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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 am an administrative assistant with a busy schedule working for a senior director.  My problem is our receptionist, who works right outside my office. She talks on the phone constantly, does personal work and has student assistants coming and going 20 hours per week. I am so frazzled listening to her and then hearing her tell everyone who will listen how overworked she is.  I don’t supervise her, but her work is minimal at best. She is barely literate, and no one will bring it to her boss’s attention when she makes mistakes — or neglects to meet their requests.  But — surprise, surprise — she’s a great receptionist.  It bothers me because when raises are given, they’re all across the board with no incentives! And I have to listen to it all day long. What can I do?” — Judi
Question: “I work in a department that is divided into teams. I am the department administrative assistant, supporting about 25 people. The department celebrated a project completion where everyone on the team received a project completion gift, which included everyone in my department. I didn’t work directly on the project but did a lot of administrative tasks. I didn’t receive a gift, which is fine, but my boss invited everyone to the conference room to present the gifts and acknowledge a successful project completion – but me. He left me at my desk and didn’t invite me to be a part of the celebration. Is it wrong to feel left out and not a part of the team?” — Ann Harris
Question: “Is it appropriate to ask during an interview what the company policy is regarding giving references? I worked for a company for two years, and then decided to move on. It was then that I learned about the company’s strict “no-reference” policy. It was not mentioned in the employee manual. Now I have a gap in my references that looks bad through no fault of my own.” — Donna Byerly
Question: “I work for a small company and right now we give all of our employees, both salaried and hourly, five paid sick days per year.  The company is deciding if hourly employees should continue to get this benefit.  These hourly employees work a full 40-hour week.  What do other companies do?” — Nancy Shortino
Question: “How can I get a promotion if I am an administrative assistant and work in manufacturing? I have been at the same position 15 years. Could I propose a new one? What do you suggest?” — Rose Gonzalez
Question: “I am a full-time working mother of two children, one is 4 years old and the second is 21 months. Recently, I proposed a flexible schedule at my job so that I could pick up my 4-year-old from preschool, Monday through Friday.  I currently work until 4:30 pm and my children go to bed at 7 pm.   Does anyone have any ideas on how I can propose this to my boss in a way that sounds good to my boss and works for me?” — Tracy Fehd
Question: “I share an office with several other secretaries.  My director has asked us to create a "project board" to post our assignments on.  Does anyone have experience with this?  We aren't sure how to start this process, what information to post, etc.” — Anonymous
Question: “I am looking for easy to use software for maintaining address lists for a church office.  Ideally, it would differentiate members and "friends," list names, phone numbers, birth and anniversary dates.  What do you use?  How easy is it? And most important, how much does it cost?” — Anonymous
Question: “I am part of our department’s Diversity Committee and the committee is hosting our next all staff meeting/training. Does anyone have any ideas on what we can do at this all- staff meeting to bring awareness regarding being sensitive to the cultural diversity of our staff and the clients we serve?” — Anonymous
Question: “I need to write a self-appraisal, which I am finding very hard to do this year because our company has been bought out and I am unsure if I will have a job once the conversion is complete. How can I make positive comments when I’m not sure that I have a future with the new company? Should I write the self-appraisal as if it was a résumé?” — Patti Shafer