I found out that some important office documents have gone missing from my custody. I am responsible for the lost documents. What should I do in this situation?


If you think there is a chance you can find the documents then search for them now.

If you are pretty sure you wont be able to find them then report it to your boss ASAP.

Don't try to hide it. Tell them it's your fault and show them you are willing to do whatever has to be done to rectify the problem.

  • 3
    You can also do the two steps in parallel. Continue to search, and tell your boss, which may get you help with getting others to search. Feb 24 '18 at 16:56
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    The sooner your boss knows about the situation, the cheaper it will be to fix the problem. Losing the documents may be trouble, not telling anyone and preventing action from being taken may get you fired.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 25 '18 at 19:00
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    @gnasher729: In principle you are right. But if you search for the documents yourself first and maybe remember you forgot them in the toilet and pick them up again then you don't have to tell your boss at all...
    – Edgar
    Feb 26 '18 at 0:32
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    It depends on the documents. Let's say they are full of PII information (such as health records) or even something snazzy like Classified Eyes Only Information. In those cases I'd guess it would be far better for the OP to say "Boss, I lost the goods!" and then find them 10 minutes later than to spend hours looking for them solo....
    – NotMe
    Feb 27 '18 at 1:36
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    @edgar: As much as I agree, given the number of times USB sticks have reportedly been found with all sorts of PII, I tend not to assume anyone has actually paid attention to training in such matters..
    – NotMe
    Feb 27 '18 at 2:08

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