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Raj Kumar Hansdah
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Manager - Hr & Admn.
We have only one office boy in our company. so he has to the all office work internal/ external. In morning he serve tea/coffee to all the office staffs then he leaves for his other work so he has to go out for all other works related with banks/ collections of paper or documents etc. So sometimes it takes entire day that he stay outside from the office. The problem arrives when anyone come to our office to visit or office or for any meetings to meet with our CEO at that time when our office boy not present at office we (any junior employees) were asked to serve glass of water, tea/ coffe etc to our visitors which is not at all good. But today i was asked to clean my coffee mug and another employee was told to serve the coffee to visitors by one of our senior. I did not feel good for all this which was happened. Moreover management is not ready to hire any other office boy as we have less strength in our company. And other employess has not raised any issue with all this. pls help me and give your suggestions what can be done.
13th July 2013 From India, Mumbai
This is really a ticklish issue.
Not many times top bosses understand difference between "cost cutting" and 'stinginess". Former is important for sustenance of the business but latter demovitates the staffs. Leadership lies in understanding this difference. Leadership lies in being empathetic. That is why you have bosses everywhere but very few leaders.
Cleaning your coffee mug is not bad per se. In many big companies I have found staffs clean their own plate, spoon, glass etc after taking meals in staff Cafe. However, serving the beverages to the visitor is individual's choice.
As of now you have following options:
a) Doing nothing. Accept it (with or without grumbling) as part of your job.
b) Talk to your bosses. Try to put forth the side effects like lowering down morale because of this stinginess. Someone may quit the job also.
c) Tell the boss to keep tea/coffee maker and also small refrigerator in his room. Let him help himself to serve his visitors. After all in many four and five star hotels, there are tea/coffee makers and top bosses make tea or coffee for their visitors!
d) Tell boss to keep tea/coffee maker for everybody. No service from office boy to anyone.
d) If the boss does not listen then quit the company!
Choose the option that you feel appropriate!
Dinesh V Divekar
13th July 2013 From India, Bangalore
Thankyou so much for replying me. I do agree with you that there are companies where you have to clean spoon, glass, plates after meals aftre meals. even my past oragnisation there was self service for beverages . We had to take tea/coffe from coffee machine own. Even everyone use to clean their lunch box after taking meals. But no one was asked with any seniors to do this. But here the situation is bit different that any senior order you to do this. One day my boss also told some junior supervisor for this. As i was new so i felt bad for that guy. So i raised this issue in this forum. whether this is correct? And what acion should be taken by me. we were about to hire new office boy but management did not agree. And even when we have asked withour office boy he also denied for this he said no need for another person he himslf can handle all the work assign to him.
13th July 2013 From India, Mumbai
I have a small suggestion for you.
I think your management people thinking about cost cutting and other things...
So just discuss with your boos about this issues and request him to hire another person.
or else,ask your boss to share about his meeting schedules and visitors details priory before a day itself.
It can be easy for you to manage the office boy to work for internal requirement as well external.
But convey everything clearly with your boss.
then only you can find a solution.
13th July 2013 From India, Chennai
Pls be upfront and discuss this issue firmly with your boss, but carry the solution as suggested by members.
All that needed is to resolve the issue that will be in favour of all.
I suggest to keep disposable cups etc along with coffee/tea machines and encourage sefl help policy.
And one thing more, Leaving ego aside, sometimes have to serve and feel happy abt it.
Your service with will never ever go waste.
15th July 2013 From India, Vadodara
These kind of things happen in small organisations. And people are expected to do these little chores.
Nothing wrong in expecting people do their own chores. If the owner is expecting you to clean your own dishes,coffee mugs because of lack of manpower, then it is justified to some extent. You should do this for yourself and for your guests, i.e. if you invite a candidate for interview or a vendor for discussion, then you should get him tea/coffee. And this rule applies to your boss too, He MUST serve his guest himself.
If he is asking you to serve his guest then he is disrepsecting you as an individual and as a collegue. The organisation is low on morality. You being in HR is in strong position to set these work ethics at organisation.
You must strongly protest this in the most professional & humble way. This is important for you and your collegue because this might be beginning of other things which may follow. If there is no protest, then tomorrow your team would be asked to do his other personal chores. Its all about drawing the line.
As my personal opinion,i would strongly recommend you to move out of organisation which treats its employees this way. Most of the time, trying to change their attitude towards work and employee is wasting our own time.
15th July 2013 From India, Mumbai
Your problem is very genuine one, like most of us face! Your boss must solve it. Self service is OK when you are helping yourself. But the problem comes when the visitors are from outside. Therefore, better don't resort to offer tea or snacks. Even don't express before visitors that you are in dearth of assistance; draw their attention straight towards the business which they have come for and attend their business needs with positive attitude, instead. They will be more happy with your attitude than the extra curriculum you offer them!
With best wishes,
15th July 2013 From India, Nizamabad
Thank you so for your valuable suggesstions.
@ Mr. Dinesh V Divekar. i respect your suggestion that Doing nothing. Accept it (with or without grumbling) as part of your job. because i have already tried my level best to convince them for one more office boy bt i have already told you that they have denied saying that less we are having staffs. and if they are not ready to hire one more office admin boy then i am not sure that he will be ready to keep tea/coffee maker for everybody. But i will definenatly put this suggestion infron of him. Hope this will help us. Thanku so much.
@bijay_majumdar and @Sheerine . I have already discussed this matter with management that we should hire one more person for all this. but i dont know why they have denied. i have started using disposals cups for myself too and have told to other staffs also.
@ Abhishek Patil. First time also the same thought come in my my mind that to leave the organisation. but this is very samll reason to quit.i do agrees with your statement that the way of treation their employees this way is somehow not correct.But they
dont have any problems it seems like that.
@Krishna Murthy. I agree with you that Self service is OK we are serving for us. But the problem comes when the visitors are from outside.I will discuss with all empoyees this matter. Because they have never told me any thing about this issue. I have only felt this when it come to me.
16th July 2013 From India, Mumbai
Its ironical to find that on one hand one claims to be "modern" by implementing self-service and on the other hand, general employees are asked to serve refreshment to guests.
If at all, the boss should himself get up and proceed with such tasks himself - even if it is only to set example.
Self- Service is a good thing; but then it should be limited to "SELF"-service and not Forcing to Serve Others.
16th July 2013 From India, Delhi
I would like to relate an experience when I started off my career as a trainee with a tea consulting outfit in Kolkata, some 20 years ago. The company's founder was a highly regarded and deeply respected Tea professional globally.
A few months into my stint, our office was visited by Shri Madan Dulloo, Agriculture Minister of Mauritius. As luck would have it, both our office boys were out. While the office was adequately staffed, we did not have anyone to offer one of our 'fancy' (we were a tea company after all) blends of tea to our guest. Against the advice of my colleagues, I went out and bought some snacks downstairs and on return prepared tea as could only be prepared in a tea company and served it.
My chairman was no doubt surprised but more so the visitor, when I was introduced. He too was of Indian stock! Once the Minister left, my chairman took me to the hall where the rest of us 'little people' (and I say that in jest) worked and praised me in front of my colleagues and seniors. The point he made that day has stayed with me these many years - "How would you behave and conduct yourself in the presence of your guest had this not been an office but your own home?"
It helps greatly if your boss/superiors are gracious! But admittedly, it is not always so. I have been mostly lucky, in that regard.
It is true, that this is a yardstick that I have followed for myself, and in my case, it has worked out very well, both socially and professionally (and yes, I still do make a mean cup of tea).
Raahul K Mukherjee
16th July 2013 From India, Pune
I suggest you to initially, discuss with other employees or colleagues and then directly approach to your boss and sought out the matter.
16th July 2013 From India, Lucknow
I can makeout of what must have gone thru ur mind anyways do onething All the employees become a Team with one person as Volunteer. Discuss the Problems with tht Volunteer and then all of you go to the Boss together and let the Volunteer act inbehalf of all of you.Talk to the Boss let him realise the Office Condition. Request him to appoint an Aaya (femal Attendant). So, that the Office Boy will look after the Outside Work and Aaya the internal Office Work. Also appointing her would relieve the streneous work of the Boy.
18th July 2013 From India, Bangalore
In japan everyone serve water or coffee in officer by their own only, there are no higher & junior job classification
all work on same level but this is just example we cant follow it in our country try to ask your boss for hiring
new office boy who ill be available for whole day in office, you can get with low salary also, hiring office boy wont enhance company's expenses. its deff small but tough issue when it come to employees dignity it will effect their performance too give this example to boss & hire part time (Half day ) office boy.
18th July 2013 From India, Imphal
However, it would be quite another thing, if everyday whenever any guests drop in, he is asked by his boss to get snacks from the market, make tea and serve it to the guests !!!
I am certain that when one is "forced" into such situations on a regular basis, in the name of cost-cutting, he would start having the same feeling as Ms. Supriya Pandey and her colleagues are having; and shall start looking at his JD once again with a magnifying glass !! Or he might be having doubts on these new methods of job-enlargement and job-enrichment !!!
Humour apart, in these days of employee engagement, when organizations are looking for fresh initiatives for motivating employees; such things on reveal the respect that such companies have for their employees.
In the name of self-service it is simply unacceptable to FORCE employees to serve refreshment to others on a REGULAR basis just because they can not say "NO".
18th July 2013 From India, Delhi
Not in japan but in many developed countries and even some MNC's in india there' self service has been followed and it's really good as well as if you talk about the work culture then in top MNC's or in company that follows US or UK culture there;s nothing like senior or junior employees all are treated with same respect.
But here, the case is totally different as self serving or serving in courtesy is totally different from obeying your senior for such things. Isn't it.
20th July 2013 From India, Lucknow
It is an ill treatment and the ethics were simply abused. But we, the poor employees can't protest it and ultimately we have to move out. But before we leave the reason must be spelt out . That is self respect. Decision will be upto your chances to have another job immediately.
22nd July 2013 From India, Guwahati