I could use some advice on the following. I've noticed that after my supervisor explains what they want done, I realize that their explanation was somewhat ambiguous, and I need further clarification. I always ask for further clarification in a non-accusatory manner. I never say, like I do on a message board -- "man that was ambiguous" -- I know that kind of challenge is suitable for a message board, but not suitable for talking to your employer. I try to keep the further clarifications as breif as possible, and make good judgements as to where I should ask for further instructions to prevent my doing something wrong, and where I should use my own judgement without asking them. However I do notice that sometimes they start getting irritable, after I've asked them a few questions. Should I take a chance on doing the job wrong, rather than irritate them? Probably not. But what else can I do to make it seem like they aren't stupid and incapable of giving directions, while at the same time not making me look incompetant at understanding directions.
I mean, just "file these" doesn't tell me if they want things filed by date order, or alphabetical order, or invoice number. If it is obvious which it must be, I don't ask. But sometimes you have to ask, and ask again.
I sometimes preface my question with, I'm sorry to bother you again, but I want to make sure I do this in a matter you are satisfied with. They usually say, no problem, but sometimes I can see that they are very busy doing something else, and they look annoyed at the interruption, and I know they have hired me to take the load off of them, not give them more things to do. I would appreciate any further suggestions for smoothing out this sort of thing.