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: “We have an employee who some of us suspect is faking migraines so she can have time off or leave early when she wants.  She does have intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave, but every time she has an alleged migraine, she spends hours logged on Facebook or Twitter (from her home) or she is off running errands.  It is my understanding that if you have a migraine, you can’t function.  If you call her out on it and even keep pressing, she just lies.  Her behavior is affecting morale because our company adheres to a strict attendance policy. It is frustrating for someone to get an unexcused absence for being legitimately sick, whereas she calls in or leaves early at least once a week, and there is no repercussion.  Is there anything we as her co-workers can do?” — Anonymous
Question: “I am the office administrator for a small nonprofit that shares a building (and a boardroom) with several other nonprofits. Due to scheduling conflicts, we occasionally hold a meeting off site at a board member’s office. The board member’s administrative assistant always provides invaluable help in coordinating meeting details (and sometimes goes above and beyond by staying late to make sure everything is set for our meeting), and I would like to acknowledge that help beyond a simple “thank you” e-mail. Would it be proper to send a small token of thanks (such as a gift card) to another administrative professional?” — Stacey
Question: “I am the office administrator for a small nonprofit that shares a building (and a boardroom) with several other nonprofits. Due to scheduling conflicts, we occasionally hold a meeting off site at a board member’s office. The board member’s administrative assistant always provides invaluable help in coordinating meeting details (and sometimes goes above and beyond by staying late to make sure everything is set for our meeting), and I would like to acknowledge that help beyond a simple “thank you” e-mail. Would it be proper to send a small token of thanks (such as a gift card) to another administrative professional?” — Stacey
Question: “I would like to approach my boss for a raise; however, I’m not exactly sure how to do this.  I have been with the company six years, and my annual review is nine months past due.  Two other co-workers haven’t received a raise since mid-2007, but several others have received generous pay increases.  Although we downsized, certain people still receive great perks while others get nothing.  We no longer have a human resources director to protect the company or the employees.  I work hard as does my department, and we’ve been treated in such a way that makes us feel like we’re not entitled to ask for more. Any suggestions?” — JD
Question: “I would like to approach my boss for a raise; however, I’m not exactly sure how to do this.  I have been with the company six years, and my annual review is nine months past due.  Two other co-workers haven’t received a raise since mid-2007, but several others have received generous pay increases.  Although we downsized, certain people still receive great perks while others get nothing.  We no longer have a human resources director to protect the company or the employees.  I work hard as does my department, and we’ve been treated in such a way that makes us feel like we’re not entitled to ask for more. Any suggestions?” — JD
Question: “A co-worker thinks it’s humorous to make rude hand gestures. We get along well, but for no apparent reason, she will ‘flip me off,’ thinking it’s funny. I have expressed my displeasure to her both in person and in an e-mail, telling her it’s inappropriate. What’s the best way to handle this in an office environment?” — Perplexed
Question: “A co-worker thinks it’s humorous to make rude hand gestures. We get along well, but for no apparent reason, she will ‘flip me off,’ thinking it’s funny. I have expressed my displeasure to her both in person and in an e-mail, telling her it’s inappropriate. What’s the best way to handle this in an office environment?” — Perplexed
Question: “I’m a union employee and currently work a 40-hour week, but I’d like to cut back to 32 hours per week. I can easily complete all my work in six hours a day, as I usually go looking for more work each afternoon. How should I approach my employer and what should I say in a formal letter asking for this accommodation?” — Anonymous
Question: “I’m a union employee and currently work a 40-hour week, but I’d like to cut back to 32 hours per week. I can easily complete all my work in six hours a day, as I usually go looking for more work each afternoon. How should I approach my employer and what should I say in a formal letter asking for this accommodation?” — Anonymous

QUESTION: As we enter the back-to-school season, office supplies have begun to disappear. Does anyone have any policy or procedure in place to thwart this type of behavior? In your experience, will a firm but diplomatic e-mail help? It's getting expensive and embarrassing as large quantities walk away.— K. in FL

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