Email Your Boss

Updated on November 27, 2013
R.X. asks from West Boxford, MA
25 answers

If you were a pseudo department manager and your supervisor told you to copy or forward her on every 'all' email that was circulated in your department, would you? This would include everything-even if someone asked the team if anyone was going their route for a lift home, any body wanting to meet after work for dinner, or even if the 'all' email was a Happy Thanksgiving sent to the entire team.

The initiating reason was due to some risqué jokes that were sent during work hours earlier this year. Those have stopped, but the decision stands.

The team is very unhappy about the rule, but the boss wants it even if personal email addresses are used (as some tried that as a communication loophole) during work hours to communicate to the whole team.

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Featured Answers

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K.D.

answers from Jacksonville on

Yes. Even if you don't like or agree with the rule, its a directive. Not complying is insubordination. If someone wants to communicate something to someone else and doesn't want the supervisor to know, they can pick up the phone!

7 moms found this helpful

M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Why is work being done that the boss doesn't know about? My boss goes on every work related email I send out, whether I think she needs to be on it or not. My other boss has too many emails so I forward him the completed conversation emails so he has them.

So yes, you should do it and not complain or look for a new job.

4 moms found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from New York on

Ugh - I would HATE to be copied on everyone's emails. What a pain.

I think you should just ask her if the plan is still the same. Chances are she might not want to see all of those emails anymore.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

L.A.

answers from Austin on

I would honor this, but I would no longer email using my work email or the other employees email for personal matters.

Using my personal devices, my personal cell phone, my personal laptop, my personal iPad, my home computer .Do this stuff on your off time, using personal accounts and own devices. She cannot request those.

9 moms found this helpful
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P.K.

answers from New York on

Shouldn't be using company computers for personal e mails.

8 moms found this helpful

B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Yep - real managers do this.
If it's sent from company equipment/through the company network the company/boss can be held liable for complaints of sexual harassment or anything that could be construed as making the place a hostile work environment.
Risqué jokes are a big no no between co-workers and it's just not professional.
Now if you had your personal cell phone and texted other co-workers on their personal cell phones, the company/boss has no right to be privy to those communications.
A manager might be a bit paranoid - sometimes they have good reason to be - but sometimes they are just nuts.

8 moms found this helpful

O.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Yes, there clearly was a prior issue that warrants emails be monitored. I would REMIND your employees that the boss is asking you to do this and you WILL do it so they need to make sure their emails on company time are ONLY business related. If someone needs a ride home or wants to go to Happy Hour, those things do not need to be done via company wide emails. If I were you I would not be risking my job for something like this. JMO. Good luck.

ETA: lol Jim! My tea almost flew out of my nose when I saw your post! lolololol

7 moms found this helpful
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H.W.

answers from Portland on

I'm sure your boss did not want to be the Fun Police. My husband says this:
"Your company will probably make it clear in their policy that they generally own every bit of email that is sent through their equipment and systems."

He's an IT security guy. He knows his stuff. He also stated that anyone's company email account can be accessed and viewed at any time, even without their knowledge. (in the age of Edward Snowden, though, this should be a no-brainer)

My guess is that the risque emails caused more trouble than it was worth and that the supervisor doesn't like to have to babysit adults. And anything that's being sent to the entire team should pass muster with the boss anyway. My opinion is that when you are at work, you play the game.

6 moms found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Boston on

I would be annoyed but would understand her predicament. You work in a school, correct? Honestly a simpler solution would be for the school to do what business do, which is automatically monitor all e-mail. But assuming that that's not an option right now (that kind of comprehensive IT solution and ongoing monitoring can be expensive) then I guess she's doing what she feels she needs to do to protect herself, her staff and the department from the fallout that can come from inappropriate messages.

Really though...someone should research and come up with an automated solution. It's rather immature of your colleagues to have conducted themselves in such a manner at work as to have created this problem to begin with and then try to do an end run around her with personal e-mails. Your colleagues need to grow up.

5 moms found this helpful
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J.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Well, the boss asked for it, so you have to comply, or risk insubordination. You can get fired for that. If you are doing something on the sly, why don't you use your phones and email each other that way, and not use your work email, or computer for your personal email. I mean I can understand wanting to go out for a drink after work, but not wanting the boss to go. I don't see how you can get fired for using your own personal email, on your phone, on your lunch break.

4 moms found this helpful

V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Seems to me that not doing so, would be in direct violation of what you are asked to do and for the cited purpose, even. This has become the instruction BECAUSE someone sent personal inappropriate things. So personal stuff is included, of course.

Surely those in your department are aware of this, right? And even if they are not aware of your forwarding them to the higher ups, they DO know that using office email for personal/private reasons is subject to "public" review by the company.

I suppose it could be avoided by sending out "department wide" emails to the individuals and not as "group" if they want to continue doing that. Perhaps a reminder to your staff that "ANYTHING sent via company email is subject to company review" would be in order?

4 moms found this helpful

L.B.

answers from New Orleans on

A directive from your boss is a directive that should be complied with.
It sounds like the "team" is trying to circumvent the boss. You are not the boss; you admit that you are a psuedo manager - meaning you have no authority over the "team". So just do your job and follow the directives. Using personal email for business, to circumvent the boss, is an obvious attempt to undermine the boss and the department.

Honestly, it sounds like there have been inappropriate happenings at your office for some time now. Of course the boss wants to get a handle on it. If everyone is going to act like children, then the boss is going to get heavy handed to ensure the integrity of the office and its employees.

4 moms found this helpful
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D..

answers from Miami on

Your boss. Her rules. If the team is unhappy, too bad. That's what happens when someone uses email for non-work related purposes or sends inappropriate information around. This is a new school and they want to establish a specific code of conduct. They also want a particular type of workforce, one that toes the line. People will either fall in line with the expectation, or they'll go get another job.

3 moms found this helpful
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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

If I was told to do it, then yes, I would do it. I would not risk losing my job over this.

And I can understand the reason. If your company becomes lax on this and those jokes begin circulating again, the company could be in for a legal nightmare. So, "people" may be angry, but it was "people" who caused the situation to begin with. The few who ruin it for the many!

3 moms found this helpful
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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

I agree that it's micromanaging to insist that things like "hey, want to go to dinner?" need to include her. If she wants to be cc'd on all business-related email, then Outlook makes it pretty easy to make a team list. Then you can hit "accounting department" and everyone, old or new, is included. Now, if she's nitpicking things you send via personal email to personal email but allows you to use personal email on your own time at work, then that's a bit much. I suspect that the ability to access gmail or whatever is going to go by the wayside if she insists on being included in everything. Maybe everyone needs to have everyone else's cell #s and text instead.

I would not be happy to have to cc my boss to invite other people to dinner. What does she need to know about my off time? I had a nosy boss in a past job and she criticized us for everything, from the route I took to work to how my child was dressed in a picture. So I stopped being friendly and left the job. There comes a point sometimes where it goes from "professional" to "smothering".

I would ask her to clarify why she needs to be on "can I get a ride home" email vs just "this job needs to be done" email.

3 moms found this helpful

C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

You shouldn't be using company computers for personal stuff. So if you are using the company equipment? He/she deserves to know how his/her computers are being utilized.

Don't like it? Use your "smart" phone to send e-mails and texts...don't use company equipment for personal stuff.

3 moms found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

No, I would not email her everything. Having said that I would let it be known that I won't be a part of anything that isn't on a professional level as fair as the emails go, if someone needs a lift home, come out and ask for pete's sake. I think personal email addresses are a touch over the line at work ,unless on your lunch break etc. I personally wouldn't want my job to have any access to my personal email address or what comes to me via that email address. It isn;t anything I want to hide, just considr it an invasion of privacy !

2 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Well I don't know what a pseudo department manager is but yes, if my supervisor asked me to cc her on every email I would do it. I'm not one to make waves or question authority at work unless I see a serious reason to (harassment, favoritism, waste of resources/productivity, etc.) CC'ing a supervisor is a simple request that has no bearing on your job or time, so why wouldn't you do it? And why is the team unhappy? My husband's company monitors ALL communication, I think most companies do.
Besides, I imagine before long she'll tire of receiving a hundred emails a day and rethink her decision.

2 moms found this helpful
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A.L.

answers from Seattle on

Work email is for work, so anything that you put into a work email you should feel comfortable with your boss reading is. No one should ever use their personal email for work purposes... it's just bad form.

Sure, it would be nice if she wasn't so heavy handed, but since there were real liability issues going on, it is understandable.

I would advise my team to use their work email conscientiously and for work purposes only and find other ways to make dinner arrangements or asking for a ride home... unless they feel comfortable with the boss reading it and your company being supportive of this type of email use.

However your boss cannot request being copied in on personal emails and people are certainly free to communicate using their personal email accounts or texting each other during breaks. Most companies do not like employees sending out personal communication while they are on the clock!

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful
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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd think this boss is on a head hunt and you'll be helping them.

The boss, as the boss, has access to the server. They only need to get an access code from IT and they can go on the server and see each and every email themselves.

I'd research this and get the information to them. This way you're not tattling on co-workers and yourself. This boss needs to manage this activity themselves.

2 moms found this helpful
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L.M.

answers from New York on

Your supervisor asked you to do something. You need to comply with her request. It's that simple.

And yes, my supervisor has asked that our department do the same thing on occasion. I have no problem with it. If she wants to read thru all of it, that's fine with me.

2 moms found this helpful

R.D.

answers from Dallas on

Yes. That is what your boss is asking...except I wouldn't forward her emails that are to my personal email account. Then again, I wouldn't check personal emails on my work computer during work hours.

2 moms found this helpful

N.G.

answers from Dallas on

I'd do it. Begrudgingly, but I'd do it. A manager who micromanages, in my opinion, doesn't have a good handle on management. My guess is, she'll figure out pretty quickly that being inundated with emails is more stress than it's worth, and she'll call that off. As for personal email accounts, no. I would NOT copy her.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

I would first wonder if that is completely legal?? I would check with HR so that you don't find yourself in a bind. However, IF it is, then yes, I'd do as I was told to do.. I would also reiterate to EVERY employee... that ALL emails are sent to the boss.... remind them to NEVER use work email for personal stuff.. OR write anything they wouldn't otherwise mind having read in public..

1 mom found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Yes, I would. I let the team know that I would be doing it, so that they are all on notice.

1 mom found this helpful
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