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Items to be surplused

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Question: Our problem is that, when various offices have items that need to be surplused, many times, they end up in the basement entry-level alcove right in front of the elevator area. It doesn't block the walkway except on rare occasions when too many items are left there.

These items should be surplused by individual offices, but it just seems convenient to roll them to this area. I usually end up having to fill out surplus forms for each item to have them picked up. They've been told but they eventually start again. How would you handle a problem like this? Thanks.  -- Annette


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In a previous position I held I had a similar problem. It was archives of closed out projects that needed to be sent to our Document Management Facility (DMF). Project Managers (PM's) and their construction assistants would drop off boxes next to my desk without the required DMF transfer paperwork. I would look inside the boxes and their "files" would be completely disorganized. With 22 PM's in the office and countless projects of different sizes - it would take me all day to organize 1 or 2 boxes.

I consulted with my supervisor who was also annoyed by our co-workers habit of dumping tasks they deemed beneath their position on the administrative support staff. I asked her for permission to have the Vice President (VP), the chair of the weekly staff meeting, to annouce that boxes found next to my desk unorganized and missing the appropiate paperwork would be returned to the PM's.

The VP announced it during the staff meeting and the very next day boxes were found next to my desk.

I inadvertently waited until the VP walked my desk to start "struggling" to carry a box back to the PM. He offered to help me carry it and ask what it was...... Well, you can imagine he was not very excited to hear his direct order was not followed.

The PM that left the boxes next to my desk was used as an example. I stopped having that problem after the VP had to carry someone else's boxes.

I've read this a few times, and am not sure exactly what the problem is. It think that it is NOT your responsibility to move this stuff, but you are taking it on since no one else is. Have I figured this correctly? If I have, QUIT doing it now! These people are behaving like children and you are behaving like their parent - not that that is wrong in the parent child relationship! I would do one of the following.

1. Move all of the stuff neatly to the side and when it gets to be too much, step over or around it.

2. Check what department the stuff is from and so very helpfully put Post-its on the boxes so that they can be easily identified when someone moves them to storage (but between you and me, actually so everyone can identify the offenders).

3. Get a dolly and move it back to from whence it came.

These people are lazy and should not be rewarded by you or anyone else doing their work. That said, you need to not be sarcastic or nasty when you do any of the preceeding. Remind everyone that this takes a toll on your productivity and your own assignments when you have to do their work - and say it with a SMILE that reaches your eyes.

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