Ask Kara RDH: Rumors Being Spread About Work Ethic

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I recently graduated from dental hygiene school and will be returning to my hometown to find a job. I’m from a small town with about 20-30 dental offices, and I have worked at two of them. In the process of trying to find a job, I have discovered an untruthful statement about my work ethic, specifically, my punctuality. A rumor was told I am always tardy and I am an unreliable person. Not only is this statement untrue, but the lady who I suspect spoke about me has never worked with me nor met me in her life. Based off of what my source says, this lady spoke to someone at one of the offices I used to work at, and I have a pretty good idea of who it is.

I figure I should probably let this rumor roll off my back, but I can’t help but experience the initial frustration and sadness that comes along with being the victim in cases like this. This is someone’s future career on the line; why must women be so catty? The only satisfaction that comes from this is that my past employers know I have a strong work ethic and that I strive to be on time every single day. In fact, to help with the healing, I reviewed a letter of recommendation a dentist wrote to one of the dental hygiene schools applied to. In his letter, he states I was never late to work.

Part of me wrote this as a venting process, but the other part of me wrote this with the hope if other people hear my story, they will think twice about spreading lies about someone. The truth is, these sort of things are hard to prevent, and if they do happen to you, it is more important than ever to hold your ground and be the bigger person. You will hear rumors about you, and it will hurt, but the peace lies in knowing who you are, and people will see that. Your character is the best weapon of all in battles like this.

First, I’m so sorry this happened to you! Secondly, very well said! No matter what profession you are in, or even in life in general, there are those who don’t treat others as they would like to be treated themselves and who gossip and spread rumors. This is very frustrating, saddening, and hard to let go when it happens. You are absolutely right that if this happens, it is important to hold your ground, be the bigger person, know who you are, and let your (good) character be a weapon.

Have you confronted the person you suspect said this about you and politely and professionally asked about what you heard? Going to the source might help you let it go a little easier, especially if you can get some clarification. If this person did say this about you, sometimes confronting them might make them think twice about doing it again to someone else because being called out is uncomfortable and embarrassing. If you don’t want to confront the person you suspect said this, you have to let it go, and as you said, let your character show the truth. Easier said than done though!

I’m so glad you have past employers that back up your strong work ethic; you should absolutely have satisfaction in that! Remember too, that you cannot control other peoples’ actions or words, you can only control how you react to them. By taking the higher road, you will almost always come out ahead!

SEE ALSO: Dental Drama: Is a Lifetime Movie Playing Out in Your Office?

DON’T MISS: How to Stay Positive with Patients and Co-Workers


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Kara Vavrosky, RDHEP
Kara Vavrosky, RDHEP, is a co-founder and the chief content officer of Today’s RDH, an independent educational publishing company for dental hygienists, encompassing articles, a podcast, virtual continuing education events, and self-study continuing education. Today’s RDH was launched in 2018 after Kara built her social media presence with her largest following on her Facebook page, Dental Hygiene with Kara RDH, which was created in 2013. An Oregon Institute of Technology graduate, Kara has a deep passion for spreading knowledge about the importance of oral health and its association with systemic health. Kara’s passion extends to helping other hygienists understand current protocols and evidence-based research – all with the goal of lifting dental hygienists and the dental hygiene profession. Kara was recognized in 2020 as one of the Top 100 Women in Media for her entrepreneurship as a co-founder of Today’s RDH. In 2022, she was recognized by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association for their Standout Seven Award in the Entrepreneur category. Kara lives in Vancouver, Washington, just outside Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Ben, and their four Chihuahuas. When she’s not working, Kara loves riding the Oregon Dunes on her quad, spoiling her Chihuahuas, and spending time with her close-knit family.