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, I believe, has a problem with ADHD. Sometimes, he bounces off the walls and is very difficult to keep up with. I try to keep up with him, but lately, I am exhausted by mid-afternoon. I am at the point that I am so frustrated because I am running in circles most of the time.

My boss will tell me he needs to schedule a meeting or various meetings throughout the day. Then, two minutes after we have met regarding his files/meeting requests, etc., he asks me if I have set up the meeting regarding a topic that he never asked me to schedule. So, I continually have to check and re-check my notes for who the invitees are for meeting A or B; then, I have to ask him if his question relates to scheduling meeting A or B. His normal reply: "Oh, no. This is another meeting I am talking about."

Many times, he forgets to give me all of the details.

Are you aware of any books that would help administrative assistants who work with bosses with ADHD? I would like to know how to set up boundaries with my boss, who cannot seem to focus.

I have set up color-coded files; I print meetings from his calendar and attach to the top of a folder for each and every meeting; I arrange files on his credenza; I keep a large, orange "Please sign" file for signatures; and we meet daily to plan meetings, plan projects and to follow up regarding unfinished projects.

I need some help as to how I can become a more efficient assistant to my boss. Any suggestions?  -- Frustrated in Michigan

Question: We're implementing a new policy: All personnel (secretaries/receptionists/admins, etc.) must give one month's notice before leaving the company. If proper notice is not given, accrued sick leave/vacation (paid time off) is not paid out.

Office managers have to give two months' notice. I don't know where you would apply for a job and they would wait that long for you.

I'd like to hear what other companies' policies are.

Thanks.  -- Kenda

Question: I'm looking for suggestions on "measurable goals" or SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) goals for administrative professionals.

Thank you!  -- Jennifer

Question: I recently was put in charge of organizing an event for the staff that would have us bring in our baby pictures and guess who is in each picture. I would like to make it fun so everyone will want to participate. Does anyone have any ideas of what to say on the invitation?

Thanks!  -- Debi

Question: I have a friend who is being given more responsibilities at work but is still being given the same pay. He has been with his job for 4 years and has not been given a pay raise. Do you all have any suggestions about whom he should contact? Should he talk with his boss about the situation?

I believe that his boss wants to get all that she can get from him and not pay him any more money. If he is so bad, why does she keep him around?  -- Anonymous

Question: We currently have a problem with documents that need several signatures taking an unacceptable length of time to obtain those signatures. 

I have been assigned the task of finding a more efficient way in which to move these documents through the system. I am looking for any suggestions or ideas to achieve this goal. 

If anyone has dealt with this problem, I would appreciate hearing the solution.  -- Lori

Question: I'm wondering if any of my fellow admins/executive assistants know of a book on business etiquette.

For example:
  • How to introduce someone to the president/CEO when you know only the person's title and first name.
  • How to tell when it's OK/not OK to interrupt your boss in a meeting, and what to say when you do.
  • What does that closed door mean?
  • How to notify your employer (in an emergency) of very delicately personal, family-oriented matters via phone in a discreet, respectful manner when you work in a cubicle setting.
  • When/when not to call your boss from your personal cell phone.
  • Just how many times am I supposed to call to try and relay this message?
  • It's after 5 p.m. and there's something going on at the office the boss HAS to know about.  The boss is holding a party at her house and would be disturbed if I called. Now, what do I say?
  • Oops! I forgot the other exec's name and he's a new business contract contact! What do I say when he comes out to chat with me?
  • My boss went to a meeting and the location has changed, but I can't get through to her cell phone to let her know. This could be a disaster!
  • How do I announce someone's arrival in the front office? To the boss? To other co-workers?
Sort of a "Miss Manners for the Admin Professional." Lots of books are out there on how to write professional business correspondence like this, but I haven't seen much on verbal communication.  Thanks.  -- Sometimes Tongue-Tied, Rochester, N.Y.

Question: I've heard that reading a document aloud helps you catch more errors than reading it to yourself. Anybody out there have any experience with that?  -- Julia

Question: I have a co-worker who wears trashy clothing to work almost every day. Even when she tries her hardest to dress professionally, she still looks horrible because her skirts are too short, her pants are too tight, and most of her shirts show her tattoos.

We work with mostly men, and they all make fun of her behind her back, calling her names and ridiculing her.

Her boss has addressed this issue but it hasn’t seemed to help. I have a pretty descent relationship with her, and everyone in the office knows me as the woman who tells it like it is. Should I tell her she is committing career suicide by dressing the way she dose?

Please help.  -- Mandy

Question: First of all, let me thank all of those who have given me advice in the past. My frustrations have finally been solved. All this time, I thought no one cared how hard I work and I'm awaiting an official promotion to another department.

So, keep up the hard work, everyone. Someone is always paying attention to our dedicated work ethic.

Secondly, my manager wants to boost the employee morale around here and she needs some ideas. We thought some kind of employee get-together may help. Any suggestions?  -- Anonymous

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