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Can I keep company purchased books?

By shuff ·
I found a great new job as an IT Manager with a great company. I gave my two weeks notice, and my current boss is devastated. They kept piling work on me and I'm burned out. I have no plans to say anything negative to anyone here upon leaving. I've been very gracious so far, but the owner is taking it very personally.

Anyway, here's my question. At my suggestion over the last 3.5 years on the job, I have purchased several books with the company's money to not only increase my own proficiencyat my job, but to implement tons of new technologies that they couldn't have done otherwise without dishing out a lot of money on consultants or expensive training. Not that I'm anything special...I just took the initiative to purchase some books, and for the most part, spent a lot of time outside the office (without pay) reading them. Now, that I'm leaving the "family", they're asking me to leave all the books, too.

First of all, I purchased them under the pretense that they were in lieu of training, which my company could not afford, but always promised me I would get. Second, they are not proprietary or company-specific in any way (just programming books mostly). Third, the company directly employed someone part-time a few years agoto do some web development. That person purchased books with company money as well, and was never asked to return them. Finally, I still have books from past jobs, and to my knowledge, such materials were always treated as benefits or personal property.

This is a first for me, and I know that the boss is just being petty... I just want to do what is right. I don't care if they get upset at this point. Do I have a legal right to keep these books? I'll give them back if I don't. I just don't want to cause a problem, and then find out that I should have given them back. Please help.

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Gonna have to leave them

by madroxxx In reply to Can I keep company purcha ...

They company bought them so they are thiers. Besides if they have asked for them then to not give them back will definately cause more trouble than it is worth.

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No point in fighting

by Son of a sailor In reply to Can I keep company purcha ...

You're right he is being petty, but why risk a bad reference for a few books? Most IT books quickly become obsolete and if they are still relevant to your job, you can probably get them through your new employer. Since you used these books to create projects at your old company they may see the need to use them as a reference in your absence.

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Gotta Agree

by road-dog In reply to No point in fighting

Corporate purchases are corporate purchases. Leave the books, buy the more recent editions to replace them. Take the high road, you won't be sorry.

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Reference?

by brian.kiser In reply to Gotta Agree

I wouldn't worry about the reference--if you've already had words with your boss about the books, your reference is probably shot.

At this point, I'd ask for a letter of recommendation. If he refuses to give it, then you know where he stands.The books are of little consequence compared to a positive reference from your boss. Like another poster said, books get outdated quickly and you'll have to buy new ones soon anyway.

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Forget the books - take the . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to Can I keep company purcha ...

The company also bought you a desk, a computer, and so on, so if they didn't specifically tell you to leave those too, you might as well just take them instead - JUST KIDDING!

Forget the books - take the High Road.

Your boss may be acting petty, but it doesn't mean you should act the same way. The company bought the books, and if they want to keep them, then so be it. There's the old saying about not burning bridges, and it applies here. You don't want an ex-employer to tell a future employer that you "stole" company property.

Don't burn bridges. Go out and buy yourself the new and updated books if they will be helpful. And best of luck in your new position.

Maxwell

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Company books

by dgettere In reply to Can I keep company purcha ...

In the past, I have offered to pay some for the books - whatever a comparable value is on half.com and the owner was OK with that.

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Yep, they belong to the company...

by mlayton In reply to Can I keep company purcha ...

...in this case, you need to leave the books. In some cases, when the books were a part of training which you were sent to, you could take the books, because they purchased the training and not the books. But in this case, assuming the book itself is the line item listed on the expense report (or however you paid) it is therefore the asset of the company. I ran into the same thing when it came to subscriptions which I had laboriously cataloged, cross-referenced, and filed - had to leave them too!

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