I feel bad asking my employee to clean up the mess

Dear Aunty B,

I have recently been promoted several rungs up the ladder and now need to have a lot of meetings in meeting rooms with clients.

When my peers have theirs they leave all their cutlery, cups, etc on the table. But I feel really bad doing that. The problem is I am rushing from one thing to the next and actually don’t have time to clean up. I feel like I am leaving my mess for others to clean up which is not me.

I am made to feel worse by this bitchy floor manager who gives me dirty looks when I ask her to clear the room. I have asked a colleague if he gets the same looks and he says no. On the one hand I have every right to use the same services as the blokes, but on the other I feel like I am exploiting other women, or one other woman, even though it is part of her job and without that work she probably wouldn’t even have a job.

Leanne,
Canberra

Dear Leanne,

Just take a second to read that turgid nonsense. Did you really write that? Did you mean to write that? Honestly. Someone outed me the other day and when I confessed that yes it is me that writes Aunty B, she asked me what sort of advice I usually give and I told her I spend my day telling bosses they are nuts.

Look, you are obviously a very nice person and I don’t mean to be rude. But one of the pleasures of being up the ladder is running around to meetings like a headless chook and not having to think about the mess you leave behind. That doesn’t convince you? Try this.

That cleaner goes to a restaurant on the money she made from cleaning up your mess. She leaves a mess for someone else to clean up. Do you think she writes me silly emails? Not on your nelly. She pats her full tummy, turns to her partner and says isn’t it wonderful we don’t have to clean up! Now back to work. How can you help your clients look even more fantastic so their boss gives them a promotion?

Be smart,
Your Aunty B

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