Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

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Question: "I am an administrative assistant with my own office, which is also the entrance to the building. My co-workers are all in the building next door and share one room.  Only my boss and I work in this building. Occasionally, my co-workers (and even contractors!) will come behind my desk. I feel this is overstepping and invading my personal space. I don’t walk up to their desks and take their pens and pencils or begin reading their paperwork. How do I stop this? They don’t dare do this to my boss; why do they think it is OK to do this to me?" — Christine
Question: "I work in an office where we don't have clients come in, but do have many visitors who meet with my boss. My boss switched the soft rock overhead music to what he calls classical. It is ballad symphony music and literally either puts me to sleep or makes me irritated. The soft rock music made for a pleasant work environment and was not inappropriate. We can't even listen to our own iPod music devices. Should I make a big fuss over this or just let it go and deal?" —Laura
Question: "I work in an office where we don't have clients come in, but do have many visitors who meet with my boss. My boss switched the soft rock overhead music to what he calls classical. It is ballad symphony music and literally either puts me to sleep or makes me irritated. The soft rock music made for a pleasant work environment and was not inappropriate. We can't even listen to our own iPod music devices. Should I make a big fuss over this or just let it go and deal?" —Laura

Question: “My company gives awards (bonus checks) to employees who have worked 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. In the past we've gone from inviting the entire company to an annual dinner where those being honored were presented their checks to only the honorees and their supervisors attending the dinner.  This year, we're considering cutting back even more.  I'd like to learn how other companies honor their long standing employees. Thanks!" —Terri Vanias

Question: “My company gives awards (bonus checks) to employees who have worked 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. In the past we've gone from inviting the entire company to an annual dinner where those being honored were presented their checks to only the honorees and their supervisors attending the dinner.  This year, we're considering cutting back even more.  I'd like to learn how other companies honor their long standing employees. Thanks!" —Terri Vanias

Question: “I am a receptionist at a large, very busy long-term care facility. I was disciplined for a mistake I made. I owned up to the mistake and that is not my issue. My issue is that my supervisor did the write-up, at my desk, while the phones were ringing, residents were asking questions and other staff were waiting for their paychecks. The HR director also came out and stood next to my desk while this was going on, I suppose in an attempt to make it seem like this was done properly, but it most certainly was not. I know nothing can be done after the fact, but I needed to vent. Can you offer me some professional feedback and advice?” — Gwen
Question: “I am a receptionist at a large, very busy long-term care facility. I was disciplined for a mistake I made. I owned up to the mistake and that is not my issue. My issue is that my supervisor did the write-up, at my desk, while the phones were ringing, residents were asking questions and other staff were waiting for their paychecks. The HR director also came out and stood next to my desk while this was going on, I suppose in an attempt to make it seem like this was done properly, but it most certainly was not. I know nothing can be done after the fact, but I needed to vent. Can you offer me some professional feedback and advice?” — Gwen
Question: “I have been in my executive assistant position for six months. I have seven years' experience as an admin and am extremely organized. One of my priorities is to get my boss’s office organized. She does not have a system; there are papers all over the desk, in boxes and in drawers. She is very hands-on and wants access to her files, so they must stay in her office. How do I start the process of weeding through and finding homes for everything?  She is always multitasking and there is never enough uninterrupted time to sit down with her to get organized. Because I am fairly new, I don’t yet have a full understanding of which files can be stored or purged, so she has to assist me in this process. Any suggestions?”   —Anonymous
Question: “I have been in my executive assistant position for six months. I have seven years' experience as an admin and am extremely organized. One of my priorities is to get my boss’s office organized. She does not have a system; there are papers all over the desk, in boxes and in drawers. She is very hands-on and wants access to her files, so they must stay in her office. How do I start the process of weeding through and finding homes for everything?  She is always multitasking and there is never enough uninterrupted time to sit down with her to get organized. Because I am fairly new, I don’t yet have a full understanding of which files can be stored or purged, so she has to assist me in this process. Any suggestions?”   —Anonymous
Question: "Is it ever appropriate to let a co-worker know why people don't like her? I just finished working on a big project with a peer and found it so stressful that I simply cannot work on that same project next year. She disrupts meetings with too many questions, often asked in a demeaning way. She doesn't listen, talks too much and rarely allows anyone else to get an idea heard … if we do, she still finds a way to say we'll do it her way. She's very intelligent and is able to help out in many ways, but she rubs people the wrong way. This project raises money. It was not a plus having her involved because everyone shuts down as soon as she appears. I ended up frustrated and even unwilling to participate by the project's end. HELP!"   —Frustrated
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