The Disappearing Act Supervisor: How to Get on Your Supervisor's Radar
If it’s the first few weeks of your internship, it doesn’t help if you are confused as to where your supervisor is. You’re confused enough figuring out where the bathroom is! Everytime you go in for your scheduled hours, it just seems as if they’re not in their office! Unburdened with tasks seems nice until you get bored and begin to feel out of place after you realize that you just may be the only person not doing anything amongst all the hustle and bustle. So, either your supervisor’s taken advantage of their vacay days and gone off to Timbuktu and sworn off electronics and any other technology for the time being, or they’re constantly in meetings. Here are some ways to locate your supervisor and get on their radar!
Keep up your normal routine for a week.
In the event that your supervisor does happen to be in their office during your scheduled hours, you will want to catch them during these times so that they will become more familiar with the times that you’ll be in the office. You DO NOT want to stop showing up during your normal hours in the chance that your supervisor has a particular task for you and cannot locate you.
Leave a note.
Something simple with a “Was in earlier. Hope to catch you next time I’m in at (time) on (day)! –(your name)”.
Drop by the office at a time other than your scheduled hours to see if you can track your supervisor down.
This will give you another opportunity to try and catch your supervisor during hours other than your own. Ask other employees that have cubicles or offices next to theirs to see if they know their whereabouts. Since these employees are likely to have been working there for a year or more and are constantly seeing and interacting with your supervisor, it’s likely that they will be able to tell you where they are, when they’ll be back, or refer you to someone else that will have more information.
Email is the preferred communication method of most businesses today. Most people also receive emails directly to their phones. Let your supervisor know that you’ve been in the office at your agreed upon hours, as well as going in during your unscheduled hours, to no prevail. Explain that when you agreed on your hours, you thought your supervisor would be aware of these hours as well. Reiterate that you want a quality job experience to hone your skills and that you are of service to them.
A phone call.
Most employers provide a signature at the bottom of every email with contact information or they may have given you their business card or their cell number in an initial meeting. It’s not recommended that you text them instead of a phone call, unless they’ve made it known that they don’t mind this informality.
Introduce yourself to others in the office.
This could lead to tasks to keep you busy. Not only will you be occupied while trying to locate your M.I.A supervisor, you’ll get exposed to a variety of other tasks that will help you develop your skill set. This is also a great way to meet other employees, develop work relationships and potential friendships, and get comfortable around the office.
Wait it out.
If none of these options have been working out to your benefit and you still haven’t tracked down your supervisor, don’t assume that they forgot about you! It is possible that your supervisor may have gotten the sickness that’s been floating around. They could be in various meetings throughout the day depending on where you’re internship is and the type of business that the company conducts, as well as your supervisor’s position within the company. Or that they may have had to travel for a conference, meeting, or presentation. If this is the case or they really did take advantage of their vacation days, your supervisor should be emailing you to let you know, and they should provide you with tasks that you can fulfill until they return. If they’re not emailing you, you need to communicate with them after the first instance that you would prefer an email as a heads up and that you would be happy to take care of any items of business for them while they are out of office.
This blog was written by Marissa Luna, our Campus Ambassador from California State University, Chico.