Personal Errands

Dear Employer,

We know how it is.

You had a stressful presentation this morning to some new clients who kept you an hour longer than you planned.  You have a report due at the end of the day and three meetings scheduled this afternoon.  And to top it all off, tonight is your daughter's birthday and you haven't had time to turn around, let alone pick up that GI Joe she wants.  At any minute, like clockwork, your assistant will go out the door for lunch. You yell from your desk, "You don't mind stopping by ToysRUs' do you?  Oh, and can you swing by the teriyaki place and grab me some sushi too?  Pretty Pleeese?"  

Are these small favors really too much to ask? In short, the answer is "yes."

One of your employees has contacted us and alerted us to this situation. You're going a little heavy on the personal errands lately.  Have you forgotten their job description? Did you mention "dog walking" "babysitting" and "picking up the dry cleaning" during their interview?

If you believe you have received this letter in error, consider the following:

-- Count the number of personal errands you have passed on to a subordinate.  If that number is greater than zero, then it is too high.

-- When you ask your subordinate to help you out with a personal errand, do you think they are (a)doing you a favor which you might reciprocate, (b)saving the company money by making your more valuable time more efficient or (c)probably enjoying the chance to get out of the office?  If you answered yes to any of the above, you are in denial.  Your subordinates won't ask you for any favors and they don't like running your errands any more than you do!

We know you are busy and corporate culture in America does little to help in your valiant effort to balance home and work.  But this is no reason to trivialize your employees' time by prioritizing your laundry pick-up over the multitudinous other tasks they were hired to perform.  It is demoralizing and disempowering; you employee who contacted us certainly feels this way! 

So get off your lazy ass and walk down the block to the deli for lunch or pick up your laundry at the cleaners.  It's a beautiful day out - you'll enjoy the walk.
Don't think so?  Think you're too busy?  Well guess what - so are your employees!

With all due respect,

(a.k.a. Electors for Excluding Extraneous Errands)

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