I got laid off months ago — now I want my stuff back from the office

By | June 29, 2020

As of late April, my company eliminated hundreds of positions — including mine, and is likely to shutter entirely at this point. However, I’d like to get back my personal belongings that got left in the office. In NYC’s Phase Two, can they require us to come into the office to clear out our desks?

Under normal circumstances, employees clean out their desks before they leave and are rarely allowed back into the building after their last day. These are unusual circumstances. where many layoffs occurred while people were in quarantine. As offices reopen, the precautions that will be necessary to allow employees back into the office will be considerable, so I highly doubt many employers would want to take on the additional burden of allowing former employees back into the building. However, if the business never reopens, the only option would be to try to make arrangements with the company to gain access at some point, since the contents of the offices will have to be cleaned out. Some employers might agree to ship personal belongings to former staff. I’m sorry for your job loss, and the headache of trying to retrieve your personal belongings is just one more challenge that has become more common during this difficult time.

How do you remain friends with a co-worker who is a Debbie Downer?

I don’t know. How do you remain friends with a Debbie Downer? Oh, it wasn’t a riddle, but a question — got it! Work can be hard enough without having constant negativity from a colleague. Chances are, if you feel this person has that kind of persona, then other people do, too, and that’s not a good professional look for anyone. The best way to be a real friend is to tell your co-worker that while you want to be supportive, it isn’t healthy to constantly view the world half-full, and they are developing a reputation. Maybe help them come up with an action plan to address what is ailing them. Or, shut down conversations that linger on the negative and make them put 10 bucks in a jar for every derisive comment. Just don’t enable it. You aren’t helping yourself or them.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. E-mail your questions to GoToGreg@NYPost.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com, dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work.

Living | New York Post