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: “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 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
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: “Does anyone know of a good resource on writing formal thank you letters that also offers examples? The person I am writing for prefers the more traditional style of writing. The thank you letters are for donations of time or money to organizations that provide assistance to the public.” — Wordless
Question: “What are some ideas for handling negativity in the workplace? I work in a small government agency and there are so many “negaholics.” What is the best way to handle these people?” —Lynnette
Question: “Can an employer ‘force’ an employee to take an ‘extra day off sometime’ in lieu of paying the employee eight hours of holiday pay plus eight hours of regular pay if the employee works on the holiday?” —Anonymous
Question: “I have been asked to locate or create industry productivity standards for my administrative support staff. How do I measure productivity for people whose job duties change daily?” — Jennifer Woodson
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: "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: 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
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