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 will be working with a new director soon. When I meet with the new director, I would like to ask the right questions in order to get to know his work style or what he expects of me. I would like help in asking the right questions so I know what he expects. For instance, the information that I placed on my former boss’s Outlook calendar may not be what my new boss would like on his calendar. Another question might be how he prefers me to handle mail, for example, date stamped, placed in folders, etc.

What other questions should I ask?  -- Anonymous

Question: I am the HR manager for a company that had 35 employees. Recently, our company merged with a sister company, and now we have 85 employees. We feel it’s time to get some HR software, but we don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on it. Can anyone recommend a good, economical software package that tracks attendance, PTO, raises, benefits, appraisals, discipline measures, etc?  -- Ann
Question: When a job advertisement asks for salary requirements along with your resume, what is the appropriate manner in which to state it?  -- Lori

Question: Has anyone in a Sr. Admin. Asst. role had to deal with a “Diva”? I am a Sr. Admin. Asst. and I work with an Admin. Asst. who feels that she doesn’t have to respond to my requests, especially when I ask her to provide information to me prior to meetings. She wants to do the PowerPoint presentation herself; therefore, she shows up with it on a disk the morning of the meeting. Others provide the information to me and I create the PowerPoint, so I know I have everything ready. She’s very talented and I depend on her, but she comes across as “I don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules.” Any suggestions?  -- Anonymous

Question: Microsoft has a product called “Markup” that allows you to proof other people’s documents internally. Has anyone used this, and if so, do you like it and is it easy to use? Are other products available that perform similar functions?  -- JAG

Question: Our company has job descriptions for several levels of administrative assistants, but it doesn’t have one specifically for executive assistants. Typically, the executive assistant position requires a level of support beyond what the average admin provides. Does anyone have a really strong job description for an executive admin position?  -- Carol

Question: Does anyone know of a software program that works similar to MS Binder?  -- Anne Smith

Question: I would like to learn about other companies' employee pension plans. We employee 29 people, have about $1.2 million annual payroll, and want to set up a pension plan program. Also, I'd like info on life insurance, e.g., amount per employee, cost per thousand, etc. Any info would be appreciated.  -- Jean

Question: The HR director has placed someone in my office on a 90-day probation. During this period, she cannot miss a single day of work, even after she got approval to take a personal day to visit her doctor. Her doctor’s office is located 45 minutes from the office, and then she worked from home for the remainder of the workday.

The HR director has stated that one of the sacrifices when taking a corporate job is that you “must” switch doctors so your doctors’ offices are near the office.

Can a corporate office dictate where its employees can go for health care? If she received pre-approval to take a personal day, is it the company’s business where her doctor is located? How can HR tell her that she “must” switch to a doctor near the office? Is there any law that says a company can do this? There have been many similar incidents.  -- Concerned About Legality

Question: We interviewed a job candidate for a position with our company. We did not select the individual, but I sent a letter thanking her for taking the time to interview with us and that we had been successful in our search. I stated that we would keep her resume on file for 30 days in case a similar position opened up.

This person has written back asking for "constructive criticism" (feedback) on how she can better present herself in an interview. She is also asking if her business references gave negative recommendations, and if so, she wants to know their names so that she does not use them in the future.

How would you handle this situation? I worry about possible lawsuits. For the record, I did not receive any negative comments from her references; we simply chose another candidate.  -- Anonymous

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