Author Topic: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? UPDATE #73  (Read 21239 times)

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wolfie

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2014, 02:32:06 PM »
Though also, it sounds like you need an Office Manager--why don't you propose that you take that on, and then you can set up some logical systems for it.

I would be really careful about that. Depending on what your job is taking on the duty of Office Manager would be inappropriate. I know my manager would not be happy if I volunteered for that job - it is so out of the realm of my other responsibilities.

DavidH

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2014, 02:32:48 PM »
At a time when you don't need supplies, I'd set up a meeting with HR person about supply ordering.  I'd start with something along the lines of, "Lately it's been increasingly hard to get supplies.." and then follow-up with examples.  On Tuesday I needed a new pad of paper.  I was unable to order one until I turned in the end of the previous pad.  I was left for 3 days without paper while it was ordered.  On Wednesday my highlighter ran out.... and so on.  Then ask, how can we improve the system so that these shortages don't occur, and stop talking.  Let her fill the gap with suggestions.  Resist the urge to answer until she does.  Send out minutes to her documenting the solution.

If that doesn't produce results, then take it up a level and have your boss call into a second meeting.  That one begins.  On July X we had a meeting regarding supplies where we agreed to Y.  Since then the situation has not improved and we have had subsequent shortages....

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2014, 02:46:19 PM »
OP Here!

I just heard through the grapevine that the washroom that HR lady uses was also out of soap.  Hence, soap for all three ladies' rooms today!  (No idea about all the men's rooms.  The one in my wing had 1/2 of a bottle.)

All office supplies are kept locked in a file room.  HR Lady doesn't typically over-order, so there is normally the remaining packages of paper from a larger package, the remaining packages of sticky notes from a larger package and a package of a couple sizes of paper clips.  If you request paper clips or staples, you don't get the whole box, but a quantity she deems is appropriate for now.

HR Lady's title is HR, but she also is the Office Manager and the Comptroller.  I personally think the Marketing person, who also acts as the receptionist for incoming calls, would be the best fit for ownership of office supplies, but HR Lady won't give up power.

I am job hunting.  Unfortunately, it's a tough economy.  I keep praying that something better will come along, though.
Formerly Mrs.Bart

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2014, 03:27:03 PM »
I hope that something comes along for you also. 

I hated working for a place that The Goddess of Office Supplies questioned every single thing you needed - you could not have a whole box of paperclips or two pens.  She questioned why you needed two different colors of highlighters, etc.  Ridiculous.

Then never questioned the salesmen that said they spent $$$ on lunch/drinks for their clients (occasionally without receipts).   

Aquamarine

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2014, 01:44:18 PM »
"The bathroom needs soap. Is there some in the supplies room or would you like me to order some and have it charged to the company?"

Soap, pens, paper, whatever. Don't buy anything and expect them to reimburse you, if there ends up being lots in wherever its been hid, they'll tell you it was not required and refuse to pay you back.

I would think about bringing it up. "It's becoming very difficult to get supplies lately, even for the bathroom. Is the stock room running low or something? I've been writing on the recycling paper all week while trying to get a notepad. HR says I should supply my own, I was wondering if company policy has changed?"  Or some variation of.

POD  This is ridiculous.  Stop buying stuff.  I'm PA/cantankerous enough that I would stop bringing my purse to work, and waste time looking for pens around the office to use if I had none. 

I also like the idea of documenting the requests for supplies.  The HR person is failing to do her job properly, and adding unnecessary stress.

Love Sharnita's idea.  Sneak in and steal the soap.

POD

Call her up one morning and ask her what you should write with because there is nothing available to you.  Do not buy stuff, insist that supplies be provided and call her every time you need paper, paperclips or a highlighter.  She's the one choosing how to deal with the situation so let her deal with it on a minute to minute basis with everyone making requests of her.  Subtle isn't going to work on this woman.  You are going to have to make it into a problem for her, because that's only when she's going to care
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cicero

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2014, 03:15:18 AM »
"The bathroom needs soap. Is there some in the supplies room or would you like me to order some and have it charged to the company?"

Soap, pens, paper, whatever. Don't buy anything and expect them to reimburse you, if there ends up being lots in wherever its been hid, they'll tell you it was not required and refuse to pay you back.

I would think about bringing it up. "It's becoming very difficult to get supplies lately, even for the bathroom. Is the stock room running low or something? I've been writing on the recycling paper all week while trying to get a notepad. HR says I should supply my own, I was wondering if company policy has changed?"  Or some variation of.

POD  This is ridiculous.  Stop buying stuff.  I'm PA/cantankerous enough that I would stop bringing my purse to work, and waste time looking for pens around the office to use if I had none. 

I also like the idea of documenting the requests for supplies.  The HR person is failing to do her job properly, and adding unnecessary stress.

Love Sharnita's idea.  Sneak in and steal the soap.

POD

Call her up one morning and ask her what you should write with because there is nothing available to you.  Do not buy stuff, insist that supplies be provided and call her every time you need paper, paperclips or a highlighter.  She's the one choosing how to deal with the situation so let her deal with it on a minute to minute basis with everyone making requests of her.  Subtle isn't going to work on this woman.  You are going to have to make it into a problem for her, because that's only when she's going to care
another POD.

Stop buying supplies.

Be assertive - your HR person is being ridiculous. I would become a pest - go to her office with dripping hands and tell her there's no soap *again* and how are you supposed to wash your hands. go to her office with an empty pen and tell her you can't write down messages. and so on. send her emails about everything, and as suggested upthread - start going up the chain. I am all for cutting down on expenses and controlling expenditures, but you spend many of your waking hours in that place and need the basic creature comforts.

Sometimes People In Power get so bogged down in the stupid things - just this morning i had an issue with our CFO. now we have a great working relationship (i work in a very small office and people are very close). but he is very very cheap. which is fine when you're trying to cut down on expenses. Now - our coffee/tea/sweetener are supplied by the office (as long as we don't go overboard with requests). we all like *certain brand of coffee* which he refuses to order coffee from the regular office supply place because it's 1-2$ more per jar. the discount supermarkets sell it for about 8$ per jar, the regular supermarkets it's 9-10$ per jar. the problem is that I don't have a car and i don't go to the discount stores cause they're off my beaten track. i'm willing to pick them at the regular stores - but he doesn't want that. so either he picks them up at the discount place or i go to the regular supermarket. fine. so today he said to me "maybe we can start drinking a cheaper brand". seriously? i told him - "look, we have a crummy a/c system, everything here is old, i'm not complaining about anything but don't mess with my coffee." we had a good laugh and that's the end of that.

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rigs32

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2014, 05:39:50 PM »
If/when emails escalate to where you are CCing others, I'd be sure to include what tasks cannot be completed without the supplies you are requesting and an account of how much time/money the company is wasting refusing to give you a highliter or a legal pad.

I work for a governmental agency and for some reason, only supervisors were provided with 2014 directories of area attorneys.  I need to call people and courts DAILY.  My last directory is from 2012 because the 2013 ones apparently went missing?!?  The courts all changed their phone numbers in 2013.  And I refuse to pay $30 to the bar association for a current directory that would NOT be reimbursed.  I am considering having a summer intern photocopy the up to date directory as it is NOT a good use of my time to go running to my boss every time I need a phone number or address. 

Julian

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2014, 07:37:53 PM »
I've just been through something similar here at work.

I work in a small unit in a very large organisation, and just moved from one office to a different one with different staff.  The 'senior'* person here hasn't worked here long, and brings with him a history of 'making do'.  So the staff have been buying their own supplies, including basics like printer paper, tea, coffee, milk etc.  The only person with delegation to order supplies is our useless manager, who we may not see for weeks at a time. 

When I found out what was going on, I was actually appalled.  I ended up calling the Supply department, got an order book and catalogue, and sent an email to the manager - cc'ed to a few other folk - citing the circumstances and what I'd done.  After a bit of argy-bargy we now have the capacity to order what we need (it's not like we're going nuts -  a box of paper, a pack of pens and some note books and staples...)

* He's the useless manager's golden child, is the same level as me, although I have seniority in time served.  So he's the one that gets to play at being in charge.  Good luck to him, I reckon, but I do wish he'd listen when he's told things he doesn't know. 

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? UPDATE
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2014, 02:41:37 PM »
And now, we are out of paper towels in my wing's kitchenette.  Since I rarely need them, I'm not going to say anything, but rather wait for them to be replaced. 
Formerly Mrs.Bart

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2014, 05:06:53 PM »
Thirty five years ago I worked at a Fortune Five hundred Company. If you needed a new pen you had to ask the VP's secretary, who sat in front of the supply room. Instead of getting up and getting a new box of pens for you, she would hand you the one she was currently using, bite marks and all. She did this to everyone.  :o

Ten years ago, I was working at a manufacturing plant that announced they would no longer be purchasing office supplies. We bought our own pens, highlighters, paperclips, staples, staplers, etc. I was overjoyed when the bank gave me a huge box of used paperclips.  :)

At my next job, I was used to purchasing my own office supplies so I kept a stash handy in a backpack. I did expect them to supply hand soap and paper products.
 
Eventually I had a boss that put new meaning into the word "cheap". I ended up folding paper and using elastic bands to hold my computer reports together when we ran out of file folders.  :-\ ???

Girly

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2014, 09:02:10 PM »
And now, we are out of paper towels in my wing's kitchenette.  Since I rarely need them, I'm not going to say anything, but rather wait for them to be replaced. 

I wouldn't do that - You need the supply, and it's her job to do it.

I would also follow Mr. Tango's advise. Email her once, and three days later follow up with a CC to her boss.

Ms Aspasia

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2014, 12:07:14 AM »
lol, the joke is that teaching is the one job where you steal supplies from home to bring to work so I don't have a ton of advice. Could you use their bathroom every time yours is out of soap/TP/etc?
Hah, so true!  I used to give a family member grief for stealing the home supplies to take to work, until I came to accept it.

PastryGoddess

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2014, 12:08:58 AM »
And now, we are out of paper towels in my wing's kitchenette.  Since I rarely need them, I'm not going to say anything, but rather wait for them to be replaced. 

Yes but you noticed it, so I think that you should bring it to her attention.  Not doing so seem rather PA. 

She may be the most useless person in the history of useless people, BUT! give her enough rope to hang herself.  Send an email to her letting her know that there are no more paper towels.  Follow up with another one in a couple of days.  If still no paper towels, CC her boss on another email.

I'm not a big fan of including higher ups right away.  Since you've never emailed regarding supplies before, adding the boss to the follow up email seems a bit like overkill initially.  But if you give her a couple of chances to do the right thing and she doesn't, you will seem like the reasonable one. 

I don't know what email system you use, but I use Boomerang for Gmail and SendLater for Outlook.  They will automatically send a message at a certain time in the future. 

kategillian

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2014, 07:01:39 AM »

All office supplies are kept locked in a file room.  HR Lady doesn't typically over-order, so there is normally the remaining packages of paper from a larger package, the remaining packages of sticky notes from a larger package and a package of a couple sizes of paper clips.  If you request paper clips or staples, you don't get the whole box, but a quantity she deems is appropriate for now.

 

I'm sorry, I've never worked in an office, but this seems like a MAJOR control issue. She opens a box of, what, like 100 paper clips and gives you 25? Because she thinks you only need 25 paper clips right now? Is she farmiliar with every single job in the company and their paperclip needs? Is she getting a bonus if paperclip usage is down for the year? (Using paperclips as a representation of all office goods) I find this is absolutely ridiculous, she's actually impeding you from doing your job! I get that may be unprofessional to go to someone higher up to tell them what is going on, but it seems like you've been trying to rectify the situation for quite some time. I, personally,  would be looking for a new job.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 07:11:20 AM by kategillian »

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2014, 09:09:27 AM »
I too would be looking for another job, not just because of the PA control-freakery, but because I've worked in finance for 30 years and what this says to me is a company that doesn't order stationery because it's on stop with the supplier or can't pay its bills. One of the things auditors look for is failure of stock management - which this is - and then they go back to see if it's because of problems with cash flow or credit management.