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Santa Monica College|Student Services|Career Services Center |Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week

Etiquette Tip of the Week: A Real Steal at the Office
Only a thief would pocket a candy bar or energy bar from a store without paying for it.
But what about those who pilfer pens or post-it pads from their employers?
Employee theft adds up:
• Taking office supplies for personal use
• Using printers or copiers to print personal documents
• Pilfering printed postage for personal mail
• Snatching coffee supplies or snacks provided for office use
There is also theft of time. There must be reasonable time for lunch, breaks and room for emergencies. Sometimes, we take a little more. Who hasn't been guilty of intending to spend 10 minutes surfing the web, only to find an hour has passed? A simple, "How's it going?" can lead to a 45-minute texting conversation.
I once had a co-worker who spent most of her workday planning her next vacation. Back from vacation, she spent most of her workday on the phone with friends, chatting about her vacation and sharing her vacation photos with willing and unwilling participants in the office. (Co-workers want to see 200+ of your vacation photos as much as you want to see their home movies.) Is that fair to the employer paying for her time?
Theft of Time:
• Personal phone calls, texts or email during work hours
• Non-work Internet surfing
• Chronic lateness, early departures
• Long lunches
• Extended coffee or smoke breaks
Many try to justify these little thefts:
"The company has an excess."
"No one will miss it."
"This makes up for the lack of salary that I get."
"I am entitled to it, because of the long hours I put in here."
It is wrong to steal from the store and wrong to steal from your employer. Be honest. Honesty leads to a better relationship with your employer and more self-respect for yourself.
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