Ever have a hard time returning office equipment?

hard time comic

Have you ever had a hard time returning office equipment? I have and I got tired of it today.

As a consultant, I get laptops from the clients that I help. When my last client project was finished I asked my supervisor for the mailing label to send it back. He never sent it. In fact, 3 months later I didn’t receive it. I noticed the laptop was dusty today and I was tired of looking at it. I went down to the UPS store and paid $84 to send it back insured, packed, and tracked. I wasn’t taking any chances.

In 4 days they will receive this laptop and then it will be their problem to worry about. I copied my supervisor with the receipt and tracking number and now I have done my part. I can hear you say, well this is just a one-off. Not really. I got contacted a few weeks ago about a former coworker who told me the same problem was happening to her returning a laptop from the company we used to work for.

Why am I sharing this with you? There is a twist. She said that the company wasn’t responding to her request for a mailing label and she wanted to use the computer for her own use. She asked me for the admin password so that she could reformat the computer and use it for her own needs. Now if I give her the admin password, I am helping her “steal” a computer. Fortunately for me, there was no ethical dilemma on what was the legal course of action. I didn’t remember the password and I told her that. Even if I had remembered the password I would not have given it to her. She had no right to use the computer when she wasn’t an employee. I am not going to help someone break the law even if I am no longer employed there.

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I can understand that for a company $1000 computer may not be worth their time to collect. Then why not give the person the password or unlock it and both parties are happy? It seems such a waste to let it become a paperweight. Has this happened to you?