update: can I ask my employee not to put papers on my desk?

Remember the letter-writer whose employee kept putting papers on her desk, even after she had asked them to stop? Here’s the update.

Your response was validating and helpful! The very next day after my question went live, I was returning from getting coffee when I saw my direct report, Lauren, leaving my office after placing papers on my desk! I’m not sure if she’d planned it that way, but this gave me a perfect avenue to use our next meeting to ask why she insisted on this after I’d asked her not to. She looked shocked, but shared she did it because she thought it was the best method. I realized she had also historically been stacking (and maybe tidying) her papers on top of my existing documents and folders (papers on my desk for active projects, or folders with worksheets for sessions I facilitate), which is why I wouldn’t “see” the new papers.

Thanks to your advice, I was clear and didn’t waffle about giving her alternatives. I appreciated the commenter suggestions for an inbox or inflatable penguin — so cute! — and will keep those in my pocket for the future. A commenter helped me remember that we already use a shared digital file to track our meeting agendas that I review prior to every meeting, and asking Lauren to link or upload information into this document would catch both of the issues of keeping only physical copies and not digitizing information that should be searchable.

I also added some organization to my desk so even though it has the same amount of things on it, it looks much more intentional and less messy! Thanks Alison and everyone for your advice!

{ 98 comments… read them below }

  1. duinath*

    the fact that she looked shocked. i just. you’re explicitly told not to do something, you keep doing it, and you look *shocked* when asked why? idk what is going on with this person, but i hope this did the trick and she’ll do better going forward.

    1. Filthy Vulgar Mercenary*

      I had the same reaction! She must have thought that her way was so obviously The One True Way that once LW saw how much better it was, LW would agree, and it never crossed her mind that it could be otherwise.

      1. green*

        Probably because OP hasn’t said anything (since the first time) so she just assumed everything was fine.

        1. Rainy*

          Super weird of her to be like “I was told to stop something but I just kept doing it so I’m sure it’s fine” tho.

      2. ferrina*

        I wonder if she had a Super Authority Figure teach her the One True Way when she was younger, and no one had ever corrected or pushed back very hard (maybe just some “please don’t do this”).

        Though this still doesn’t give her a pass. I’m not sure how you get through life without realizing that people have different working styles.

        1. Kermit's Bookkeepers*

          I honestly think this is the most likely origin story. Someone she worked with earlier in the formative years of her working life drilled this into her. Possibly a parent.

          1. Kermit's Bookkeepers*

            This reminds me when I used to work at a members-only facility (lets say a gym) and I used to stand by the door and greet people as the scanned their ID card: my screen would show me who they were and if their membership was up to date, and I’d say something like “Thanks Name, come on in.”

            Except this one customer did not want to be acknowledged when they came in. At first they said they didn’t want to be greeted by name. No problem, I went to honorifics. Nope, they didn’t want that either. So I tried colloquialisms like friend, buddy, etc. Nope, they didn’t want to be greeted at all unless I NEEDED to talk to them about their membership. And this is, I realize, a non-issue that was in no way interfering with the duties of my job, but I. Could not. Stop greeting them. Because it was ingrained in me as good customer service to look someone in the eye and acknowledge them. And yes, it’s embarrassing to me now how stubborn I was about it.

    2. Beth*

      It takes an incredible amount of arrogance and shortsightedness to think “The one way I was explicitly told not to do this is obviously the best way, and I don’t foresee any consequences if I keep doing it.” I hope she shows better judgment in other areas.

      1. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

        There are a surprising number of people who seem to not understand that different people are different. Their way is best for them, not for everyone. (Hi, Mom).

          1. Carol the happy elf*

            This “hi, Mom” reminds me of an old joke about a new bride who cut the ends off a roast and put them beside the middle in the roasting pan. New groom asked “Why are you doing that?”
            “It’s the right way to make a roast.
            Besides, this is how my mother always did it.”

            The groom then asked his mother-in-law about the roast.

            “It’s the best way to do a roast. Besides, that’s the way Grandma always did it.”

            He took it to Grandma. “Both my bride and her mother cut the ends off the roast because it’s the best way, but why is it the best way? I don’t understand how it works.”

            Grandma looked puzzled, then she started laughing. “I cut the ends off the roast and stuffed them by the sides because that was the only way to get it to fit in my little round pan!”

            And that, dear children, is the beginning of the One True Thing….

            1. Seeking Second Childhood*

              It’s better than a joke. That was an actual story sent in to Ann Landers or Dear Abby in the 70s!

              1. Carol the happy elf*

                Thank you for that. Some things are so full of truth they have to have happened somewhere! ;-)

        1. JM in LA*

          TBH it wasn’t until I did one of those Clifton Strengths courses that I considered that other people **really** needed things done a different way. I think all that validation in school of good grades, and pats on the head reinforces, the One True Way.

          1. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

            That is funny because my top strength was “individualization,” which is basically–knowing that different people are different.

        2. A Poster Has No Name*

          Yes, this was exactly my thought. That it never occurred to Lauren that her ‘best way’ and her boss’ ‘best way’ might not match and, unless your boss wants to you to, say, make elaborate paper airplanes and launch them into a tiny slot in your inbox or something like that, it’s best to just do what the boss asks if you want them to actually act on the info you’re giving them.

        3. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

          So very true! I have a certain close relative who is like this. She is very kind, funny, and thoughtful in her own way. But she really has some sort of inability to grasp that one size does not fit all. It gets to the point where if you do not do something the way she thinks it should be done, or you choose not to do something that she thinks is essential to being a happy person (being neat and tidy, wanting and having children, etc.), she thinks you must be really unhappy and starts recommending therapists (not to her direct managers, as far as I know, but I can see her acting like this person). I am all for therapy, but she does this when there is no real sign that the person is unhappy or in need of help. It is a real blind spot sometimes.

    3. Gust of wind*

      Maybe she didn’t really analyze what she was doing and only realized it when it was articulated that way. And simply was shocked that she had been doing things she was instructed not to, when she realized it.

      1. Sloanicota*

        It’s definitely true that catching something in the moment is about a hundred times better than all the conversations in the world (although I’m biased because I train dogs). She may have sort-of understood you before but now hopefully she recognizes the exact pattern of thought that leads her to leaving stuff on your desk. (You said ‘in our next meeting’ but I highly suggest stopping right there in the moment if you ever see her doing this again).

    1. Vixen of the Bean Realm*

      This isn’t a happy ending though, because OP’s direct report still has failed to grasp that what she was doing was inappropriate and insubordinate, given she’d already been asked to not do it and yet she continued.

  2. Radish*

    Anyone who has ever had a busy boss knows that the best way to lose stuff is to put in on their desk and the best way to get things seen is to put it on their chair.

    1. TootsNYC*

      ooh, I HATE people putting it on my chair. It screws me up so bad. I need to sit down–wtf am I supposed to do with this piece of paper? (answer: pick it up and put it in my Inbox….where YOU should have put it in the first place)

      I had a job where I handled alot of paperwork, and I made a rule–you do not put stuff on the chair. Period. Or on the desk.

      I had an Inbox for a reason. I went on a massive campaign to train everyone to put things IN the Inbox–I think there was even one person that I made come get it off my chair and put it in my Inbox, as if they were a teenager who’d left their jacket on the living room floor.

      Part of that campaign was a clear and vocalized demonstration that taught them they could trust that nothing would get lost in my Inbox. I had to specifically tell people, and sometimes SHOW them, that every time I went into the office, I went through the Inbox and looked at every piece of paper and reordered all of them based on priority. So that their item wouldn’t get buried and unseen under other people’s papers, or things that were pending.

      We also made a big deal of pointing out to people that we’d worked through the Inbox to the bottom.

      And I’d call them to say, “I took your item off the top of the Inbox, so you should see it move in X time.”

      1. Radish*

        Waaaaaaaaaiiiit a minute. You actually use your inbox for organizing your inflow? You do know that the vast majority of people use an inbox to hold papers they don’t want to deal with or don’t know how to categorize, right? :)

            1. Carol the happy elf*

              Sadly, I have a 3-level on my desk. “In”, “Out” and “Chocolate Reward for clearing my inbox.”
              That was the original plan, but now it’s In, Out, and It’s always Chocolate O’Clock somewhere….

        1. TootsNYC*

          indeed I do!
          And that’s why I went on at annoying length about the lengths I went to to establish trust in my Inbox.

          There were some pretty theatrical “I’m going to check through the Inbox now” announcements by me and my team; we made big announcements when we’d gotten to the bottom of the Inbox…

          The experience really did cement me on the idea of Inbox discipline. If you need a box to hold stuff, it shouldn’t be the Inbox.

      2. zuzu*

        I had a coworker who had a horrendously messy desk (and no inbox). You couldn’t leave something on his desk, because it would be indistinguishable from the explosion of papers there (I do not exaggerate to say that each of us (we had the same job) got a stack of litigation correspondence literally two feet thick each day to deal with. Most of it could be thrown out as irrelevant; it was very much a needle-in-a-haystack sort of thing, and we were the needle hunters. I’m not the neatest, but I threw out what I didn’t need to deal with or else it would get overwhelming within days. He … did not). So everyone would leave things on his chair.

        Until he just started sitting on the things people left on his chair. And then they’d start coming to me because he missed stuff; even though we covered different parts of the country, we each got the all the correspondence and acted as each other’s backup. I started getting annoyed and taping things to his monitor or his door if he really needed to see them, which annoyed him, but he didn’t clean up his office. At least not until the senior associates finally came over to our part of the caseroom floor and stood there in utter disbelief. She made some squeaking noises and said something about a match, and he spent a couple of days filling up boxes for the shredder.

        1. Candi*

          This made me laugh so hard. I can just imagine the look of shock at this pile of kindling (figurative and literal) that needed cleaning up now.

      3. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

        I like the chair method. But I would use your inbox if you asked me to. And truth is, my inbox holds anything I have not gotten to. So if something is pressing, it is better to put it in my chair or at least email me and notify me that it is in my inbox so that I can prioritize it.

        But again, if you told me not to put anything in your chair, I would not put anything in your chair. We all have our own ways of keeping track of things.

      4. H3llifIknow*

        ….not every desk has an inbox. I know a lot of people who find them archaic and annoying because they take up desk space and with most of us having 2 or 3 monitors, that space is gold. Literally nobody in our office has an inbox. But everyone has a chair. So… *shrug* But, we generally aren’t dealing with tons of printed material, as even signatures are more often than not digital now. Still…. I’ve been working in govt programs for 25 years and from day 1, people put things they want seen on chairs.

    2. OlympiasEpiriot*

      No, the best way to make sure they see it is to check with them what the best way is and then work around that.

      Also, I had a colleague who was on crutches for quite a long time. I only made the mistake ONCE of putting something on his chair. I felt so bad when he asked me not to…I mean, I really should have figured that one out without him saying anything.

      1. Anax*

        Thank you, that was what I was going to say! (Even if it’s a lighthearted top comment – I’m not upset, but I do appreciate people thinking about it. I’ve been the one on crutches, and it’s a bit painful to have to bend over and get things off a chair – or off the floor if they’ve fallen down.)

    3. NotAnotherManager!*

      My current organization does not even have inboxes. There are centralized outboxes for interoffice and postal mail, but not individualized inboxes. We are an in-the-chair culture, and, because of AAM, I just started telling people that in orientation. It’s not any sort of commentary, it’s just the way we roll here.

      Now, if you start putting things on people’s desks, I feel like heads would roll. The organized and clean desk people don’t want your stuff on their desk, and the messy people can’t differentiate the new from the old.

    4. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

      My boss actually does ask that we put things on her desk or in her chair, but we know where top put things and she has an organized system. She also knows and respects that I organize better on my computer than with paper, so she still gives me paper things (she is the boss, that is her call), but also sends me emails and understands I will scan and save to my file any written notes I feel I need to preserve. And I would never dream of not giving her material in the way she tells me to (I might print out a copy for her in advance of a meeting if she asked like OP, but I would just bring a copy for her and a copy for me to the meeting so that she could look at her own copy during the discussion. But I know her and I am well aware that she prefers that).

  3. Lucia Pacciola*

    Yay happy ending!

    But I need closure! “Best method” for what? I am unreasonably frustrated by the lack of inquiry into what exactly the person was trying to accomplish, and why they thought this was the best method for accomplishing it.

    1. Serious Silly Putty*

      My thought too. I agree on the general policy of “boss says to do X, just do X”. But also I wonder if Boss tends NOT to reply to emails/things get lost in the inbox, and that’s the reason why she thought physical would help. (Eg, “Maybe she puts off reviewing the document because it’s harder to mark up electronically”).

      1. Workaholic*

        This reminds me of prior job. owner had an inbox for invoices and items to review and order. After he missed ordering items a few times I started … turning the special orders sideways so they’d stand out. Then… digging through and putting the special orders on top just before he arrived the day he did orders. after he missed an order 3x in a row I brought it up… then it became my job to do the special inventory orders.

      2. Shuthmili*

        OP said in the comments of the original post that she usually responded to Slack messages within 15 min if she wasn’t in a meeting but that Lauren got anxious if it took longer than an hour to get a response. She also said that Lauren sometimes gave her the only physical copy of something (without telling her) and didn’t keep a digital copy. It doesn’t sound like Lauren’s problem was things getting lost (because if it was, why not keep a digital copy?).

    2. mango chiffon*

      I have a feeling that it sounds like she was doing LW a favor by “tidying” and that was therefore the “best” method by her standards. As a messy person myself, I really dislike people tidying for me because then I can’t find things where I know they should be, and I think that was some of the problem with LW

      1. Helewise*

        Same here. There’s definitely a point of no return when it comes to having too much laying around, but I’m very visual and remember things based on physical locations. Moving stuff really, really messes me up.

        1. I Have RBF*


          Yes, I tend to have a messy desk. But if I can’t see something, or at least the folder it should be in, it doesn’t exist. I would rather have it in an electronic copy, because then I don’t have to worry about it being buried – I file things in electronic folders, and can use a search function if I need to. I can’t do that if someone stacks random papers on my desk.

          My current PC desktop has Norepad++ open, and over 20 files open, with titles that are appropriate, like a ticket number if it’s related to a ticket. When I’m done with a project, I close the saved file.

          Yes, it took me a while to transition to paperless. But once I figured out how to set up files and folders that I could work with? I never want paper again.

      2. Hannah Lee*

        Yeah, people who think my desk at work needs tidying automatically get added to a special list of “people who are wasting time judging things that are none of their business and impact them zero percent”

        People who SAY it needs tidying? or worse, actually decide to *touch the things in MY workspace and reorganize them to THEIR liking* ? They go onto a different list where their stuff drops down 3-5 levels in my priorities. Because I’m going to be short on time to handle my normal workflow because I’ll be wasting time looking for the thing that was Right.There. Where I put it. yesterday and now is … Not.

        I’m a visual filer … there are, at the moment~ 12 piles of things in my workspace, each pile represents a different subject area of my work and a different workflow, with different deadlines, actions needed to close it out. I can find most things with 20 seconds … I know which stack they are in and approximately where in the stack they are. My work requires me to switch tasks, areas of focus frequently throughout the day, so spending time sorting and filing and putting the stuff away doesn’t suit the job or my way of working.

        Someone coming into my workspace and tidying it up to their preferences would be as unhelpful and extremely annoying as me going into their online organizer or project management software and re-ordering, re-categorizing, re-colorcoding stuff based on how I think it should be organized.

        1. Dinwar*

          Reminds me of some woodworking shops I’ve worked in. There are two kinds of shops: Ones where everything is in its place unless it’s in the person’s hand, and everything is meticulously neat and tidy–and if you put one screwdriver in the wrong drawer it’s essentially lost forever, and the owner will spend days re-organizing the place until they find it. And ones where it looks like a tornado went through a hardware store, with stuff scattered everywhere in no immediately apparent order–and if you put one screwdriver in the wrong drawer it’s essentially lost forever, and the owner will spend days re-organizing the place until they find it. Since the LOE for finding a lost tool is nearly identical, I never saw the point in forcing someone to be one way or the other.

      3. Sympathizer*

        I had a boss’s wife who used to do that. She would reorganize my desk to the point where I started taking photos of my desk before I left on the weekends. One time she took an important document from my desk and put it on her husbands’ desk… where it sat for several months because he didn’t notice it and I couldn’t find it. Hate does not even describe the feeling I felt for that woman.

        1. NotAnotherManager!*

          This is just wild. First, I admire your restraint. Second, I am just dying to know what her motivation was here.

    3. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      For herself.
      Lauren thought that this is the best method for herself. She has a fundamental misunderstanding of “best practices.” She thinks that what works well for her is best. Of course OP wants her to do her best, so she will continue to do things her way. When it works out, as it inevitable will, (because it is best) manager will have no complaints and maybe even praise for her effectiveness.
      Hence Pikachu face at being told to stop doing what I told you not to do.

      1. hohumdrum*

        Not to sow discord, but IME people who find it easy to adhere to a way of doing something that is tied to moral virtue on a societal level, like cleanliness/tidiness, are often incapable of recognizing that their way isn’t universally or inherently superior and will also often be incapable of seeing it from another perspective or take notes on how they do it. I think it’s because when you’re told all your life “this is just the correct way and all others are wrong” it’s hard to even recognize that is a mindset at all and not just a universal truth.

        It’s good to be tidy and morally inferior to be messy, so surely LW will simply have to understand her system is Wrong and the employees is Good and that’s that.

        1. NotAnotherManager!*

          I have a physical aversion to cleaning because of the cleanliness-is-a-sign-of-moral-righteousness brigade. (Not all neat people, just the ones who love to go on about how much better they are than you because they’re tidy.) Being shamed about cleaning ups my anxiety like little else.

          1. rebelwithmouseyhair*

            Yeah. My mother was a perfectionist housewife and I’ve spent my whole life trying not to be like her. I actually tell myself not to shine the taps because I’ll start resembling her too much. Any remarks about how tidy or untidy anything is will trigger me.

            1. Philosophia*

              As one who also had a perfectionist parent, may I observe here that maintaining 100% rejection is at least as exhausting as maintaining 100% adherence?

        2. TootsNYC*

          think it’s because when you’re told all your life “this is just the correct way and all others are wrong” it’s hard to even recognize that is a mindset at all and not just a universal truth.

          I have this pipe dream of starting a consulting/presentation company called Somebody Else’s Mother. I will go to middle schools and hold 20-minute assemblies where I teach the kids:
          -grownups are lying to you by telling you that there is a moral component to this stuff
          -there is always a practical benefit to things like picking up your room, vacuuming the carpet, being polite, etc. (Hell, even the 10 Commandments are a blueprint for a calm and smoothly functioning society more than they are a measuring stick to see how holy you are)
          -If the practical benefit isn’t important enough to you, maybe you don’t need to do it–but do think deeply about how far that practical benefit extends (maybe you don’t care about wearing wrinkled T-shirts, so you don’t want to fold or hang up the clean clothes—but will you find that others are assuming you’re unorganized, unreliable, and untrustworthy because you always look so rumpled?)

          1. hohumdrum*

            Or maybe you decide that you’d rather not associate with anyone who would just assume you’re untrustworthy based entirely on a wrinkled tshirt, in which case the wrinkled tshirt is a helpful thing to ward them off- like garlic to a vampire lol.

    4. Jo*

      I, too, was confused by what actually was being requested. The writer wanted documents on her chair instead of her desktop? She wanted only digital documents? She didn’t want the associate TOUCHING her desk? She didn’t want the direct report entering her office?

      Maybe I just missed something, but even with an update, I still don’t understand. Regardless, glad there was progress.

      1. Becca*

        She wanted things sent to her digitally in some cases or not sent to her at all in others (when she told Lauren to bring a document to a meeting so we can review it together in the meeting she didn’t want to receive a paper copy before the meeting, she wanted Lauren to bring it to the meeting).

  4. cardigarden*

    I still think that it’s absolutely bananas that Lauren (back in the original letter) thought it was okay to just go into LW’s locked (!!!) office.

    1. umami*

      Yeah, I’m really dumbfounded. I can’t imagine coming into my locked office and finding things that had been brought in while I was gone. If I lock my office, that means don’t go in! Just … come back later with whatever.

      1. Antilles*

        Even if you can’t come back later for whatever reason (e.g., you’re on PTO for several days or something), I still feel like the more obvious answer would be to put the papers in a folder and leave the folder in the hallway resting on the outside of the door so can get it the next morning. Or if you can’t leave it in the hallway, slide the folder+paperwork under the door.
        The idea of unlocking someone’s office and just going in to drop off some paperwork would never cross my mind.

        1. Anax*

          Or shooting an email saying “the paperwork for Project Y is on top of my keyboard on MY desk, ready to grab at your convenience.”

          If Lauren is out, she can use HER impeccably tidy workspace as an inbox – that sounds way less likely to be moved or trampled by a custodian or coworker to me!

    2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      The absolute confidence is astounding.
      Not only did OP tell her not to put things on her desk, but she locked the freaking door.

      1. I Have RBF*

        Yeah, I remembered that. WTF, over?

        Most companies where people had doors that locked had inbox type things hanging on their door or the wall near their door, outside their office. Or they had a desk nearby with an “in” tray.

        The sheer chutzpah of going into their boss’s locked office to dump something on their desk when they’d specifically asked them not to put papers on their desk is astounding.

        1. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

          And better still? She was using a passkey to get into that office, which means that she did not have a proper key, which should be a clue about whether it’s okay to unlock a door.

          I’m wondering who controls that passkey, and if there actually IS any control over it. (If not, then anyone can take it and keep it at any time, and now there’s no point even *having* locks on doors.)

    3. New Jack Karyn*

      Seeing as OP did not express any problem with that, I think it’s functional for that office. For example, the principal of a school will often lock her door when stepping out–but the head secretary will have keys and (generally) have license to enter when necessary.

  5. umami*

    I can’t really imagine how leaving items in someone’s office (absent an actual tray designed for such a purpose) is helpful to anyone. If you leave something in my office without some kind of a note on it, and in a really obvious place, there’s little chance of me seeing it. Conversely, I have never thought to leave something actionable on someone else’s desk. If I need something from my boss and he isn’t in … I go by later (or leave it with his assistant if she’s in and it isn’t sensitive). I wouldn’t think to just leave it there and have him have to get it back to me.

    1. Lady_Lessa*

      What generally happens to me, when I want to give our purchasing manager something is that she won’t be at her desk. So I go elsewhere to find a pen so that I can write a note about the info I’m giving her, return to the office and she is back.


      1. TootsNYC*

        there has to be a sniglet somewhere for that phenomenon–by the time you finish writing the note, the person has returned and you don’t need it.

    2. Dinwar*

      I’ve done it before. The third or fourth time someone says “Leave it on my desk, I’ll deal with it when I get back” I tend to assume that’s how they want things done. Given that my job involves a lot of site inspections and the like, at unpredictable times, it’s often the best way to get something into someone’s hands. Most of us even have specific spots on our desks that have evolved into the “Put stuff here” spot. And in most cases it’s pretty obvious what to do with the document.

      Not that my way is Right and your way is Wrong. It’s a cultural thing.

    3. allathian*

      I’m so glad that we’re 99% paperless, it simplifies things a lot.

      We also have a modified clean desk policy. My office still has named desks for most people, including me. But we get visitors from branch offices, and they can use any desk that isn’t in use at the time. I’m still remote at least 4 days a week, and although my desk at home is messy, it has to be uncluttered at the office.

      That said, this also makes it possible for our cleaners to do their job, because they aren’t allowed to move stuff on people’s desks.

  6. Hiring Mgr*

    “I also added some organization to my desk so even though it has the same amount of things on it, it looks much more intentional and less messy! ”

    Sounds like a win/win

  7. Falling Diphthong*

    So many things in life would be improved if we just started with an inflatable penguin.

  8. ThisIsNotADuplicateComment*

    Inflatable penguin? I need to go back and read those comments on the original.

  9. Ess Ess*

    A direct report has no business handling any papers that are on the boss’s desk, especially when the boss isn’t there.

      1. I Have RBF*

        Seriously. I wouldn’t mess with a coworker’s desk, much less my boss’s, even if it looked like a paper bomb went off. I would just… ask them where they wanted me to put things.

    1. New Jack Karyn*

      I think that varies widely by office. There are plenty of places where this would be okay, even expected.

  10. And the Skeletons Are… Part of It*

    She thought it was “the best” method in some kind of astral vacuum… and yet it was demonstrably not the best method to achieve her ostensible goal of you knowing her updates and documents. Neither was it the best method for her to look good to you, since you had explicitly asked her to do something different. And it also wasn’t the best at making those documents clearly trackable and searchable.

    No, it was “the best” in the abstract, the platonic ideal of neatness. SMH.

  11. Ms. Murchison*

    The audacity of going into your boss’s locked office to do something you’ve been told not to do because you think you know better… I just…

  12. SB*

    Love a happy ending! Although her look of shock after having already being told is kind on concerning…

  13. Ink*

    I can’t square the post-it thing as ANY best way. The print-outs, sure. There are many instances where those would be preferable, and most the variables are human ones. But the post-its?? Why would receiving a slack message, writing a response on a post-it, walking it to your boss’s office, possibly unlocking said office per the original letter, and leaving the post-it EVER be preferable? The scenarios I can imagine for post-it response to IM being reasonable are exclusively super weird once-in-a-blue-moon things… and most of them are “answer so you do’t forget, but if you can respond once your slack access is returned, do” variations. If slack isn’t down and you aren’t physically in your boss’s office when you receive the message… I think I’d need at least one of those to accept post-its instead of IM or actual conversation as reasonable

    Well. I guess the post-it thing would be the best way if you wanted to waste time. But if that was the motive here, I think we’d know! If you escalate to such a bonkrs routine so you can do as little “real” work as possible, this would NOT be your boss’s primary complaint! THAT person is either wasting time in many other more typical ways or coming up with time-wasters that haven’t been explicitly banned yet, the post-its would be least of their problems X’D

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