Author Topic: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? FINAL UPDATE 106  (Read 25290 times)

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Mergatroyd

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2014, 09:37:42 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.

That was my first thought too tbh. There isn't really a good way to ask that though is there? 'Is the company in trouble HR's boss? Or is HR having hoarding issues..'

Redneck Gravy

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2014, 12:44:40 PM »
OP, I think you are at the end of the spectrum, from the other side I have seen office supplies & bathroom supplies have to eventually be kept locked up.

Place A: caught one of the vending machine suppliers stealing a can of coffee, suspected this was not the first time;

Place B: Caught an employee stealing both toilet paper and paper towels.  Her rationale was that she wasn't paid enough to afford these things and immediately asked for a raise.  Also caught an employee stealing hand cleaner - she was bringing in a cold cream jar and filling it from the economy size. Someone caught an employee filling their liquid soap from home by taking a little out of each of the bathroom bottles. Unbelievable. 

Place C: caught an employee photocopying a text book after hours one evening.  Also caught an employee taking home rolls of toilet paper.  I've seen an employee reach into the supply cabinet and take a box of red pens, blue pens & black pens.  The next day when I asked for a red pen she said she was out...

I worked at a landscaping company (we were given a significant discount on purchases - with manual purchase tickets) and after hours saw an employee loading up bags of fertilizer into their personal car, I've seen employees toss a flat of plants in their trunks and drive off without a purchase ticket ever crossing my desk.  One time I went to a housewarming party at an employee's home and the new landscaping was beautiful, the crates, bags and plant cups (branded with my employer's logo) were still in the backyard to be disposed of.  Never saw a ticket on any of that either - my boss asked me about that one but only chastised the employee, no payment was required from them (and then the thefts really started to pick up  >:().   

Same landscaping business has gotten calls from customers complaining about landscaping jobs that were never on the books - apparently an employee was offering a great discount for cash payments.

I have to wonder if this office manager is on a power trip, has had to deal with similar issues and is now a hoarder or she is one of the above, taking them home instead of distributing them?

AfleetAlex

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2014, 01:28:08 PM »
OP, since you have no paper towels, would it be rude to come out of the restroom with dripping hands and gently wipe them on her sleeve, before returning to your desk?  >:D

Okay, yes, it would be, but that was still a funny visual.
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2014, 02:08:23 PM »

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?

More likely to get 5.  And a glare if you ask for more! 

And we did get papertowels in the kitchen today.  One of the guys brought in a cheesecake.  He emailed her and mentioned it was in our kitchenette.  She walked over to get a slice, but we had no paper plates, no plastic cutlery, no napkins and no paper towels.  He sent her back for supplies so she could enjoy the cheesecake.  Jason is officially brilliant!
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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2014, 03:17:45 PM »
ha, ha !   good job

ddawn23

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2014, 03:05:25 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.
I'm a librarian at a small graduate school, and I'm in charge of ordering office supplies for the library.  I have one policy that will probably sound over the top to you, my fellow ehellians:  I hide the toner.  Literally.  Not even my boss knows where I keep it.  Whenever someone's out I get the spare out of hiding, bring it to them, and order a new cartridge for my stash.  Why?  Because my coworkers are awful at remembering to tell me they're out.  When toner was kept up at the circulation desk we tried writing on the boxes "Tell Dawn when you open this!" but they'd be busy helping students and forget to do it later.  When toner was kept in my office they'd come in while I was away from my desk and forget to tell me they'd taken the last cartridge.  To outsiders or new hires me hiding the toner probably smacks of major control issues, but those people weren't here all the times it was finals week and desperate students couldn't print their papers because the circ staff forgot to tell me they'd taken the last of the toner.  Obviously I'm not anywhere near as petty or obstructive as OP's HR lady, but sometimes a firm hand with supplies is required.

MrTango

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2014, 08:06:39 AM »
I'm a librarian at a small graduate school, and I'm in charge of ordering office supplies for the library.  I have one policy that will probably sound over the top to you, my fellow ehellians:  I hide the toner.  Literally.  Not even my boss knows where I keep it.  Whenever someone's out I get the spare out of hiding, bring it to them, and order a new cartridge for my stash.  Why?  Because my coworkers are awful at remembering to tell me they're out.  When toner was kept up at the circulation desk we tried writing on the boxes "Tell Dawn when you open this!" but they'd be busy helping students and forget to do it later.  When toner was kept in my office they'd come in while I was away from my desk and forget to tell me they'd taken the last cartridge.  To outsiders or new hires me hiding the toner probably smacks of major control issues, but those people weren't here all the times it was finals week and desperate students couldn't print their papers because the circ staff forgot to tell me they'd taken the last of the toner.  Obviously I'm not anywhere near as petty or obstructive as OP's HR lady, but sometimes a firm hand with supplies is required.

I don't think that's OTT at all.  In fact, I think it makes perfect sense as your controls on the process are a perfectly reasonable solution to the problems that were happening when those controls were not in place.

Harriet Jones

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies?
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2014, 08:34:23 AM »
I'm a librarian at a small graduate school, and I'm in charge of ordering office supplies for the library.  I have one policy that will probably sound over the top to you, my fellow ehellians:  I hide the toner.  Literally.  Not even my boss knows where I keep it.  Whenever someone's out I get the spare out of hiding, bring it to them, and order a new cartridge for my stash.  Why?  Because my coworkers are awful at remembering to tell me they're out.  When toner was kept up at the circulation desk we tried writing on the boxes "Tell Dawn when you open this!" but they'd be busy helping students and forget to do it later.  When toner was kept in my office they'd come in while I was away from my desk and forget to tell me they'd taken the last cartridge.  To outsiders or new hires me hiding the toner probably smacks of major control issues, but those people weren't here all the times it was finals week and desperate students couldn't print their papers because the circ staff forgot to tell me they'd taken the last of the toner.  Obviously I'm not anywhere near as petty or obstructive as OP's HR lady, but sometimes a firm hand with supplies is required.

I don't think that's OTT at all.  In fact, I think it makes perfect sense as your controls on the process are a perfectly reasonable solution to the problems that were happening when those controls were not in place.

I think it's fine, too!  You're not actually denying anyone toner.

TootsNYC

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2014, 08:38:17 AM »
I'm a librarian at a small graduate school, and I'm in charge of ordering office supplies for the library.  I have one policy that will probably sound over the top to you, my fellow ehellians:  I hide the toner.  Literally.  Not even my boss knows where I keep it.  Whenever someone's out I get the spare out of hiding, bring it to them, and order a new cartridge for my stash.  Why?  Because my coworkers are awful at remembering to tell me they're out.  When toner was kept up at the circulation desk we tried writing on the boxes "Tell Dawn when you open this!" but they'd be busy helping students and forget to do it later.  When toner was kept in my office they'd come in while I was away from my desk and forget to tell me they'd taken the last cartridge.  To outsiders or new hires me hiding the toner probably smacks of major control issues, but those people weren't here all the times it was finals week and desperate students couldn't print their papers because the circ staff forgot to tell me they'd taken the last of the toner.  Obviously I'm not anywhere near as petty or obstructive as OP's HR lady, but sometimes a firm hand with supplies is required.

I don't think that's OTT at all.  In fact, I think it makes perfect sense as your controls on the process are a perfectly reasonable solution to the problems that were happening when those controls were not in place.

I think it's fine, too!  You're not actually denying anyone toner.

Yeah, this is the difference--you go get it when they need it. And you order a new supply when the last one is used up.

I have a lot of sympathy with keeping the supplies under lock and key, or with making you to go someone to ask for them.

I'm even OK with the idea that when you ask for paperclips, they give you 1/2 or 1/4 of a box, because at every office I've ever worked at, there are desks with tons of paperclips languishing in the bottoms of the drawers. Paperclips that never get used, because few people use up a whole box.
   Ditto staples. Why purchase 14 boxes of staples for 14 employees, when those employees may take years to use up a whole box? (I've had jobs where I stapled lots of stuff, and it once took me 1.5 years to use up a box of staples. I had a bit of a party, because I'd never in my lifetime taken the last strip of out a box of staples.)

miranova

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2014, 09:20:47 AM »
Oh, welcome to my world.  I work in education.  Our supply guy is a complete, miserable control freak of the worst kind.  He will NOT order anything until it is absolutely completely out.  Then he waits until Friday, because that is order day.  Then you have to wait for it to be delivered.  Any suggestion that we may want to keep some in stock will get you a lecture on how we would just waste things if they were just sitting around.  Yeah, I got an advanced degree so I could play with paperclips.  If I need them, I need them!  He also will not give out a full box, just a handful.  Did I mention I then have to carry that handful three buildings over and up 2 flights of stairs?  No baggy or anything just pours them in your hands.

The same for paper for the printers, post it notes, ink for printers, everything.  You must be completely out and give him the empty cartridge and then he will order them.  Oh and don't even think about wanting supplies the first week of school (you know, when you actually need them the most).  Because he is too busy then.  Oh and if it's about 3-4 weeks from the end of school, he won't order more supplies because you should just make do with what you have until the end of the year.

We have teachers who just gave up, bought their own printers and are supplying them with ink and paper.  It is so bad.

miranova

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2014, 09:25:32 AM »
And I forgot the best story!  One day we had an entire 3 story building completely out of toilet paper.  30 teachers, hundreds of students, no toilet paper.  So of course someone nicely goes to explain the situation and we were told, and I quote "use another bathroom until we can get around to it".  Which would mean a completely separate building.  During our 5 minute break between classes.  All 30 of us.  Walking away from the building we are supposed to supervise students in.  Leaving hundreds of students there, fighting for the bathrooms, getting back to class late. 

This was the breaking point and we went over their head.  Our AP was kind enough to run to Walmart.

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2014, 10:34:58 AM »
Miranova -- that's beyond unreasonable! 
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MrTango

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2014, 11:03:22 AM »
Oh, welcome to my world.  I work in education.  Our supply guy is a complete, miserable control freak of the worst kind.  He will NOT order anything until it is absolutely completely out.  Then he waits until Friday, because that is order day.  Then you have to wait for it to be delivered.  Any suggestion that we may want to keep some in stock will get you a lecture on how we would just waste things if they were just sitting around.  Yeah, I got an advanced degree so I could play with paperclips.  If I need them, I need them!  He also will not give out a full box, just a handful.  Did I mention I then have to carry that handful three buildings over and up 2 flights of stairs?  No baggy or anything just pours them in your hands.

The same for paper for the printers, post it notes, ink for printers, everything.  You must be completely out and give him the empty cartridge and then he will order them.  Oh and don't even think about wanting supplies the first week of school (you know, when you actually need them the most).  Because he is too busy then.  Oh and if it's about 3-4 weeks from the end of school, he won't order more supplies because you should just make do with what you have until the end of the year.

We have teachers who just gave up, bought their own printers and are supplying them with ink and paper.  It is so bad.

Wow.  I'd refuse, on principle, to spend my own money to buy supplies for my workplace, but in this case, I think I'd take it a step further and start going up the chain of command pretty quickly.  If that didn't get results, I'd go to the teachers' union (if you have one) or even the news media.

miranova

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2014, 12:44:18 PM »
Oh, welcome to my world.  I work in education.  Our supply guy is a complete, miserable control freak of the worst kind.  He will NOT order anything until it is absolutely completely out.  Then he waits until Friday, because that is order day.  Then you have to wait for it to be delivered.  Any suggestion that we may want to keep some in stock will get you a lecture on how we would just waste things if they were just sitting around.  Yeah, I got an advanced degree so I could play with paperclips.  If I need them, I need them!  He also will not give out a full box, just a handful.  Did I mention I then have to carry that handful three buildings over and up 2 flights of stairs?  No baggy or anything just pours them in your hands.

The same for paper for the printers, post it notes, ink for printers, everything.  You must be completely out and give him the empty cartridge and then he will order them.  Oh and don't even think about wanting supplies the first week of school (you know, when you actually need them the most).  Because he is too busy then.  Oh and if it's about 3-4 weeks from the end of school, he won't order more supplies because you should just make do with what you have until the end of the year.

We have teachers who just gave up, bought their own printers and are supplying them with ink and paper.  It is so bad.

Wow.  I'd refuse, on principle, to spend my own money to buy supplies for my workplace, but in this case, I think I'd take it a step further and start going up the chain of command pretty quickly.  If that didn't get results, I'd go to the teachers' union (if you have one) or even the news media.

Trust me, refusing on principle only makes my life harder.  It doesn't change anything, I am still expected to get my job done.  Teachers have been dealing with buying their own supplies for dozens of years, unfortunately I don't think it would outrage the media.  It almost seems to be expected in our society.

whatsanenigma

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Re: How to get Human Resources to provide supplies? tiny UPDATE #23
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2014, 12:51:05 PM »
Oh, welcome to my world.  I work in education.  Our supply guy is a complete, miserable control freak of the worst kind.  He will NOT order anything until it is absolutely completely out.  Then he waits until Friday, because that is order day.  Then you have to wait for it to be delivered.  Any suggestion that we may want to keep some in stock will get you a lecture on how we would just waste things if they were just sitting around.  Yeah, I got an advanced degree so I could play with paperclips.  If I need them, I need them!  He also will not give out a full box, just a handful.  Did I mention I then have to carry that handful three buildings over and up 2 flights of stairs?  No baggy or anything just pours them in your hands.

The same for paper for the printers, post it notes, ink for printers, everything.  You must be completely out and give him the empty cartridge and then he will order them.  Oh and don't even think about wanting supplies the first week of school (you know, when you actually need them the most).  Because he is too busy then.  Oh and if it's about 3-4 weeks from the end of school, he won't order more supplies because you should just make do with what you have until the end of the year.

We have teachers who just gave up, bought their own printers and are supplying them with ink and paper.  It is so bad.

Wow.  I'd refuse, on principle, to spend my own money to buy supplies for my workplace, but in this case, I think I'd take it a step further and start going up the chain of command pretty quickly.  If that didn't get results, I'd go to the teachers' union (if you have one) or even the news media.

Trust me, refusing on principle only makes my life harder.  It doesn't change anything, I am still expected to get my job done.  Teachers have been dealing with buying their own supplies for dozens of years, unfortunately I don't think it would outrage the media.  It almost seems to be expected in our society.

The media wouldn't be outraged, I'm sure, but it might be that the media would be responsive to the problem if it were phrased as "We are having budget problems" instead of "They won't give us supplies".

And even then, I wouldn't necessarily go to the media unless it was really outrageous and ongoing.  Maybe an appeal to the parents/families would be appropriate, saying how much we want to help your child learn but we are really underfunded, please donate [list of items] if you can, even a pack of pencils or box of crayons would help.

But of course, the problem of teachers having to supply their own stuff has been ongoing and pervasive and I realize that unfortunately, there is no easy fix.

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