Author Topic: Any Way I Can Make This Better?  (Read 4727 times)

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Yarnspinner

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Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« on: July 01, 2013, 02:43:50 PM »
I have done a Very Bad Thing. 

For reasons we will not go into (basically, I am an idiot who should have stayed on vacation) I absentmindedly tossed the keys that open the lock I put on my locker INTO the locker and then shut and locked it before I realized what I was doing.  (Living life on autopilot is highly over rated.)

I tried calling the maintenance personnel but none of the people who could actually remove the lock were in and there was no staff member from that department who had access to bolt cutters.

I had actually keyed up a how to video on how to pick a lock with paper clips when my immediate supervisor said "I know Head of Maintenance (HOM) has bolt cutters.  If you go look for them I can get the lock off your locker." Since there were items in my locker I would need (and since HOM wasn't answering his phone at all and since it had been suggested to me that HOM might be gone for the day) I suggested that maybe I could go get the bolt cutters.  My boss said that would be an excellent idea and that he would cut the lock off for me, which he did.

Well, HOM just got in, found out I went into his (wide open, unprotected) office and removed the (right in plain sight) bolt cutters, he went ballistic.  At first those of us who witnessed his anger thought he was kidding as he pulls stuff like that all the time. 

"How would you feel if I went through YOUR stuff?"  he roared and on and on, then stormed out telling me my behavior was unacceptable and there was no excuse.  Not even the fact that I was told by another staff member that he was gone for the day was acceptable. 

My boss felt his behavior was ridiculous, as did the others who witnessed it.  That doesn't stop ME from feeling bad about what I did.  Of course I would be upset if someone went through my desk...it happens on a daily basis, however, as does me going through others desks to find something for patrons, packages left for one staff member that wound up with another staff member and so on.  We regularly go through supply closets in other departments when we run out of stuff.  This is not an uncommon practice, nor one that has been an issue.

My boss says to let it blow over and if it doesn't he will talk to HOM.  Shall I let it go at that?

It honestly never occurred to me that this would be an issue:  we go into that office for ladders, pails and you name it...but because I got a pair of bolt cutters, my life is forfeit.

Thoughts?

LeveeWoman

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 02:50:11 PM »
I'd ignore it and drive on.

Shoo

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 02:51:44 PM »
I agree.  Ignore it if you can.  His outburst was ridiculous and out of line.  If *he* doesn't drop it, I'd be tempted to go to his superior and complain about his behavior, specifically, the way he publicly and LOUDLY embarrassed you.  There's no excuse for his behavior.

Library Dragon

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2013, 02:51:58 PM »
You didn't rifle through his personal belongings.  You retrieved the tool owned by your place of work after receiving no answer to your calls. 

I'm glad you had witnesses to HOM's behavior.  It was uncalled for.  If there was a problem with knowing where the bolt cutter had gone to that could have been addressed rationally. 

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Margo

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2013, 02:52:37 PM »
Yes. Since your Boss has specifically told you to let it blow over, do that.,

I have to admit that if i were boss, i might be wondering what HoM has in that room that he's so concerned about..
And i would be speaking to him about hoe it is appropriate to speak to coworkers. But those are boss's responsbility, not yours.

HoM will either calm down (in which case you can, if you wish, explain to him what happened and why and that you did not go through his stuff; you collected a item belonging to the company, which happened to be in his office (NOT in any cupboard or desk or other private area)

lowspark

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 02:54:08 PM »
My boss says to let it blow over and if it doesn't he will talk to HOM.  Shall I let it go at that?

Yes.
His reaction was really OTT.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 02:56:38 PM »
Thank you, folks.  I don't know why, but having YOU tell me I wasn't out of line is more reassuring than having my own supervisor (with whom I am friends) tell me. 

It's been a long day......

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2013, 02:57:47 PM »
You were fine.  HOM was a bacon-fed knave.

Makes me wonder if he was overreacting either because there was something in his office he didn't want anyone else to see or he was doing something he shouldn't have been when you were unable to get a hold of him.  The best defence is a good offence, in his mind.

The only part of my office that is mine is the locked drawer.  And even that, our AA has a spare key.  If someone came into my office to look for something they needed, the only way I'd be ticked is if they changed my chair in the process.  Takes me forever to get that thing back to where I want it when someone messes with it.
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JenJay

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2013, 03:00:15 PM »
I wonder if he's trying to divert boss's attention from the fact that he (HOM) left early without permission?

I wouldn't worry about it. If he said anything again I'd reply "Boss told me to go get the bolt cutters out of the maintenance office. If you have a problem with that, take it up with boss." and I might add a "Stop harassing me about it." if I felt it necessary.

NyaChan

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 03:01:54 PM »
Joining the chorus - ignore his outburst, it was completely over the top.

MrTango

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 03:22:16 PM »
I agree with others that you need to leave it alone.  His outbust does nothing but make him look bad.

The only thought I want to add to the chorus is that if he comes back to you about this non-issue, let your boss know about it.  That includes him making an apology.

EllenS

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 03:26:58 PM »
You were getting company equipment out of the company Maintenance office, on the instructions of your supervisor. You are fine, and if HOM wants to rant about it, tell him he should talk to your supervisor about the proper procedure in HOM's absence.

If you want to make "oh, gee, I'm really really sorry" noises, while you do that, go ahead.  Personally,  I have found that when men go into chestbeating displays at work, batting your eyes and acting all contrite and girly usually controls them very well.   It's kind of a slimy tactic, but very effective.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 03:28:55 PM »
Yup. you didn't do anything wrong. you went it, took something you needed that was in PLAIN sight, and used it. As someone else pointed out, they most likely belong to the library, NOT him, and as he wasn't there and presumeably should have been, he's either very defensive he was caught leaving early, or has something in there he didn't want anyone to see.

wheeitsme

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2013, 03:36:41 PM »
Would you go ballistic if while you weren't there he went to your desk and borrowed the stapler that is sitting on top of it in plain sight and then he returned it to the same spot? 

You didn't go rooting through his workspace hunting for a random unnecessary thing.  You went into his open office and, from a space that was out in plain sight, borrowed something needed, specific, and only there thing and then you returned it to the same place. 

HOM has issues (heck, it sounds like he's got several concurrent subscriptions) that don't have anything to do with you.  And you don't have to feel bad because he has issues.

TootsNYC

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Re: Any Way I Can Make This Better?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2013, 04:21:36 PM »
I'll join the chorus.

Be guided by your boss, and by the opinion of everybody else.

(also, technically, it's not *his* desk; it's the company's desk. True, it's good etiquette to treat other people's work spaces with respect. But you did--you didn't just go rummage around because you were curious. You had a work need for the company's equipment, and you kept your "intrustion" to the strictest bounds.)

Also, there's a cliché that I think is operable here.

"least said, soonest mended"
(or in the words of the ever wise Mrs. Cosmopolite: "It won't get better if you pick at it.")


For the sake of the *rest* of your coworkers, don't apologize to him. That will only reinforce the idea that this was reasonable.

but also, don't pursue it. If he's come to his senses, he may find it too awkward to apologize. If he doesn't, he'll come do so. If you pursue it, you'll just make it worse.