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Old 06-07-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,159 posts, read 11,761,610 times
Reputation: 32137

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I work on a medical campus in an office suite that has a mix of private offices and cubicle workstations. There is no reception area. As it happens, there are people from 4 different departments of this same employer, sharing this space. There is a sign at the front door of the suite that details who works here, but it's admittedly not the most obvious thing in the world that we are spread between so many different departments.

Someone just poked their head into my office to say that they were here for a meeting with a different person who happens to be in an office on the other side of the suite. I looked blankly at him, point him back across the office suite and said "that person's office is over there." He said oh, no one was over there.

So a) what am I supposed to do about that, and b) isn't it somewhat rude to interrupt a person working in a private office with the assumption that they can help you with what is essentially a receptionist question, never mind that I don't even work in the same department.

I'm in a private office which, as in most workplaces these days, are limited to people who are typically in a higher level position especially in a work area where some people are in cubicles but others aren't. Am I being elitist to think that someone should realize that people with private offices are not fair game to interrupt just because the person they came to see doesn't happen to be in their own office?
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
22,533 posts, read 24,125,101 times
Reputation: 48896
If your door was not shut, there is no front des, signage is poor, and this person was unfamiliar with your workspace and didn't know where to go, I don't think it was completely unreasonable for them to find someone to ask.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,159 posts, read 11,761,610 times
Reputation: 32137
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetiebelle View Post
If your door was not shut, there is no front des, signage is poor, and this person was unfamiliar with your workspace and didn't know where to go, I don't think it was completely unreasonable for them to find someone to ask.
Ask what though? He was able to find her office, because he's the one who told me she wasn't in it. Even if we worked in the same department, would you assume that random co-workers keep track of where all of their colleagues are all day long? I'm honestly not sure what he even expected me to do, to be honest.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:22 AM
 
Location: KY
579 posts, read 136,472 times
Reputation: 1320
I worked in hospitals for 12 years in the maintenance dept. One of my duties was putting up signage when requested. It does not take long to see that people become "sign blind" in large buildings. They find it much easier at times, to just ask someone sitting at a desk for what they need to know, rather than to take the time to read the column of signs before them.

So the OP may be in for a long haul until the configuration of the entry way is reconfigured, to make it plain to people that she is not the receptionist ...for all the departments.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:42 AM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,456 posts, read 14,303,163 times
Reputation: 23200
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
Ask what though? He was able to find her office, because he's the one who told me she wasn't in it. Even if we worked in the same department, would you assume that random co-workers keep track of where all of their colleagues are all day long? I'm honestly not sure what he even expected me to do, to be honest.
I would assume that if the person who WAS supposed to be in their office for a meeting was not there, that they might have told a coworker they were expecting someone and left word for them. I'm sure it was annoying to be interrupted but you can't blame someone for being confused if they showed up for a meeting and only found an empty office. He probably had no clue that you were not working for the same department if your offices are all together. I'd probably look around for someone who looked like they might be in a position to know what was going on in the work space (not just a cubicle worker) too. Your co-worker deserves a few lashes with a wet noodle for creating the situation in the first place.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,159 posts, read 11,761,610 times
Reputation: 32137
Quote:
Originally Posted by greglovesoldtrucks View Post
I worked in hospitals for 12 years in the maintenance dept. One of my duties was putting up signage when requested. It does not take long to see that people become "sign blind" in large buildings. They find it much easier at times, to just ask someone sitting at a desk for what they need to know, rather than to take the time to read the column of signs before them.

So the OP may be in for a long haul until the configuration of the entry way is reconfigured, to make it plain to people that she is not the receptionist ...for all the departments.
My office isn't in the entry way, he wandered through the suite to find me. I don't actually know if there were people sitting in any of the cubicles that he passed as I can't see them from my desk.

This is not something that routinely happens, which is why I posted about it, because it seemed so odd to me.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,336 posts, read 3,476,764 times
Reputation: 1516
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
Ask what though? He was able to find her office, because he's the one who told me she wasn't in it. Even if we worked in the same department, would you assume that random co-workers keep track of where all of their colleagues are all day long? I'm honestly not sure what he even expected me to do, to be honest.
I worked for a large company. We were a branch office and we had a corporate office in another state. I would have people call our office looking for employees that worked in the corporate office. I would explain that they do not work in this office. They would acknowledge that they knew that but they were calling us because the corporate person wasn't returning their calls or emails or whatever. They would ask if I knew if they were in the office or if I could give them a message. Why would you call an office in a whole 'nother state?! Do I really know why the person isn't responding to you? How would I know if they are in the office?

I know corporate only had an automated voice system - no receptionist - and it frustrated people who wanted quick human communication but sometimes people just don't think. This also happened quite often.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:51 AM
 
6,839 posts, read 3,710,891 times
Reputation: 18078
No it wasn't rude and no, private offices don't confer special privileges. When you work in a group area, people will ask someone in the area if they can't find who they are looking for. It's reasonable to ask nearby coworkers if they know where someone might be.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,024 posts, read 21,723,664 times
Reputation: 22191
I don't see anything wrong with it. Who is the person supposed to ask for help? They probably walked around trying to find the person they were going to meet, someone to ask if they knew where the person was, something.

It isn't unreasonable at all. If your office doesn't have someone to be the 'front desk' it is on everyone in the work space to help out.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:32 PM
 
10,058 posts, read 4,651,831 times
Reputation: 15280
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
with what is essentially a receptionist question
so did you hire a receptionist? because its your job until you make it someone else's
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