Author Topic: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered  (Read 9620 times)

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hyzenthlay

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2013, 11:28:39 PM »
Quote
Also, if she was mixing up cash at the event and not writing down what was supposed to be associated with what, I'd start wondering what else she's mixing up.

Handling and accounting for money - especially cash - in any business is a serious thing.  Something about this sounds 'off'.  :-\

Yes, but as an accountant I can tell you very very very few people understand how important good cash procedures really are. It's not malicious, it's not an attempt to defraud, it's just a lack of understanding that good procedures save time, and reputation. Heck a lot of people haven't even  had to run a cash drawer and don't understand the value of a neat orderly system. Until they try to add things up at end of day  :P

OP, I don't know how much Betty's requests add up. I do know that almost every business position has a certain amount of fluff time in it sooner or later. If that fluff time is 15 or 20 minutes a week for a generous donor I probably wouldn't even think twice.  If it's hours a week, I'd begin to question the value of the services offered by the non-profit.

Twik

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2013, 09:49:35 AM »
A point that wasn't clear in the OP, but would have a lot of significance here - I presume that the OP is not simply "putting in 8 hours" here. If she were, it would matter less if she were working the event or working for the donor. However, I'm assuming that she can't, in the middle of the event, throw up her hands and go, "It's five o'clock, I'm out of here. Have fun cleaning up, Boss!"

If the donor's job was not twenty minutes art time in place of twenty minutes of event work, then Boss is essentially ordering her to do unpaid overtime to please the donor. I'd not be thrilled to get an assignment like that in the middle of an already stressful day.
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Winterlight

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2013, 11:34:50 AM »
This is not appropriate on Betty's part or your boss' part.  If I were a donor/supporter of your non-profit I would be livid that you were using the time and resources that I helped to provide to do someone's petsonal errand that is not part of your mission.

Your organization can end up loosing more than one supporter if this becomes known.

This. I know someone who runs a charitable foundation and he's very careful about what he does with things like this, to the point of buying donors dinner out of his own pocket rather than using the foundation's money. If I discovered that the foundation I'm giving money to is doing free printing for other donors on company time, I'd rethink future donations.
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girlmusic

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2013, 12:08:07 PM »
I have worked in the nonprofit sector for 15 years. That said, if it was a one-time favor I would do it. If it became a regular occurrence, it crosses the line to inappropriate. Your boss is way out of line. Your time should not be spent doing personal work for donors. Especially after a long day filled with frustration.

I have had donors/board members ask for small favors, but all relating to the organization or connected to the organization in some way.


tinkytinky

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2013, 01:04:28 PM »
OP, I'm sorry you are dealing with this. it's a difficult situation. One question, was boss finished going thru the days receipts when you finished the project? Was she trying to cover up her mistake? I just find it odd that you needed to stop organizing receipts right in the middle to do a trivial item/favor. Maybe not, it just seems like boss was trying to divert you....and again I could be completely way off base.I t would rub me the wrong way, but I guess you could be thankful that you only had to make a map. Boss could have volunteered you to do invitations, save the dates, a huge banner for the new couple, programs, etc. It does have a sort of entitlement feel to it.  I guess you could have said something like "I can get to it as soon as I get this part done. I am in the receipt mode right now, and that project will need my full attention."

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veronaz

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2013, 01:11:44 PM »
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I just find it odd that you needed to stop organizing receipts right in the middle to do a trivial item/favor. Maybe not, it just seems like boss was trying to divert you....

The mixing up of cash, combined with (what could be) a diversion from organizing the receipts.............making me go "hmmmmm"''

just sayin'

ShadowLady

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2013, 01:13:45 PM »
I guess you could have said something like "I can get to it as soon as I get this part done. I am in the receipt mode right now, and that project will need my full attention."

I was coming here to say the same thing.  "I can try to get to it as soon as we finish the receipts.  It is more inportant to finish the receipts first."

Yvaine

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2013, 01:14:15 PM »
Quote
I just find it odd that you needed to stop organizing receipts right in the middle to do a trivial item/favor. Maybe not, it just seems like boss was trying to divert you....

The mixing up of cash, combined with (what could be) a diversion from organizing the receipts.............making me go "hmmmmm"''

just sayin'

And her being so weirdly touchy the whole time...

veronaz

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2013, 01:19:26 PM »
Quote
I just find it odd that you needed to stop organizing receipts right in the middle to do a trivial item/favor. Maybe not, it just seems like boss was trying to divert you....

The mixing up of cash, combined with (what could be) a diversion from organizing the receipts.............making me go "hmmmmm"''

just sayin'

And her being so weirdly touchy the whole time...

mmm hmmm

From the first post:
Quote
Things started to get a little hairy when my boss mixed up the cash from one part of the event with cash from another part and then got flustered and irritated when we were trying to sort it out and tried to take control over it again by micromanaging me when I was trying to count out and sort one set of receipts from another (it didn't help that on the cash she'd taken she hadn't written down what she'd taken it for). 

OP, were the receipts and cash ever organized/balanced?  Did boss ever account for the cash she had taken?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 02:39:44 PM by veronaz »

cheyne

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2013, 03:28:44 PM »
I went back and re-read your "perks" list trying to make some sense of your boss's anger over your exchange.

1.  Company cell phone (that Boss insisted you take for posting during events.  However you haven't been allowed to post because your boss doesn't have time to "approve" your posts during events.)

2.  5-10 minute start time leeway during bad weather.  (What, you can't fly over traffic/icy roads/snowplows?)

3.  Leave early or come in late for Dr. Appointments.  (Most Dr. offices are only open during standard work hours)

4.  Extra time off when Boss insists you take it.  (If she makes you take time off, on her schedule, how is that a perk for you?)

My first question, OP, is whether you are an hourly or salary employee?  If you are hourly, #2-4 are NOT perks since you are only paid for the hours you are punched in.  If you are salary, these are really not perks as salaried personnel are supposed to have a bit of leeway in the hours they work.  Your boss is a Loon if she thinks these are "perks" in any way. 

Methinks that Boss may not be on the "up and up" when it comes to fiscal responsibility.  If someone is willing to cheat even a little bit (by using time, computers, printers and employees for personal favors) they are willing to cheat a lot IMO.

My advice:
Document everything that was said.  Get your own cell phone and give the company's back without fanfare.
Do not talk with Boss about anything personal.  Do whatever it is you are asked as long as it isn't illegal.  Brush up your resume.  Try and get out of there as fast as possible.

camlan

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2013, 06:00:21 PM »
I went back and re-read your "perks" list trying to make some sense of your boss's anger over your exchange.

1.  Company cell phone (that Boss insisted you take for posting during events.  However you haven't been allowed to post because your boss doesn't have time to "approve" your posts during events.)

2.  5-10 minute start time leeway during bad weather.  (What, you can't fly over traffic/icy roads/snowplows?)

3.  Leave early or come in late for Dr. Appointments.  (Most Dr. offices are only open during standard work hours)

4.  Extra time off when Boss insists you take it.  (If she makes you take time off, on her schedule, how is that a perk for you?)

My first question, OP, is whether you are an hourly or salary employee?  If you are hourly, #2-4 are NOT perks since you are only paid for the hours you are punched in.  If you are salary, these are really not perks as salaried personnel are supposed to have a bit of leeway in the hours they work.  Your boss is a Loon if she thinks these are "perks" in any way. 

Methinks that Boss may not be on the "up and up" when it comes to fiscal responsibility.  If someone is willing to cheat even a little bit (by using time, computers, printers and employees for personal favors) they are willing to cheat a lot IMO.

My advice:
Document everything that was said.  Get your own cell phone and give the company's back without fanfare.
Do not talk with Boss about anything personal.  Do whatever it is you are asked as long as it isn't illegal.  Brush up your resume.  Try and get out of there as fast as possible.

I totally agree. Those really aren't "perks." What's she going to do, fire you because you were ten minutes late getting to work during a blizzard? There are a good many employees who look out the window, see the bad weather and call in that they just aren't coming in that day. The phone? It is for the company's convenience, not yours. But really, those "perks" are pretty much standard operating procedure for every office job I've had.

The only thing I'd add to what cheyne has said is that when you give back the company phone, you should not start using your personal phone for business use. If Boss Lady wants you to have a cell phone for work use, it needs to be provided for you. If Boss Lady makes a habit of calling your personal phone for work related conversations, you need to make a point of not answering her calls.
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blarg314

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2013, 08:44:25 PM »

In my view, a work provided cell phone with a personal plan is not a perk - it's a burden. If your work and home numbers are the same, your employer has the power to contact you anytime they want, day or night, vacation, unless you turn off your ability to get personal calls.

To me, that's not worth the amount I'd save on my cell plan (mind you, I spend about $5 a month at most on my cell phone - but I think even $100 a month wouldn't be worth the aggravation).

A 5-10 minute window for showing up late in bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances?  That's basically a standard consideration for any salaried job I know that doesn't involve strict starting responsibilities or someone needing to cover you. Of course, the reverse in a salaried job is that often you need to show up a bit early, stay a bit late, go to a lunch time meeting, answer an email on the weekend and so on.

Being allowed to take the occasional unofficial comp day when you've been working hard? That's a perk (it's one my job has - if you've been working 80 hour weeks for a deadline, and want to take a break for a day when it's done, no-body minds).

Being forced to take a random day off when you don't actually want to, and it's just means you'll have to work double speed for the next couple of days?  That's not a perk, it's actually a burden. And in a two person office, I'd wonder if this wasn't my boss's way of sneaking a day off themselves.

Being able to take flexible hours for doctor's appointments?  That is a perk, and not a universal one. But again, it's the kind of thing that is balanced by the days you come early, stay late, work through lunch, finish something after going home.

As an aside, the Boss's behaviour here put a social version of it in my mind. It's like your grandmother offers you her good set of dishes - the non microwave/dishwasher safe delicate 12 piece setting of china. You say thanks but you don't really have room for it in your one bedroom apartment, and you don't even have a dining room table. But she pushes and pushes, and finally, you take it to make her happy and manage to wedge it in somewhere.  Then, a couple of months later she asks you to drive three hours to pick her up for a family function, and you can't do it. So she lambasts you for being so ungrateful and selfish after she gave you such a valuable set of dishes - you owe her for that - and starts complaining about what an ungrateful witch you are to other family members.


veronaz

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2013, 09:47:49 PM »
Here is what’s bothering me:

- Boss mixed up cash for one part of event with cash for another

- Boss got flustered and irritated when they tried to sort out the cash and receipts

- Boss then micromanaged and took control of the efforts to sort out cash/receipts

- Boss didn’t account for the cash she took

- Later at the office Boss insisted OP stop organizing the cash/receipts and make a wedding map for Betty’s function which is in 2 weeks

- Then Boss pushed OP for her opinion, got angry, said some mean things and made some threats

- We don’t know if the cash and receipts were ever balanced (OP hasn’t been back yet to answer)

I could be off-base, but when another member used the word "divert", things started clicking.  Something seems fishy.


Dandelion

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2013, 02:53:18 AM »
Sadly, I was thinking the same thing as Veronaz. The mix-ups with money and receipts. Sending the employee away during the counting phase. And forcing them to take time off at the boss's whim, allowing the boss to have the office all to herself.

My first thought was embezzlement. I didn't want to say anything, but it looks like my mind isn't the only one that went there.

I truly pray I'm wrong. But protect yourself, OP, just in case. Keep good records and documentation. Don't allow yourself to be talked into doing any sort of 'shortcut.' Don't sign any receipts for things you haven't personally verified. Follow procedures.


And look for a new job.

veronaz

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2013, 11:03:38 AM »
In this (earlier) thread there is a communication problem because Boss repeatedly asks OP which task she (OP) wants to do next:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=128076.msg2949512#msg2949512

But when it comes to cash and receipts, Boss (for whatever reasons) gets irritated/flustered (more than once) and pulls OP off that task to do something else.

OP, you’ve described Boss as “nice” and “sweet”.  I’m not seeing that.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 11:52:03 AM by veronaz »