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To Superiors

Guidelines : To Superiors

Complaining to Superiors

Guidelines and Alternate Phrases

  • State the problem briefly as it relates to company profits and efficiency, if possible, rather than to your own personal preference.
  • These mistakes have cost us $2300 in the past year.
  • This problem creates quite an embarrassment for our sales reps as they call on clients.
  • We could save approximately $20,000 over the next two years if we actively sought a new vendor.
  • As I see it, we are wasting proven expertise and excessive dollars, as well as risking the safety of our employees.
  • Investigate and suggest solutions even though you do not have final authority. By this preliminary work, you increase your chances of getting a quick, appropriate response. Include all the details the reader needs to take your suggested action.
  • Assume your share of the blame, when appropriate, or acknowledge the difficulty of the problem to be handled.
  • While a solution will not be easy, there is one that will be effective.
  • Although this is a difficult situation, I feel certain my proposal will begin a turnaround for us.
  • Although you may not have been aware of some of the most recent developments, I can assure you this will alleviate at least two of the problems that are obvious from my end of the tunnel.
  • Certainly, I can’t promise this action will solve all the associated problems with this project, but it will take care of the most immediate.
  • Although a solution is not readily apparent, I think you will agree some progress toward resolution is urgent.
  • Ask for a response. Show confidence you will receive a favorable response and don’t let your reader assume you just wrote “to get it off your chest” or “to get it out in the open.”
  • May I have your approval on this?
  • Would you please phone me with your answer?
  • If you agree, please sign the attached memo.
  • If I can gather any more pertinent facts to help you make this decision, please call on me.

Example 1: Sample letter for complaint to superiors

Company Name or Letterhead
City, State Zip


City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Murphy:

The absence of controls on the production of JXT is creating security breaches and data integrity problems that could cost us two months’ lead time on the competition.

Would you please implement a plan of strict controls against these production entries? The requirement of your signature on all new production entries in all upcoming phases would provide a quick and simple resolution to the security problem and also increase user confidence in our final product.

I’m eager to make this our finest product yet.


Example 2: Superiors Letter





SUBJECT: Conference room scheduling

We seem to be having continual problems in our fourth-floor conference-room scheduling. Misunderstandings and overlapping schedules can create an hour or more of lost time for all would-be meeting attendees. More importantly, such conflicts are a company embarrassment when clients are involved. Although there will always be some difficulty with last-minute needs, I think most interruptions and miscommunications can be minimized.

Therefore, I’ve taken the liberty of drafting some specific policies for use of the conference room. Would you please review my attached draft and sign it if you think these procedures are appropriate?

If you agree these procedures will enable all of us to plan and use our meeting time more productively, I’ll distribute the policy statement to all involved.


Example 3: Letter To Superiors





SUBJECT: Truck lights

Barry Groden tells me he is still using the two propane fork trucks without headlights. To avoid getting OSHA involved in this matter, can you help me resolve this situation and get lights on both trucks before Friday?

The original delay resulted from the fact that this special headlight was out of stock and had to be shipped from the manufacturer. I understand now, however, the headlights have arrived, but Maintenance can’t spare the time to send someone to our site to install them. I can imagine Maintenance hears people crying “Wolf” much too often, but this repair falls into another category altogether–danger.

Would you please make a call to Bud Adams at ext. 4500 to see if they can accommodate us on this problem before Friday?

Thank you,

Example 4: To Superiors





SUBJECT: Problem with Sunlight in Main Lobby

Our main-lobby receptionist is having a problem with the blinding sunlight streaming in through the windows above the revolving doors. On sunny days, she is unable to sit comfortably at her desk until midmorning or even later. In addition to her discomfort, visitors seated in the lobby have frequently commented on their discomfort.

I’d like to suggest blinds be installed or some kind of coating be applied to the window to cut the glare and to protect from the rays. If some solution is not found by the summer months, we will have to rearrange the lobby completely.

Please let me know on which solution you decide, and I’ll handle the details.

Example 5: Example letter for complaint to superiors





SUBJECT: Priority and Follow-up on Maintenance Purchase Requisitions

A primary goal in Maintenance is to minimize downtime and to keep all equipment operational. To accomplish this goal successfully, we need help from Purchasing–priority treatment and confirmation of requisitions.

Out of approximately 300 requisitions I submit per month, only about 30 percent are confirmed. I realize, of course, that Purchasing has a tremendous work load and has difficulty distinguishing between emergency and “normal” orders. And, of course, I know some of the replacement parts we order on short notice can’t be confirmed. I do, however, try to keep these replacement parts in supply to avoid this rush situation. Also, non-confirmation on other, standard requisitions has become a real problem in relation to productivity, downtime, and cost of repair and replacement parts via air freight.

Would you let Purchasing know of this problem and suggest maintenance requisitions get first priority? Additionally, we’d like follow-up confirmations on promised shipping dates. I’ve attached a copy of our requisition log from 3/1/– to 5/30/– so you can note which ones have not yet been confirmed.

Please let me know how these requisitions will be handled in the future.


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