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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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Gum popping!

by on January 13, 2006 4:00am
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: I work in a nice office with a lot of nice people around. Sometimes, however, the lady next to me in her cube will chew gum ... then, she will pop it. Not too loud that the whole office hears it, but enough for me to cringe each time. It makes me mad, and I want to yell: "Please stop! For the love of all that is good in this world, stop popping your gum!"

But I am a professional and would like advice on how to politely bring this issue to light. Any suggestions?  -- Eau Claire, Wis.

Question: I have been asked to start a monthly newsletter for our plant.  Since I have never done this before, I need all the help I can get such as a sample newsletter, what program to use (I was thinking Microsoft Publisher).

My goal is employee involvement. Should I send out a memo asking for ideas and input or, after the newsletter is started (hopefully), just rely on word of mouth? 

Thank you.  -- Susan Kifer, Newark, Del.

Question: Does anyone use a Travel Request Form for the people you support? I have used them in the past, and they make life easier. This would include "Must arrive by," "rental car/size" needs, etc.  

I could create one.But if someone has one they like, it would save me from reinventing the wheel.

Thanks!  -- Jen

Question: Someone on the Forum suggested using a controlling calendar. Where can I find information on/templates for this type of calendar?  Is there an electronic version? It sounds like it might be of great assistance to me.

I have To Do lists. I have my planner. I have my calendar at home and at work. How does everyone else try to keep track of their duties for work and home? I don't feel comfortable putting my personal items on my work calendar. Yet, I've read in several places that it's best to keep all the information in one area. How do you accomplish this?   

Thanks for your help.  -- An overwhelmed Jeannette

Lunch & learns

by on December 30, 2005 4:00am
in Admin Pro Forum

Here’s a painless way to boost in-house training, from Kim Thompson, executive assistant at Harris Williams & Co. in Richmond, Va.:

“The administrative staff get together once a month,” says Thompson, “and one of us will give a presentation on something that has been useful to us, or that we have expertise in, over a lunch that the company brings in for us.”

Example: One program dealt with jargon used around the office that newbies might not understand. Another month, the program tackled Excel shortcuts.

“We all sat around with our laptops and everybody got a chance to share their knowledge,” Thompson says.

Added benefit: “It also fosters work relationships.” It can grow competitive in the workplace, Thompson says, “but not here. We really have an atmosphere of sharing rather than competition.”

Question: "I support two groups of five (off-site) regional managers. Each of these groups has a set of weekly, bi-weekly and monthly reports that are due regularly. (There is some overlap.)

I am trying to put together some sort of report-tracking grid or calendar so I can track the dates that each manager submits each report. My problem is that the report seems to be "three-dimensional" (Report x Manager x Due Date).

Does anyone have a concise, easy-to-read and -manage spreadsheet or table that tracks this sort of thing?

Thank you!  -- Jennifer

Question: I recently applied for a new position within my company.  I have worked in my current position for a very long time, and without going into a long story, I have never had a "real" interview.  Our company does panel (3-5 people) interviews now for all positions.

Can any of you help me out with what kind of questions are being asked at interviews?  Most of the resources I find seem to be geared toward technical positions.  -- Anonymous

Question: I work in an office with 19 other people and I am in charge of turning on the dishwasher each night before leaving.  To some, this translates to me also being in charge of cleaning up after everyone.

Often, there are dirty dishes in the sink or the counter, crumbs on the table, empty food containers left out, etc. ... and it's left for me to clean up.

Several memos have been distributed to the staff to remind them to take responsibility for their own housekeeping, but it has not been successful.  Any ideas?  I'm tired of being known as the office maid. My name is not Hazel!  -- Anonymous

Peer meeting

by on December 19, 2005 4:00am
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: I would like to meet with my peers from our 11 other plants and other persons such as A/P, A/R and any other persons  who may pertain to our job from the corporate office.  We have plants from California.to Delaware and from Illinois to Kentucky.

Apparently, admins don't travel from here (or so I've been told); it isn't part of the job description.

What can I say or do to be able to meet these people? I work with a lot of them every  day and would really like to meet them in person.  I would really like to know the "guts" of the corporation and why I do what I do and if I'm the only one being micro-managed by my super or if it's a corp. thing!

Thank you.  -- Susan

Question: "I co-chair a committee with someone who's unwilling to plan. I'll want to discuss the next meeting or upcoming priorities, and he'll say, 'I can't talk about that right now. Catch me later.' Of course, he doesn't have time 'later,' either.

"How can I force this person to focus?"  -- Jean, Michigan

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