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We currently have an issue that needs to be informed to my boss in a polite and professional way.

The situation is that we don't have any more delivery order forms at the counter, and we are unable to bring more from the storage as it is closed and locked with key.

What would be a good way to phrase this situation in an email to explain to my boss?

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    @Mawg Depending on cultural setting, I would not be so impressed employees would let them run out before asking for more as a rule. If it is just one time, that is ok. Jun 6, 2018 at 7:43
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    What are you worried will happen if you phrase it "badly"? Does your boss have a quick temper? Have you been reprimanded before for not planning ahead or doing other things "wrong" (in your boss' opinion)? Have you had this specific issue before? If any of these are true, your problem is more about how to deal with someone with a quick temper (for which the advice will not be dependent on what you need to tell them) or how to avoid doing things "wrong" in the first place (which seems too broad for us to help you with). If none of these are true, you're most likely overthinking this. Jun 6, 2018 at 11:06
  • If he's the angry type, he's going to be even more angry if you wait until it actually runs out before telling him all this. If you know now, tell him now.
    – Dan
    Jun 6, 2018 at 16:42
  • Unless it is a carbon copy type paper, couldn't you temporarily copy them?
    – Dan
    Jun 6, 2018 at 16:43

3 Answers 3

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What would be a good way to phrase this situation in an email to explain to my boss?

I would go with something like:

Hello boss. Sorry to bother you, but we just ran out of forms to fill out at the counter, and we can't get more from the closet as it is locked with key and we don't have it. How do you suggest we proceed? Is there a spare key somewhere we can use?

Thanks, user235133

However, if it is an urgent matter a better way would be to give your boss a call or instant message, so you can respond faster to this situation and avoid any consequences from not having forms to use.

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Be professional and considerate if they are off work:

Hey boss, I hope I am not bothering you, but we ran out of forms at the counter. The storage is locked and I do not have a key, so I have no way of getting them. Is this something that we need right now and if so, would you mind unlocking it for me? If you are not available, is there someone else that can assist us? Sorry for the inconvenience.

Also, to show you are a real go getter, ask how you can prevent this situation from happening in the future when he/she shows up to get the forms.

Thanks a lot for coming in (after hours) to help with the forms. In the future, how would you like me or other staff to handle this if it happens again? I would be happy to write it up and leave it at the desk for other staff to know how to handle this situation if it arises in the future.

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    Asking the boss to "come unlock it" may not be recommended or possible; some bosses are too busy to do such kind of tasks, or just not in the mood of doing it. Directly asking boss to come may seem to demanding or aggressive... the follow-up suggestion is valid, though.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 6, 2018 at 1:41
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    Do you have any suggestions dear?
    – user235133
    Jun 6, 2018 at 1:44
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    @DarkCygnus Added more congeniality to it.
    – dfundako
    Jun 6, 2018 at 1:45
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    @user235133 the course of action described in my answer is what I suggest. The follow-up stated here is also good idea after this problem is solved, but I don't agree on asking boss to come (at least not directly, that is why I suggest to say How do you suggest we proceed?). However this answer is worthy on it's own and the author in full rights to give alternatives :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 6, 2018 at 1:46
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    @dfundako better :)
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 6, 2018 at 1:47
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This is a routine situation and you don't need to have any reservations telling your superiors about it. (this is simply being proactive)

If you don't inform anyone you actually would behave unprofessionally, potentially disrupting workflow at the counter.

So like in any other work related conversation with your superiors inform them briefly but politely in the same tone as you normally use to talk with them.

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    It is a routine? More forms should be asked before they run out, not after. Jun 6, 2018 at 7:42
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    Being proactive would be to get the forms before they run out. This is just reacting to an incident (forms are out).
    – Daniel
    Jun 6, 2018 at 8:13
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    true, good point that it is reacting and OP should have acted beforehand if OP was there before they ran out, which we don't know. OP could have just started their shift. Jun 6, 2018 at 9:41

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