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: My boss is the head of my company and a genius-engineer type. He must have his contacts in a book rather than an electronic format. Currently, I use Outlook 2003 and have created a contact binder with tabs for Home, Personal, Medical, Business, etc.

My boss wants several contacts from the same company to be seen under one company view (one contact name under the other with phone numbers under the master company header), instead of several separate views. He also would like to see the database sorted in different ways, but he wants more configurable views rather than the several choices of view from Outlook.

In relation to this, I have several questions to other admins.

  1. Would a skilled Outlook user be able to change the contact format and contact views into a more easily read format? If so, where could I get the training/knowledge (i.e., training CDs, courseware or live training) to do this?
  2. Does anyone know of any other database program out there for personal contacts that is very detailed, flexible and configurable? (We've already scrapped Access.)

Thanks for any help.

-- Karen Kosmoski

Question: Having been here five years, I'm the newest person in my office. I'm also the youngest admin here by at least 20 years. However, I have 15 years of experience as an administrative assistant/office manager.

Recently, I was given the task of developing some training programs for admins. Can anyone suggest how to begin this sort of program, given the fact that, while I've received many compliments from "higher ups" on my skills and efficiency, some admins think there is nothing more to learn ... and, especially, nothing that I can teach them since I'm the "young thing," as they say.

I don't want to come across as a know-it-all, but at the same time, some people haven't bothered to keep their skills current and there really is room to grow.  -- Ann

Question: How do you not get stressed out working as an assistant to two very powerful personalities? One has the effect of a Mack truck when he approaches me. The other tends to be highly critical and extremely articulate.  -- Carolyn

Question: I'm responsible for planning team-building exercises for a team of eight people. Does anyone have any great ideas of things to go out in the community to do that are fun but also will teach a leadership skill?  -- Bonnie Rohrer
Question: I'm looking for a basic administrative-assistant outline format; something I can refer to for most outlines. Occasionally, I have to set up an outline for routing schedules, chairman responsibilities, time lines for other departments, etc.  -- Gina

Question: I’m supposed to compile a list of FAQs for our company Web site. Does anyone have some advice for me? Have you done this for your company Web site? How did you go about choosing content without getting too general? (What does ____ company do?)

Any advice is helpful and appreciated! Thanks!  -- Liz

Question: I'm going to be taking on the responsibilities of someone who is leaving the company. What's the best way to ask for added compensation for this, since they aren’t going to be paying the person who's leaving? I just don’t want to be taken advantage of.

Thanks!  -- DH

Question: First of all, thanks to everyone on here who takes the time to network in such a great manner!

I'm an executive assistant without a college degree in Atlanta. I was home-educated through graduation in 2003 and excelled in my studies, many of which were on a college level. I’ve read extensively (marketing and economics textbooks, communications, administrative handbooks, and so on) and want to take the GED soon.

After I take the GED, I plan to continue on the path toward an associate's degree, and I really would appreciate and value any advice. I’m not sure where to go, what to study, how to pay for it, how to get in, etc. I’ve read SO much online and in books, but everything is so geared toward high school students.

I’m also interested in information possibly from those who were also home-educated and have made the transition or those who didn’t finish high school but later returned to finish a degree.  -- Wanting to learn in Atlanta
Question: It's my boss. While he is a very intelligent man, he spends too many hours a day playing games on the computer instead of completing his work. Last week, he had some priority jobs to complete. When I asked him about it, he said he was Christmas shopping.

I have called him on it and told him he isn't fooling anyone; we know when he's not working. I've told him that his delaying completing his work is affecting my work. He nods sheepishly but does nothing to improve the situation.

Some of his work relates to getting clients to pay their bills. It all seems to work out in the end, but I'm at my wits' end and don't know what to do anymore. The four other men in the office do their work, but a lot of what my boss doesn't finish affects them, as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I would appreciate your help.  -- Kim

Question: I have an employee who called in and indicated she wasn't going to be able to come to work today because her daughter is sick.

Other employees in our department have let me know that she'd been telling them that she was going to ask if she could book the day off, as she was moving this weekend.

This is our busiest time of year and everyone is working extra hours to keep on top of the workload. If she had asked for the time off, it would have been granted, providing she was willing to make up the required hours.

This is very frustrating to the other employees and to me. Any ideas on how to handle this? Should it be addressed with the employee?  -- Frustrated in Windsor, Ont.

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