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Author Topic: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"  (Read 7299 times)

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MissManager

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"email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« on: September 01, 2010, 07:50:44 PM »
I know I'm only 23 and this is my first time in a managment position but I don't see how email conversations, on my day off, while I'm out of town are unprofessional...
 Thoughts?

The Long Story
Background: I got my 1st big girl job! I'm a housekeeping supervisor at a casino resort. I'm responsible for 1,000 rooms and 200 employees... not bad for my 1st gig right out of college (Ok I'm done tooting my own horn). I've kinda felt like the laundry manager has been out to get me, but she's one of those really dominant, always has to be right people so I try to avoid making waves...[end bg]

Tuesday my inspector for the Garden and Villa suites (for the HIGHrollers) came to me and said she needed new towels because the towels laundry sent for them were flat and dingy. So I called down to laundry on the radio and asked for new towels for the gardens and villas since ours were dingy. I then put down the radio and walked away to do other more important things. Later the laundry runner (the guy who brings the laundry from the laundry department because for some reason laundry is on the other side of property) comes by and I ask him if he got me my towels. He said no laundry supervisor (not laundry manager it was her day off) said "No."

Shortly after that my runner for the G & V came by and I asked him to get them some new towels he said he already did but he he also happened to have a sample of towels that were sent by laundry for them. They were really dingy and one even had a big stain on it. SO I tooked my stack down to laundry to talk to someone incharge...

Laundry supervisor and I talked. She said she called back on the radio that they didn't have anymore, and she asked the G & V runner to dip into his secret stash to replace the dingy towels (so she didn't just say no which cleared up that issue). She then told me they were pool towels! For those of you that don't know, chlorene and towels especially white towels makes them dingy and flat. I summed up our conversation gave her, the pool towels back and went back to my area.

WELL... This morning I recieved an email from the Laundry Manager saying she would like to discuss the towel situation and basicly she said not to call laundry over the radio with requests. (Not sure of the purpose of them having a radio if not to call in requests) Instead I needed to call her on her cell phone if I had an issue. Well it was her day off... if it was a bigger deal then towels I may have felt the need to contact her but I thought the situation was handled. SO I responsed that I was given an unacceptable set of towels but we got the situation handled and I didn't think it warranted bothering her on her day off.

Too which she responds:
"Please call me at your earliest convenience as email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional. Thank you!"

My earliest convenience is not until Friday. My days off are Wednesday, Thursday and just like I didn't want to bother her on her days off over towels I don't want to be bothered on mine.

SO if you read all the way through this and have suggestions on how to best handle this going forward I'm all ears... or eyes... I really feel like I do need to stand up for myself now or she will continue trying to push me around (this is not the 1st time Laundry Manager attempted to bully me)

kschmid5

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 08:04:46 PM »
She wants to chew you out over the phone because it leaves no paper trail and she can try to bully you over the phone.  I'd respond via email and cc your supervisor after explaining it in person.

"Dear L.S.,
I prefer to speak via email conversations, as I find that sometimes discussions over the phone can result in miscommunication.  From what you've indicated in a previous email, you do not want requests to the laundry to be made via the radio, and instead should be made to your cell phone.  Could you please clarify what you would like me to do on your days off?  I would like to make sure that I follow the required procedure. 

If you have any comments or questions for me, I am most easily accessible via email, since our schedules are so different.

Sincerely G."

smidget23

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 08:07:27 PM »
This may very well be me being paranoid, but I would prefer to communicate with her through email in order to have a papertrail. At the very least, if you do have a phone conversation with her send her an email summary of what was agreed afterwards. Repeat as needed.

In the meantime, wait until you're on the clock to talk to her about it.
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Giggity

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 08:08:44 PM »
Oh heck YES, what M said.
Words mean things.

Fluffy Cat

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 08:08:57 PM »
You and a PP are correct.  There is nothing unprofessional about a work-related e-mail at any time.  She doesn't want to say what she has to say in writing for whatever reason.  I doubt it helps you much, but you are correct.  I would either insist on e-mail (risky) or keep notes of your conversation with her to CYA.
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ch1pch0p

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 08:12:47 PM »
Are you and the laundry manager on the same level, or are you her boss?

JakStat

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 08:13:29 PM »
I agree with the above!  Not only is using email to talk about situations like this not unprofessional, it is often considered a better way to do it than phone, because of the paper trail.  Well, electron trail, or something.  It isn't uncommon for me to have to summarize a phone conversation in an email to make sure that everyone who needs to know, knows and has a record.  And that way, no one can "forget" that you talked about it.  I think she doesn't want to leave a record.

Hanna

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 08:15:26 PM »
I would reply and let her know that you will give her a call her on Friday.

Then on Friday I would call and say something like "I'd like to work together in ways that work best for both of us. I was operating under the assumption that you, like me, would prefer not to be bothered with minor details on your days off.  If you would prefer that I phone you when we need replacement towels, I will be glad to do so.  I know that it might take some time for us to get to know one another and how we each like to run our own areas.  I appreciate you letting me know this is important to you."

If she wants a call for something like this, I suppose she has a right to get one.  Right up until the moment that she doesn't immediately get you what you require in order to do your job well.  If that ever happens, go over her head.  But for now it's best to assume that there is some good reason that a phone call to her would have helped resolve the problem faster. (I can think of a number of reasons that this might be the case.)

Hanna

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 08:19:16 PM »
Adding that I understand the concerns others may have about this, but wouldn't be ready to concede that I can't handle a phone call with another manager.

Her "unprofessional" comment was just plain stupid, and she is attempting some sort of power struggle, but that doesn't mean agreeing to a simple phone call is giving in to her in any way.

And you are still maintaining your own power by scheduling the call at your own convenience.

Balletmom

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 08:22:17 PM »
Adding that I understand the concerns others may have about this, but wouldn't be ready to concede that I can't handle a phone call with another manager.

Her "unprofessional" comment was just plain stupid, and she is attempting some sort of power struggle, but that doesn't mean agreeing to a simple phone call is giving in to her in any way.

And you are still maintaining your own power by scheduling the call at your own convenience.


Exactly. It's not always wrong to make a phone call, but OP shouldn't let the other manager bully her. I would refuse to contact Other Manager on her days off; she'll turn around and use that as a reason to call OP on her day off.

Fluffy Cat

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 08:37:36 PM »
I agree with the above!  Not only is using email to talk about situations like this not unprofessional, it is often considered a better way to do it than phone, because of the paper trail.  Well, electron trail, or something.  It isn't uncommon for me to have to summarize a phone conversation in an email to make sure that everyone who needs to know, knows and has a record.  And that way, no one can "forget" that you talked about it.  I think she doesn't want to leave a record.

Yes, and as an addendum OP, if you end up going the phone route.  Send an e-mail to her afterward summarising your conversation to make sure you're on the same page.  As JakStat pointed out it will also have the benefit of creating a paper trail.
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Fluffy Cat

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 08:40:33 PM »

Her "unprofessional" comment was just plain stupid, and she is attempting some sort of power struggle, but that doesn't mean agreeing to a simple phone call is giving in to her in any way.


Thats the only reason I suspect the OP's coworker of being untrustworthy.  If it wasn't for that comment a request for a phone call would be perfectly fine.  And, I have no doubt the OP can handle the phone call - I just don't trust the co-worker/boss.
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Hillia

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 09:14:22 PM »
Agree with everyone.  Your email was perfectly professional and appropriate.  She doesn't want a call on the radio because someone might overhear, and she doesn't want email because it's an audit trail.  Calling someone on a work related issue on their personal cell phone *is* inappropriate.

Hanna

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 09:15:09 PM »
She may well be untrusworthy, but I think her telling the boss "I asked LBGuard if we could have a phone call about laundry requests and she refused" would come off very poorly indeed.

This situation (which isn't really much of a situation at all, in my mind) doesn't require that level of caution.

It's not unusual for people to get nervous and behave foolishly when there is a shakeup in management. (Presumably, someone else had this position before LBGuard).  Showing the woman that you will respect her boundaries and desire to run her own department as she sees fit might go a long way toward soothing her.  And it any rate, is really the only polite way to proceed.  Her requests aren't unreasonable, even though her "unprofessional" comment was.


MissManager

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Re: "email conversations such as this are a bit unprofessional"
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 10:34:31 PM »
Are you and the laundry manager on the same level, or are you her boss?

Technically she out ranks me which may be where the power struggle comes in, but her direct boss and my direct boss are the same person and I don't answer to her in any way. We're really two separate departments that work together. The other hinky part of that is there was a Housekeeping Manager over me (I'm the Supervisor so you don't need to scroll up for clarification) she retired about 2 weeks after I started (at the end of July) and I've randomly checked the company website and it actually looks like there are no plans to hire a new manager. So really I've technically, but not officially, taken over her position (I've taken on all of her responsiblities and my co-supervisor doesnt do most of the paper work that I do).

And I'm 100% with everyone else that this was a minor issue. If there were no clean towels in the whole hotel I wouldn't have hesitated to call her at home on her day off because obviously she needs to know something like that and I would appreciate a call from her for something equally extreme in my department.
 
I assumed it was handled and kind of thought the laundry supervisor I actually talked to wouldn't mention it to the manager at all because really it only exposes her screw up. If the roles were reversed I'd be councling my employees and not another manager. And if I mentioned the situation to my boss or big boss s/he would tell me I did the right thing.

She may well be untrusworthy, but I think her telling the boss "I asked LBGuard if we could have a phone call about laundry requests and she refused" would come off very poorly indeed.



I agree. I'm just hesitant because I recognize that this is more an opportunity to chew me out then anything really productive. Mentioning my apprehension to my boss or my big boss really seems more like pre-emptive tattling then anything else.