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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 have an interview for an executive assistant to the city manager, which is an excellent opening for me. I would like some input from others on questions that may come up in the panel interview, pointers, questions I should ask and any web sites that may be helpful. I know what to do after the interview, but it’s always the before that I have trouble with.”
Question: “I was offered a promotion seven months ago to a newly created position with new responsibilities and a salary increase. Originally, five people did the job, and now it is just me. One area is very fast-paced and involves registering patients and answering a constantly ringing telephone with people wanting appointments. The second area involves faxing patient documents. The third area involves detailed billing responsibilities. I can accomplish all three roles, but I’m not doing it efficiently. I recently received a good evaluation and another salary increase.

I feel overwhelmed and that I am never completely done. I have spoken to my supervisor about the magnitude of the job. The response was ‘I understand and I will see what I can do.’ How should I handle this? Should I move on? Am I not giving myself enough time?”— LEW in crisis
Question: “How do I deal with three ‘Field Crew Leaders’ who use the office equipment (e.g., copier, fax, printer) but walk away without adding paper, let the machine jam and run out of toner. They never try and fix the problem or let anyone know that there is a problem. I need to send an e-mail to address the situation. What’s the best approach?” — Becky Jones
Question: “I need ideas and suggestions on what companies do for employee recognition on a quarterly and annual basis. We cannot do gift cards or money gifts as the employee is taxed on this.” — Joanne
Question: “I’m a long-time admin, and I need to update myself on correct business and correspondence practices. I also need to train our receptionist to use Word and how to do admin-type work. What business reference and training material would you recommend?” — Linda Smith
Question: “Is it OK to keep medicine on-hand to give employees as needed (e.g.,Advil, Tylenol, Excedrin, Motrin)? I keep these meds on my desk (as do a lot of other assistants at my company) and give them to anyone who needs them. It’s faster than employees walking to our on-site health center to request something for a headache. My husband’s company has stopped keeping meds like this in its first-aid kits because of liability reasons (in case someone takes something they are allergic to). If we (assistants) continue to keep meds on-hand, do we need a sign-out sheet before giving these meds to employees?” — Lisa
Question: “We hold monthly Board of Administrator meetings, and I have tried several ways to organize the packet information: using colored paper with tabs for each discussion section; color-coded tabs only for those items needing approval; binders; and report covers (with agenda on top and reports in order of agenda). I have been raked through the coals several times for not being organized because they have to flip through too much to find what they need. Any ideas on how I can better organize the material?”
Question: “I am looking at different ways to take risks in the workplace/office. Where can I find information on this topic?” — Lisa Hensley
Question: “Does anyone have an established procedure for setting up international travel for managers: passports, visa procedures, itineraries, finding dependable local transportation, hotels, etc.? This is a four-person office, so standards are carried out each time.” — Lee
Question: “Our company wants to establish a policy for maternity leave or long-term sick leave. We’re a small company and have never formally established a policy. Since we’re growing, we want to enable our employees to take leave without using all their vacation time. What are some suggestions that have worked for other companies?” — Sydney Eckersley