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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.

Question: “I work for a nonprofit organization where only a few staff members occasionally bring in a treat for the monthly staff meeting. We all bring our own coffee or water. Is this the norm for nonprofit organizations? I personally feel that the association should provide the refreshments since the meeting is part of the workday and we are required to attend.” — Anonymous
Question: “How trustworthy do you find Wikipedia? I hear people referencing it all the time (including in this Forum) but sometimes the articles read more like opinion than fact. Does anyone know of an alternate (free) resource for encyclopedic or general information?” — Lisa, New Jersey
Question: “I have been in the same department for several years and would like to be sure that my salary is competitive with that of my colleagues who have recently joined the company.  These colleagues are in my department and have the same title as I do.  Any advice on a procedure for this? “ —  Emma
Question: “A few administrative managers would like to approach executive management and propose that we be considered for the annual bonus program. Are there other office/administrative managers who receive an annual bonus? What is the criteria (tenure, number of reporting admin staff, etc.) or is it primarily performance based?” — Maggie
Question: “I work for a major company in my industry and, of course, benefits have changed over the past few years. Our funeral leave policy grants three days’ leave for immediate family members. However, the old policy allowed one day for aunts, uncles and spouse’s grandparents. Co-workers have trouble understanding that the definition of ‘benefit’ means that the company is not obligated to give us anything. Does your company have a funeral leave policy? I think my company’s policy is really good, and I would like some data to show others.” — Tired of Whining
Question: “I admit to being a nit-picker when it comes to grammar, punctuation and spelling.  I also know from personal experience that it’s not easy to accurately proofread my own work products because my mind reads what I intended to write rather than what I actually wrote.  I’m a little concerned that, from what I read in the responses to this Forum, either we’re not proofing our work prior to hitting the “send” button, or as a community we don’t have a very good handle on our grammar, punctuation and spelling.  We are usually the ones responsible for proofing the work of others, so I’d like to know – are we just not worrying about traditional standards these days?  If you do try and maintain high standards, what tricks do you use to proof your own work before it goes out?  (I read the work product out loud, which forces me to see what is really written.)” — Kathy
Question: “I would like to explore the possibility of working as a virtual assistant on a part- time basis.  Has anyone had experience with this type of work?  What resources (skills and/or equipment) will I need?” — Anonymous
Question: “I am part of a team of assistants for a dozen bosses.  We all sit near each other with a lead member, an intermediate and a junior.  I am the junior member.  The intermediate member acts like she is very busy with her assignments, however, she constantly asks me to take over her tasks because she states that she is too busy.  I have plenty of assignments myself, but I am hungry to learn more.  So I have accepted some of these requests.  It is becoming burdensome to continue picking up her work.  How can I communicate this to her without sounding like I am not a team player?” — Jeani Easterly
Question: “I use Microsoft Office 2003, and I need to keep a hard copy of BCC address lists. How do I do that?” — Anonymous
Question: “How can I handle other staff who treat administrative assistants as the low people on the totem pole? Where I work, admins get little or no respect from staff/peers. When we ask people to leave a conference room because we have booked it for a meeting, we are ignored or told to wait. Our bosses treat us fine, but it is other staff above and equal to us who treat us poorly. What can we do to institute a change?” — Anonymous