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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 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
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
Question: "I’m the president of a growing company and I need help with personal stuff. I don't have time to wait on the phone for two hours with the water company. However, I don't mind paying my assistant to do the same. She is getting paid for her time to help me out. I think assistants who won't help out with the personal stuff probably already have attitudes that bosses don't like. I never make my people make me coffee or clean my office. But I do need help with bills and things like that. What is the problem?"  - Billy
Question: "I’m the president of a growing company and I need help with personal stuff. I don't have time to wait on the phone for two hours with the water company. However, I don't mind paying my assistant to do the same. She is getting paid for her time to help me out. I think assistants who won't help out with the personal stuff probably already have attitudes that bosses don't like. I never make my people make me coffee or clean my office. But I do need help with bills and things like that. What is the problem?"  - Billy
Question: What would the promotional career ladder or professional path be for someone who enjoys being an assistant and wants to make a career out of it? — No Name Please
Question: What would the promotional career ladder or professional path be for someone who enjoys being an assistant and wants to make a career out of it? — No Name Please
Question: "I am a Realtor's assistant, hired to do minor admin duties and prospecting on commission.  Two months ago, my boss was put on bed rest and gave birth. Since then, I have been doing nearly all a Realtor does (with no pay increase): client contact, open houses, paperwork, taking pictures, handling weekend calls--often I have to google to find the answers! I use my own computer, car and cell phone. My boss even asks me to drive her and her children after hours! What’s worse: she told me to lie to clients to cover up for her condition. I cannot afford to quit until I find another job. How do I handle her personal demands without burning a bridge?" - Christina
Question: "I am a Realtor's assistant, hired to do minor admin duties and prospecting on commission.  Two months ago, my boss was put on bed rest and gave birth. Since then, I have been doing nearly all a Realtor does (with no pay increase): client contact, open houses, paperwork, taking pictures, handling weekend calls--often I have to google to find the answers! I use my own computer, car and cell phone. My boss even asks me to drive her and her children after hours! What’s worse: she told me to lie to clients to cover up for her condition. I cannot afford to quit until I find another job. How do I handle her personal demands without burning a bridge?" - Christina

Question: “I am looking for a good seminar on ‘Communicating with Diplomacy’ or ‘Working with Difficult People.' I saw some local classes that looked relevant, however, after reading the reviews online, I’m hesitant to register.  Can you recommend any workshops to get this information?" – Melisa


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