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: “Does anyone have a policy on start/end work times for jobs that don’t require employees to punch time clocks? We polled the staff as to when everyone would like to start work in the morning, and they agreed to 8 a.m. Now, people have started strolling in at 8:15, but they put the usual 8 a.m. on their time sheets. Their supervisors don’t mind, but I’m the project assistant, so how should I address this issue?” — Virginia M. Howard
Question: "My company will be closing its doors within the next two years. I am 61 years old and have worked as a secretary here for 19 years. Our facility is out of the city limits, I have not had to interview for many years and I do not have the early-year career-drive that I did while in my 30s. Does anyone have any advice as to where or what I do to begin re-thinking my current job position and future potential? I find that the job market is keener on hiring the younger and more adventuresome admins. I had hoped to be able to work at this position until I could retire at age 66." — Anonymous
Question: “I am the assistant to our company’s CTO, who is very ‘hands on.’ She is constantly in meetings and on conference calls, which takes a toll on her e-mail inbox. I am tasked with helping to control the outrageous amount of e-mails that come in to her on a daily basis. I have become good at detecting the junk mail, but it doesn’t even put a dent in the total. Does anyone have any suggestions on e-mail management?” — Leslie N. Robus
Question: “The holidays are approaching, and I need help thinking of a nice and reasonably priced holiday gift from my male boss (CEO). Any suggestions?” — Sandy S.
Question: “What is the appropriate way to list a retired physician on our letterhead and web site?  Should we remove his name or simply put (retired 2008) beside his name?” —Viki
Question: “We have a long-term temporary worker who manages to get the job done, but the collateral damage is staggering! She is loud, abrupt and downright rude. The only people who like her are the salespeople she supports because she does provide them tangible results. How can I ask her to conform more to office behavior without causing a strain on our working relationship?” —Kristin
Question: “We have an employee who has been going through a difficult divorce for the past year and a half. Lately, she has been making more and more mistakes and it seems she needs training on things we all should know and that she once knew. She seems overly sensitive to basic constructive criticism and is beginning to play a bit of the blame game. I think she needs a vacation, but she refuses to take one. Any suggestions on how to get her through this divorce without sacrificing job performance? Or is there such thing as a “mandatory” vacation?” — Jocelyn
Question: “I’m responsible for selecting new office furniture for the VP of my department (this is who I report to) along with furniture for the Director and 10 managers. I’ve been told a dark wood color and straight lines. They want it to look “intimidating” and professional. Suggestions?” — Randall S. Cook
Question: “When I started at my company, I worked for two senior execs. Now, I also work for the president. I handle all of their office and personal work, which includes personal errands for the president. On my review, it was stated that I am not enthusiastic about everything that I am asked to do. I’ve never refused a request, but I don’t want enthusiasm to be interpreted that I need more to do. I am frequently complimented by customers and co-workers on my helpfulness. I also work overtime every day on an unpaid basis. I noted this on my last review comments. But the president keeps bringing up the ‘enthusiasm’ comment on my review. How should I respond to this comment?” — Anonymous
Question: “In my 30-year career, I’ve never heard of a company requiring that holiday time be accrued, i.e., each pay period an employee accrues the time, but if the employee doesn’t have enough accrued time and a holiday rolls around then it’s time off without pay. Is this legal?” — Peg
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