So I have this complicated workplace where everyone is always busy. My boss is super. She has high expectation, work a lot. So everyone is working a lot too. I am new & need information for my current assigned task. When I ask my colleagues for information (relating to his/her work area), she asks me to ask Mr-Also-Have-That-Info.

For e.g: I want to have operation manual of a fashion shop. So my boss tell me I can ask the store manager. Then the store manager never reply to my email. And when I call her, she tells me to ask HR person becoz HR is suppose to have operation manual too. But the HR person left the company a long time ago.

I want to email all of them asking for the info and CC my boss. But I am new and dont know whether I should take this to another level. CC my boss is considered taking things to the next level, isn't?

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    Aside: "becoz" is unprofessional. – Philip Kendall Jun 20 '16 at 5:32
  • "I want to email all of them asking for the info and CC my boss." - do you mean e-mail all of them, or e-mail each of them? I would say e-mail each person with the specific issue. Whether you CC your boss in the e-mail might depend on your local e-mail etiquette. I would just take the CC to mean you're keeping your boss informed on that discussion. It is not "taking things to the next level". – Brandin Jun 20 '16 at 6:34

Email is lame for solving problems. Real problems get solved by speaking directly with people.

Several options to consider:

  • Do you need the information? Is it just convenient? If it is convenient, then work without it. Take initiative and address your work without the information. Make the best assumptions you can and make progress. Companies I work in rarely have the information I need. I ask once. When nothing is supplied, I create what I need and submit for approval. I tell people my assumptions, give them an opportunity to comment, and expect them to stop me if my assumptions are wrong.
  • See the people that have the information in person If you can, visit their desk / office / site and get the information. Follow up on reasonable re-direction. If the don't have the information and redirect you, follow the new direction and keep your boss updated. That way your boss can redirect you if the path is not fruitful. Visit people in person. If you can't get there, call them. Don't rely on email to solve the problems you have.
  • Ask you boss for help If your boss expects you to get this information and nobody is cooperating, ask for your boss' help. Their job is to organize, manage, and lead your efforts. Your boss should have more experience with the job and the company. They'll know if you're at a dead end and really need help.

Strike the right balance between: initiative, asking for help, and checking to make sure you understood your assigned task.

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    E-mail is not "lame". There are times when e-mail is optimal, and there are times when visiting someone in person is the best choice. – Brandin Jun 20 '16 at 6:30
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    when people are being uncooperative, a paper trail is the best way to go. – Kilisi Jun 20 '16 at 10:00
  • I was trying to communicate that email rarely solves problems. Its utility varies dramatically compared to meeting somebody in person. Most people I know complain more about and email not having an effect compared to visiting a person and not having an effect. – user3533030 Jun 24 '16 at 3:46

Cc'ing your manager is normal procedure if others outside your team are involved. Especially if they're uncooperative. A managers role is to act as a buffer between his/her team and the rest of the World and oversee the staff, making sure they get what they need to perform their tasks.

Just don't be frivolous about it.

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