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: When my boss assigns work, I try to go over it with him to make sure that I understand the task or offer suggestions. He often stomps, shouts, uses foul language and belittles me by interrupting and saying, “ I’m worth more than your time.”

Management apologizes for him, but takes no action. I’m not in a position to change jobs because of my age and because I need the insurance. How should I handle the situation? - Anonymous

Question: Although I am not in charge of making sure that the restrooms stay clean, people tell me when it needs cleaning.

Any suggestions on how to communicate in a professional manner that everyone should pick up after themselves and maintain a clean restroom? We provide cleaning supplies such as Clorax wipes, etc. - Martha

Question: What is your opinion?  An individual is job searching, and she’s three months pregnant. Does she inform a potential employer that she’s pregnant (voluntarily)?  If so, how?  If not, after she’s employed ... how and when? Should she just stay at her current employer? - Jean/Kansas

Question: We have a small break room where used personal dishes sit in the sink for days ... even a week or more.  Signs have been posted, but still people ignore it and leave their bowls, spoons, cups, etc.

I've collected the dirty dishes in times past and put them into an empty box with a label affixed on top, "Dirty Dishes."  But, the trash people picked it up and threw it away.  Anyone have other solutions? - Marilee Crowell

Question: I’m having trouble with an Outlook calendar that I am responsible for arranging. One week after I post the appointment, it disappears. The only appointments that remain on this calendar are recurring ones.

I have checked the various settings, filters and options in Outlook. I have searched through Microsoft Online, and I still cannot find a solution and/or explanation. It seems like such a simple thing, but I am truly baffled. - Keisha

Question: There are three administrative assistants in my office, including myself.  One of them is the office perfectionist who gets upset with others, including the administration and her own manager, if they do not do things "just the way and when" she thinks they should. 

She also gets upset when her manager interacts with me. I do work for "her" manager as well as the other managers in our offices, so there are times when we must interact.  She is very stern and serious, and I am a little frightened of her temper. 

When she gets upset with someone she slams her office door and leaves it closed for the day. I did not want to approach her because I did not want to deal with her anger and harshness.  When she gets in this bad mood I stay away from her.  I feel like it is "her problem" and she needs to get a grip. The door slamming is disruptive and upsetting for others and very unprofessional behavior. -  Anonymous.

Question: We regularly have events or meetings at our workplace where we serve food and then allow employees to eat any leftovers.

But we have employees who run to “pile” food on their plates as if they had not eaten for days, placing food in their lunch boxes to take home to their families, and simply not considering others waiting in line to get something to eat.

How can I write a professional, companywide e-mail detailing the need for manners when eating any catered leftovers? - Isela Rosales.

Question: We post all of our open staff positions on our web site. Is there a law or at least guidelines that require a job to be posted for a certain amount of time? We post jobs for five days but if they are underutilized for minorities, we leave them posted for 10 days. No one knows why. -  Dreyfus.
Question: I am looking at setting up a record-retention policy, and I’m wondering how many companies have one in place.  Also, do you know a good, reliable source where I could find such a policy? I did some research and found different retention years for the same document. We are private non-profit agency located in Minnesota. - Jasmine
Question: As the purchasing assistant, I have been handling our agency’s phones for more than five years.  This duty will soon be transferred to our IT people.  This is definitely NOT a problem; I’ve got enough on my plate.  I’m just curious to see how other companies work it all out. - Karen, Michigan
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