Before him going out on vacation, I negotiated with my manager on the specs of my new laptop (as well as the budget) and we settled on a model and specs.

Today, out of curiosity, I asked our head purchasing (who also manages budgets) to ask our hardware provider whether future hard drive swaps void warranty. The logic behind that question is me thinking what happens if a large SSD turns out to be a necessity in the future. Her response was, we should just change the order to the same laptop with a large SSD as she doesn't want to have to deal with incremental upgrades.

If I say yes to the head of purchasing, is this me considered me going behind my managers back while he is on a vacation?

side note: it is not about costs (as it doesn't cost that much), it is more about the principle of the situation as I could have asked my manager for the SSD at first instead of some other maxed out specs (less RAM probably).

  • 4
    Why not just stick to the spec you agreed on and avoid this whole possible headache?
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 15:03
  • That is exactly exactly what I am planning on doing Tymoteusz Paul. I just wanted a few opinions on the ethics of the situation.
    – itopsguy
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 15:13

3 Answers 3


How your manager chooses to interpret this action is up to him and there's no way we can know for sure. However, in my experience, people managers are mostly concerned with making sure their team has the tools they need to deliver quality work in a timely manner. If the head of purchasing has agreed to the SSD upgrade, I don't think it's likely that your manager will care all that much. If it were me and I felt that the SSD would help me deliver work faster, I would go ahead and say yes. Of course, it's important to take into account the type of relationship you have with your manager and how they've reacted to these types of things in the past.


You MUST ask your manager, not because you want to have the approval, but more because you are changing an already-agreed decision.

If you negotiated and agreed on spec, it should fit well as per your requirement. Don't just change it because "it does not cost that much". There's no limit for upgrade, as per that analogy.

That said, food for thought: local storage is always risky, use the organization's cloud storage facility, of available. Saves the whole drama.

  • 2
    ...until your organization goes through a "cloud storage optimization" initiative. Then use of cloud storage creates a ton of drama. Or maybe that's just my company.
    – Myles
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 15:57
  • 1
    "There's no limit for upgrade, as per that analogy."? Oh yes there is, if you look at the cost of a base model then go through and tick all the boxes (and did this with a mac laptop) you can go from about 2.5k to 4.5k so a huge difference. But just chasnging from one ssd to another may only be 50 bucks...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 18:04

Why not just ask your manager?

Hi Manager.

I've been discussing my laptop purchase with HeadOfPurchasing and we think it would be a good idea to go for the larger SSD. The cost here is pretty minimal ($notVeryMuch) - would you be alright with me going for that?



  • 3
    Possibly the "Before him going out on vacation" part of the OPs question?
    – Peter M
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 17:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .