A reader writes: “I work in a small office that has a cleaning service that cleans after hours. Recently, I came back to the office to pick up some paper work and noted that the cleaning crew was watching a ballgame in the break room and consuming food from our snacks and refrigerator. Do you consider this professional behavior?”

The short answer is no and the longer answer is heck NO! When we checked into the background of this cleaning service it was determined that they were the low bid (by a substantial margin) and promised a lot more than they are producing at this time. Although the specs call for some type of uniform and ID (identification card) system, not one of the crew in your building had either. The simplest approach would be for all workers to wear dark slacks/skirts (based on gender) and a company logo-type shirt. There are plenty of ID making systems and services that can generate a picture, name and company information.

It is totally unacceptable for them to be eating your food but it turns out that another of your staff has been very generous with leftover pizza and food from events so over time these workers took for granted that it was OK to take their break and save a few dollars by taking advantage of the free food. It appears that your company needs to develop a clear message as to what can and cannot be consumed by this crew if you decide to keep them as a cleaning service. Since there were mixed messages from and a history of being generous with the crew, I suggest a face to face meeting with the management team to clarify the rules from this point forward.

I am more concerned with the lack of supervision and accountability that appears to be getting worse over time. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net