Big Box Watch: Companies want tax refunds to cut losses

According to, many large companies, inluding Office Depot and International Paper Co., are lobbying to revive a campaign to get refunds for taxes paid as many as five years ago, as losses mount.

At issue is a proposal to allow companies to use 2008 and 2009 net operating losses (NOLs) to get refunds for taxes paid as far back as 2003. Current law allows only a two-year carryback of those losses.

“The NOL provision is the strongest tool you can provide to help companies in a broad cross-section of industries weather the current economic conditions,” the CEOs wrote to lawmakers.

“It will allow businesses to meet payroll, retain their work force, help avoid additional layoffs and stabilize the business environment,” they wrote.

So basically, a lot of large big-box companies are in such deep trouble that they’re looking to extend the rule (which allows you to seek reimbursement for taxes paid up to two years ago) to go back FIVE years to try to cover their ever-expanding losses. I’m all for economic stimulus, but I’d like to think that there must be a better way to “meet payroll, retain workforce, avoid layoffs” and so on. In Office Depot’s case it’s especially hypocritical; they ask for government assistance with one hand and engage in all kinds of shady dealings with the other. Try offering value to your customer and provide a fair and honest work force, and I doubt you’d have all these money troubles. Seems to work for us.

Big Box Watch: Ex-Office Depot Worker Speaks Out

A CBS2 investigative report has an interview with former Office Depot manager Ed Kurkurian, who was fired for following orders handed down from his superiors to lie to customers about laptop availability. Despite initially not talking to the investigators who came to his store looking for evidence of misconduct, Kurkurian was later fired, with Office Depot saying he was to blame for instructing salespeople not to sell computers without warranties.

Kurkurian gave the interview to clear his name and set the record straight about Office Depot’s policies:

…Kurkurian reveals what he says was the company’s secret policy. Designed to get consumers to buy expensive extras on computers. One he says was handed down from his district manager to some Office Depot stores in Southern California.

“What specifically did he tell you to do?”

“Go ask questions and ask if they want a warranty. If customer doesn’t want a warranty, go in back and pretend like you’re looking for computer and come back and say no. We’re out of stock.”

“That’s lying to the customer?”


Despite the truth of these accusations already being revealed by an undercover report, it’s pretty damning to hear it straight from an ex-employee’s mouth. Though there will surely be those who accuse him of using this as an opportunity to “get back” at his former employer, the fact that independent investigations have found evidence of similar wrongdoing at stores accross the country lead me to believe that Kurkurian is telling the truth. Shame on you, Office Depot. Maybe there’s a reason your stores are “like ghost towns”. No one likes a crook.

Schedule C – What expenses can your business file?

Tax time is upon us once again, and small business owners, especially new ones, are likely to be blindsided by the sheer amount of tax information out there for a business owner. According to an article posted on Mary953’s “Caps” blog (a division of popular money site The Motley Fool), the 2006 tax code was the same word length as 10 King James Bibles. No one should be expected to remember it all.

In the spirit of compiling useful knowledge, I thought I’d link you to Mary’s post as it is indeed incredibly helpful in finding out what expenses you can claim. And since we have a particular focus around here, here’s an excerpt that stands out for me:

Office Expenses (18) – Office Supplies – Ink, paper, toner, pens, staplers and staples, paper clips, folders, and, guess what?  If you have an office with a public bathroom, then use that company credit card to buy hand soap, towels, toilet paper and the rest because it is deductible too.  Coffee service is here if for clients.  You can put snow removal, lawn care, cleaning service under this also.  Remember that the name of the game is to spread the expenses out so that you have something under as many spots as possible.

The links above are my own addition, of course, but it’s still cool to see that you can list all this useful stuff on your taxes. Check the article for a full list of how to get the most back (or at least avoid giving too much) this tax season!

Report: SMBs look to reduce office supply costs

According to a report from Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) have reported that they are turning to all sorts of cost-cutting measures in the wake of the current economic crisis. Thankfully for all those worried about their jobs, the report has shown that businesses have been able to significantly reduce their costs by trimming the often high price of printing and office supplies:

Due to their greater touch points and exposure, Medium Businesses (companies with 100 to 999 employees) are likely to be more negatively affected by the downturn and have initiated more cost cutting plans compared to Small Businesses (companies with 1 to 99 employees),” said New York-based AMI analyst Melissa Chong. “In a recent internal study, 77 percent of U.S. MBs and 47 percent of U.S. SBs, respectfully acknowledged that their company has taken measures to reduce office supplies and printing costs.”

Protect Your Identity!

Since our sister site,, is an on-line merchant, they are constantly upgrading their software with the latest security, and making sure that customers’ personal information is protected.  They take security extremely seriously and are always on guard for identity theft.

I was actually looking at a couple of our primary vendors sites and found some great information and products for typical consumers that will help keep your information secure.  Most of the tips are common sense, but there may be a couple of tips that maybe helpful for you!  Please feel free to add any that are helpful in the comments section.  Thanks!

FROM “What can you do to protect yourself.  Here are some hints:”

– Don’t leave sensitive documents on your desk if you are not in the room.
– Make sure your file cabinets lock.
– Invest in a shredder to shred any sensitive documents, including rough drafts, client correspondence and the like.
– Make sure you have a desk drawer that also locks. A locking cash box or safe will work if your file cabinets don’t lock. It can be locked and tucked away somewhere inconspicuous.
– If you are purchasing a product online, for business or personal use, make sure the site is secure before typing in your credit card number.
– Make sure you have a desk drawer that also locks. A locking cash box or safe will work if your file cabinets don’t lock. It can be locked and tucked away somewhere inconspicuous.
– Don’t say anything in an e-mail that you wouldn’t want copied and spread around.
– Keep your voice low when talking on the phone about sensitive matters, particularly if you work in a cubicle.
– Avoid talking about personal matters on the phone unless you want the entire office to overhear.
– When sending checks, gift certificates and the like through the mail, use privacy envelopes.
– If you want to make sure no one opens an envelope or package except the intended recipient, use tamper-proof packaging that makes it obvious to the recipient that the package was opened.
– Turn off your computer when you leave the office. It won’t be as easy for someone to log on and access if your information if they have to start the whole system up and enter a password.
– Don’t leave cash lying around.
– Don’t leave home addresses and phone number of other employees, clients or friends on your desk where someone might see them.
– Be careful of fraudulent e-mails that ask you to click on a link embedded in the e-mail message to update your account information, credit card information or other private data. These are usually not legitimate.
– Do not open attachments to e-mail messages sent to you from someone you don’t know. They might contain a worm or virus that would play havoc with your computer system.

From website: “Twelve Steps to Protect Your Information”
1. Guard your mail and trash from theft and shred documents or letters that contain your personal information. Shred any documents containing personal information that you no longer need.

2. Deposit potentially sensitive outgoing mail at the post office or in collection boxes.

3. Carry only the identification and the credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need.

4. Secure personal information in your home, especially if you have roommates or employ outside help. Believe it or not, even family members have been known to steal personal information.

5. Keep your purse, wallet or forms with sensitive data in a safe place at work.

6. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact. Identity thieves may pose as representatives of banks, Internet service providers (ISPs) and even government agencies to get you to reveal information.

7. Don’t use personal information, like your Social Security number, as a password on any accounts.

8. If your state uses your Social Security number as your driver’s license number, ask to substitute another number. Do the same if your health insurance company or financial service provider uses it as your account number.

9. Ask about security and disposal procedures in your workplace and at offices and businesses that collect your personal information.

10. Order copies of your credit report every year from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies or through (see inset). You are entitled by law to one free report each year, so take advantage of this important program.

11. Make a list of all of your credit card and bank account numbers with customer service numbers and keep them in a safe place.

12. Check financial statements promptly and report problems immediately. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. It could mean a thief has stolen your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.

Here is some information that I found on the 3M site.  The screens provide privacy protection, glare reduction, and they also protect the screen from damage.  The reason I like this information is because it shows how to actually measure the screen.  I hope it helps.

It is critical that you measure your monitor screen correctly to ensure proper fit of your computer filter.

Be sure to measure only the viewable screen area.

For frameless filters, the size must be exactly what you measure. For framed filters, choose the size that is nearest to your actual screen measurement or slightly larger.

Find out which 3M™ Computer Filter will work best for your work environment and screen size with the Selection Guide (PDF, 63 KB).

3M™ Notebook/LCD Privacy Filters Filter Viewing Area
Height x Width
Filter Viewing Area Diagonal Fits Monitor Size
PF12.1 7-3/8″ x 9-3/4″ 12-1/16″ 12.1″
PF12.1W 6-1/2″ x 10-3/8″ 12/1/16″ 12.1″ Widescreen
PF13.3 8.0″ x 10-5/8″ 13-1/4″ 13.3″
PF13.3W 7 15/16″ x 10 5/8″ 13 5/16″ 13.3″ Widescreen
PF14.1 8-1/2″ x 11-1/4″ 14-1/16″ 14.1″
PF14.1W 7-1/2″ x 12″ 14-1/16″ 14.1″ Widescreen
PF15.0 9″ x 12″ 15″ 15.0″
PF15.4W 8-3/16″ x 13-1/16″ 15-3/8″ 15.4″ Widescreen
PF17.0 10 5/8″ x 13 3/8″ 17″ 17.0″
PF17.0W 9-1/16″ x 14-1/2″ 17″ 17.0″ Widescreen
PF18.1 11-3/8″ x 14-1/8″ 18-1/16″ 18.1″
PF19.0 11-7/8″ x 14-13/16″ 19″ 19.0″
PF19.0W 10 1/8″ x 16 3/16″ 19″ 19.0″ Widescreen
PF20.1 12-1/8″ x 16-1/8″ 20-1/16″ 20.1″
PF20.1W 10-3/4″ x 17-1/8″ 20-1/16″ 20.1″ Widescreen
PF21.3 12 13/16″ x 18 5/8″ 21 5/16″ 21.3″
PF21.6W 11 7/16″ 18 1/4″ 21 5/8″ 21.6″ Widescreen
PF22.0W 11-5/8″ x 18-7/8″ 22″ 22.0″ Widescreen
PF24.0W 12-3/4″ x 20-3/8″ 24″ 24.0″ Widescreen
PF26.0W 13 9/16″ x 21 5/8″ 25 9/16″ 25 9/16″ widescreen
PF27.0W 14 3/8″ x 22 15/16″ 27 1/16″ 27 1/16″ widescreen
PF28.0W 14 5/8″ x 23 3/8″ 27 9/16″ 27 9/16″ widescreen
PF30.0W 15 3/4″ x 25 1/4″ 29 3/4″ 29 3/4″ widescreen
Glass Framed Filter Sizes
(Desktop LCD & CRT Monitors)
Filter Viewing Area
Height x Width
Filter Viewing Area Diagonal Fits Monitor Size
Large (L) (PF400L/LB, EF200L/LB, EX10L)(Flat) 9-3/4″ x 12-3/4″ 16″ 14″-16″ CRT and 15″ LCD
X-Large (XL, XLB)(flat) 11-1/2″ x 14-1/8″ 18-1/4″ 16″-19″ CRT and 17″-18″ LCD
XX-Large (XXL,XXLB)(flat) 13 x 16 20-5/8″ 19″-21″ CRT and 19″-20″ LCD
Framed Lightweight Privacy Filters
(Desktop LCD Monitors Only)
Filter Viewing Area
Height x Width
Filter Viewing Area Diagonal Fits Monitor Size
PF317 10 15/16″ x 13 5/8″ 17 3/8″ 17″ Standard LCDs
PF319 12 3/8″ x 15 5/16″ 19 3/4″ 19″ Standard LCDs
PF317W 9 1/2″ x 14 15/16″ 17 3/4″ 17″ Widescreen LCDs
PF319W 10 9/16″ x 16 11/16″ 19 3/4″ 19″ Widescreen LCDs

Helpful Hints: Making Your Office Faster & More Efficient

Many workers, whether in an office building or working out of the home, are constantly spending valuable work time simply maintaining organization of materials. As most know, doing this can be time consuming and as they say, time is money. I know I myself, as both an office employee and a college student trying to juggle a million different things at once, would like to maximize my efficiency so I can get meaningful work done quickly, and to take advantage of all the non-academic perks of collegiate living.

Luckily, there are many products out there that can be put to this use, making your office or study area more organized without spending the time, money and effort in hiring a personal assistant as I sometimes wish I could. And some of these products, for lack of a more Shakespearean description, are just downright cool.

Take the Wireless USB Modem, for example. In a tiny device about the size of your thumb, you get the convenience of mobile broadband access to networks, with a microSD card slot for storage to boot. Need to run to a meeting where you may need speedy network access, and running short on time to figure out the logistics of it? No problem, just take this mobile device with you and you can hop onto any EV-DO Revision A network. If I want to take my laptop somewhere outside of my workspace or office, or may need to use a completely different computer, I can confidently know that with this wireless modem and a wireless network nearby I can get my work done in the location I desire free of hassle.

Another product to make your office life a bit easier is the Scooter Rack. I know, having one job in an engineering firm with drawings and files everywhere, the office space can get pretty cluttered pretty quickly with drawings of plans and other necessary documents that need to be held on to, but in a discrete location. This compact portable rack can store half-size prints in an orderly fashion, and can fit beneath a desk, maximizing your usage of the available volume in your office. Besides maybe a trashcan and your legs, there’s plenty of wasted space under your desk, so why not put a product such as this to good use?

And finally, in the just plain “cool” category – the SILVER SEAL keyboard is fully submersible and dishwasher safe (believe it or not!) and made of special antimicrobial plastic. Everyone’s dirty little secret is their inevitable snacking at their desk, which of course leads to spills and crumbs jamming up your keyboard and causing headaches – with this product this won’t be a problem! (SEAL SHIELD)

Don’t spend more time than you have to worrying about connectivity, organization of files, and computer equipment being rendered extremely difficult to use – a smart investment in products like these today can save you energy, time, and headaches tomorrow.

Four Tenets of Office Management

When it comes to office management, there are some standards and practices you should always adhere to, regardless of your company’s specific product chain or your service industry. These tenets will help you to have a more successful office atmosphere, and keep your company on track for success in both the financial and human areas. One may be just as important as the other, because one naturally feeds into the other. You’ve of course heard the old saying about sharing the wealth.

An office that is making money hand over fist is a happy office, most of the time, or at least it should be. Of course, this won’t necessarily be true if the employer is underpaying the workers, but as long as that is in check, everything else should flow smoothly. The following are the four basic tenets of office management that can keep an office running smoothly.


Unless you are a company of one, employment will be a factor in your yearly decision making. Therefore, it is wise to have policies and rules in place for when the situation arises. It does not make sense to sort of throw your hands in the air and hire someone in a different fashion. That creates inequality in the workplace and confusion among the employees. Not to mention, things usually work a lot better when they are standardized. Does that mean taking the human element entirely out of the equation? Absolutely not.

No company should base their hiring practices on a set of rules so stringent that an answer to interview question (A) means an outcome of (B), or a resume that state (1) should always means (2) occurs afterwards. There should absolutely be room for judgment calls and the like. However, there should be policies in place as to how that employee is trained and brought into the working environment.

Project Management

One area where quite a few office environments fall behind is that of project management. Without strict guidelines and strong project leadership, employees are like a ship at sea without a compass or any sense of purpose or direction. A project that should have taken a week is turned in three months later. And whose fault is that? Is it the employees? Not really. Not if there aren’t guidelines in place about how these things should be handled. Without those guidelines, people in general are not going to work to the best of their abilities. Sure, there will be those who will rise to the occasion even without those policies, but they are relatively few and far between. It is much better to have the guidelines in place so that employees know their deadlines and have the tools necessary to meet them.

Office Furnishings

You could run a company budget dry trying to keep up with every piece of technology and office equipment on the market. On the other hand, an office could well be behind the times if the manager doesn’t spend at least some time considering what tools the office could use to maximize efficiency. It’s important to strike the right balance here. There are some great internet office supply stores that would be at home in the bookmark folder of any top executive. Take the time to peruse these stores and even sign up for email alerts about new products. That way you can take each product on a case by case basis and evaluate how it would help your company versus the money it would cost to purchase it. They will also let you do direct side by side comparisons of different brands. You may need a new multifunction copier. Do you go with Brother or Canon? These decisions can be made by carefully looking at price and feature comparisons.


This goes hand in hand with the last tenet. It is up to the office manager to decide how his employees will communicate with each other and with the outside world. With today’s technology, communication has changed in many ways. What was yesterday’s memo board is today’s email alert, what was yesterday’s meeting with a client might be today’s teleconference. Make sure you avail yourself of all the new communication options and implement the ones that make the most sense.

Reining In the Overpaid & Underperforming CEO

Corporate governance expert Nell Minow explains the relationship between outlandish severance packages and the risky financial instruments linked to subprime mortgages.

The boards of directors of Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and other financial institutions may have contributed to their massive subprime mortgage–related write-offs by creating compensation packages for their chief executive officers that didn’t punish them for failure, says Nell Minow, editor-in-chief of The Corporate Library, an independent research firm that rates governance practices. In fact, this approach to their compensation encouraged them to take undue risks, she says.

These CEOs were guaranteed outsized exit and separation packages, regardless of how they or their firms performed. And now that many of them have been shown the door, there is little hope that shareholders or directors could “claw back” any of that pay, Minow says. One important solution, she argues, is for more companies to adopt rules specifying that to be elected, directors must receive a majority of shareholder votes cast, rather than a plurality as is typically the case now (indeed, currently even if a large number of shareholders abstain, a director can be elected with just a few affirming votes). This would raise the prospect that directors could more easily be ousted by dissatisfied shareholders if they grant overly generous compensation packages. William J. Holstein, a contributor to strategy+business, talked to Minow in late January 2008 about her attempts to refashion the relationship between boards, shareholders, and top executives.

Interview Transcript  (S+B Journal and Mr. Nell Minow)

S+B: In what ways were the boards responsible for the current debacle in the financial-services sector?

MINOW: There were a couple of precipitating factors. One is that the boards weren’t paying enough attention. They weren’t asking the right questions. And the other is that they were creating executive compensation plans that had the effect of pouring gas on the fire.

You can see how it worked by looking at it in hindsight. All of the CEOs who failed got paid very well. Therefore, the pay plans had very perverse incentives. Yes, the CEOs did receive incentive compensation, but incentive to do what? If the incentive was to essentially offload risks — which is what happened, because the CEOs were pushing much of the risk off to shareholders — then this is what you get.

S+B: It seems that the vast majority of U.S. companies have more independent boards and more effective governance than they used to. So what went wrong in the financial sector?

MINOW: Generally speaking, yes, there have been tremendous improvements. Boards are doing a much better job than they did a few years ago. They’re providing much more diligent oversight. But in the financial-services sector, I don’t think there has been much improvement. In the very first set of corporate governance grades that we at The Corporate Library issued in 2003, Citigroup was dead last, even though Institutional Shareholder Services (another governance ranking agency) was giving them top marks. On paper, Citigroup looked like it had wonderful corporate governance policies. But on the two issues we thought were most important, the board failed abysmally. One was pay for performance — their approach was awful — and the other was how the board responded to the analyst scandal (in which Wall Street firms were found to have falsified positive research about companies in an effort to win investment banking business). Citigroup was the only company in which the CEO was personally involved in one of the most outrageous conflicts of interest and one of the most outrageous breaches of ethics of that period: the incident involving analyst Jack Grubman. [According to investigators, in 2000, Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill asked Grubman, the company’s top telecommunications analyst, to raise his rating of AT&T; after Grubman complied, Citigroup won a US$45 million assignment to help underwrite a share sale in AT&T’s wireless unit.] As a result of his personal involvement, Weill was restricted in his ability to meet with his analysts without an attorney present. And yet the board did not impose any sanctions on him. That is the definition of a bad board. They didn’t know how to respond when the CEO failed.

S+B: What could the boards of financial-services firms have done to help avoid situations like the subprime meltdown?

MINOW: You can’t do better than what Warren Buffett said to the people at Salomon Brothers many years ago: “If you lose money for us, we will be forgiving. If you lose reputation for us, we will be ruthless.” You make the situation clear by stating your intentions and you back them up in the design of your compensation program. If there’s any suggestion of bad behavior, the money goes back to the company. That’s the only fair and credible way. Any CEO who won’t come in on that basis is somebody you don’t want to bet on because he is not willing to bet on himself. The moral of the story is that you get what you pay for. If you tell the CEO he’s going to get paid tremendously for short-term gains even if he has an “après moi, le deluge” philosophy, then he’s going to go for it.

S+B: Are you now going to push more intensively for reforms in CEO compensation?

MINOW: I don’t know how much more intense I can get. I’ve been pushing for a long time. But I’ll continue. I’m enthusiastic because now it’s like a perfect storm; three different forces for positive change are coming together at the same time. One is majority voting. I think that’s going to be very powerful as it gets widespread adoption. Right now, under the law, a director who is unopposed can get elected with one vote because voters have only two options: to affirm a candidate or not to vote at all. Thus, it’s not very meaningful to withhold a vote. But as companies adopt the rule that a director must receive a majority of the votes cast in order to win, directors will know they can be voted out if there are a lot of abstentions. Second, the broker vote change will eventually go through so that actual shareholders, or beneficial holders, will vote for directors. (Currently, in many cases, large brokerages hold shares for individual investors and vote on their behalf without consulting with their clients; frequently, they join management in supporting their board slate and opposing shareholder resolutions.) Third, mutual funds and money managers now must disclose which way they voted on board appointments and resolutions under a ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We do a “naughty and nice” list every year of who votes for shareholder value and who does not. So that will put pressure on mutual funds to vote more thoughtfully. One way or another, votes are going to become much more meaningful. If compensation committees start getting voted out for signing off on outrageous pay packages, then I think boards will start to do a better job.

Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted by Strategy and Business Magazine (S+B Publications), courtesy of Booz, Allen, and Hamilton. Special thanks to Edward C. Landry and  William J. Holstein.  Reproduction of this article in any form is prohibited.

Three Simple Steps to Maximize Productivity

Running an office or a business means turning your office systems into a well oiled machine. To do otherwise means to lose productivity and thus lose money along the way. As running a business these days means taking every shortcut and advantage that comes along, you cannot afford to be behind the times in any aspect of your management strategy.

If you are not sure what we mean by office systems, or what it would mean to your company to improve them, here is just a sampling of the ways you can improve functions around the office in regards to the way things are run, and in regards to your employees.

With an efficient and smooth office system running, you will be able to find your contact information at the touch of a button, or at the flip of a file. No time should be wasted hunting down misplaced Rolodex cards or running around the office trying to find out who has what information on your clients, customers, or vendors. You will be able to get right back to clients when they need important information, or have a request for your business. You can submit proposals with lightning speed. Keep all of your projects on track, and don’t waste a minute with helter skelter scrambling at the last minute. Finally, you’ll be able to keep a close watch on your advertising campaigns.

All of this is essential to the office manager, and we are sure you agree. In order to maximize these systems, however, you will need to take some steps. This article is about providing those steps to you in an easy to implement manner. The important thing is that you start as soon as possible, as every wasted day doing things the old way is another handful of dollars down the drain, something few businesses can afford.

First Step: Find the Problems

In every twelve step program, the first step is admitting you have a problem. You have done this simply by seeking out this article and reading along. Now you need to pinpoint where those problems lie. It’s not good enough to simply say, “We’d like to be more efficient.” Without a concise description of the problem, there can be no solution. It would be like going to the doctor and just telling him, “Something hurts.” You have to get a little more specific if you want to find the problem.

In order to do this, you need to take a close look at every aspect of your office systems. How quickly are you able to get back to clients when they have a proposal or a request? Could that time be cut in half? How would that affect your bottom line? Take a look at your employees and see if there is any wasted effort or time going into tasks that could be automated or at least made more efficient. Make sure everyone is working the hours they are scheduled to work. If you need help in this area, there is software such as the ATRx Secure Punchin that can ensure each employee can only clock in for themselves. Do this with every aspect of your office until you come up with a healthy, specific list of things to be improved.

Second Step: Weed Out Administrative Time Wasting

A major blockade to the running of a successful business is spending too much time with meaningless administrative tasks. Yes, they need to be done, but is it cutting into the time you could be making sales calls and generating money for the company? The answer is undoubtedly yes, but administrative activities are an unfortunately necessary evil. However, there are many things you can do to make these tasks easier and more automated. Find out what these things are and implement them as soon as possible. There are some things only a human can do, and you should concentrate on those things.

Third Step: Delegate Authority

Many office managers and executives find it a sign of weakness to hand out work to their employees that they could do themselves. Actually, the opposite is true. Your talents are needed in the supervisory field, and that is where they should be put to use. Don’t hesitate to give away your more expendable tasks to those under you. That is, after all, what they’re being paid to do.