Author Topic: Office supplies abuse and the boss  (Read 6240 times)

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alkira6

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Re: Office supplies abuse and the boss
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2014, 01:18:08 PM »
Well, someone was reorganizing the files, and instead of ordering a box of Pendaflex files, they had decided to throw away all the ones we had and replace them with new ones so everything would look nice and new. 

My hanging file folders came from an office who did this.  They threw away slightly used and brand new boxes of multicolor hanging file folders, organizers,  dividers, and sheet protectors.  My 3 filing cabinets thank them as I have enough folders to not only organize but color code without running out of the individual colors.  I was not too proud to take the giant boxes of "trash" that they said I could have and scavenge to my little heart's content.

Lynn2000

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Re: Office supplies abuse and the boss
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2014, 01:43:39 PM »
Was it actual pilfering that caused the huge costs, or like someone else mentioned: was there no rein to what was ordered? 

We once had a clerk put in an office supply order that was nearly the entire year's budget for the branch.  Well, someone was reorganizing the files, and instead of ordering a box of Pendaflex files, they had decided to throw away all the ones we had and replace them with new ones so everything would look nice and new.  Two calculators needed new print heads (part = $8 each), but she decided to order 2 new calculators - no, make that 3, so we would have a back up at $125 each.  And on and on.  Fortunately, all orders had to be signed by the branch manager, so we were able to put a stop to it, but there are people who never question what is being ordered.

Or, something that we've had happen several times in our office over the years--someone is suppose to order 1 case containing 12 widgets, and they get confused and instead order 12 cases (each containing 12 widgets). If it's not caught in time, you've got 144 widgets sitting around. Hopefully the widgets don't go bad, but then you have to find someplace to store them, and then you have to remember where they are, so next time you run out of widgets in the main spot, you don't just automatically order more. Over the years, across multiple offices where everyone is making similar mistakes, that sort of thing could add up. And it's the sort of thing that could be helped by a top-down order for greater organization and redistribution of supplies between offices (for example).
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TootsNYC

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Re: Office supplies abuse and the boss
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2014, 01:59:24 PM »
or by returning them to the supplier.

Lynn2000

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Re: Office supplies abuse and the boss
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2014, 02:40:20 PM »
or by returning them to the supplier.

You know, we rarely ever do that. Partly it's just my boss and her quirks. But there are also real obstacles to dealing with the paperwork (for our company) to get something returned and the money reimbursed. So that would be another area a Big Boss could improve, if they discovered this was a problem.
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shhh its me

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Re: Office supplies abuse and the boss
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2014, 03:05:26 PM »
or by returning them to the supplier.

You know, we rarely ever do that. Partly it's just my boss and her quirks. But there are also real obstacles to dealing with the paperwork (for our company) to get something returned and the money reimbursed. So that would be another area a Big Boss could improve, if they discovered this was a problem.

Also some items if you order a gross of widgets you can only return a  gross of widgets,   So you need to order more widgets to make a gross pay any delivery fees and small order premiums and then send a gross back often at your expense, within the allowed return time frame. That doesn't address the  possible only an unopened gross of widgets is returnable.

KarenK

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Re: Office supplies abuse and the boss
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2014, 09:41:06 AM »
or by returning them to the supplier.

You know, we rarely ever do that. Partly it's just my boss and her quirks. But there are also real obstacles to dealing with the paperwork (for our company) to get something returned and the money reimbursed. So that would be another area a Big Boss could improve, if they discovered this was a problem.

Also some items if you order a gross of widgets you can only return a  gross of widgets,   So you need to order more widgets to make a gross pay any delivery fees and small order premiums and then send a gross back often at your expense, within the allowed return time frame. That doesn't address the  possible only an unopened gross of widgets is returnable.

First of all, I've done this, but luckily with office supplies, they don't "go bad." I'm still working on the "12" (i.e., 12 dozen packages - 144 pads, of post-its I ordered 15 or more years ago. Also, I have several boxes of clips in my closet from a similar mistake. If they get in the way, we have an informal admin support network here that usually finds homes for any unwanted office supplies. Although I work for a very large organization (a hospital), each department is responsible for ordering its own office supplies within budgetary constraints. I have full authority to order what I want, provided I don't go over-budget.

If I receive the wrong item, even if I was the one that ordered it, our office supply dealer tells me just to keep it and they issue a credit. If it comes from the internal storeroom, they will take it back, i.e., I ordered what I thought was one box of 100 straws for our conference room, and got a case. I sent back all but one.

It's a fine line to walk - giving your employees what they need to do their work, without giving people carte blanche to waste supplies, and balancing using the office manager's time wisely with the potential supply loss from no supervision. A hybrid approach was suggested upthread - free access to cheap stuff (pens, paper, paper clips), with more regulated access to other items, like toner, calculators, staplers, etc.

Miss Misha

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Re: Office supplies abuse and the boss
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2014, 07:51:28 PM »
This thread reminded me of the awful telecom I worked for in the mid-nineties.  They were so cheap that you had to turn in a non-working pen to get a new one.  You had to show them a ground-down pencil to get a new one.  Not a new box, not a new two, ONE! 

I gave up and brought my own writing implements in and kept them under tight control.  And sho' nuff, the VP would try and nick my nice rolling ball pens.  I took to painting them with white-out so I could ID them.  If one was on his desk, I'd say, "See the white out on that?  That's my personal pen."  He'd then proceed to "tease" me about why I painted my pens.  I was sorely tempted on more than one occasion to snap back "Well, you <ehell unapproved name for a knave>, I wouldn't mark them with white out if a) you gave employees the tools to do their jobs; b) you didn't routinely try and nick them; and, c) you make twice what I do and cannot spend $3 on your own pens. 

God, I hated that place.