During my years as an office manager, there have been times when I sat at my desk wondering if individuals actually thought about what they were doing before they did it. Maybe I am old fashioned but my father taught me that when an employer hires you to do a job that is exactly what you are expected to do – – that job. You are expected to be on time, be honest and get the work done. However, these days it seems that recent graduates expect employers to overlook certain things. Some individuals even believe that the company “owes” them so it is okay to take a few extra supplies or goof off during the day. The employer owes you a check for doing your job – nothing more and nothing less – and you owe your employer the time you are at work to do your job. As a manager, the following five items finally drove me to the point of swearing I would never, ever hire another individual who could not explain to me the meaning of “work ethic.”
1. Your time begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. (or whatever time you are to be at work). This one thing drives me nuts as an office manager – employees who arrive exactly at the stroke of nine, take time to pop their breakfast in the microwave, eat and socialize for thirty minutes or more. If you want to eat breakfast at work, then arrive an hour earlier. I do not expect our staff to never chitchat or stop to have a break; however, I would prefer they eat breakfast, put on their makeup, get dressed and proof their child’s math homework before they arrive at work. Work is for work and you are not being paid to do your personal business on office time.
2. The office supply closet is not your local Wal-Mart. I hate back-to-school time each fall because I know that several employees will use our office supply closet to supply some, if not all, of the items on their child’s school supplies list. Remember, taking supplies from the office is still stealing – – we provide these supplies for you to do your job not to educate your child.
3. Same thing goes for the postage machine! I actually found an employee who would use the postage machine to ship her items she sold on EBay. Another employee actually ran her thank you notes from her wedding through the postage machine (one was addressed to the office and the owner). Again, office supplies and equipment are for job related matters – – not to print, copy, collate and staple your child’s book reports or birthday invitations.
4. Your office email address and internet connection are not personal. Facebook, MySpace, EBay and whatever other internet addiction you may have should not be brought to work with you. Office internet connections are for work – – they are not for you to Twitter, blog or browse during office hours. We attempted to allow employees to use their lunch hours to browse the internet; however, lunch began to occur at ten in the morning and three in the afternoon, in addition to, noon. Furthermore, office email is for office correspondence not for you to keep in touch with your high school friends and plan a reunion. Keep it professional!
5. Moonlighting is something done at night! These days everyone seems to have a side job – selling Avon, Tupperware or Arbonne, etc. I write articles in the evenings so I do understand how tempting it is to do this during office hours. However, your second job should be that – a second job that takes place before or after your first job (not during). We had to terminate an employee for operating a business during normal office hours (he actually scheduled meetings in our conference room). No matter how tempting it is to schedule parties, send the emails and run the mailers through the postage machine – – DO NOT. If you are going to have a second job, it should not interfere with your primary job or it could very well end up being your primary job.