and move on.

The last instance for me was similar to @funkdaddy, I was asked to present background material to be sure everyone had at least that level of understanding. I was accused of being condescending. I simply replied that this is what OUR boss requested, and continued my presentation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

A couple of times I have said something which was meant to be funny, but upset someone. I immediately apologized, said I never meant to hurt them, and said I was thoughtless. I really felt bad.

jwalt's avatar

(Sorry, I hit post too soon.) However, if I really am guilty (not the premise in the OP), of course I will apologise and take whatever other steps are needed.

snowberry's avatar

I was 13, and had been invited to spend the summer on a lake with my aunt and a neighbor girl close to her age. (Apparently I was chosen as a playmate and potential long term friend to that girl.) Half way through the summer the girl and I were talking. She took offense at something I said, she told my aunt, and suddenly my aunt was furious with me. I stayed in trouble for about a day, and was made to apologize, but I never knew what I had done that was so horrible. After that I asked (begged) to go home, but i had to stay. I avoided that kid after that. Nobody seemed to understand why. It was very awkward.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

When I was thirteen, I became infatuated with an older girl in the neighborhood who deigned to spend time with me. One weekend my parents went to New Orleans for a little romantic mini vacay from the kids. My big sister was in charge.

The girl’s mother was a drunk and seldom home, so I stayed over at her house until about 2am that Friday night, then went home to an enraged sister. The next day the girl wasn’t home. That night, Saturday, about 9pm, the cops arrived at my house, arrested me, and put me in juvenile county lock-up. I was surprised that it wasn’t like the jails in the cowboy movies, with all the fun bars to climb on and all.

It was a cold, concrete block, windowless cell painted in thick enamel beige with a bright 24/7 light in the center of the ceiling that had strips of newspaper slipped into the protective grill by a former denizen to dim it. The jailer was a mean old man with a gray mustache and a sheriff’s uniform who said he would kick the shit out of me if I gave him any trouble. There was a 10“x10”, one inch thick glass pane in the thick metal door that looked out onto the concrete block wall on the opposite side of the hallway, with a slot for my food tray beneath it.

For the next eighteen hours, between meals of plain oatmeal with no sugar or butter for breakfast, and two slices of stale white bread with a piece of baloney between them for the two other meals, and only water to drink, I silently put up with the constant, non-stop screaming rage of the kid in the next cell. Constant. Non-stop. Screaming. Threatening the jailer, his parents, everybody.

On Sunday night, the jailer escorted me to a room where my parents were waiting. My mom was crying and my dad wanted answers and quick. I had been arrested for grand larceny. The girl’s mother had come home Saturday morning to find a diamond ring missing from her jewelry box and the girl blamed it on me—and the wheels of blind justice began to roll.

After intense interrogation, the girl finally admitted that earlier that week she had stolen the ring and gave it to an older guy who pawned it for pennies and they bought some weed.

I stayed away from her after that. The whole thing totally freaked me, my parents, and my siblings right the fuck out.

snowberry's avatar

Eh, 13 was the magic year, wasn’t it, @Espiritus_Corvus?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^LOL. My year of coming of age.

Dutchess_III's avatar

In high school I had several guys say I’d slept with them, when I didn’t. What can you do about it? When it came up I just said they were lying.

This one girl heard a rumor about me and her boyfriend and she started a fist fight with me in the smoking area. I got kicked out of school for half a day, her for 3. I never did find out what she thought I’d done.

The outcome was I got a bad reputation, but I didn’t lose any friends over it, and guys certainly didn’t avoid me.

kritiper's avatar

I was accused of arranging for my grandmother to make a phone call to a fellow employee’s wife, saying her husband was cheating on her. Didn’t know who the real culprit was, had no way of defending myself because no one would believe me. Lost my job over it. 5 years later I figured out who did it, and 10 years after that I went back and told the shop foreman (who was there at the time). The culprit was the wife of the branch manager, the guy who had told me about the phone call in the first place, and he probably knew who made the call at that time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ Sucks. When I got sick one of the outcomes was that I lost all memory of the two months preceding my emergency hospitalization and surgery. I was pretty damn loopy the whole time I was in the hospital (2 weeks.) Things started improving the minute I got home. In fact, that’s almost the only thing I remember was coming home. I walked in the house, not recognizing it, and I remember thinking “Wow. Someone has good taste!” LOL!
After a couple of weeks I was 100+ percent, better than I had been in the months preceding when the pneumonia started slowly, insidiously settling in.
My boss had asked my husband to keep her up dated. Well, he’s kind of a gossip and he just told her everything, along with everyone else he came into contact with while I was in the hospital. Several people in town thought I had permanent brain damage. So did my boss. So did all my co-workers because I guess my boss had to fill them in.
After a month of recovering I went back to work. After a few weeks everyone except my boss realized I was perfectly fine, but my boss kept hanging on to the notion, for some reason. She treated me like a stupid kindergartner. She’s show me how to do stuff I already knew how to do. When I protested that she didn’t need to show me that, she patiently explained that I didn’t realize that I didn’t remember how to do it. She was an asshole.
After 4 months I was fired, no reason given.

Goldpepper's avatar

Yea sometimes.

I am not a very social person and don’t generally go out and talk to someone just they smile

I was accused of being full of attitude and proud just because I did not talk to them. I did not even notice them because I lost my gold earrings and looking for it when I accidentally passed them in a wedding.

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