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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: “A few months ago, a reader inquired about web sites regarding salaries. I checked them out only to find that I am significantly underpaid. My title is assistant to the director of HR. The other admin in our small company is the assistant to the executive administrator. She also assists the president/owner on a daily basis. We both handle “extremely confidential and sensitive” material.

Our wages fall between $14 and $15 an hour. Is our pay sufficient for the work we perform?” —Elly
Question: I need tips for keeping up with my boss’s mileage using Outlook.  What’s recorded in Outlook is then used  to complete a mileage form.  I usually record meetings requiring travel in purple. But there are times when meetings are on the boss’s calendar in purple that she does not attend; she just wants to know the meeting is taking place. By the end of the month, it’s hard to remember if she did or did not attend those meetings.  Also, she wants me to accept meetings tentatively that she may or may not attend.  This shows meetings taking place at the same time or around the same time.  I need to keep track in a better way.  Should I print her calendar and highlight the meeting she actually attends? — Anonymous
Question: I am interested in learning what policies and procedures companies have in place (specifically not for profit, child welfare organizations) for record retention. — Patti Pieszk
Question: "How do you resolve conflict and assuage damaging, condescending comments that are very subtly done?  The comments come from a manager to an employee who (technically) does not report to him.  He has had several reports lodged against him regarding this. All previous employees who complained are no longer here, but he is." — Fed up
Question: My current position is Corp. Receptionist. I recently interviewed, but did not get, an Exec. Asst. position with the president of the company. I do not have Quicken experience, which was a requirement. Would an HR manager consider me a "job hopper and high risk" employee if I started looking for another position outside my company? — Debbie Reimer
Question: We have two supervisors in our location.  Neither will take action on anything unless they "witness" it.  Recently, two of us helped a third employee get ready for a presentation on the day of the event.  The work could have been completed earlier in the week.
I told my boss that she may want to ask how the presentation went, giving us the opportunity to explain that we did all the work for the other employee. She told me that she could not ask those types of questions, because she hadn't witnessed it.
Shouldn’t she, as a supervisor, have the right to ask how the presentation went and were there any problems, etc.?  So, how do issues get resolved?  Our supervisors rarely venture into our office, so they hardly ever witness what goes on. — Anonymous
Question: After 16 years at the same job, an employee was replaced because of lack of experience by a new hire who only knew how to do half the job. The new hire was fired and the person now holding the job has no experience and moved into the job by request within the company. The job opening was not posted. Is this correct procedure? — Pay
Question: I would like to take a course(s) on Professional Organizing to enhance my administrative professional skills.  I've already checked with NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), but I’m still searching for "live" (not online) courses that I can take.  I've also already checked Skillpath, Fred Pryor and any number of seminars.  I've found nothing.  Any suggestions on how I can get thorough training on being a professional organizer? — Pamela A. Johnson
Question: I am responsible for coming up with the holiday gift idea for our board members.  I was given a budget of $250 - $300 and I am, unfortunately, at a complete loss:  corporate wear seems to go unworn; food baskets are given away because they receive more than they can eat; and my boss doesn't like the idea of show/sports tickets because the directors are from different regions.  Does anyone have an idea for something different and useful?  — Anonymous
Question: The company I work for had an office/staff restructuring about a year ago. I was hired as the office administrator. My boss is also new. He tells me that as an administrator, I should administrate. When I do, he doesn’t back me up and inevitably he goes in the opposite direction and has me jump through hoops only to end up right back where I started.

I’ll say, “the sky is blue.” He’ll say, "No ... the sky is green, and why don't you study up on the green sky and get back to me on why it is green." Then he’ll come back a week later and say “the sky is blue” and a week later ask me how the “green sky” is going.
How should I tactfully and professionally tell him I’m frustrated and it affects the way I get things done? I am very confident in how I do my job, but to be honest, there are times when I'll question if the sky really is green. —  Paula