I need your advice:
I work (or at least did...) in Sainsburys. About 10 years now. For the last year in particular I've been singled out and picked on by two supervisors from work. The main problem is I take tablets for epilepsy with side effects that affect my throat so i can't talk particularly loud. I'm also a naturally quiet person which doesn't help. Every shift this one supervisor would make comments about it (in front of the customers) asking me to speak up etc. Often i would look up from the checkout to see the two supervisors D and C staring at me and talking. Usually i couldn't hear what was said but when they were behind me once I heard them talking quietly that 'he' wasn't asking customers if they needed help etc. I was the only male around so it was obviously me they were talking about. Every shift these two found ways to try to make me look unprofessional in front of the customers with general nitpicking all day. The one called D would often say why wasn't I calling customers over from half the store away despite me telling her multiple times that i physically couldn't.
One more thing she tried to put on me was when she closed my checkout down at 8pm. I duly did exactly as she said then asked her what she wanted me to do. I'm often put on to dress shelves if it's quiet so i assumed that was what she wanted or something similar, maybe help out by clearing the rubbish. Whatever needed doing. At this point she said why didn't I tell her I finished at 8:15pm. She never asked what time I was finishing she hadn't said a word just stood at the end of the queue to close it. So I told her I was just doing what she wanted. The schedule is right where she normally stands so why wouldn't i assume she'd actually check it. It a small schedule, just for checkouts, with very few people listed at that time of night. It isn't hidden away and takes a few seconds (if that) to check finishing times. Of course that would take time away from her gossiping. She blamed me for her her lack of planning and still never checks the schedule. As for the other supervisor C, the two of them are always together when on duty gossiping and jointly nitpicking. She's as bad as D but she mostly acts from the shadows, as it were. She was also aware because we had a meeting a few months ago in which I specifically told her and D about the tablets. I know D was aware because I'd told her many times when she'd say to call over customers or call her over when a supervisor was needed (they don't wear any headsets or similar anymore so the only way to contact them is to wave your arms about and hope they're looking in your direction and no customers are blocking the view). Another reason why C was against me was i didn't want to change my shift times on a Sunday to a later time. She wanted me to start and finish 15mins later to clear the store of customers. I have a bus which is hourly and leaves at 15mins past so i said I'd be willing to change it as long as I'd be finished at 10 or 12 mins past to give me time to get the bus. Customer are all gone by then at the very latest so that wouldn't be affected. She refused so I kept the shift as it was. Bear in mind that she herself always finishes 5 mins early so she can get her bus but wouldn't grant me 3 mins to get mine. I'd start early so no time would be lost. Not an unreasonable request I thought but since she wanted me to finish exactly at 15 past I decided i wouldn't accommodate a hypocrite. I didn't say that though i just said I'd rather not change it. There's more background but that gives a general idea of what occurred up to today.
So on to the event that led to the forthcoming disciplinary hearing:
On Saturday I was on the checkout as usual. The two supervisors came up to do the flight (putting the money in a bag and putting it up the chute) without saying a word. It was just those two and a line full of customers. The supervisor called C stood right next to the cash drawer as close as she possibly could while the other one (D) wrote on the cash bag. D asked me what my signing on number was so i turned my head towards her told her. Bear in mind due to tablets i couldn't speak particularly loud and she knew it. She then said "what?" and i said it again. At this point the other supervisor (C) said "He just mutters all the time". D then asked louder but to C saying other cashiers could hear them why couldn't I. C then asked again what my number was. I then turned my head and said "what's the point in me saying anything if all i do is mutter. You know I'm on tablets which mean i can't speak loud. Stop going on about it all the time". D then said "don't say anything in front of the customers". I the said "You keep making fun of me in front of the customers." She and C then moved on to the next till. I apologised to the customer then carried on serving. No supervisors or any other member of staff said anything until I was taken up to the office later. The security guard wasn't around at this point nor did I speak him until an hour later when he told me to go up to the office. This is important later.
The above events are absolutely true. The problem is the three of them made a joint statement (or one made a statement they all signed in which they describe events a hell of a lot different. The important differences are instead of me confronting them by turning my head and speaking in a normal voice I spun round 'in a rage' and said I'm on ********ing tablets for my throat before swearing 2 more times. The security guard then apparently heard me swearing and told me to calm down. Despite not actually being there. I have the whole statement they wrote on hand but the main points are the swearing and the fact that the security guard Mark is mentioned as he's classed as independent because he isn't directly paid by sainsburys. He's is technically employed by a different company but he's been with the store for so long everyone considers him part of the sainsburys staff. You can judge his professionalism by the times he hides peoples things for a laugh and when he steals from the snack machine (he bangs it to get a free chocolate bar. I've seen him do it myself. His word against mind of course if i'd reported it). Using the F-word is classed as gross misconduct without which i wouldn't have been suspended.
So the problem i have is there's a statement all three have signed saying I swore and it's their word against mine. I can prove I'm on tablets and that they affect my throat but i can't prove i didn't swear. If the security cameras are any good (which i really doubt) then I'd have proof the security guard at the very least didn't come up to me even if he was nearby which i as far i know he was nowhere near. I've worked at the store as my first job at college through uni and after graduating. (i haven't found anything that suits my degree -pass in Geography BsC passed exam failed project by 4 marks. No vini voca to increase marks at Coventry University unfortunately. I found sticking to coursework deadlines difficult. I always have. I should have got an A at school but coursework turned it into a B) It must have been nearly 10 years I've been working there now so it'll be a huge gap in my CV if a can't include a reference from that time. I overheard the manager saying he's refused to give references in the past so I'm worried.
So what should my next move be? The Duty manager took one look at the statement they signed and suspended my from work. I didn't even get to make a statement of my own. That'll apparently happen when I'm brought back into work to face a panel after the investigation. As if they'll be much of one because with 3 against 1 what can i do? What will they actually look into? Sainsburys doesn't have a trade union just a staff club organising trips so that's no option and I can't rely on any other member of staff to back me up on how the two supervisors act towards others as well because they wouldn't be brave enough. I'm the only one who stood up to them and look where it got me. I'm hoping someone on here has some advice because I really don't know what to do. The duty manager is one of those people who doesn't think for herself so she'll take the statement they made as gospel and consider anything i say as made up. The only thing i had going for me was she said a customer said to a supervisor that after it happened that I needed to calm down and have a drink. I then said to the manager "did the customer say i swore?" they didn't because i didn't but that's still not much going for me.
If anyone wants to see how miserable people are at the store then it's the store in Cov. Even my grandma who's shopped their for years noted how increasingly miserable the staff look recently and how empty they act. You'll notice customers being apologised to about their wait even if they've only just got to the till. You'd think this is a good thing but they haven't been waiting and they can tell the cashier is only saying it because it's procedure. In fact if there's one person in front even if they're just going and the cashier doesn't say it they can be suspended or even sacked. Every cashier had to sign a sheet, which went into their permanent record, agreeing to it. I was called to the office previously for apparently not saying it it was at that point I told them about the tablets. Both D and C were there.
I know it's a long post but i felt it necessary that if someone can help then they're given a fuller picture of what happened.