I've started as an intern in a university research lab recently and am under the direction of a really busy professor.

To get paid, I submitted a cheque sample to my university's finance department, but they informed me that my boss has to send in the proper paperwork before they can do anything.

Problem is, my boss told me he sent in those documents, but the finance people received nothing so far. I suspect that, being super busy, he forgot about it.

How can I politely ask my boss to verify if he did indeed send the documents? I don't want to come out as only caring about money, but I would like to get paid eventually.


Make it out as if it's not his fault and ask for his help:

Hello professor,

I apologize for bothering you with this, however the financial office seems to have misplaced my employment forms, and I cannot get paid until this information is in the system.

Would it be possible for you to help me in this regard by resubmitting the forms?

  • I think this is a good way to start, but I would rather not place the blame on the finance department... Maybe I'm overthinking, but if my boss did indeed forget, I think he could take that as an indirect jab at him, aka ''we both know they didn't do anything wrong, so check your stuff''. Maybe?
    – user46126
    Jan 26 '16 at 16:44
  • @AerisFang - yes, he will know, and so will you. There's absolutely no way around it. If this professor has enough integrity then he'll just step up and admit that he is the one that actually misplaced your paperwork, and not the financial department. His reply will actually tell you a lot about him.
    – AndreiROM
    Jan 26 '16 at 16:50
  • 2
    I wouldn't say 'misplaced' either. A simple "the finance department hasn't received it yet" is sufficient and doesn't point any unnecessary fingers of blame. Jan 26 '16 at 16:52
  • Yeah, I guess you are right. I'll do that, thanks,
    – user46126
    Jan 26 '16 at 16:52

Stick to the facts and don't assign blame.

Dear Professor. I talked to the financial office today and they say they haven't received the forms they need to being paying me. Would you mind sorting this out with them please?

  • +1 that's the best way, don't beat around the bush and tell lies. Just tell him he needs to redo the form, I'd actually get a form and take it to his office and watch him fill it out, then take it back.
    – Kilisi
    Jan 26 '16 at 19:31
  • @Kilisi I explicitly didn't say that, and don't take the form to him. Maybe the finance office did lose them? If the boss wants to sort this out by calling the finance office and telling them when he sent the forms, that's entirely up to him. Jan 26 '16 at 20:02
  • That's just what I'd do, save time and hassle. Sometimes spoon feeding professors is the most efficient way ;)
    – Kilisi
    Jan 26 '16 at 20:05

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