Workplace Need my personal things back from my old job!

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,765
6,812
San Francisco
I do freelance/contract work and near the end of January my employer terminated my contract basically with no warning (which is very unusual). I got an email on a Sunday night telling me to not return to work the next day. This has never happened to me before. My last day was on January 25.

Needless to say, since I got no warning, I left my personal items in my cube at work. I did not go through a recruiter for this job so I have no one in HR who I can ask.

A week ago I spoke with their third party payroll service, who said one of their representatives would need to go to the building and get my things for me. However, I have heard nothing since.

I didn't leave much of value there but I do want my things back. As a freelancer, I have no one "on my side" to get my stuff, and obviously I'm low priority because I don't work there anymore.

How can I get my things back? It's a high security building and I can't get past the lobby without a badge, which I'm sure they deactivated already. Do I need to talk to a labor board? Any other suggestions?
 

fr2nc1z

O.G.
Mar 26, 2006
3,068
0
Maybe you can call the general number for the company, and ask to talk to someone at HR, or security? Do you have a number for your supervisor? Or even the office number where you used to work?

You could always write a letter to your supervisor or the company requesting your things back by a certain date.

If they refuse, I wonder if you can contact the police about theft of personal property?
 

lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,765
6,812
San Francisco
Well the tricky part is that I was a freelancer, so I was never an "official" employee. So I'm sure HR doesn't care about me. I emailed my supervisor and have received no response.

I'm not sure about filing a police report. I thought about it, but it does seem a little extreme.

This is a large corporation, not just some rinky-dink place, either. I'm just floored that they handle things like this so poorly.
 

natalie78

Did you die?
O.G.
May 6, 2008
5,035
12
Texas
How about just showing up at the building and asking to speak to someone? It might not be as easy to ignore you if you are there in the building.
 
Mar 14, 2006
5,519
851
the lowcountry
How about just showing up at the building and asking to speak to someone? It might not be as easy to ignore you if you are there in the building.
that's what I would do. show up and go to the security desk and say hi, I need an escort to go up to floor x to retrieve my things. they will have to make some calls and it will force things into action.
 

SunglassLove

Troublemaker!
O.G.
Jan 26, 2009
2,615
16
Chicago
Yeah... I should just show up and talk to security, say you need to escorted up to your desk to gather your belongings.
 

LeeMiller

O.G.
Jun 29, 2007
6,282
72
Ugh, I'm sorry. Whatever you do I would make sure to do something in writing. Maybe cc a bunch of people - HR, the supervisor, maybe his supervisor? - and say that you need your personal items and if you don't get a response in 24 hours you will need to take appropriate further steps (and that this is your #X communicate, detail who you've reached out to) and frankly I would say that it is unprofessional to not expedite you getting your belongings. Things in writing tend to be more effective IMO.
 

mothbeast

O.G.
Jan 12, 2009
9,199
60
Have you tried HR anyway? Even if you were a freelancer they'd be the part of the company that was most interested in keeping things in compliance with employment laws and might know about general company policy about returning personal items to former employees. Otherwise I'd bug the payroll service unless you think you could actually get back to the office.
 

Jesssh

Member
Jan 20, 2012
6,493
201
I would do it quickly before they dispose of your things or before other people claim them.

I have no experience in this but maybe send an email to the person(s) in your work area who were responsible for your work letting them know you will be in the lobby at xx day and time to retrieve your things. Please arrange an escort. See you then!

Then show up (with a printed copy of the email, and maybe a list of your things), unless they make other arrangements to get your stuff to you. Otherwise it feels like theft. You don't want them to see it as abandonment. Chances are the people you worked with don't know what the protocol is anyway.

But again, I have no experience in this area. I did show up at a large corporate office without an appointment one time hoping for an interview (I was traveling from out of state) and the HR guy was pretty angry with me (over the phone). Oh, well.... :-s

Maybe think through what you would do if your stuff is gone, so that you can be calm if that happens.
 

Vegas Long Legs

Traveler
Nov 13, 2006
11,009
10
that's what I would do. show up and go to the security desk and say hi, I need an escort to go up to floor x to retrieve my things. they will have to make some calls and it will force things into action.
I would do this too. If they won't let you get your stuff, tell the security guy to call the police or you will. Security has to document when PD comes out. The building owner will want to know why the PD was out. Other tenants in the building will be frightened. Security will have to write reports on why PD was out, etc. Security will then call your office & tell them to get the situation corrected. He might even escort you in.
 

tangowithme

INFJ !
Mar 19, 2012
2,381
5
Europe
I do freelance/contract work and near the end of January my employer terminated my contract basically with no warning (which is very unusual). I got an email on a Sunday night telling me to not return to work the next day. This has never happened to me before. My last day was on January 25.
Lori, I'm so sorry!

I agree with the other ladies, after reading their responses. Yes, go to the building, and ask to speak to someone directly.